When only homemade Christmas crafts will do

First impressions  

Maybe it was reading about the Pink Ladies Christmas Bazaar that inspired me, or the fact that I’ve loved trying my hand at homemade stuff, but I gravitated toward apps that covered Christmas DIY projects this week. 

Yes, it can take a lot of time to make things from scratch, and yes, it will probably end up being more expensive than buying it from a store with infinitely less swearing involved, but who can resist giving it a go? 

Martha Stewart has made a hefty bundle of money from showing the world how to decorate their house to death with nothing but ribbons, tape, scissors and an infinite supply of glitter. It must be nice to have that much free time available. 

When I last tried some Martha Stewart snowflake cookie decorations for the tree, let’s just say that they didn’t exactly mirror the originals. As I tried to expand the ribbon holes at the tops of each one, many broke, leaving lots of cookies that couldn’t be hung but could certainly be eaten. Perhaps I should blame my rapid weight gain on Ms. Stewart. 

I went through the App Store and punched “Homemade Christmas decorations” into the search window. What came up was the Crafts for Christmas app by Geraldine Callaghan. 

There were no reviews for her app and as it wasn’t free, I hesitated. Suppose I was spending $2 or so for nothing? I talked myself into it – ‘tis the season, ‘n’ all that. 

Before I knew it, Crafts for Christmas was on my iPad. Glue guns at dawn! 

How it works  

It really doesn’t get much more self-explanatory than this app. The main screen splits into a number of different options: Christmas Quiz, Kids Crafts, Advent Calendars, Decorations, Wrapping and Cards, Knitted Crafts and Crochet Crafts. At the bottom, you’re also given the chance to “Share This App,” but you’ll probably want to give it a thorough try before you start randomly recommending it to all and sundry. 

The Christmas Quiz has a few interesting questions, and you get 10 at a time, the majority of which seem to repeat each time you choose to do the quiz again. Bottom line – don’t count on it to get you through a night of questions at the pub. 

Next up is Kids Crafts. You may think that these are craft projects geared solely toward kids, but once you see glue guns mentioned hither and yon, perhaps not. In the end, they are easier items to create that will appeal to children. Young ones can help, but as they say in the U.K., they’ll need a “grown-up” involved. 

Anyone familiar with Christmas should know what an Advent calendar is. It counts the days from Dec. 1 to 24 and can be anything from a simple card with windows that open, to a three-dimensional creative representation of the 24 days. 

The app has instructions for everything from a piñata Advent calendar to baby socks, Santa bags string, and a Christmas pudding version. They range in difficulty to suit all ages and patience levels. 

After the Advent calendars come decorations to festive-ize your home; ways to make your own cards and wrapping paper (I kid you not); and if you’re really a person of leisure, you can knit and crochet your way through the days, making snowmen, reindeer, angels and stars. 

When I tried it  

Full disclosure: I haven’t had the time to take on a single craft project over the last two weeks. I’m behind with getting the decorations up at the house, and I’m so tired when I get home, all I want to do is take a bath in some eggnog. 

That being said, I did go through the quiz and considered trying one of the Advent calendars. Again, I’m a big advocate of making things from scratch. They mean so much more, and it reminds me of how my mother used to make costumes and the like for us when we were little. 

One thing I realized from pretty early on, thanks to the measurements and names used for certain items, was that creator Callaghan is British. When centimeters and grams are littered about the place, you “twig” that it originates in Blighty. 

This could mean that some of the pieces will be difficult to source, but then as I’m not a crafty person, I may not know what I’m talking about. 

As far as the measurements are concerned, it’s pretty easy to use a conversion chart, so don’t be scared off by the metric system. 

Final thoughts  

With Etsy, Pinterest, Snapguide and myriad apps and websites out there all focused on home crafts, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of ideas and options. An app like the Crafts for Christmas app isn’t a bad one to choose if you’re just getting your toes wet, as it offers a range of crafts and isn’t complicated. 

Is it ground-breaking stuff? No, not really, but it’s a cute app and doesn’t cost much. 

Why not give Geraldine Callaghan a nice Christmas by buying her app? I’m sure she’ll be very appreciative. 


Cheap. Easy to use. Lots of simple craft ideas. 


Metric system. Limited Christmas quiz. 

Crafts for Christmas

  • Cost: $1.99 
Seller: Geraldine Callaghan 
Devices: iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone
  • Rating: E for Everyone 

Some items needed in the instructions may be difficult to find in Cayman, but then substitutions are possible.


There are crafts for children and adults.


Piece o’ cake!


Look for the icon in the App Store.


So many craft ideas from which to choose, or test your trivia skills.


Advent calendars can be found everywhere at Christmas.


How cute is this idea for an Advent Calendar?