Christmas Decoration Storage

TOP TIPS FOR STORING CHRISTMAS DECOR

As Christmas draws to an end, it is all too easy to take decorations down, shove them into various bags and secrete them in attics, garages, under beds, and even in random places where space can be found, (I am guilty of the last one, for years my faux tree has been stored in an airing cupboard).

This is all very well until 11 months later, when you need to get things out and find them twisted, smashed, crumpled or just gone!  Fairy lights are particularly good at getting lost in our house, sometimes not turning up for a couple of years by which time replacements have been bought and then there are strings of them lying around everywhere.

So this year I am have a New Year resolution; packing away Christmas efficiently.

Baubles

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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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Planning Christmas table decorations

Yes, I am really a bit sad, I freely admit it!  I spent this afternoon messing about with the dining table, china, glasses, cutlery and so on, so as to plan upcoming Christmas entertaining in advance.

We have 3 lunches to do over the Christmas period, including the biggie on Christmas Day, and rather than go into a spin with table decorating on the actual mornings themselves, (when I am supposed to be concentrating on cooking), I thought it better to know what I would put on the table for each occasion in advance.

Lunch Number One

This table is styled with fresh whites and greens.  There are lots of natural elements in those colour ways on the table.  A large footed glass bowl of hydrangeas has raffia curled around the inside to hide the stems.  Faceted tea light holders in clear glass bounce light around and don’t block eye levels.  Two porcelain flower shaped tea light holders add more candle glow.  The table has two linen runners on it, one natural laid in one direction and a pale lime green going in the opposite direction.

 

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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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Amara – The LuxPad

Lucy over at LuxPad has compiled some rather beautiful wreath ideas for this Christmas from super stylish interiors bloggers, (including one of my paper wreaths so thank you Lucy!), have a look at the ideas here:

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Wreath by Suzanne Stanley @ http://www.create-enjoy.com/

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Great idea from Amy Watkins @ http://www.cozyreverie.com/

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How stunning is this one from Sian Astley at http://moregeous.com/

 

 

This little piggy went to market….(again)

BAM Undercover Christmas Gift Fairs Advert

This weekend we are off to the Bath Artisan Market (22nd November) for the Christmas Gift Fair.  It is a really lovely fair set in a very grand old Victorian railway station in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and too often I end up doing a LOT of gift shopping there so I must behave this weekend.  It is a covered area, so weather is not an issue and there is a very nice Brasseries for lunch as well as lots of local hot food stalls selling delicious morsels.  There are beautiful handmade items for sale ranging from yummy foods to Art to Clothing to unique items that I cannot even catagorise, but all are made with love and skill.

We will be selling our paper wreaths which come into their own at this time of year, paper cut art, gifts and cards.  And if I say so myself, my wreaths look pretty spectacular in a house in this beautiful city!  There is live music too , and it is the first time that I have started to feel very ‘Christmassy’ this year…

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Vintage paper tree ornaments

To continue on from my last post of vintage paper Christmas decorations, I have been adding old sheet music paper to ready-made basic shop purchased wood shape decorations, plus also creating 3D paper ornaments.

revamping old decorations:

For the wooden decorations, I really simply added shapes cut from old musical scores:

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Decoupage:

With a plain wooden decoration I simply added torn up strips of old paper glued on with Modge Podge:

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And hey presto:

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3D paper Decorations DIY:

Finally, I made some 3D decorations which are really simple:

  1. Cut 8 identically sized circles/shapes.  Fold all in half with a strong crease in the middle.
  2. Glue one 1/2 side to the next piece, work your way all around until you have 2 pieces left to glue.
  3. Add a ribbon and glue shut.  Here is a really simple video tutorial on how to make them in case the above makes no sense!
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Circle shapes

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Diamond shapes

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Heart shapes

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Very simple, but very sweet I think….

I shall be trying all sorts of shapes now.  In fact my children had better keep busily moving about or I may decoupage them….

Christmas Trees Vintage Paper Tutorial

how to make sweet christmas table top decorations

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Yes, I know…. we have not even hit Halloween yet, but I am starting to make Christmas Decorations early.  These trees can be made SO EASILY!  They can use any type of paper, although I think vintage music scores or old books look best as they have a great sepia tone.  All you need is paper, card, glue and scissors.  I think they look great in groups as well.

instructions
  • Cardstock
  • Sellotape
  • Old Vintage paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Small star (optional)

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Take some card and twist it into a cone shape.  Tape up the sides and trim it so it sits flat when upright.  If the top has a small gap, take a bit of old paper and glue it over the top so there is no visible hole.

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Cut the vintage paper into strips about 2″ wide lengthways.  Then cut up into them 1/2 way so they have a layer of ‘smaller cut strips.  I have fantastic shredding scissors that do this job, but normal scissors will work (but will take more time).  I do them in bundles of 5 strips at a time to speed things up.

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Once these are done, take a piece and bend up the cut pieces so they look like frills:

IMG_1364Now take the cone, and starting from the bottom, glue the paper around the cone.  With each subsequent layer cover the top part of the below strip:

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Keep on going!  When you get to the top reverse another small bit of paper so the strips stick upwards.  Then tease and tweak all the cut pieces upwards so it looks almost fluffy.

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You can add a star if you want, I happened to have some little wooden ones around so I added them on with a hot glue gun, but you don’t need these.  Here are the cones without stars:

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And then with the stars added:

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They look lovely and you can alter the scale.  The ones I made were in a set of 3 with varying heights, and one had much older paper with a darker sepia colour.  This is the size in terms of scale that I made in the below photograph, but you can make them any size and from any paper that you want.  They would look lovely in zingy tones of tissue paper in the summer for example….

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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