Christmas Decorating Ideas

There are so many different Christmas decorations available now, from cute, retro funky baubles to minimalistic metallic ones.  With the array that is on sale its easy to get overwhelmed so I’m here today to give you some ideas with your Christmas decorations!

I think the easiest thing to do when deciding which decorations to choose is to first come up with a theme and colour palette before actually purchasing any decorations. Here are a few that I really love….

Traditional – Green, red, gold.

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Image source https://christmas.365greetings.com/christmas-decoration/beautiful-christmas-trees.html

Minimalistic – Metallic silver and one colour.

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Image from https://www.christmastreeworld.co.uk/blog/

Bright – Pink, blue, yellow, orange, lime green.

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My Bright Themed Christmas Tree

Pastel – Baby pink, baby blue, lemon and soft green.

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Image from http://godfatherstyle.com/22-pastel-christmas-decor-ideas-to-add-glamour-to-your-home-decorations/

Jewel – Red, gold, green, blue, purple.

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My Jewel Theme Christmas Tree

Galaxy – Metallic blue, green, purple and pink.

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Image from https://secretgram.me/black-christmas-decorations-36-super-elegant-black-and-gold-christmas-decor-ideas/38-black-christmas-tree-decorations-ideas-decoration-love-black-christmas-decorations/

Retro – Bronze, gold and metallic brown.

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Image from https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/294634000619291224/

Elegant – Black, white and silver.

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Image from https://www.lushome.com/black-white-christmas-tree-decorating-ideas/128351

Once you have chosen your theme and colour palette you can then choose the colour of your tree, and with so many different colours and styles to choose from sometimes it can be hard to know which colour to go for.  Here are some ideas for you…

Traditional – a green tree like this one from B&Q

Minimalistic – a black tree like this one from Argos

Bright – a white tree like this one from B&M

Pastel – a flocked tree like this one from The Range

Jewel  – a green tree like this one from Studio

Galaxy – a black tree like this one from Christmas Tree World

Retro – a green tree like this one from Homebase

Elegant – a white tree like this one from B&Q

Once you have decided on the best tree for your theme the next thing to decide upon is the lights for your tree.  There are 4 main ones to choose from – coloured, cool white, warm white and bright white.  Coloured are the more traditional sort of fairy lights with bulb colours of red, green, blue and yellow, cool white give off a blue tinged light, warm white lights are yellow toned and bright white lights give off a brilliant white light.

I would choose Coloured lights (like these) for the Bright and Retro Theme

Cool White lights (like theses) work well with the Pastel and Galaxy Theme

Warm White lights (like these) work well with the Traditional Theme

Bright White lights (like these) work well with the Minimalistic, Jewel and Elegant Themes.

Now that you have chosen your theme, tree and lights we can now look at the fun stuff – all the shiny baubles and other decorations to hang on the tree!!!!  First though, you should decide whether you want tinsel on the tree or not?  I personally dislike tinsel, having Aspergers means I can be hyper-sensitive to certain smells and tinsel is one of those things that I don’t do well with smell wise so I choose not to use it at all.  However, there are alternatives to tinsel including beaded ropes (like these) which come in many different colours, marabou feather trim, ribbons and other haberdashery trims works well too and you can buy that in many fabric or craft shops.  Whatever you decide on pick out one colour from your colour palette so as not to overwhelm the other decorations.

Choose big baubles in one colour from your palette and add smaller ones in either the same colour or another from your colour scheme, mix up finishes to add interest (choose shiny ones, matte ones, glitter finish, dimpled etc) and if you want, mix up the shapes of the baubles – tear drop ones work really well for the bottom of the tree where as I find round ones work well for the middle.

Select smaller baubles in differing colours (that match the colour palette of your chosen theme), again you can choose different finishes and textures.  Smaller baubles work well for the middle of the tree and top. Most of the large and small baubles can be bought in multi packs and are fairly cheap to buy so you can add as many or as few as you wish to your tree!

Now for the extra fun bit, choosing the eye-catching elements!  These elements are things like bows, shaped baubles, clear baubles, and baubles with special finishes (like these iridescent ones)  Most of this type of decoration are the ones that are sold as single decorations (and are a bit more expensive than the regular baubles) and are designed so that you only add one or 2 of the same one to the tree, this means that the eye will be drawn to them, add a fun element and are a way to really personalise your theme.  Most places that sell trees will sell this type of decoration, I have found Asda and B&Q to be good places to have a look as they carry a good range!  Whatever you choose, have fun with these decorations and add as many or as few as you wish!

What sort of theme are you choosing for your decorations?

Why I Started This Blog

In the past I ran a few different blogs, I had one for my art and uni projects, one for my planners and diaries and one for beauty products but keeping them all going at the same time, remembering to write posts, schedule them, take photos, link back to products I used or other relevant sources, update social media platforms became a bit overwhelming.  I struggled to think of content to write, write posts and get them published.  It began to feel like I was writing each day and chasing my tail, not really getting anywhere.  Eventually, I just gave up as it was all becoming a bit too much to keep up with.

Recently I had been thinking about things that I used to do for fun and realised I really enjoyed writing and sharing ideas and thoughts, and that I really, really missed blogging.  In the beginning, when I started blogging I found the whole process of writing, taking photo and updating my blog to be fun and a way to relax, it was almost therapeutic up to a point.  And I wanted that feeling back, I wanted the space to share art things, decorating tips and ideas, food, beauty, whatever I wanted to, or could think of writing about.  I wanted to get back to blogging, maybe not with the intensity I had before but I still felt like it was something I really wanted to do.

I think the reason I failed blogging before was that I had several blogs all specialising in niche subjects and because of the nature of the blogs and their blog names I felt like I couldn’t add other subjects into the blog, that I had to stick with the given theme I had chosen.  It took me a while to really think about what I wanted to write about and share on a blog and whether I wanted to really start a new blog.  I wrote down subjects I wanted to write about and really thought hard about the type of blog these subjects would fit into, one that would give me the freedom to add any subject matter I wanted without having my readers wondering why I had added something that was “off theme”.  I decided a lifestyle blog was the best style to go with, it would give me the freedom to write posts about art and decorating, alongside posts about what I was reading or thinking about.

So I started this blog as a space for me to share my life, experiences, ideas, thoughts and life with you.  I started this blog as I enjoy writing and taking photos and because I find writing is a kind of therapy, it is something to help me mentally and somewhere I can log my life and look back on things I have done and ideas I have had.  I started this blog to give people ideas and inspiration.  That is why I created this blog.

If you are interested in the Story Behind My Blog Name you can find that post here.

If you blog, why did you start yours?  What is your blog about?  Do you write about a niche subject or something in broader terms?

Upcycle Project – Dining Chairs(Part 4)

I’m finally on the last part of the posts about my dining chair upcyle project (Part 1, 2 and 3 can be found in the following links – Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 ) and today I will be sharing the finishing touches that I have added, lessons I have learned and how much the project cost per chair.

Firstly though, the finished chairs…

I finally finished the chairs, it took several weekends to complete but I’ve done it and am really pleased with the outcome!  The final finishing touch that I have added is some pompom trim that I used for the alcoves when I decorated the downstairs which I purchased from Amazon (if you missed that post you can find it here) .  I decided to add the trim to add a further element of co-ordination into the colour scheme and design of the room and I feel that it pulls all the elements together really well.  I like the idea that people will notice all the little touches and will allow their eye to investigate the room in greater detail.

This chairs project was really my first major foray into the world of upcycling and upholstery.  I have not worked on a project quite like this before and along the way have learned a few lessons…

  1. However long you think it will take, double it and add an hour.  Sanding the chairs was probably the longest part and I couldn’t believe how much time I spent clearing the old varnish from the frames of the chairs.
  2. Clearing all the varnish and stripping the frames back to bare wood is the best thing to do for the paint to adhere properly.  Failing to clear all the varnish, like on my yellow chair, has resulted in patchy paint and the colour of the varnish bleeding through all the coats of paint I applied.  It still looks patchy now and seems to be more noticeable at the bottom of the legs.
  3. Sometimes it pays to sit back and think a bit…I tried to create a fancy curved corner and edge on the first seat that I tried to upholster which didn’t really work and frustrated me when it didnt go to plan.  I should have sat and thought about what I was doing and ways to cover the seat before starting.
  4. Have fun with your project.  Think about what is fun and makes you smile and go with what you think will work.  The worst that can happen with a project like this is that you have to sand the chair down and start again.

And here are the costing calculations on the attached document…

Costings for chairs

So, in all the chairs cost £17.63 to upcycle which doesn’t seem too bad when you consider that I have bespoke, one of a kind, unique chairs that fit my home and style perfectly and I have had the experience of learning new skills along the way.  And I’m proud to show them off and say “I created these”.  I would recommend to anyone that can’t seem to find furniture that they completely like or keep finding thing that are not quite right to go out and see what is available for sale second-hand and try your hand at creating something that you love!

 

Upcycle Project – Dining Chairs (Part 3)

I have shared the first two parts of this project already, you can find the first post (about finding my chairs) here, and the second part (about preparing them and painting) here .  Todays post is about upholstering the seat part of the chairs.

I had decided to replace the seat part of the chair fabric with white vinyl and decided that I would replace the seat padding at the same time as the padding was fairly flat and on some chairs felt pretty non existent.  I decided to use a thick, 2 inch deep foam for the seat padding which I bought from Amazon.  I also needed to buy a staple gun and the vinyl material which I also ordered from Amazon.  As the width of the material I chose to use was 1.4 meters I purchased 2 meters in length which gave me enough fabric to cover all 4 seats.

The first task I had was to remove the old fabric from the seats once the seat had been removed from the chair frame.  Sounds fairly simple doesn’t it?  This task took an age!  The old fabric had been stapled to the seat base with about a million staples per seat, and it wasnt just the sheer amount of staples used that made it a lengthy task, the staples were really tough to remove, some of them embedded into the wood quite deeply.  I used a screwdriver to lever the staples out one by one.  Once the staples had been removed I could see that the seat padding was made up of bits of milled material and foam had been used around the edges of the seat to make them less hard.  The foam had disintegrated fairly badly and had in many places turned to dust.  I had to carefully remove the fabric and use a Hoover to clean up as I went along.

The foam pads that I had bought were slightly bigger than the seat bases which meant I needed to cut the foam down to size.  as the seats were not square I also needed to make sure that the foam shape matched that of the seat so I used the seat as a template and traced around them onto the foam with a sharpie marker before cutting the excess foam away with scissors.

Once the foam had been cut to size I then needed to cut the vinyl down too.  I cut the piece I had bought into 4 sections, one piece for each seat.  I then laid this down on the table with the facing side to the table and the underside of the fabric facing up.  on to this I laid the cut foam and then placed the seat on top.  From that point I was able to start securing the fabric to the seat using the staple gun.  I started in the centre of the front of the seat, then the back centre, making sure the fabric was taught and evenly stretched over the foam.  I then secured each side before trimming down the excess fabric and then continued to staple the fabric into place.  Once I reached the corners I chose to fold the fabric and tuck it in, creating a neat looking corner.  I had, on the first chair. attempted to be fancy and create rounded seat edged but it didn’t work particularly well and I ended up with excess fabric in one corner and an awkward looking seat covering.   In hindsight I think that if the foam hadn’t been so thick then that idea would have worked a lot better!

In the pictures above you will be able to see that I started with stapling the corners of the fabric first…this was the first seat that I covered where I thought that making the corners rounded was a good idea…it wasn’t!  And starting on the corners meant that the tension of the fabric was out which made it harder to get the fabric to lay nicely over the foam.  On the other seats I secured the fabric in the centre of the sides and worked front centre 0 back centre, then both sides in the centre before working my way along the rest of the sides and out towards the corners.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take any more pictures of the full method I used….

Next week I will be showing you the completed chairs and the fun decoration I have added to the chairs!

The Story Behind My Blog Name

I chose to call my blog “My Colourful Life” as I wanted the title to encapsulate what the blog was about.  I decided that I wanted a blog where I could share my life, my art, my home, things I like and dislike, wish lists, hints, tips, advice, recipes and anything else that I fancy writing about…I guess you could call it a lifestyle blog!

I thought about lots of different names for my blog and settled on “My Colourful Life” as I love colour, my home and clothes reflect that.  I also chose “Colourful” as I don’t think anyones life is dull, everyone has a story to tell and interesting things that they can talk about regardless of what they do day-to-day and I felt that this word was really summarising who I am and what I want for my blog to be… a colourful story of me and my life.

When I asked people for a word to sum me up, many people chose colourful, I don’t know whether that is because I like wearing colourful clothes or dye my hair bright colours or what the reason was, I should ask them really.  My Colourful Life represents me and my hobbies, interests and ideas.

The UK part of my blog site name is because I live in the UK and I wanted that to be part

Room Divider

The downstairs of my home consists of a front door that opens onto a narrow hallway with a door that leads into the living area.  The living area consists of 2 rooms that have been knocked into one with a bit of an archway separating the 2 spaces with a kitchen right at the back that leads onto my garden.  I love the main space, it feels big and airy and light, and I love that even though it is one big space it still manages to hold the definition of 2 separate spaces so well.

Having the space set up as 2 separate rooms, the main “living room” area at the front of the house – where watching tv, sitting and relaxing, chatting with friends, reading takes place, and the “dining room” area towards the back, nearest the kitchen, made the most sense to me.  I liked the idea of having areas defined by their use and making the most of the archway between what was the partition wall at one point.  I started to think about creating a proper divide for the space, the idea that I could close off one part of the space if I wanted for privacy or if it got chilly in winter and I wanted the space to feel more cozy seemed really appealing.  At first I thought about using my Ikea Kallax Unit to divide the space and had seen some really neat ideas using units in this way on Google, however I was worried that it could make moving between areas awkward, that I would lose floor space in one of the areas and that it would look more clumsy than cozy.

I settled on the idea of using material to divide the space, something similar to curtains, not only would it be cozy in the winter, it would be tactile and a playful addition to the pompoms Id already added to the space.  I thought that more texture and print would fit together perfectly.  I found just what I was looking for one evening on Amazon…  I knew that I didn’t want anything to heavy as it would be a pain to hang, I also didnt want fabric that was too thick as I wanted them to be easy to clean, wash and dry.  I also didn’t want anything to plain or “traditional” as it wouldn’t fit my style.  What I wanted was something that was bright, patterned, fitted with the colours of the room, was a little bit hippy, easy to care for and even easier to hang and live with!  I love the mandala print of these hangings, and the colours too, they seemed perfect to me.  I was a bit unsure, once they had been delivered as the colours were not as bright as I had imagined or seen in the listing but decided to hang them and see what they looked like anyway…

I hung these with Command Hooks and some pegs for the short-term, though they have been hanging since July and I’ve not changed the hanging method yet, so that may not change!

I’m really happy with the space divider, using hangings to create the divide has worked out really well, they have added texture and colour as well as being a privacy screen when needed though I have not really used it to its full capacity –  the curtains mainly stay open but as it gets colder and the nights get darker that may change!  And despite my reservations on the colour difference when I recieved them, I’m liking them a lot, they are not overbaringly bright and garish and really go well with the rest of the room and the decor!

About My Colourful Life

I’ve always been an avid maker of things, artist, creator and photo taker, bargin hunter, tryer of many things, reader, and blogger.  I have run lots blogs in my time but have found that keeping them updated has been a struggle when there are several to update so, now I have decided to keep everything simple and move everything to one blog and see what happens.

This blog will be a little bit of everything, from my art things, household ideas and creations, fashion, reviews, photos, my projects and how to’s, tips, ideas, recipes, places to visit, things to do and see…pretty much anything will go here!  I suppose you could call it a lifestyle blog…

I decided to call the blog “My Colourful Life” as I love colour, any colour – all the colours of the rainbow, and I hope to share with you some of the colourful aspects of my home, from the upcycling ideas I have had to the soft furninshings I surround myself with.

I recently moved into my own home and have spent time trawling the internet looking for cheap furnishings and things I could cusomise and make my own, along with plenty of decorating and hope to share some of the projects I have worked on as well as things I would like to do as well.

Along the way I hope to share money saving tips and tricks and how to create looks on a budget as well as sharing the best places to look for bargains.

If you have any ideas or questions or even suggestions for future posts you can always contact me at my.colourful.life@outlook.com

I have also set up an Instagram feed which I will be adding images to – you can find that here