Tutorial: Hand-made Christmas tree decorations

handmade christmas tree decorations

Now that we’re in December it’s considered acceptable to put up the tree and get into the Christmas spirit – hooray! I decided to make some of my own decorations for our tree this year and spent last Sunday setting up my little craft station and singing along merrily to Slade and Mariah, whilst Mr M sank a bottle of red wine (how selfish of him).

I consider myself a bit of a novice when it comes to arts and crafts, with very limited materials, and get frustrated if things start to take too long. So I decided on two fool proof designs…

Hanging heart tree decorations:easy christmas tree decorations

You will need:

  • Sturdy cardboard/ mount board
  • PVA glue
  • Cord/ twine in various colours of your choice
  • Wrapping paper in the colours of your choice
  • Glue dots

How to:

  • Cut out one large and one small heart shape from the mount board
  • rip up the wrapping paper in strips and dip into a bowl of the PVA glue
  • Cover the hearts with the paper and glue (think paper mache technique)
  • leave the hearts to dry (this took a couple of hours)
  • stick the smaller heart onto the larger heart using a glue dot
  • Tie a ribbon out of cord/twine and stick onto the small heart using another glue dot
  • punch a hole in the top and attach twine for hanging on the tree!

Pine cone tree decorations:

You will need:

  • Pine cones
  • Glitter spray (if required)
  • Ribbon
  • glue dots
  • Twine/cord (for hanging)

How to:

  • Spray the pine cones with glitter spray if required (I used Plastikote Project Enamel in silver glitter which is subtle)
  • Make a bow out of the ribbon and stick it to the bottom of the pine cone with a glue dot
  • Use the twine to make a hanging loop. I used glue dots in the first instance to stick it to the cone, which did seem to work initially, but after a week they seem to be dropping! I’ve taken the lazy way out, turned the pine cones the right way up (narrower section at the top) and simply wrapped the twine within the cone – they look equally as lovely (see pic). I’m sure you could attach using a glue gun or similar if you’re a more prepared crafty than I am…

Pine cone tree decorations

Would love to read about any other ideas you have – please feel free to share them with me.

Happy crafting! x

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DIY kitchen makeover (or ‘this nesting instinct is bloody great!’)

I’ve been banging on about how much I disliked our kitchen ever since we moved into our house this February. The whole house needed a complete refurbishment and, to be fair, we’ve done a pretty good job so far, completing the majority of the house to our taste within the first six months. But upon finding out I was pregnant we decided that the kitchen would have to wait since it’s by far the biggest project to take on and the biggest expense…DIY kitchen makeover

However, when my maternity leave began a couple of weeks back I decided that I could use this time to give the kitchen a bit of a makeover…If I’m honest, I was only planning to paint the tiles in the first instance and replace the lights. And then I decided that it wouldn’t be too much trouble to give the walls a lick of paint before I got slightly (very) obsessed and – to the groans and concerned protests of friends and family (“now is the time you should be resting”) thought it would be a great idea to tackle the units (since “what’s the point in me going to all that effort if the cupboards still look shit?”)

I’d opted for a plain white Ronseal One Coat Tile Paint to freshen up the tiles and Dulux Egyption Cotton emulsion for the walls. I wasn’t overly confident about the Ronseal tile paint – I attempted to paint our garden fence last year with their pressurised sprayer and learnt the hard way that their products certainly do not always do ‘exactly what it says on the tin’. However this brand seems to have completely monopolised the shelves in the likes of B&Q and Homebase so I decided to give them another chance.

The results were pretty good to be fair. The tiles did need two coats and the finish is slightly linear in places where you can see the brush strokes, but it looks like they’re supposed to be like that (or so I tell myself!)

Two coats of tile paint, and two coats of emulsion on the walls later, the kitchen did look much better to me, but I could tell that hardly anyone else noticed. There were just so many brown units in the way… I needed to do the cupboards.

Mr M insisted that my efforts were the equivalent of me trying to polish a turd and thought painting the units was one step too far, but he came to realise that you can’t get in between a pregnant woman and her cupboard paint…

Not really one coat cupboard paint

Not really one coat cupboard paint…

Sugar Soap

You need this in your life

Again, I opted for Ronseal since they were the only brand that was in stock in the colour that I wanted. Anyway, I needed to get home in time to paint as much as I could before Mr M got home so there could be no going back. Sneaky.

I didn’t bother sanding the melamine units, but used Sugar Soap to remove all of the dirt and grime which I’d seen done on a YouTube video. I’d never used Sugar Soap before and to say that I was amazed is an understatement – it’s so easy to use and literally makes cleaning a doddle (I’ve since used it on the ceramic floor too with great results).

Again, the units did need two coats of paint and in some places three, but I’m really chuffed with the results.Blackboard paint

I finished it off with some blackboard paint and added this typography with a chalkboard pen to create a bit of a feature.

The final results are well worth a couple of weeks of graft to get a kitchen which feels much more like my own – even if it will be ripped out in 12 months!

Now, how do I get Mr M to change that worktop?