Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

Entertaining supplies closet

As we gear up to Christmas – and summer here too – chances are you’re doing more entertaining at home.

If you’re like me, you have your platters piled up precariously in a kitchen cupboard, your spare glasses in your office closet, your tablecloths in the upstairs linen closet and your table decorations in the living room cabinet. Having party supplies scattered all over the house is unsurprisingly not the most efficient or relaxing way to set up for a party. Unfortunately, however, we don’t really have any other options due to lack of space.

If you have the room though, consider setting up a party supplies closet so you have everything on hand to set up in record time with minimum stress. Don’t have room to dedicate a whole armoire or sideboard to the task? Even repurposing a spare laundry shelf or underutilised kitchen cupboard would do the trick.

I’d love to know: how do you store your entertaining accessories?




12 Days of Christmas crafts

Washi tape pegs

Let’s kick off the final week of our 12 Days of Christmas crafts with a nice functional one that will also give a hint of the season to an overlooked room for decorating: the kitchen. I’ve used these cute pegs to display cards and hold Christmas lists on the fridge.

Washi tape peg tutorial materials

You will need:

  • plain wooden clothespegs
  • washi tape in various patterns (I got mine from Pretty Tape)
  • strong magnets (I got mine from Crafty Dragonfly)
  • superglue
  • scissors
  • sandpaper

Washi tape peg tutorial 1

1. Stick a piece of tape along the top of the peg.

2. Gently sand along the edges.

Washi tape peg tutorial 2

3. You will then be able to peel off the excess tape and be left with a nice neat finish.

4. Glue on the magnets with superglue. (You’ll notice I used two magnets but I think that was overkill as the magnets are extremely strong so I’d suggest using only one.)

Washi tape pegs

You don’t have to stick to traditionally festive colours; match it to your decor instead and you’ll be able to use them all year.

Washi tape pegs

Friday was the last day of school year and as usual The Man brought home more chocolate than we can (or at least should) eat and enough mugs to start our own soup kitchen. It got me thinking that, for those of you with school age children, these would surely be a welcome end-of-year teacher gift.

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Gifted magazine

This came out a few weeks ago, but here’s a reminder to check out the fab Christmas e-magazine Gifted. It’s great if you’re struggling for last-minute* gift ideas or if you’re freakishly not sick of Christmas crafts yet after my 12 Days series.

*I know it’s still a while til Christmas Eve but it’s getting close to last minute if you’re shopping online!

Gifted magazine

Gifted magazine

Gifted magazine

Gifted magazine

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12 Days of Christmas crafts

Update your Christmas tree ornament collection without braving the shops by making this cutie from supplies you probably have already lying around.

Button wreath ornament tutorial materials

You will need:

  • A large handful of buttons of the same colour
  • Thin ribbon
  • Thin-nose pliers
  • Wire


Atypical Type A - Button wreath ornament tutorial1

1. Bend one end of the wire into a loop.

2. Thread the buttons onto the wire until you’ve done enough to make a decent sized circle.

Button wreath ornament tutorial

3. Cut off the excess wire.

4. Loop the end of the wire, tight enough to be snug but not so tight that the wire won’t bend into a circle.

Button wreath ornament tutorial

5. Thread ribbon through the loops at each end of the wire; tie off.

6. Wrap the ribbon around the loops to disguise the wire; tie and trim off excess ribbon.

Button wreath ornament tutorial

7. Take another piece of ribbon and tie around the top of the wreath to form a hanging loop.

8. Finish the hanging loop off with a bow.

Alternative uses
Omit the ribbon loop and these would be great as napkin holders.

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Since I have a different colour scheme for our Christmas tree each year, that leaves a majority of ornaments sitting on the bench. I still want to enjoy them so I put this reserves team to work in other ways, like in a silver dish on our coffee table:

In a bowl
This is the simplest way to add some festive sparkle to any corner of your home. Just place a pile of tonal baubles in a bowl or dish and place it on a coffee table, mantlepiece, sideboard, console or dining table. For extra impact, opt for one with a metallic surface (like my dish here) or glass.

bell window hanging  colourful baubles in window
Real Simple | Country Living

In a window
String up ornaments on ribbn tied to the curtain rod to let them catch the light.

Real Simple ornament chandelier 

pink christmas hall
Real Simple | Bower Power | House & Garden

Make a chandelier
Cluster together a bunch of baubles and hang in an entry way (as above) or over the Christmas table.

Christmas table setting  ornaments on mirror
Country Living

Incorporate into table settings
Make your table festive with ornaments at individual place settings, as a centrepiece or just scattered along the length. Place on a mirror to double the sparkle.

metallic bauble wreath
Living Artfully

Make a wreath
Go traditional and oh-so-elegant with a bauble wreath. Choose from classic tonal shades (as above) or have fun with contrasting colours. I love how they’ve mixed up matte and shiny to give added depth.

baubles on ladder and candlestick  green baubles on candlesticks
Better Homes & Gardens | Young House Love

Top candlesticks
Group tall candlesticks on a mantlepiece and top with a bauble each to add colour to your holiday mantle. Make them all-matching (right) or subtely different (left) but either way make sure they’re different heights so they don’t look too formal.

baubles in conche  baubles in lamp
Better Homes & Gardens | Young House Love

Fill a vase
… or conche cloche*, cake stand or even a hollow glass lampshade. For the latter examples you’ll need to turn fill the vessel upside down, cover the opening with a plate (or similar) and carefully turn right way up.  

framed baubles  framed bauble cake table
Country Living | Better Homes & Gardens 

Frame them
For something completely different. 

These are great ideas if you’re like me and have more ornaments than will fit on the tree, they’re also great if you like to bring Christmas into the rest of your home or if you simply don’t have room for a tree.

*Update: Thank you all for not embarrassing me by pointing out that I got this word completely wrong. A conche, I now know, is a “surface scraping mixer and agitator that evenly distributes cocoa butter within chocolate”. Yeah. That. Since I don’t like anything agitating about my decor, I will now use the right word (although I will feel like a pretentious twat casually dropping ‘cloche’ into a sentence).

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12 Days of Christmas crafts

Filled baubles

I had recently heard about fillable baubles and got thinking about the possibilities. When I found them at the store, though, I was disappointed. There was a huge rim around the middle and they were made of thick plastic rather than clear, fine glass. Hmm. Then I remembered that glass baubles actually have quite a large hole at the top if you remove the hanger.

Obviously you have to choose objects that are flexible enough to fit through the hole. I opted for some fluffy white feathers and an appropriate photo (can you see the ‘My first Christmas’ bib?)

Filled bauble tutorial materials

You will need:

  • Large clear glass baubles
  • Photograph or feathers
  • Tweezers
  • Clear nylon thread

Filled bauble tutorial

1. Remove the metal hanger by squeezing the wire.

2. Insert your object through the hole.

Filled bauble tutorial

3. If you are using a photo, you will need to roll it up first.

4. Uncurl the photo or rearrange feather using tweezers.

Filled bauble tutorial

5. Replace the metal hanger.

6. Attach a loop of nylon thread for hanging.

If you have any other suggestions of what to fill them with, share with us in the comments.

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12 Days of Christmas crafts

I had started a whole bunch of Christmas craft projects when I realised there was no way I could fit it into my regular posting schedule. So for the first half of December we’ll take a break from the regular posts as I bring you the 12 Days of Christmas Crafts. Enjoy!

type drawer advent calendar

I had this antique type drawer lying around and thought the little compartments would make a perfect advent calendar. I printed out a bunch of numbers (increasing size as the day gets closer) in typefaces inspired by the chunky old moveable type that the drawer would have originally held. I made each number card slightly taller than the height of its compartment so that it would bend inside. I then hunted the house for other little bits and pieces – some Christmassy, some not – such as buttons, feathers and twine, that would complement the natural and red look.

type drawer advent calendar

You could go traditional and pop a wrapped lolly or chocolate behind each number. But I reckon an even better way to use it is to write a fun seasonal activity on the back of each card, such as ‘Put up tree’, ‘Make gingerbread’ or ‘Go and see Christmas lights’. You’ll get the whole family involved and make some special memories.

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Red and white Christmas branch tree

This year I decided to carry the theme of my Woodland stationery collection through to my Christmas decorations at home, which meant lots of natural fibres, forest-inspired motifs and a red, kraft and white palette.

Red and white folk Christmas ornament

I have a whole bunch of neutral white, clear and silver ornaments that in previous years I’ve used as a base and added a few highlight ornaments in that year’s colour scheme. This year was a little trickier, though, because I was trying to go for more natural elements rather than glitzy. I didn’t have any red or timber decorations at all, but I didn’t want to spend much money on new ones. In the end I only bought one new set, these great folksy patterned baubles from Ikea. The rest were really easy craft projects from everyday materials.

12 Days of Christmas crafts

Which brings me neatly to announcing my first ever themed post series: 12 Days of Christmas Crafts! Starting tomorrow, I’ll be posting one Chrissy project each weekday for twelve days. Most days it will actually be in addition to the regular post so I’ve got my work cut out for me, but I’m really excited about it and I hope you enjoy it!

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A collection of pretty meets practical ideas to inspire a happier home

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