Homemade decorations were always something we were encouraged to make when we were at school - everyone remembers the egg carton and tin foil bells, the paper chains and the lanterns, but can you remember the crisp packet garlands? The above are now back up in my sitting room, having been made last Christmas, but I thought I would do a re-post of the instructions for those of you who aren't registered to access the information on our www.frugalforums.co.uk
As always, responsible adult supervision is recommended for crafting.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR HOMEMADE CHRISTMAS GARLANDS
We are seeing fewer and fewer foodstuffs sealed in foil-backed wrappers these days so whenever I see any crisp packets with their silver shiny linings, I save them. A discounted family pack of brand name crisps provided this lot last year - I think I may have bought them from Approved Food!
The crisp packets are already opened up at one end, so simply open the other the same way, leave the reinforced 'tear open' strips intact, cut along one side and unfold them for wiping them clean.
Next, you need to cut the packets in half, lengthways, so these pieces can all be joined together to form one long garland. Scissors can easily slip when slicing through fine foil-based wrappings so it's best not to allow children to do this unsupervised by a responsible adult.
Turn all the pieces of cut packaging shiny side down with the reinforced strip running edge to edge along the top. I used cheap sticky tape to join my crisp packets together and it did the job just fine.
Once your packs are all taped safely together, you can begin cutting the fringes. I cut my fringes about half a centimetre wide and take the cut to about a centimetre below the reinforcement strip along the top edge of my garlands to help prevent it tearing when you go to hang it up on the wall.
When you turn the garland over for hanging it up you will have a lovely silver Christmas decoration that looks good when hung along the top of the wall or around the edge of the ceiling. This is mine from last year, but it is hanging back in the same location this year.
This afternoon also saw the indoor Christmas tree decorated with the help of the cat, who seemed to find it entertaining to scoot about inside every bag or box she could clamber inside! So far, she has been prevented from going into the tree or stealing any baubles, but she isn't learning very quickly, despite this being her sixth Christmas!
I guess the was finally tired out after 'helping' organise the Christmas tree decorating - she climbed inside the first available empty carrier bag and promptly went to sleep!
This is a shop-bought 'Merry Christmas' garland that has lasted rather well over the years. The ribbons around the mirror are recycled from previous bows and the candleholders (without candles in them) were hand crafted by a friend who made them scrap wood. The tin foil on the fire-guard is simply to radiate extra heat into the room and deflect any smokey back draught that occurs while lighting the fire on windy days!
It;s beginning to feel quite festive now most of the decorating is done. I have a few more bits and pieces to go elsewhere but need to finish cleaning, vacuuming and dusting first!