One of my favourite things about Christmas is doing crafts. I love making my own decorations and gifts, and have been doing so ever since I was a child. Unfortunately, the older I get the less time I seem to have and my Christmas crafts have become less elaborate and more time-savvy.
This Christmas jar is makes a great project to quickly whip up and is also perfect for children as long as they are supervised. It also doesn’t require purchasing any costly materials as you can use scraps and bits and pieces from home. If you don’t have hessian, you can substitute with strips of lace, more ribbon, crepe paper or brown kraft paper.
You will need:
- Empty glass jar
- Glue gun
- Assorted Christmas ribbon
- Assorted Christmas decorations/embellishments
If your jar has a label, soak the jar in a container of water overnight. Adding a small amount of dish detergent helps speed up the process. If you are lucky, the label will simply fall off, but if not scrub it off with a soft scourer. Then dry the jar thoroughly.
If there are glue remnants remaining on the glass, you can remove these by rubbing the area with a piece of cotton wool dabbed in rubbing alcohol or an adhesive remover. Don’t worry if the glue still won’t come off — you’ll be able to hide it when you add the decorations.
Measure and cut a strip of the hessian to fit around the outside of the jar. You don’t need to use a tape measure — just wrap the hessian around the jar and cut a strip to fit. Be sure to make it slightly longer than you need so that you can overlap the ends. And don’t worry about being terribly accurate — it doesn’t matter if the edges are not dead straight. It’ll add to the character of the piece.
Fray the upper and lower edges of the hessian strip by pulling out a few of the threads running along the horizontal edges.
Glue one end of the hessian strip to the glass jar with your glue gun (this will become the back of the jar). Once set, wrap the hessian strip around the jar and overlap the loose end over the glued end and glue in place.
Cut a length of ribbon to fit around the jar, again slightly longer to allow for an overlap, and glue in place as for the hessian strip. Be sure to glue the ends of the ribbon to the back of the jar, on top of the overlappin ends of the hessian.
Now glue your choice of embellishments such as holly leaves, bells, ornaments, etc to the front of the jar. Try out different arrangements first to come up with a design you like before you start gluing. Once you’re happy with your design, work quickly to glue all the pieces in place as the glue does set quickly. And remember, "less is more" – just one main focal piece will do the trick. Otherwise, the decoration can look a bit overdone.
Fill the jar with candies or small soaps as a gift — don’t forget to decorate the lid, too. Or pop in a tea light candle to use the jar as a candle holder – just remember not to allow the candle flame to get close to any flammable materials used in your decorations.
You could even make several in advance, filled with candy, and keep them on a counter or under the tree to give to unexpected visitors bearing gifts. I know I get caught up every year: “Oh, but I didn’t get you anything!” Problem now solved.