christmas decorations


Cornflour dough tealight holders for Solstice 3

We live in Northern England and during this time of year it is dark and we love to light up our home with candles and decided to make some cornflour dough tealight holders for Solstice.  Maxi decided to make them in the shape of the sun to celebrate the shortest day and welcome the lengthening of the hours of sun we would receive. We used our white clay recipe, which is really easy to make, so much so that Maxi made it himself and once the dough had cooled down we used cookie cutters to shape our tealight holders.


White clay dough. Corn Flour dough, a fab alternative to salt dough 3

We have made corn flour dough before, but using salt, however, I was keen to find a different recipe with more of a smooth texture that was a bit more malleable for the boys to use. We have tried Nurturestore’s 2 ingredient white dough  and love it, but we also tried the following white clay recipe and the boys decided that this is their favorite go to salt dough replacement. How to make white clay:


Tree decorations inspired by The Fir Tree 24

We love making decorations as a family for our Christmas tree and this year we are joining in again with 10 days of kid made ornaments and this year they are inspired by a book.  So ours are tree decorations inspired by The Fir Tree by Hans Christian Anderson. Each year we buy new christmas books for our Advent basket.  This year I bought a book for me.  It is a beautifully illustrated edition of The Fir Tree by Hans Christian Anderson.


Make an Advent Candle or wreath 2

We love advent and one of the ways we celebrate is to have an advent wreath or ring that we light each sunday to help celebrate the lead up to Christmas.  The first Sunday of advent for 2014 in November 30th.  Me and the boys have spend the last few days making this years advent ring, even though it is more of a plinth! People light one candle on the first Sunday of Advent, two on the second Sunday, three on the third Sunday and all four on the fourth Sunday. Some people then continue to light all four candles during the Christmas period. Traditionally an advent ring has three purple and more »


Kid Made Christmas Decoration’s – Cotton Reels 2

I love this time of year, It makes me feel all crafty so the boys and I decided to make some vintage spool christmas decorations to combine my love of sewing and their of making things for Christmas.  They love looking back at the decorations they have made in previous years.


#CreativeTable and #AfterschoolFun Decorating snowflakes 1

The amazing Rachelle at Tinkerlab has a regular Creative Table Inspiration hashtag on Instagram that I love and it has really helped me in the way that I plan for my  After School Fun Activities with the boys.  This week we have been decorating some snowflakes that we have been sent from Yellow Moon.


Family hand print Christmas tree canvas 10

My friend Cass at Frugal Family made a hand print Christmas Tree a couple of years ago, which I have admired each year, but the thought of cutting out all those hand prints really put me off because I am far too lazy. So I put my thinking cap on and when I was in the bargain store the other day I saw an A2 sized canvass for less that £3 and had an epiphany and the above is what was made.

I used things that I had in, so tempura paint in green and then added a little blue to darken it. Paper plates to hold the paint and decided that we would all get involved, even MadDad.

We had a great time making it and started with the largest hands at the bottom and then did each line with smaller ones. Even the star at the top is the boys fingers. Once the tree was dry we added a fingerprint garland and I used brown paint to add the date as the trunk of the tree.


Christmas decorating with dried orange slices 2

So you have dried your oranges, what do you do with them?

Well I wanted to make wreaths for my nearest and dearest, so I bought some decorative cinnamon from the florists and set to making and creating.

It was very simple. I picked up the wreath for less than a pound at Tesco. I also used cinnamon, florists wire, ribbon and some wooden cuts pouts I purchased from Paper and String. They look great and smell delicious too.

I also made a selection of ornaments too:

Other uses for dried orange slices

Make seasonal potpori
Fill a jar with them for a table center peice
use them to decoprate wrapped presents
Make bunting by adding to popcorn and cranberry strings (great for outdoor trees)
Thread through florists wire to make a wreath
Use to decorate napkin rings


How to dry orange slices 6

ave always loved the look of dried orange slices and there were plenty of them used in decorations at York Christmas Market when we visited, so I wanted to try making some myself They are very easy to make and really effective too.

Materials

Oranges
Knife
Oven
Wire tray (I used one of my cooling trays)
Method

The hardest part of this is having the patience to wait for them to be dry!
Slice your oranges in to 1 cm strips. Make sure that you cut the oranges cross ways so you get the pretty segmented look. Discard the ends.
Blot any excess juice on to a paper towel or tea towel.
Place the slices on to a wire rack.
Place in your oven at 90 degrees centigrade for 3 hours, turning once.
Allow to dry overnight.
I made a second batch and dipped them in lemon juice which is supposed to preserve the colour, but there was no difference at all! The house smelt delicious when I was drying them and you could also use a dehydrator if you have one, but it is days like today that have been dreaming about owning an Aga.


Homemade Christmas – Decorate a pillar candle 7

I measured my candle both height and circumference (I used a piece of wool for the circumference!) and cut my tissue paper to size.
Then I cut a larger piece of waxed paper
Wrap the tissue around the candle and then cover with the wax paper, pulling it tight. The wax paper makes this easier to do and stops you burning your hands especially with thinner candles.
Then use the heat gun or hairdryer to melt the surface wax and the tissue paper will adhere to the candle.
I have been burning the candle and the tissue does remain and not burn, but this paper is rather thicker than standard tissue paper. I remember making these with my mum and we used the old fashioned sheets of wrapping paper (it was very thin) and rather than cover the whole candle we would cut an image out and just apply that. We would then cover with glitter that was iridescent and OK to burn. You can add glitter to your candles, but I would suggest using a water based glue and cosmetic grade glitters.


Felt Mistletoe with button berries 1

Who doesn’t love a good smooch under the mistletoe? What with having to stay in for deliveries, being unwell and lots of school things to attend, I haven’t been able to get out to buy any, so I searched the internet for a tutorial to make one with the small amount of green felt I had in my stash and came across the fantastic Stay at Home Artist blog and her 2010 tutorial for mistletoe. I didn’t have any pearl establishments so used an assortment of buttons and I love the finished ornament. If I had more felt and buttons I would have made another.

But the best thing is I have an excuse to have loads of smooches with my boys.


Christmas Decoration Tour 2010 12

I adore Christmas and all that is brings, partly maybe due to being a Christmas baby (it is my birthday on 20 December).  So I love decorations and one of the great things about getting older is that I am no longer hung up on everything needing to be matching and co-ordinating.  In fact I am embracing my inner child and we have even gone for coloured lights on a white tree in the dinning room. I love the fact that we have been collecting decorations each year and adding to them, they carry so many memories, so much of our history as a family.  Yep I am a sentimental old more »


An alternative to salt dough ornaments 18

  We usually make salt dough ornaments at this timeof the year, but spurred on my Chris at Thinly Spread I decided to give cornflour dough a try.  However, typically I didn’t have the ingredients on hand to make her recipes so made up my own. Ingredients 2 cups salt two thirds of a  cup of water 2 cups cornflour Half cup water Method Mix 2 cups of salt with two thirds of a  cup of water in a pan and stir constantly over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until bubbles appear. Remove from heat and immediately add to 2 cups cornflour and half a cold water  and mix quickly to more »


Nativity Scenes 11

  I am a great lover of nativity scenes and grew up with the lower image in my mums house.  When Maxi was born she gifted me it.  I love it, so do the boys, but as it is china they can not play with it and make up their own story, so we made our own version out of loo rolls. We had so much fun, but no images of us making them, as I was far too involved with the boys, glue, ribbon, scissors and lots and lots of fabric scraps! Oh and I went to Maxi’s Nativity yesterday and Mini’s is today, so I will be back with more »


That Back to School Feeling 7

The boys have returned to school and Preschool today.  In the two child free hours I get, I was planning to take down the decdorations that are outside, but this is what the conservatory looked like at lunchtime today!! I also failed to get to the bank to get the cash for MaxiMads dinner money and as he went to school in his shoes he wasn’t allowed to play out in the snow – hmm I think that I kind of failed at being a great mummy this morning! I was going to bring the Bin in once I got the boys home from school and bunkered down for the evening, more »


Reindeer Food, Hearts and Friends 14

I am a lucky lady you know.  I have made some wonderful friends over the internet.  I am blessed to have them and wanted to say thank you for all their support during this year. So, we make reindeer food as part of our annual christmas traditions, therefore, I made a little extra and have packaged it off to them and their little ones as a gesture of my feelings for them. Reindeer food I haven’t re-invented the wheel here, we basically use oats and glitter or coloured sugar. It is dead easy to colour sugar, pop it in a plastic bag, add food colour and shake!!  We use this as more »


Family Treasures Old and New 3

I have been reminded this weekend of why I make thing with the boys and for the boys. We have been decorating gingerbread house’s at my mums with my niece and we put up the snowmen decorations I made when I was 8 so they are 28 years old and the minimads loved them. I have to say the houses which we from Ikea were a nightmare to fix together and eventually both collaspsed under the weight of three children and excess sweets I fear. But as you can see they had a fantastic time making them. We also dropped off the plate I had decorated for my Neice and the more »