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Wait! 5 ways to decorate with fairy lights all year round

6 Jan

As soon as the decorations come down on Twelfth Night it always seems to me that a previously homely house looks suddenly bare. It’s just too depressing! So whilst I don’t suggest we become strange Christmas people who never take down their tree and eat turkey 365 days of the year, I am going to wriggle free from the grip of superstition just a little by offering a few mildly rebellious ideas to enjoy the magical twinkle of fairy lights in your home, whatever the season. Will you join me?

Fairy lights over bed curtains

{via we Heart It}

four poster bed with fairy lights

{Photograph: Leela Cyd}

photographs clipped onto fairy lights

{via PB Teen}

Single string of fairy lights

{Photograph: Jeska Hearne}

workspace office with fairylights

{Photograph: Michelle Halford}

I’m also considering rebranding my Christmas wreath as “winter wreath” to avoid taking it down… or perhaps that’s a step to far?

Last-minute shoppers welcome!

19 Dec

We know all too well what it’s like to cram in all your online shopping in time for the last post, so at Decorator’s Notebook all Express Delivery orders received by 12 noon on Friday 20th are guaranteed to arrive before Christmas to UK mainland addresses… phew!

Here are just a few of the lovely present ideas you’ll find to choose from…

Christmas gifts for her from Decorator's Notebook

Christmas gifts for him Decorator's Notebook

{© Decorator’s Notebook Shop}

Our shelves are brimming with quirky, individual gift ideas ranging from stocking fillers for under £10 to luxurious Welsh blankets for £230. Thank you to all of our lovely customers who have supported our new venture! Visit us at www.decoratorsnotebook.co.uk.

Homemade Christmas wreath with a contemporary twist

18 Dec

Homemade Christmas wreath with eucalyptus DIY

Homemade Christmas door wreath contemporary foliage

{© Decorator’s Notebook}

I absolutely LOVE Christmas – not so much for the day itself but for those leading up to it. The little rituals mean so much to me: choosing the tree, making the cake, planning how I’ll decorate the table and waiting excitedly for everyone to arrive. And now this year I have a pretty homemade wreath on the door to greet them!

On Sunday Lou arranged a tasty lunch and a crafty afternoon for a handful of Westcountry bloggers and kindly invited me along as a newcomer to the group. My little network of blogging friends is one of the few things I do actually miss about London, so it was lovely to meet some kindred spirits in my new/old area. Xanthe from Ivory Flowers supplied us with a beautiful array of foliage and decorations to use and we had spent a relaxing afternoon chatting while binding clumps of earth-scented moss, lush pine, orange slices and dried flowers onto our wreaths. With such a fantastic array of ingredients to choose from it was fun seeing all the finished results… I opted for a bit of contemporary style using eucalyptus, cheerful billy buttons, cotton heads and cinnamon sticks.

Now every time I arrive home I have a reminder of a lovely afternoon and a special welcome for our Christmas visitors!

For more ideas, visit my fellow bloggers and admire the beautiful wreaths they created too: Lou at Littlegreenshed | Lottie at Oyster & Pearl | Cathy at Bristol Parenting Cafe | Kat at Housewife Confidential | Laura at Circle of Pine Trees | Natalie at Thistle Apples

Our gingerbread tags in Sunday Times Style!

17 Dec

Hope you’ve enjoyed having a go at your own gingerbread tags and garlands… I’ve just got my hands on the page in Sunday Times Style where they were featured so thought I’d pop it up here so you can have a look!

Decorator's Notebook in Sunday Times Style

Decorator's Notebook featured in Sunday Times Style

{© Sunday Times Style}

Homemade gingerbread gift tags & garlands

15 Dec

Welcome to everyone joining us today from Sunday Times Style – it’s lovely to have you here!

I was thrilled to be invited to put together an idea for their Christmas gift wrap feature this weekend. These edible gingerbread tags start giving before your gift has even been opened – a definite bonus! If you fancy trying these sweet little biscuits for yourself, here’s the recipe and instructions you’ll need:

Gingerbread gift tags Decorator's Notebook blog recipe

Decorator's Notebook gingerbread cookies recipe

Gingerbread gift tags for Sunday Times Style by Decorator's Notebook

Decorator's Notebook gingerbread garland

{Photographs © Decorator’s Notebook}

Gingerbread Biscuits

It took quite a bit of experimentation to work out the recipe for perfect gingerbread biscuits that hold their shape when baked and taste delicious too. Thank you to Emily at Maid of Gingerbread for the tips!

100g butter
100g soft brown sugar
3 tbs treacle
1 tbs golden syrup
140g plain flour
140g self raising flour
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground mixed spice
 

1) Preheat the oven to 180°c / Gas 4. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

2) Place the butter, treacle, syrup and sugar in a small pan and warm gently until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Meanwhile, sift the flour and spices into a mixing bowl.

3) Add the contents of the pan to the dry ingredients and mix well. Once combined, kneed gently to form a smooth, stiff ball of dough. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.

4) Roll out the dough to 2mm thick on a floured surface and cut out the shapes using your favourite cutter. Use a straw to make two holes in the centre of each biscuit then transfer to the baking sheet. Repeat until all the dough is used.

5) Bake for 8-12 minutes until golden brown. Keep a close eye on them as the cooking time will depend on the size of the cutter you used. Cool on a wire rack then store in an airtight container.

Makes about 32 biscuits

Gingerbread recipe Decorator's Notebook blog

[click the image above to enlarge and save]

gingerbread gift tags and garland recipe Decorator's Notebook

{Photographs and recipe © Decorator’s Notebook}

Once you’ve made your gingerbread men there’s a host of ways you can use them… tying them onto Christmas presents is just the start!

  • Thread a row along a length of pretty ribbon and hang along the mantlepiece (not too close to the fire!)
  • Make one hole in the top of the biscuits instead of two and pop them on your tree
  • Tie around napkins as an extra treat on the table
  • Get the kids decorating them with tubes of icing to give to their friends and teachers

Have fun and thank you for visiting our blog… you’ll find lots more Christmas craft and decorating ideas here and please do have a look at the Decorator’s Notebook Shop for gorgeous gifts to wrap inside your parcels and luxury ribbons for the perfect finishing touch!

Decorator's Notebook Shop www decoratorsnotebook.co.uk

DIY: air drying clay Christmas tree decorations

13 Dec

I just love DAS clay… a couple of years ago I used it to make these simple clay tree decorations and this week we had a go at some more using different rubber stamps to create an embossed effect.

DAS clay Christmas tree decoration DIY LR

Air drying clay Christmas decorations LR

DAS clay snowflake Christmas tree decoration LR

{Decorator’s Notebook}

For those who haven’t used it before, DAS air-drying clay can be rolled and moulded like salt dough but dries to an off white ceramic finish. A big 1kg block costs under £5 from Amazon or local craft shops. We used about a third of  packet to make about 25 decorations.

Air Drying Clay Christmas Tree Decorations

1) Slice off about one third of a 1kg block of DAS air drying clay. Seal the remainder quickly in the packet as it soon dries out.

2) Roll out the clay to about 1.5mm thick on a smooth surface. Cut out shapes using a range of biscuit cutters – we chose snowflakes and hearts but anything festive will do… play around with the different ones you have cutting positive and negative shapes and various sizes.

3) Working quickly before the clay dries, emboss the decorations using rubber stamps or found materials like lace and hessian. Anything you can find with a pretty textures surface will work nicely.

4) Use the plastic casing of a biro to cut a small hanging hole in the top of each shape for hanging.

5) Leave until the clay is leather hard, then gently lift the decorations from your worksurface and transfer to a warm dry place to dry out. These are thin so will only take a few hours. They’ll harden up and lighten in colour when they’re dry.

6) Thread with twine or ribbon and they’re ready to hang on the tree!

These are really simple and certainly easy enough to try with the kids this weekend. Don’t forget to share the results with us on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest @DecoratorsNotes or on our Facebook page.

FREE PRINTABLE: Christmas holiday gift tags 2013

5 Dec

Each year we love designing a special set of festive gift tags for you to download and print as a little ‘thank you’ for following and supporting Decorator’s Notebook.

Free printable Christmas holiday gift tags from Decorator's Notebook

For 2013 we’ve chosen a vintage flora and fauna theme so you can use them for Christmas or any occasion through the winter months.

free downloadable gift tags

There are 14 different designs featuring archive etchings of British animals and plants. This year there’s the option of a full colour or black and white design, both of which can be printed onto plain, coloured or kraft card.

Free printable gift tags from Decorator's Notebook blog

Free downloadable gift tags from Decorator's Notebook 14 designs

{© Decorator’s Notebook – not for commercial use}

We really hope you like our gift tags and will enjoy using them for your presents this Christmas. All we ask is that you share a link to this post via Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest before you download them using one of the buttons below. We’d love you to share them on your blog too, but please link back to this post rather than just pinching the PDF!

PLEASE SHARE then click this link to download the colour pdf

OR SHARE and click this link to download the black and white pdf

Thank you so much for reading our blog and for your fantastic comments this year… have a wonderful Christmas and a very happy new year!

Bethan and Joe xx

House tour: Christmas Scandinavian style

3 Dec

December is here so festive planning has well and truly begun chez Decorator’s Notebook… and it also means I can share the first Christmas house of the season with you! It’s a Swedish villa that been decorated in quite a subtle style with lots of layered textiles and natural elements to create an oh-so-Scandinavian feel. A gentle introduction to all things festive.

scandinavian house in snow

hallway with small Christmas tree

scandinavian Christmas decorations

The white painted look inside (and out!) might be too clinical for some, but I like how the owners have included lots of antique furniture, rugs and seasonal foliage to take the edge off the stark backdrop.

Christmas table decor with natural touches

white painted scandinavian kitchen

cream painted kitchen Scandinavian style

The house belongs to Marie, a stylist and her husband Fredrick, a carpenter… how handy when taking on a renovation! I really love the handmade kitchen with its little drawers painted with the names of garden plants to give it that apothecary vibe.

white bedroom decorating ideas

glamourous vintage bathroom

{Photographs Marie Delice Karlsson for Lantliv}

How will you be decorating your home this Christmas? Will you go traditional and be decking your halls with boughs of holly or going to town with tinsel and glitter?

Free printable! Illustrated holiday gift tags

21 Nov

This is the first time I’ve reblogged an archive post (I won’t be making a habit of it) but I thought it would be good to share our free gift tags with you a second time because we posted them a bit too late last year and I know a lot of you missed the chance to use them.

So, last Christmas I designed this lovely set of hand-drawn Christmas / holiday gift tags as a little present for you to download and print at home. Joe and I are already busy designing this year’s set which will be available soon, but in the meantime, here’s another chance to grab the 2012 design.

free printable holiday gift tags

free printable christmas gift tags

16 free gift tags to download and print

{© Decorator’s Notebook / Photographs Joe John}

There are 16 different designs which are easy to download and print on whatever card you like. We used A4 kraft (from eBay) but some readers got really creative with these last year and even got their kids involved colouring in the pictures.

They’re free for everyone… all we ask is that you share a link via Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook. You’re also welcome to include them on your own blog too, but please enter into the Christmas spirit and share a link to this post rather than pinching the download link!

PLEASE SHARE THIS POST then click here to download your free gift tags PDF

 

Visit Decorator's Notebook Shop www.decoratorsnotebook.co.uk

Christmas wishes from Decorator’s Notebook x

25 Dec

vintage illustration Christmas party{via Jill Clark}

May your days be merry and bright!

All my love for a wonderful Christmas and a fantastic 2013

DN xxx

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