Tag Archives: Christmas decorations

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.

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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?

Possibly the world’s most beautiful baubles

15 Dec

There have been a lot of white and natural Christmas decorations round here recently, so I wanted to share some slightly different today. Bollywood Christmas sells colourful handpainted papier mache baubles made in Kashmir. Each spring local artisans leave their villages and gather to choose the design they want to paint, then return a few months later with their delicately painted wares.

Indian papier mache baubles

This year’s designs are selling out fast, but if you’re quick you’ve still got a couple of days to place an order before Christmas and add an extra splash of colour to your tree!

House tour: white and Christmassy Danish home

12 Dec

This wonderfully white home is from Danish Bo Bedre, so I’m afraid I can’t offer you much by way of a story to go with it. But then when a house is this simple and pretty, it can probably speak for itself!

white Scandinavian Christmas house

Christmas table flowers

Christmas dining table

Scandinavian home interior

Christmas gift wrap ideas

Danish home decor

Christmas tree white living room

paper heart tree decoration

white kitchen scrapwood wallpaper

Christmas holiday decorations

hall with bamboo wallpaper

simple Christmas decorations

metal bath tub

arts and crafts villa Denmark

{Bo Bedre}

I’ve been pondering the virtues of Piet van Eek scrapwood wallpaper quite a bit recently, and it looks great in this kitchen. I remember weaving little heart-shaped paper baskets for the Christmas tree at school and I like the idea of a grown-up version made with offcuts of wallpaper. It’s something I always seem to have rather a lot of! If you can’t remember how to make them, here’s an easy peasy paper heart decoration tutorial.

Homemade clay Christmas decorations

30 Nov

Last year I made these snowflake decorations from air drying clay – this easy to use material was a revelation to me, so I wanted to share another lovely idea with you.

{via DillyPad}

You can buy DAS air drying clay in art shops or from Amazon. To make these tree decorations you could simply roll out small sausages of clay, lay on a strip of cotton lace trim and go over with a rolling pin to impress the pattern. Make a hole in the top with a darning needle and then lay out to dry.

I’d love to know if you try them…

10 best Christmas wreaths to make and buy

16 Nov

I have to start this one with a confession: I am a Christmas tree voyeur.

One of my greatest festive pleasures is discreetly (ok, not always discreetly) peering into people’s windows as I pass and perving on their Christmas tree decorations. This is also why I love wreaths so much. While the Christmas tree is the coy flirt of the decoration world, tempting our sideways glances, the wreath is the brazen tart, putting it all out there for the whole world to stare and admire!

So without further strange ramblings, I present for you all my Christmas wreath round-up. Five beauties to buy and five more to make yourself. Enjoy!

5 best Christmas wreaths to buy…

{Frosted Faux Ivy wreath, £70, The White Company}

{Felt Ball wreath, £60, The Original Pop Up Shop}

{Lasercut wooden wreath, £20, NOTHS}

{Fresh Herb and Holly wreath, £70, Real Flower Company}

{Bittersweet Vine and Berry wreath, $32.95, Etsy}

5 best Christmas wreaths to make…

{Drinking Straw wreath tutorial}

{DIY Fabric Christmas wreath kit}

{Vintage Paper wreath tutorial}

{Lichen Twig wreath tutorial}

{Felt Ruffle wreath tutorial}

I think my favourite shop-bought wreath is the fun one with the felt balls and my favourite homemade one is the simple lichen twig wreath. I’d love to know which one you like best so leave a quick comment, and check out my Pinterest board for loads more Christmas decorating ideas.

Coffee filter Christmas wreath … a sort of tutorial

20 Dec

Last year I designed a series of Christmas craft projects for a magazine I was working for using up-cycled kitchen supplies like cupcake cases, paper doilies and coffee filters. Today I came across this rustic coffee filter wreath and it reminded me of the fun I had pitching my ideas to my Editor and trying to convince her I hadn’t totally lost the plot!

{all Craftberry Bush}

There are more detailed pictures here but no instructions. However, I think this is pretty much how you’d go about making one yourself…

INSTRUCTIONS (invented by me, results in no way guaranteed!)

1) Take a length of galvanised garden wire (buy it from the likes of Homebase or a garden centre). Bend it into a circle to decide the circumference of the finished wreath, allowing a bit extra so you can twist the ends together to join them at the end.

2) Grab a pack or two of scallop-edged paper coffee filters (buy unbleached brown ones if you can, or if you can only find white ones, dye them with strong coffee and dry them out before you start). Fold each filter loosely into quarters and thread onto the wire near to the folded pointy bit of the triangle. You might find it easier to poke a hole in the paper with a skewer first.

3) Every now and again, thread on a paper leaf cut from sheet music or an old book (use photocopied pages if you’re precious) – this leaf template is similar to the one pictured. Continue threading on the filters and leaves until the wire is almost completely covered then bend the ends around to form a ring and twist together.

4) Tie a length of nice ribbon around the join to disguise it and use for hanging.

5) Fluff out the coffee filters / leaves so they’re nicely spaced and finish off with some spriggy branches and a little bird decoration (this one is cute).

Wish list: The Original Pop Up Shop

30 Nov

What do you do with an ice cream parlour in the depths of the British winter? Open a pop-up Christmas shop of course!

The Original Pop Up Shop is the brainchild of interiors stylist Louise Rastall and sees her family switch ice cream for icicles (boom boom) by turning their shop into a Christmas wonderland selling trees, wreaths and decorations. The latter are available online too. Here are a few of my favourites…

Felted acorn garland, £15.95

Isn’t it funny how you never seem to know how much you need a string of felt acorns until you see one?

Red robin linen napkins, £44/4

These napkins aren’t so overly Christmassy that you couldn’t use them at other times of year too (loving the simple bobble trim napkin ring idea too Louise!)

Baking tin candle holder, £6.30/2

The Scandi-style candle holders would look really pretty dotted down the centre of the Christmas dinner table.

Handmade with love gift tags, £2/8

Every year I decide I’m going to make all my Christmas presents by hand. Usually I fail miserably and there’s still no way I’ll manage to make them all but I have got a few craft projects on the go – these tags would be the perfect finishing touch.

If you’re in the Newark area you can find directions here or start filling your present sack online.

F is for Festive Foliage

25 Nov

I’m heading back to the Westcountry for Christmas this year so won’t be getting a tree for Le Flat. But that doesn’t mean I plan to miss out on the festive scent of pine and eucalyptus and the warm glow of red berries. I feel Christmassy just looking at these lovely foliage ideas…

{The Haystack Needle via Pinterest}

{Nichole Heady via Pinterest}

{Crush Cul de Sac via Pinterest}

{Better Homes & Gardens via Pinterest}

{Tinkered Treasures via Pinterest}

Don’t forget, you can follow my pick of the best interiors ideas and inspiration every day by following Decorator’s Notebook on Pinterest. Have a lovely weekend!

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