How to make decorative Christmas gifts

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Project overview

If you’re struggling to think of a gift for someone this Christmas, why not put in the effort and make something this year. You can be as ambitious or simple as you like but as Christmas is just around the corner, we’ve partnered with speedy DIYer Clare Johnson to create an easy decorative project to get you started.

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Step 1. Choose your wood

You can use any size or shape you like depending on the houses you want to make. This project is perfect if you’ve got small leftover pieces of wood that you’re unsure what to do with.

We used a flat piece from the base, cubes roughly cut for houses and a small log cut in half for the roofs.

Step 2. Sand the wooden pieces

Lightly sand each piece so it’s smooth to the touch and there’s no splinters.

You can round off the edges if you want but there’s no need to be too neat about it. An uneven finish proves that it’s handmade!

Step 3. Paint the wooden pieces

Once your wooden houses are smooth, give them a coat of paint.

If you’re planning on dotting your houses around your garden (they’d be a great feature on a bird bath) then use garden paint. Otherwise, chalk paint can be used if you’re keeping your handmade present indoors.

I used garden paint in Daisy for the base and one house and Cornflour Blue on the other houses.

Step 4. Add a weathered look

Quickly sand the houses to create a distressed look.

Use Daisy to paint four small windows. Leave the paint to dry and then use a darker colour to create window panes.

Step 5. Attach a roof

We used a small log for the roof to create a cottage. Drill a small hole in the log and use a rusty nail to secure the roof to the house. Leave the nail sticking out slightly to act as the chimney.

Step 6. Add railings to the painted base

Create railings around the base of your houses by placing evenly spacing out nails around the edge.

Weave a piece of string through the railings to finish the look.

Step 7. Add doors

Use a small piece of wood to create the door and add it to the front of the house with glue.

Step 8. Add streetlights

It’s up to you what kind of detail you add to your street scene. We bent a couple of rusty nails with pliers to make streetlights but you could also add trees or even tiny people.

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