Decorating for Christmas

Fa la la la la, la la la la….

I LOVE Christmas decorating!  I had a photo shoot last month in the house for a Christmas decorating feature to go out next year in a magazine, and as it was not quite December it didn’t feel ‘christmassy,’ (although the photos I saw looked beautiful). Plus everything came down again at the end of the shoot.  It was quite mind-blowing how fast the stylist and photographer worked.  So it was like a Christmas-for-8-hours in a mind altering day!

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A lovely fresh berry and evergreen wreath sets the scene on the front door

But come the 1st December I get everything out of the attic and from stashes all over the house. Boxes of baubles, lights, garlands and more.  This is just some of the stash I have, it has grown over the years and I can see lots of things my children liked when they were small like little gingerbread men garlands… actually I have FAR TOO MUCH STUFF!

DINING ROOM

This year my children are 18 and 15, and I decided that for the first time we would not be doing the usual fir tree which always stands in the Dining Room, but an alternative version instead on a tabletop.  I asked the girls if this was all right, as they are the ones that the tree is usually aimed at with decorations collected over the years that they remember and coo over.  This idea went down OK-ish!  I found this really cute 3D  wooden tree at Hobbycraft, and it was a snip at £10.

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Given that dining room had a recent overhaul, we did not use a lot of the existing tree decorations and stuck to gold and silver ones with accents of oranges (literally) around the room:

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Christmas is a-coming…

Carol service dates are set, the turkey is ordered and the house is now officially dripping in decorations and lights.

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My wreath made from twigs, moss, wood, berries and fir cones

This year I have scaled down the excessive decorations that I normally get carried away with, especially adorning the stairs that wind up through the house, as it became quite tricky to find the handrail when it was overloaded with garlands and lights.  I was always waiting for a heavy thud as a Bellini Cocktail overloaded guest either missed the handrail or electrocuted themselves.  Plus the cats felt that it was a snaking tree of epic proportions to hand from with their claws.  So no stair garland this year.

However, the tree is up and looking very pretty.  The baubles are mercury glass, clear glass, beaded ones and the special sentimental ones that my daughter gives me every year.

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Simple decorations and fairy lights

The mantlepieces are also now done, the one below is in the same room as the main tree so the mecury glass theme continues…

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Paper Flowers and Wreaths

IMG_7950 I saw this idea online, and decided to have a try.  They are really easy to make, and look beautiful.  I sold a load at a craft fair at Christmas, and people now commission them with specific central ornament colours to match their home decor colours.

IMG_7963You will need: 120 pages of a standard sized old book.  The older the better as the pages are yellower and have a great patina.  I only use books from junk shops that are falling apart as I do not feel guilty when cutting out the pages. Scalpel and ruler Sellotape Stapler Foam Board Hot Glue Gun Decorations  – These can be baubles, natural cones and dried fruits, shells (lightweight), feathers… anything light and that you like.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Cut a square piece of foam board slighter larger than a dinner plate.  On the board, draw circles decreasing in size in pen or pencil, (I use a dinner plate, bowl, side plate & mug turned upside down and I draw around them).  Then draw through the circles 2 x lines forming a cross, so you have a graphic resembling a target.  This is your guide for when you stick on the paper cones.
  • With a scalpel and a ruler, cut out 120 pages from the book.  Try and keep them equally sized.  At this point I normally settle down in front of a good movies and start making the cones as it can take a while.
  • Roll each piece of paper from the bottom left inwards into a cone shape, use a small piece of sellotape to secure the wide back of the roll so that it is unseen, and then staple once across the bottom point horizontally.
  • Once you have all of your cones ready, heat up the glue gun.
  • Start attaching the cones to the board, put small blob of glue at the back bottom part of the cone where the back of the staple is.  Use the widest circle as a starting point and stick a circle of cones around it.  Then moving inwards, repeat the circles.  The trick is to keep it neat and uniform.  Once you start nearing the middle, you may need to trim the bottom of the cones so they are shorter and re-staple before attaching.  Leave a space in the middle the diameter of a mug base.  Once all of the cones are stuck on, just glue in the decorations you want to use.
  • That is pretty much it.  To hang, I use a bulldog clip attached to the top of the foam board with a ribbon attached, as it is all paper and foam board, the flower wreath is very light.

IMG_7945 I also been working on versions with folded paper sheets rather than cones. The central area is shredded paper rather than decorative elements: IMG_0097 IMG_0098