Blogmas – My Christmas Decorations

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I finally got around to taking some photos of my Christmas decorations!

What were your decorations like?  I’d have liked to put more up but as I wasn’t going to be here for Christmas Day I decided to only put up my absolute favourites!

Blogmas – Tinsel Tuesday

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I can’t believe we are already 10 days into December!  How on earth did that happen?  I’m back today with my 10th Blogmas post which is all about the room decorations!

I love getting the room made up for Christmas, not just getting the tree out, up and decorated, but adding other festive touches to the space as well.  I’m not a keen fan of tinsel so don’t own any, but I love other decorations!

Before putting any decoration up, I first like to put away a few of my everyday ornaments and have a good clean everywhere, damp wiping all the surfaces before getting the polish out (it’s literally the only time the polish comes out of the cupboard!) and then re-organising the shelves.

Once I have made space, cleaned and tidied I then make a start on making everything festive.  I love to run fairy lights along the shelves and add small pegs between them to clip Christmas cards and small decorations on to.

Excess baubles look brilliant displayed in large, clear glass vases along with holly and other greenery.  To keep the greenery watered I like to place a small glass jar of water in the centre before arranging the baubles around it to hide it.

Paper chains are another favourite of mine and I tend to choose white printer paper to make them, cutting strips around 10 cm long by around 1.5 cm wide.  Making them while watching a Christmas film makes the task seem to fly by.  You can pick up cheap, pre-cut sets in places like pound shops, all you need to do is make them.

I’ve not hung anything from the ceiling in my home as the ceilings are quite high and I can’t reach but in other homes I have lived in I have hung pretty decorations up that spin and twist when a breeze catches them.  I do hang things from my main lights in the living and dining area of my house though.

I love snow globes and have a few that I dot around in spaces that I have made tidying up, and other Christmas themed ornaments go out to.

I also love to get all my festive scented candles out and light one in the evening when I am home from work each night just to make it feel even more special.

What decorations do you put up in your rooms?  Let me know in the comments as I’d love to know!

Blogmas – Surprise Saturday

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It’s the first Saturday of December which means it is also the first Saturday of Blogmas, otherwise known as Surprise Saturday on my blog!  Surprise Saturday’s are, well, a surprise!  In today’s Surprise Saturday I am sharing a memory that I have of Christmas when I was small.

Back when my brothers and I were small we would wake up on Christmas Eve and play games with the rest of the family, watch films and generally have a nice family time.  There were never decorations put up though, and we would have our bath, Mum would read to us and then we would go to sleep.

On Christmas morning we would wake up, probably far too early in my parents’ eyes, with a sack of presents having been left at the end of our beds.  We would drag our presents into Mum and Dad’s room, wait patiently for Dad to make everyone a cup of tea and return before delving into our gifts.

Once all the gifts had been opened we would make our way downstairs.  The sight that greeted us was one of magic, a Christmas tree standing in the corner with lights all twinkling, paper chains hanging from the ceiling along with foiled 3d snowflakes and balls and tinsel draped over the tv unit and bannister rails.  It was truly a sight to behold.

My brothers and I were always amazed at how different the rooms seemed and I can’t imagine how much work it must have taken to put the decorations up after looking after 3 hyped-up kids on Christmas Eve and I always think back to that time with a smile on my face as it really did make our Christmas seem even more magical.

This simple act of waiting until Christmas Eve to decorate the house contrasts so much with Christmas now where it seems that there is a race on to be the first person to get the decorations up and I know of people putting their decorations up in October and November.  Last year I decorated the house on 1st December as I wanted the house to be festive for my Crafternoon and this year I put the tree up last night but have a few other bits to sort out.  I’d love to be able to put the decorations up on Christmas Eve but have so many festive plans before hand that I want my guests to feel Christmassy when they pop around to mine.

When do you put your decorations up?  Do you have any memories of putting decorations up when you were small?  I’d love to learn about any of your decoration memories so let me know in the comments!

Blogmas – Tinsel Tuesday

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Another day in my Blogmas series!  Tinsel Tuesday’s are all about decorations and today I want to talk about the Christmas tree.

I am really liking where the whole Christmas tree and decoration thing has been going for the past few years.  Gone are the days when everyone’s Christmas tree was decorated in a very similar way and was fairly traditional in terms of styling.  Now, choosing and decorating your tree is done in a way that fits with your decor or personality and there is no right or wrong way to decorate it, once you have chosen from the plethora of styles, colours and materials the tree can be made from.

I have seen trees made from driftwood that would look perfect in a scandi styled room or if you were a keen beachgoer or surfer.  Some trees have been made from marabou feathers which would look amazing in minimalist, duo-toned rooms, coloured trees that fit in with a more eclectic taste and the more traditional ones that are just lovely anywhere you want to put them!

Personally, I really love a white or black tree with brightly coloured baubles and trinkets festooned all over it.

Baubles are another thing that seems to be changing and becoming less traditional.  There are so many different options to choose from – clear baubles with snow globe effects added into them, doughnut shapes, avocados, cute characters, alongside the more traditional ball or drop-shaped ornaments.  There is pretty much a decoration to suit any taste!

I have tiny dinosaurs that I hang on mine which were made from small children’s toys.

I love how diverse the whole tree choosing and decorating thing is becoming and love to see my friend’s trees when I visit as no two will ever be the same!

Here are some of my top tips for decorating whichever type of tree you choose!

  • Test the lights before adding them to the tree (this saves so much faff if the lights turn out to be defective.)
  • Add the lights to the tree first, turn them on and arrange them so that you have the lights evenly spread across the whole tree.
  • Add any lengths of things next – things such as tinsel or ribbons and arrange them as evenly as possible between the lights.
  • Add bigger baubles and ornaments, keeping the majority to the lower part of the tree.  If using a few different colours I always attempt to not have 2 of the same colour hanging in close proximity to each other.
  • start placing smaller trinkets further toward the top of the tree and bring down to mingle with the bigger baubles.  I try to alternate bigger decorations with smaller ones as I get further down the tree.
  • Have fun with how you decorate and let your personality be seen!  Remember there is no right or wrong way to decorate your tree!

What sort of tree and decorations or colours are you going for this year?  I’d love to hear about what sort of tree or decorations you have chosen and why in the comments!

How I Decorate My Table

Decorating the table for Christmas dinner is one of the last things I do decorating wise and today on the blog I’m going to share with you how I decorate my table for the day.

I took these photos a few days ago, Sam came round for Christmas dinner as he will be spending the day with his family and I will be with mine.  We decided to have our own Christmas dinner celebration before the day itself… our “Merry Not Christmas” celebration.

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This is the view of my dining table from the living room.

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As there were only 2 of us eating Christmas dinner I chose to seat us opposite each other, the big space between us would be utilised with dishes of veg and the condiments.

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I chose to decorate the table with my glittered deer ornaments, a cute little Christmas tree from Asda, pompom fairy lights, tiny baubles and these lovely vintage glass mushroom and pine cone decorations that were given to me by my Mum.

I used old beer bottles as candle holders either side of the deer and Christmas tree.

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The crockery and cutlery are from Asda and I really love how festive they look together.

For our dinner I cooked roast parsnips, roast potatoes, carrots, peas, mashed potato, sprouts, stuffing and a mediterranean nut roast which I served with gravy and mint sauce.  For dessert we had toffee pecan roulade.

How are you decorating your table for Christmas?

Christmas – The Final Preparation

I like to have a check list of things that I run through around a week before the big day – it gives me time to re-assess what needs doing, what has been done and anything that may have been overlooked.

Here’s how my list normally looks

Presents and Cards

  • All cards written and sent (the last day for UK mail to be sent in time for Christmas is 18/12/18)
  • Presents bought (list names)
  • Wrapped (cross through names)
  • Presents still to buy (List Names and items next to names)
  • Check if you need more paper, sellotape or tags

House

  • All decorations put up
  • Clean and mop floors
  • Hoover – especially under the tree (live or fake, both shed!)
  • Damp wipe surfaces and dust
  • Tidy all main rooms guests will use
  • Keep sink and kitchen sides clean and clear
  • Make sure there are crackers for the table
  • Check candles and candle holders if you are using candles as part of the table decoration
  • Check that you have a lighter or matches that work!
  • Create a Christmas song playlist – I use Spotify.

Food and Drink

  • Run through menu and write a list of items needed (regardless of whether you think you have them!)
  • Go through list and check items you have got and cross off what you already have
  • Check drink levels –  wines, spirits, beer, pop, juice, non alcoholic drinks (buy more if needed)
  • Check party food (crisps, nuts, nibbles, cheese, crackers, chocolates and buy if needed)
  • Make sure you have basic food (salad, bread, butter, soup, beans etc, again buy if needed)

Other Shopping

  • Check toilet roll supply
  • Foil
  • Cling film
  • Kitchen Roll
  • Washing Up Liquid
  • Antibac spray
  • If you have a pet, make sure you have enough food for them
  • Stock up on batteries

If I think of any more then I will be sure to add them to this list!

What are your final preparation check list items?

The Foolproof Tree Decorating Guide

In all the years I have been putting up my tree and decorations there is always something I have forgotten to do, whether it be to check the lights work or having to take all the decorations off because I havent added them to the tree, so today I’m going to share a guide on how to decorate the tree.  Unfortunately there are no pics as I was having too much fun and totally forgot about taking any…

  1. Choose where your tree will be placed, check that there is a power socket near by for the lights to run off or add an extension cable to the nearest socket and make sure that it reaches where your tree will be placed.
  2. Assemble the Christmas tree if you are using a fake tree or bring in the real one and make sure it is acclimatised to the indoors temperature and watered before starting.
  3. Get out all the decorations, lights, tinsel and bead strings you want to use, sort into piles – big baubles, small baubles, accent decorations, tinsel, bead strings, lights.
  4. Check that the lights work.
  5. Place lights on the tree, I find it easiest to work top down.  Plug lights in and switch on to check placement, it’s easier to move the lights around and spread them out evenly without other decorations getting in the way! Turn lights off before continuing to the next step.
  6. Add any tinsel or bead strings and check placement.
  7. Now to add baubles, start with the bigger, most plain ones and add to the bottom 2/3 of the tree.  Again check placement is fairly even and spread out.
  8. Add the smaller, more plain baubles to the top 2/3 of the tree, checking placement as you go.
  9. Now you can add the accent decorations, make sure these are evenly spread out with smaller ones to the top of the tree and larger ones to the bottom part.
  10. Pour your favorite tipple, gather around friends and family and hold a “Switch on event” then stand back and admire your hard work!

Project Make – Christmas Decorations

Today on the blog I’m going to share with you instructions on how to make some simple Christmas Decorations.  These decorations can be made by adults or children and will add a fun element to your interior decor for the season!

The first decoration I am going to show you how to make is a 3D Snowflake

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For this project you will need…

  • 6 sheets of white paper (or any colour of your choice) I used white A4 printer paper
  • Scissors
  • Double sided tape or stapler
  • A hole punch
  • Cotton or string to hang

img_0569img_0691 If you are starting with rectangular paper (like I am) the first step is to cut it into a square.  To do this I folded the paper diagonally then used the straight edge as a guide and trimmed off the excess.  You will need to do this to all 6 sheets of paper.

 

 

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You can save the cut off piece and use it to make paper chains later!

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The next step is to take your square of paper and fold it along the crease you initially made then fold the triangle in half again. Again, this needs to be done to all 6 pieces of paper.

 

Once you have done this you can now begin to make the cuts in the paper.  Using the longest side as a guide, cut straight lines up the paper leaving about 1 cm uncut.  I work from the double edge fold to the single edge fold but it doesn’t matter which way you cut the paper.  Aim to make 5 or 6 cuts of equal width.

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When all 6 pieces of paper have been cut in the same way you can then open the paper out.

Now we can start to construct the snowflake.

 

 

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Place the paper as in the picture above (with the spine that is uncut running vertical), start in the middle and apply a piece of double-sided tape to one of the points of the triangle, roll it over and attach to the opposite side point so that it forms a tube.

Flip the paper over and then do the same to the next triangle point, then flip and repeat.  Do this for all the triangle points.img_0585

You should end up with something looking like the above picture.  Repeat for the other 5 pieces of paper.

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Once all of the snowflake segments have been made lay them out.  You will notice that one side has a bigger length than the other, make sure they all face the same way.  You then want to attach them together using either double-sided tape or a stapler, big side on one to small side on the other, attach at the crossed part (like in the middle picture above).  Once you have done this and attached all of them together you will then want to secure the centre points, I stapled 3 points together, then the other 3 then stapled the whole lot together (see the last picture above).  Once you have done this you can then attach the last snowflake segment to the first, making the completed snowflake.

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The last thing to do is punch a hole in one of the outer edges of the snowflake and add a piece of cotton or string so that it can be hung.  You can make bigger or smaller versions of this by varying the size of the square of paper that you start with.

Using the same method as above you can create teardrop spinners to hang.  img_0627

Just take one piece of paper, fold as above and trim excess (if starting with a rectangle), then cut the paper as before but aim to make the width between cuts around 0.5cm or narrower, open the paper out and, like before, start in the centre and attach point to point, flip and attach the next one, flip back and attach the next until you have attached all points, hole punch at one end and attach cotton or string and hang.

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The next decoration I’m going to show you how to make is one that you can make with children and is really simple…

Toilet Roll Snowflakes

For this decoration you will need

  • empty toilet toll tubes
  • scissors
  • stapler
  • paint
  • glue (PVA works best)
  • glitter
  • hole punch
  • string or cotton to hang

(hover your mouse over the photos for the instructions!)

 

What decorations do you make for the festive season?

 

My Christmas Decorations

My style can be described as being bright, fun, non-traditionalist, hippy and boho, and my Christmas decorations really embrace my style.  I’m not a huge fan of tinsel or traditional Christmas decorations, though I do add elements of the traditional into my decor.

I have Christmas trees, fairy lights and stags,but not in traditional colourways, I prefer white or black trees, my stag decorations are bright pink and glittery, instead of tinsel I choose bead ropes, marabou feathers and pom-pom trim.  I have really bright baubles on my black tree and have chosen little dinosaurs to hang from my other, scroll down to see the photos that I have taken of my non-traditionalist, seasonal decor!

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I didn’t want to hang my wreath on the front door because, well, its Wales and it rains!  Not just that but I really didn’t want to get him all dirty either.  I hung  my wreath on the next available door – the door to my downstairs living room.

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Joy lights which I have placed on the shelving unit opposite the door to my living room.  This is the first thing people see when coming into my home.

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My small tree that I have decorated with multi-colour fairy lights, pom-pom trim, marabou feather trim and tiny plastic dinosaurs!

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Here’s a close up of the dinosaurs!

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My second tree which is decorated with beaded ropes and baubles.

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A close up of one of the decorations on my black Christmas tree – my initial!

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Pink stars, green stars and purple stars also adorn the tree.

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Skull and Crossbone upcycled tree which I’m thinking of having as my table piece for Christmas dinner.

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My pink glitter stags, my mini Christmas Tree and its pom-pom decorations (which are also lights!) on my back windowsill.

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Here’s a close up of one of the stags!  I’m really liking the effect the rain on the window has!

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And lastly, my santa card peg fairy light garland.

How have you decorated your house for christmas?  Do you have a theme or colour palette that you use?