Five fabulous Christmas crafts under $5

The craft stores are bustling at this time of year but you don't necessarily have to visit one in order to make unique Christmas ornaments and decorations for your home.

Here are five Christmas crafts that were made using materials from the dollar store and cost less than $5 to make.

Coaster ornament. All you need to make this ornament is a pair of 5-inch cloth embroidered coasters, a small amount of batting, a length of wide ribbon and a ready-made tie on bow. The coasters cost $1 for the set of two. Put the coasters together with the patterns facing out and stitch around the gold trim near the edges, leaving a small opening in the top to add the batting and ribbon hanger. Then stitch the opening closed and attach the bow near the base of the hanger. Total cost: less than $3.

Snowglobe. Here's a cute idea for creating a snow globe effect. I found a large round vase for $2, added a bit of fake snow and inserted a small poly resin Christmas house. Any small figurine will do, just make sure that it will fit in the opening of the vase. Total cost: under $4.

Lampshade decoration. Choose a roll of wire-edged ribbon that matches your color scheme. Wrap some around the top of the lampshade to find the length needed then cut and hot glue the ends together. Poke a small hole in the center of the ribbon and insert a floral Christmas pick, bending the stem back length-wise along the inside of the ribbon. Total cost: under $2.

Christmas cushion. Make a festive cushion by sewing two tapestry place mats together and stuffing with batting. I like to use place mats that have a border around the edges. If you sew the place mats together with the patterns facing out, you can create a decorative edge by sewing along the existing hems on the place mats. You'll end up with a cushion about 17-inches x 11 3/4-inches and it will have cost less than $3 to make.

Ribbon napkin rings. You can do so much with a roll of wire-edged Christmas ribbon. Make about 14 napkin rings out of a 9'-foot roll of ribbon cut in 6-inch strips. Just hot glue each strip into a circle. If it's a patterned ribbon, the napkin ring can probably stand on it's own. For solid color napkin rings, I like to add little embellishments by hot gluing pine cones in the middle of each one or adding three dimensional Christmas stickers. You can also make napkin rings out of leftover Christmas wrap or scrapbook paper.

Marlene Alexander is a freelance writer and dollar store diva. She writes ideas and tips for home decorating using only items from the dollar store. Marlene has also written an E-book, Christmas-Dollar Store Style, which shows you how to decorate, entertain and create great gifts using only items from the dollar store.
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