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.
The Telegraph recently reported that the average British household will spend nearly £3,300 on Christmas this year! I couldn’t believe this figure at first, but once you tot up the costs of the presents, food, wrapping paper and decorations, you’re well on the way to hitting that amount. My friends and I always look to save money wherever possible. Instead of spending a fortune on the same-old beauty gift sets for one other, we’ve started doing a secret Santa. All of our names get put into a hat, and we each select one person to buy for. This is a much more cost-effective way of doing gifts, without completely stopping buying more »
There is nothing quite like putting up a Christmas tree in your home to get the kids excited for the festive season. Instead of just decorating a tree with baubles and tinsel this year though, why not get the children really enthusiastic for Santa Claus by dressing the centrepiece of your winter wonderland with decorations made from their own hands? Here’s how: 1. Creating…a colourful garland decoration What you need A collection of beads Wire A small bauble How to create it Measure out the wire and twist it into a small circle, making sure it is a nice enough size to stand out on a Christmas tree. Next, thread the more »
While it is very easy to just head down to the high street and purchase a bulk of Christmas cards to send out to all your friends and family, you are losing out on a quick-fire way to get into the festive spirit. Creating your own Christmas cards will not take much time – you can create a huge pile in the space of an afternoon – and is a fun activity for kids and adults alike. So free up some time when the whole family is available and follow this guide to create cards that recipients will surely be proud to display on their mantelpiece. 1. Work out your more »
Meanwhile, combine the dark chocolate, cream, and peppermint extract in a saucepan. Warm over -low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture is just melted and smooth.
Cool to barely lukewarm, about 5 minutes and pour the dark chocolate mixture over the white chocolate rectangle.
Using a spatula chocolate in an even layer.
Chill until very cold , which is about 25 minutes.
Rewarm the remaining white chocolate over barely simmering water and then pour the white chocolate over the firm dark chocolate layer, using your spatula to spread it to cover.
Sprinkle with remaining crushed candy canes.
There is something about Christmas that just inspires me and I think I have said before we do not buy the adults in our family Christmas gifts, so this year I decided to make use of my dried orange slices and make some home made christmas wreaths for my mother in law and sister in law.
Artificial wreath (I wanted it to last year to year)
Dried orange slices
Cinnamon sticks (from the florist as they are much cheaper)
Decorations (I used both wooden ones and also felt one too)
I got my smaller wreaths from Tesco for 97p and the larger ones from Hobby Craft on a three for two for £3.49
Firstly I dried my oranges slices and allowed them to dry.
For each wreath I made five orange, ribbon and cinnamon decorations by tying a bow in the ribbon and threading some florist wire through the back, then thread the wire through the orange slice. Using the glue gun apply a blob of glue to the rear of the orange and attach the cinnamon stick and wrap with the wire and allow to dry.
Then position your orange decorations on the wreath and using the wire tie them in.
Attach any other decorations or embellishments either with florists wire or a hot glue gun.
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.
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
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.
Wire tray (I used one of my cooling trays)
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.
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.