Christmas crafts for canal lovers

Whether you’re looking for the perfect gift for a fellow boater, or just looking to bring canals into your Christmas, we have four canal-themed crafts for you to try.

Christmas crafts Christmas crafts

Lock gate tree ornaments

What you will need:

  • 2 ice lolly sticks
  • Brown card
  • Pen
  • Black and white paint & paintbrush
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • String/ribbon
  • Ruler

1. Draw a line on the ice lolly sticks, about a third of the way along.

2. Paint the end white and leave to dry.

3. Whilst waiting, cut up your card into two rectangles and draw three ‘L’ shapes on each in pen as below (we used brown felt tip).

4. Once the white paint has dried, paint the rest of the lolly stick black to look like a traditional beam.

5. Once all the paint is dry, stick the brown card to the lolly sticks. We used PVA glue for this. 

6. When the glue is dry you can attach your string or ribbon to the back on the card with tape.

Your ornaments are now ready to hang on your tree, or put in a gift box as a present.

 Mugs for boaters

What you will need:

  • Porcelain mugs
  • Oil based pens
  • Oven

1. We recommend practicing your design on paper first. We designed ours with 'Captain', 'Skipper', 'Deck hand' and 'Captain’s Mate'.

2. When ready, it’s time to put pen to porcelain! Start drawing your design, but keep tissue handy to fix any mistakes.

3. When you are happy with the designs, put the mugs in a cold oven and then turn it to 200 degrees and leave for 30 mins.

4. Turn off the oven but leave the mugs in there to cool slowly, otherwise they may break due to the quick change in temperature.

5. Remove the mugs from the oven and wrap them up (or make a brew if they are for you!)

Note: This method should mean you can put the mugs in the dishwasher, but we would still recommend hand washing to keep them looking fresh.


Canal themed snow globe

You will need:

  • A jar
  • Glitter
  • Glycerin (this gives the glitter a ‘floaty’ effect)
  • Distilled water
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • A wintery canal photo
  • Small plastic toys – we used swans!

1. Print off your favourite wintery canal picture, or draw your own! If you are using someone else’s photo, do make sure you have their permission to use the image.

2. Cut the picture so it covers the back of the jar (a tape measure might be useful with this) and put to one side.

3. Fill most of the jar with distilled water.

4. Add a tablespoon or two of glycerine, depending on the size of the jar. If you’re unsure, add a little and add more later.

5. Add your glitter, we used a mix of white, silver and blue.

6. Add your small plastic toys. We used swans but you could also use fish, ducks or any other waterway wildlife.

7. Put the lid onto the jar and do up tightly – you could even use superglue to be extra secure!

8. Stick your picture to the back of the jar with tape or superglue.

9. Shake and enjoy the sparkle!


Boat Tote Bag

What you will need:

  • Blank tote bag
  • A printed photo/picture of a seasonal canal scene
  • Scissors
  • Parchment paper
  • Photo transfer (cream or iron-on)
  • Paint brust, sponge and rolling pin (if using photo transfer cream)

1. Wash and iron your tote bag to avoid wrinkles in the image.

2. Put parchment paper inside the tote bag to protect the inside and to help keep the bag’s shape.

3. Print off your seasonal canal scene photo, make sure it is sized right to fit the tote bag. If you are using an iron-on kit, you may need to print onto transfer paper. Do check in with the owner of the photo to make sure they are happy for you to use it. 

4. Follow the instructions given with your photo transfer cream or iron-on kit.

5. One the image has set the bag is ready to wrap up as a lovely Christmas gift.

You could also use this method for cushion covers or patches that can be attached to anything!

We hope you enjoy your Christmas crafting. If you make any of these, or come up with your own canal themed Christmas crafts, do share the images with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!

Last date edited: 30 November 2016