The annual unpacking of the Christmas decorations seems to come around a lot faster these days! It’s something I never tire of though and nothing beats the delight of unwrapping a beautiful handmade decoration that someone has spent time and care making. It can instantly transport us back to happy memories of past years...
My mum was always making different types of Christmas delights when I was a kid, I think they were projects from magazines like Woman & Home or Women’s Weekly. We had a mini Bethlehem constructed from cigarette packets (they didn’t smoke but everyone else seemed to at that time!). This was decorated with tiny figures made from Daz clay.
The punky Christmas tree Fairy with wayward hair and a tin foil crown lasted many years before she fell into a state of disrepair.
We also had musical boxes ingeniously made from two round Dairy Lee Triangle boxes covered with fake snow and braid, connected by a wind up mechanism. They were decorated with carol singers and happy children playing in the snow. The boxes have long gone but the figures are still here!
They are what I think of when I remember our family Christmas’s at home in Lancashire. My mum had kept these squirreled away to, so I’ve done a few little repair jobs to keep them going for another few years.
If you want to make your own decorations, then you don’t have to get so involved, though of course no one is stopping you if you want to dig out your 1980 copy of Woman’s Realm! We have made it easy with some lovely kits and supplies to get you started on your own special box of festive memories that will be unpacked with joy for years to come!
If you're making an Advent calendar, you'll need to get organised! Our paper kits from Head In't Clouds will get you started - you'll just need a knife and some glue! Fill the houses with treats or sweets for a re-usable village of little houses.
Why not make yourself an everlasting fabric advent calendar with our printed panel from Colette Moscrop? This is totally customisable with embroidery or patchwork piecing techniques and can be made into a panel, small pouches or bunting.
Quick and easy projects for those short of time
You could make a lovely rag wreath/ garland using your own fabric scraps or our tweed bundles – just cut your fabric into strips about 5 – 6 inches long, from ½ to 1 inch wide and tie onto a wire wreath ring – no sewing involved! You could then add extra embellishments such as pine cones, ribbons or baubles.
Scandi Christmas by Christiane Bellstedt-Myers is also full of lots of lovely quick (and longer) projects using small fabric scraps and odds and ends.
We also made these easy wooden angels from the book using our Cambridge Imprint paper packs and some old dolly pegs. The book also contains recipes and lots of lovely quick home deco ideas.
Our lovely little cross stitch kits are new from Super Stitch Studio. Each one contains all you need to make a little snowflake picture – you could then mount this into a frame, hoop or even back and stuff it to make a 3-D decoration. Suitable for beginners, you should be able to stitch this up in an hour or two.
Taproot Magazine from the US is full of inspirational projects with an eco-friendly and homemade focus. I loved making these fabric Christmas Trees (project by Kim Konen). You can find full instructions in Taproot Issue 53.
For a slightly more involved make from Taproot Issue 51, these beautiful felt birds by Rachel Beaupre are full of joy! Make them festive with colourful embroidery or keep them plain in brighter colours for all year round joy. Perfect made from our felt pack.
Heirloom embroidery makes
Dropcloth Samplers have a huge range of designs and some particulalry festive ones that are great for stitching at this time of year! The staff here are Bayond Measure have been taking it in turn to sticth up these Hearts Decorations and I'm on the last one - will it be ready for Christmas this year?
Dee Hardwicke’s Holly & Ivy Watercolour Sampler Cloths are very adaptable and can be made into a quick or a more complex project. Simply stitch into a quick gift bag and add embroidery if you wish, or take time to stitch the whole design instead as a wintery framed picture or cushion.
These kits by Ginger Becky also need a little bit more time and focus, but they are a beautiful way of squeezing in some mindful soothing stitching during what can be a hectic time.
And finally these Goldwork Kits by Becky Hogg needs a bit more time and investment but will make a true heirloom decoration for your tree.
I hope I've inspired you with our little festive round up - you can fiond all of these decorations and more in our Festive Goods section on the website.