Christmas crafts for canal lovers

Learning a new skill is a great way to boost your self esteem and make you feel better during the gloomy winter evenings. So this year, try your hand at creating one of our four canal-themed gifts – perfect for a boater and great to give to friends.

Christmas crafts Christmas crafts

Lock gate tree ornaments

You will need:  
  • Two 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. While you're waiting, cut up your card into two rectangles and draw three ‘L’ shapes on each in pen as shown (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.

Lock Gates xmas crafts 6

Mugs for boaters

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 wipe away any mistakes.

3. When you're 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 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 waterproof toys – we used swans!

1. Print off your favourite wintery canal picture, or draw your own. If you're using someone else’s photo, 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 waterproof toys. We used swans but why not try fish, ducks or any other canal and river 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

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's sized 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 that they're 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.

It's great to share

If you make any of these, or come up with your own canal themed Christmas crafts, share the images with us and your friends and family on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

Last date edited: 2 December 2019