Friday, August 24, 2012

Creative Christmas Dinner Decorations

Guest post by Erin Levine Christmas is only months away. With a little thrifty planning, you can create some heartfelt centerpieces for your dinner table that will impress your family and friends. Best of all, these ideas for old Christmas cards will have you crafting some innovative decorations that won\'t break the bank.

Turn Christmas cards into gift boxes to place in the center of your dining room table. Halve the card by cutting it along the fold. Take the back half of the card. It is important to cut 1/8″ from one of the long sides, and one of the short sides. This is so that the bottom of the box will be smaller than its lid, allowing them to fit together. Now score the card 1″ from the edge on all sides. Do this with a ruler and a blunt object like a knitting needle. Fold the card along each of the four scored lines. Cut the scored line from the longer edge of the card to where it crosses the scored line along the shorter side. This cut should be about 1 inch long. Do this for each corner. Remember to only cut in from the longer edge of the card. This will create a flap. Fold along each of the scored lines, bending the flaps so that they sit on the inside of the box. Use glue to secure the short sides to the flaps of the longer sides. Repeat the process to create the lid. If your card has writing inside, cover with paper. You may like to use the verse as a little surprise in the bottom of your box. Once you have made one, you will see the potential for these little creations. Square cards work well too.

Boxes can be made to look rather spectacular. Fill the boxes with treats. Attach name tags and use these as festive ways to place guests at your dinner table. Try cutting out shapes from the lids of your boxes and taping cellophane on the underside to create windows. This is also a great way to present handmade chocolates.

Boxes are an ingenious way to personalize Christmas invitations too. Begin by cutting the card in half along the fold line. Place the card face down on the table. Fold the bottom edge up, leaving 2 inches of the card’s back exposed at the top. You can join the sides together in a variety of ways. Try punching small holes and sewing them together with a needle and yarn or ribbon. If you have a sewing machine, decorative stitches create an ornate edge. Fold the top of the pocket over to create a simple envelope. Glue or sew a button onto the pocket. Cut a button hole into the flap to complete the envelope effect.

Christmas cards make great menu or recipe cards which you could add to your table decorations or Christmas invitations. Again, cut the front from a card. Trim the card so that it will slide into the pocket you created earlier. Print out your menu or treasured family recipe so that when cut, it will be about 1/8″ smaller than the card. Attach it to the card by gluing or sewing.

Boxes can be arranged on the table for an interesting centerpiece. Cut out letters from advertising material and glue a letter per box to spell out season greetings. Tumble boxes filled with treats into large glass vases for a lucky dip surprise for guests. Inverted boxes can also be made to resemble little cottages. Use the backs of cards to cut out doors and windows. Don’t forget chimneys and roofs for your boxes too. Draw details onto the white card with a black marker and then glue into place. Santa’s village will quickly appear!

Don’t let your Christmas decorating be stifled due to a lack of cash. Your Christmas table can come to life with handmade items to create a festive atmosphere that will have guests marveling at your talent. So go ahead, have some Christmas fun!

Erin Levine writes articles about fun Christmas craft ideas for PaperStyle.com, an invitation and Christmas card company based in Alpharetta, Georgia. She loves anything do-it-yourself and can’t wait for Christmastime to roll around!