Tag Archives: xmas

Free printable! 16 illustrated Christmas gift tags

17 Dec

It’s been brilliant having you all read my blog over the past year – it feels like last Christmas was only moments ago but so much has happened over the past year and 2013 is going to be the most exciting yet for Decorator’s Notebook. So to say thank you for reading I’ve been hard at work drawing a little present just for you!

free holiday gift tagsfree Christmas gift tagsdownloadable gift tags https://decoratorsnotebook.wordpress.com/{© Decorator’s Notebook / Photographs Joe John}

There are 16 different hand-drawn Christmas gift tag designs to print on any card you like. The PDF is free to download by clicking the link below… in return, please share an image and link via Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest by hitting one of the buttons at the bottom of the post. If you have your own blog please feel free to share it there too, but please post a link to Decorator’s Notebook rather than the PDF itself.

PLEASE SHARE THIS POST THEN CLICK TO DOWNLOAD PDF

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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!

15-minute make: mulled wine syrup

14 Dec

perfect mulled wine recipe

Here’s an odd quirk of mine – I really dislike wine (red, white, rose, sparkling – everything) but I love mulled wine. I’m not sure what that says about my taste buds, but it makes perfect sense to me! So, today’s 15-minute make is a gently-spiced mulled wine recipe that just tastes like Christmas… and makes your house smell like it too. There’s a little more to it than the regular teabag-in-a-pan method, but you end up with a lovely syrup base that can be bottled and used on another occasion. A bottle of this mulled wine syrup would make a nice last-minute homemade Christmas present too.

mulled wine syrup recipe

Mulled Wine Syrup 

Makes 12 servings

1 orange
1 lemon, peel only
150g golden caster sugar
1 cinnamon stick
5 cardamom pods, gently bashed
5 cloves
Pinch grated nutmeg
Splash of red wine
 
Add to…
2 bottles of fruity red wine
150ml ginger wine
Orange slices to garnish
 

1) Squeeze the juice from the orange and place in a large pan together with the orange shells, lemon peel, sugar and spices. Add a small glug of wine (just enough to cover the sugar) and heat gently  until the sugar has dissolved, stirring every now and again. Bring to the boil and bubble for 5-8 minutes until you have a thick syrup. At this stage you can leave the syrup to cool slightly then pour into a sterilised bottle. If you’re thirsty now, carry on…

2) Turn the heat down and add the red wine and ginger wine to the saucepan. Warm through gently, giving it a stir occasionally Have a taste and add a touch of sugar or lemon juice if you need it. Serve in heatproof glasses garnished with orange slices.

mulled wine ingredients{Photographs Hannah Queen / Recipe adapted from Felicity Cloake}

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.

15-minute make: ribbon star tree decoration

7 Dec

So, here begins a new little mini series I’ll be visiting on Decorator’s Notebook from time to time. I love settling down to a day of solid crafting with only a box of materials, cake and tea for company as much as the next girl. But in reality, we all know that finding the time to be creative is hard. So in this post I’ll be collecting together stylish craft ideas that you can reasonably start and finish in the time it takes to drink a mug of earl grey.

homemade star Christmas decoration

{Crafts & Creativity}

To make this ribbon wrapped star Christmas decoration, simply bend a strip of wire into a basic star shape with a hook at the top, wrap with a length of ribbon and tie the loose ends in a bow. Visit Craft & Creativity blog for step-by-step instructions. Try Jane Means for a beautiful selection of seasonal ribbons or try it with jute string or striped baker’s twine for a more relaxed look. Your local hardware shop is the place to buy thick wire (pick up a pair of pliers at the same time to make it easier to bend into shape).

Let me know if you have a go at this and share a photo via Twitter @DecoratorsNotes or my brand new Facebook page.

Have a lovely weekend!

5 best simple Christmas centrepiece ideas

3 Dec

Decorating the table is one of my favourite Christmas day traditions, and my Mum and I always join forces to get it looking really special. This year I’ve been on the lookout for easy Christmas centrepiece ideas that have something a little bit different about them – here’s a selection of my favourites.

Christmas table centrepiece jar with floating candle{Better Homes & Gardens}

The great thing about this floating candle centrepiece is that you probably have all the things you need to make it at home already. Simply fill a Kilner jar two-thirds with water, wedge some offcuts of foliage into the bottom (this is a good use for those Christmas tree trimmings), add a handful of cranberries and finish with a floating candle. This would look even lovelier if you made up several different sized jars and dotted them down the centre of a long table, or along the mantlepiece.

white Christmas table ideas{Stylizimo}

Here’s another festive centrepiece that would work very nicely with a natural theme. Take a large shallow dish (this Moroccan metal bowl of mine would be ideal) and fill with compost, three hyacinth bulbs, moss and pinecones. After lunch is over, move it to the coffee table and enjoy the heady scent of hyacinths well into the new year.

Paper balls over Christmas table{The White Company}

If space is short, you’re better off making the most the space above the table and leaving room for all those serving dishes. Just hang tissue paper decorations and baubles from the ceiling using pretty ribbons. Try Papermash for a good selection of honeycomb decorations in Christmassy colours.

pine cone centrepiece Christmas{Nina Holst}

Here’s another easy idea from that clever Nina Holst. Grab a chunky pillar candle, wrap a strip of thick card around the base then attach pinecones using a glue gun. This is another centrepiece that’s going to work better with a collection of candles in different heights. Gather into a group if you have a round table or scatter down the length of a long table.

cookie star Christmas tree{Cox & Cox}

You’ll need to plan ahead a bit to bake this cookie Christmas tree, but you’ll end up with a centrepiece with major wow factor… and you can eat it afterwards! Lakeland sells the star shaped cookie cutters you need, along with a step-by-step instruction video and recipe.

Which of these appeals most to you?

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…

Festive foliage au naturel

28 Nov

After many years of studying Christmas decorating behaviour, it is my theory that we all fall into two camps: magpies and purists. If you’ve been reading my blog for any time at all it won’t come as a surprise to learn I’m the latter. Give me armfuls of holly and pine, a box of candles and the odd plain glass bauble and I’ll happily get to work creating a pared-back festive haven.

{via Greige Design, Blomsterverkstad, Toast, Johanna Vintage, Karen Mordechai, La Petite Cuisine, The Gifts of Life}

Are you a purist or a magpie?

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.

Is it too early to mention *whispers* Christmas?

7 Nov

Well, not if my blog searches are anything to go by – the eager beavers amongst you have been looking for Christmas decoration ideas for weeks already, so now that November is upon us I reckon it’s finally acceptable to jump in and share a little festive inspiration once again.

But for those who are likely to be drawing a sharp intake of breath at the thought of tinsel and baubles when we still have 47 days to go until Christmas I’m hoping today’s house tour post is a nice gentle introduction for you.

Not a bauble in sight! This subtly sparkling Scandinavian schoolhouse (try saying that one after a couple of G&Ts) belongs to calligrapher Ylva Skarp. The building hadn’t been used for teaching since the 1940s and most recently it was a tin museum which Ylva remembers visiting as a child. The little graphic poster in the photo above is the last remaining trace of its former use.

The house couldn’t be more Swedish if it tried, with its big open plan rooms, grey and white walls and wooden floors, and Ylva’s kept it equally simple with her Christmas decorations. A few sprigs of spruce and flickering candles take the chill off and homemade decorations add a personal touch. I love the paper Christmas trees on the coffee table (instructions here) and I’m tempted to opt for a basic branch  instead of a real Christmas tree too this year.

Ylva’s love of calligraphy is evident throughout her home – this linen cupboard is painted with her favourite phrase “yes, but why not?” and the rugs, cushions and crockery are her designs too. Nordic Bliss sells a selection of Ylva Skarp prints and textiles in the UK.

{all Magdalena Björnsdotter for Lantliv}

Such minimal Christmas decorations aren’t going to feel festive to everyone… does this house say winter wonderland or bleak midwinter to you?

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