Janes Simple Christmas

Christmas for me is a time to relax and enjoy the season in all its glory

I’m all about simplicity when it comes to dressing the house for the big day. In the weeks running up to the festivities we spend many a happy hour creating our own simple home made decorations, drying orange pieces, making garlands and tin baubles from old chocolate moulds.

It is also very easy to create a striking seasonal display by placing fresh greenery in informal arrangements in each room, bows of holly on the top of kitchen cabinets and buckets filled with eucalyptus and ivy, creating a wonderful effect. Bring in foraged branches of pine and place in glass jars, these displays also make a great alternative to a large tree. Using natural finds from the garden or hedgerow creates a truly traditional Christmas – add candles and tea lights in jam jars for that added bit of sparkle.

Here are some easy makes that everyone can achieve which bring a stylish handmade touch and add natural elements to your celebrations.

Drying Oranges

Something super easy to do in the weeks prior to the festivities. Slice the oranges thinly, place them on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Set the oven to approx 110ºC dry oranges for about an hour then turn each slice and put back in the oven for another hour. Once out of the oven put the segments somewhere warm and dry to carry on drying out so they will be perfect for wiring and hanging to the tree.

Sprayed Seed Heads

Seed heads are abundant in our hedge rows at this time of the year especially cow parsley. Gather a few stems on a family walk for display. To give them that extra touch of winter spray the heads lightly with white spray paint.

Handmade tin decorations

Another easy make is to create hanging baubles from old chocolate moulds. Drill tiny holes in the top of each mould thread through ribbon or thread ready to hang on branches. These look extra wonderful when they glint in flickering candlelight.

Mini Pom Pom Garland

Create mini pom poms by winding your chosen wool around a fork’s tines approx 35 times. Take a 6cm piece of wool and tie around the centre of the bundle wool, remove the bundle from the fork and make sure the knot is tight. Snip through the loops and give your pom pom a trim to make it round and rustic. Thread each pom pom onto fine string, space evenly and then display. Hang over picture frames and mirrors or wind it around your tree instead of tinsel for a homespun look.

Hand printed Paper and Cards

Hand printing wrapping paper and printing your own Christmas cards is a lot of fun. Use a patterned paint roller with a wintry design and matt emulsion paint in neutral tones to produce handmade paper. Cover the roller in an even amount of your chosen paint, rolling firmly in rows to cover an entire roll of craft paper. You can also use this technique for Christmas cards and gift tags; or use hand stamps and ink pads to make individual cards for your loved ones.

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