Three statement chandeliers to make with embroidery hoops

Today I am going to show you how to make an embroidery hoop chandelier. Create some fabulous decor pieces with embroidery hoops. Super easy, but stunning and they are very decorative both indoors and outdoors. Use them in your home interior or as party decoration. Try them as lampshades or as mobiles suspended from the ceiling of a nursery or other room. Add some fairylights for extra sparkle.


An embroidery hoop chandelier with photos

Super simple idea, but looking great: three wooden embroidery hoops in different sizes, suspended and attached to one another with thin metal wire. Glue small wooden pegs onto the hoops at equal distance. Print off your favourite black and white photos and clip them in place around the hoops.

Of course you can do this with all kinds of paper, they don’t have to be photos. Try vintage postcards or book pages as an alternative.

An embroidery hoop photo chandelier
Image: The Nester
book pages chandelier with embroidery hoops
Image: divertissementblogdotcom

Create an Embroidery hoop chandelier with ribbons

You can go for the three tiered embroidery hoop chandelier for a real statement piece or keep it simple and start with one hoop. Make just a small hoop or fill a hula hoop with long strips of fabric for more impact – the latter would make a stunning center piece in a wedding or summer party marquee too. All you need is a large batch of similar length ribbons or strips if fabrics in your favourite colours and tie them to the hoop until the circle is full.

embroidery hoop chandelier with ribbons
Image: Pinterest
embroidery hoop mobile chandelier with ribbons
Image: Pinterest

Make an Embroidery hoop mobile with felt and paper

The possibilities are endless. You can literally tie anything to a hoop as long as it is secured and not too heavy! How about saving up those wine bottle corks? Doilies? Tiny glass bottles with fresh flowers? Origami crane birds! Paper flowers, felt balls, feathers, little crocheted animals…you name it.

Hang your embroidery hoop chandelier over the dining table, in a corner of the living room or create something cute for in the nursery. You can even hang the hoop sideways and turn it into a bohemian dream catcher… Here are some more ideas.

crocheted animals mobile for nursery embroidery hoop
Image: Miss Moss
embroidery hoop mobile for nursery with felt balls
Image: Etsy
bohemian dream catcher with embroidery hoop
Image: Bridal Musings
paper circles mobile with embroidery hoop for nursery
Image: Etsy

Disclaimer: In this post I have included affiliate links to Etsy and Craft and Create who will pay me a small percentage of what you spend if you choose to click on the links and buy craft supplies from them. This of course helps me to keep going as a blogger. Your support is much appreciated!

Get the juices flowing: Five easy ways to boost your creativity

Are you an artist, musician, designer or otherwise creative person? Then you probably know that feeling, that no matter what stage in life you are at, whatever job you have chosen or lifestyle you are leading, if you have a creative streak in you, it just has to come out or you feel itchy. Still, sometimes you feel the burning desire to create…. but you can’t focus on anything or don’t know where to start. Perhaps you wanted to write that book, become better at playing the piano or continue to paint after you finished a great art course last year. But you didn’t. Another problem many creatives have – and I see you nodding – we all have too many things on the go but none of them are finished. And then there is procrastination. Here are five easy tips to boost your creativity and help you get motivated again!

Five easy ways to boost your creativity


1. Create a Pinterest Board with 12 projects for a year

Oh, I see you thinking, oh dear Pinterest, the ultimate station of procrastination! Yes, I know, we all spend too much time on it, drooling over interiors, recipes and pretty stuff. But there are some useful pins on there, really and they can boost your creativity. Try creating a brand new board and only pin creative ideas or projects on there that you know you are able to manage and finish. Perhaps a super easy sewing project, a simple printmaking technique you always wanted to try or an idea to upcycle a piece of furniture.

Choose 12 pins and give them a name: ‘Project January’, etc. That way you can focus on one easy creative task each month and you know there is a new one coming the next, which will hopefully give you enough of a drive to complete them. You know that each finished project will give you a great sense of accomplishment, so don’t be over ambitious and pin wisely.


Five tips to become more creative


2. Start a creative journal

Draw, stick, paint, collage, collect and write. Journals are wonderful little books to help you to boost your creativity, try out different art techniques and visualise ideas. The nice thing about journals is, is that each page offers a new opportunity, a fresh blank page. There is no right or wrong, it is your personal journal, do what you like. Nothing in your journal has to be of great quality, it is a place to dump your thoughts, your scribbles, stories, mind maps, save cut out images and other items that catch your eye, and it will be a lovely thing to keep. You can refer back to it in the future if you need some inspiration or a reminder of creative ideas or genius brain waves.

I did a wonderful workshop called ‘Creative Sketchbooks’ last year with artist Fenneke Wolters-Sinke at Fenfolio in Scotland, who showed me that you can be truly free in your journals. She taught me how using old illustrated books offer a great basis for multimedia techniques using stamps, paint, scrap paper, fabric and collage techniques among others, with the existing text and pictures making an interesting base layer. Do you have an old illustrated book lying around you no longer use? Give it a go! What is the worst that can happen?


Creative journal example with scrap paper, cut outs, layering and drawings
This is one of my own creative journals, using an old children’s storybook instead of a blank sketchbook. These are pages I did together with my 6-year old son, who also enjoyed the activity!

 

Creative journal example with scrap paper, cut outs, layering and drawings


3. Start an Instagram account

Just like a paper journal, Instagram can be your own personal dumping ground for things that catch your eye, by taking snap shots of them and posting them on your Instagram page. You can make it public or keep it private, that is up to you. Perhaps you have a love for textures, or a certain colour. Or maybe you have always wanted to do a photographic series of vintage cars? Of people? Of plants? I recently started another account myself, taking pictures of colourful street art and other things that catch my eye in Valencia (@coloursofvalencia).

Instagram shows all your images in a grid and it can give you a real boost seeing your ideas and images all together, forming an overview of your creative journey. You may find a certain theme emerging. It also encourages you to go out and take plenty of photos. If your account is public you may even get fellow creatives commenting and you could discover some other interesting accounts giving you more ideas in the process.

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4. Set up a Mastermind meet-up with other creatives

This is a slightly different idea, which you may or may not like, but could be interesting to try! I have seen it work very well for women in business, who come together once or twice a month for coffee and discuss their challenges, certain topics and things that are perhaps keeping them from moving forward. Many times they end up collaborating, giving each other fresh ideas or pointing each other to contacts in their networks. I don’t see how this could not also work well for people feeling a bit stuck in their creative lives.

You could pick a topic each time or even plan a visit to local galleries to get fresh ideas and boost that creativity. Hook up with two or three creative friends or contacts you know that could benefit from a Mastermind meet-up and get the ball rolling. If anything, you’ll expand or revive your social circle, which can only be a positive thing.

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5. boost your creativity by Switching off the internet and mobile phone

Hold on, not just yet! But you get it, right? And yes, I did just encourage you to start a Pinterest board and and Instagram account. Guilty! But we can all admit that we are probably spending way too much time online, wasting an enormous amount of hours scrolling through pointless posts and photos of people we hardly know on our Facebook timeline, chatting on WhatsApp, and doing really not much at all that stimulates our brain, let alone our creativity. It is a worldwide addiction that prevents us from picking up that brush, the neglected guitar or switch on the sewing machine. Even reading a real book.

Let’s all try and break that habit, myself included! Be more mindful, go for a walk to let new ideas flow into your mind. Once the wifi is off, what else is there to do that makes us happy? Yes, plenty! You can start small, by choosing one day or night a week and dedicate this to creating. I promise you, you will be proud of yourself.

Do you have any other tips to boost creativity? Please share them below or on the facebook page. Happy creating!


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Alternative flower arrangements: five different display ideas

Who doesn’t love a vase filled with fresh flowers on the table? But sometimes you need some ideas for alternative flower arrangements. Perhaps it is in my Dutch blood, coming from the land of tulips, but a colourful, fragrant bouquet is one of the little things in life that makes me truly happy. You could buy a bouquet from the shop and put it straight in a vase at home, but  try and be a bit more creative when arranging flowers and make your bouquet go further. Not a fan of colourful flowers? Choose greenery from the garden! Here are Five different ways to display fresh flowers in your home.


1. Use vintage finds for alternative flower arrangements

Who says flowers need to be in a glass vase? Think outside the box (or vase!) when arranging flowers and try an old tin bucket, milk jug, or anything else that looks pretty and can hold water without leaking. Perfect to add that eclectic, bohemian touch and  vintage flair to your interior.

alternative flower arrangements
Image: Pinterest
alternative flower arrangements
Image: Bloglovin
alternative flower arrangements
Image: Pinterest

2. Alternative flower arrangements: Oversized branches

For some quick and easy statement pieces in your decor, try putting a large leafy branch in a large glass bottle or vase. Maybe you have some great shrubs or plants in your garden that need pruning anyway, or just buy one or two beautiful big branches from the flower shop. Usually branches like these last a good few weeks too, which is another great thing about them.

alternative flower arrangements
Image: Pinterest

3. Hang ’em up high: arrange flowers in tiny bottles

Got a collection of little bottles? These are great to use in alternative flower arrangements. Any will do, go through your bathroom cabinet or use small lemonade bottles and start arranging flowers in an original way. Even small jars can be used, such as jam or mustard jars. You may want to do a little hunt down charity shops and flea markets to add to your display. Use metal wire or twine to wrap around the bottle necks and secure them to a hoop or a wooden branch suspended from the ceiling or window frame. Fill them with a bit of water and place small single flowers in them. How unusual, but pretty!


Alternative flower arrangements: take the bouquet apart

I often do this when some of the flowers in my bouquet are old and gone, I take those out and rearrange the ones that are still looking fresh. You can also cut them a bit shorter to make them fit in a different vase – or display them in a group of different size bottles, jugs and vases, together on a tray or table. Ideas for arranging flowers are endless.

alternative flower arrangements
Image: Flowerona
alternative flower arrangements
Image: Pinterest

5. The minimalist way: Monochrome bouquets for simplicity

Don’t like bold and vibrant colours with lots of different types of flowers? Keep it simple and go for monochrome. Pick a bunch of white roses or tulips, with a little bit of greenery if you want. A perfect, classic and sophisticated idea for alternative flower arrangements.

alternative flower arrangements
Image: Flowerona

The most beautiful garden party ideas

Are you looking beautiful garden party ideas to wow your guests? Celebrate glorious weather with long tables on the lawn, fairy lights strung in the trees, wild bouquets on the table and little unique touches to make your party extra special.

You can choose a theme or just make it as colourful as you want, using whatever you can find. Perhaps you have a fabulous eclectic collection of bowls that would make a great display on the buffet table. Or are you a star at making different punch and cocktails? Display them in large pitchers on a drinks station.

beautiful garden party ideas

Today I gathered some beautiful ideas to make your garden party extra special.


Vintage furniture at garden parties

Who says you need to sit on plastic chairs at your garden party? If the forecast is good, why not put some comfy seats around the table? Or a sofa on the lawn? Hang a chandelier from a branch!  It sure offers a fab look and it’s great for taking photos.

alternative garden party ideas

Vintage chairs at a garden party. Image: Bridesmagazine.co.uk[/caption]


Fresh flowers from the garden

Create tiny bouquets from the flowers in your garden and place them in bottles and glasses on tables or even hang the vases from branches with some twine.

most beautiful garden party ideas
Image: Pinterest
summer party ideas
Image: Pure Wow


A cluster of Balloons for a garden party

What is a party without a balloon? Try clustering them together for more impact or fill them with helium to make them float above the table.


Paper decorations for your garden party

I always bring out my colourful fabric bunting for any party, as it lasts and looks wonderful, but a good alternative – and not too bad for the environment – are paper decorations. Pom poms, flags, lanterns, paper chains, anything to create that whimsical atmosphere at your summer fiesta. The more colourful the better and it’s definitely one of the most beautiful garden party ideas.

garden party ideas
ideas for summer party
Image: pretty little party shop

DIY hula hoop chandelier: beautiful garden party ideas

How great is this idea? Indoors and outdoors, this hula hoop chandelier makes a beautiful statement. Hang it from the roof of a veranda or from tree branches above your dinner table. This example has ribbons in different colours tied from a large hula hoop, combined with strips of paper, some perforated with circles. There are also strings hanging down with circles sewn onto them to make short garlands. For evening parties, string some fairy lights inside to light it up.

alternative garden party
DIY paper chandelier. Image: http://shannonberrey.com

Use pallets for your beautiful garden party

Pallets are a great way to add some cheap extra furniture to your garden party decor. They are practical and look nice and rustic and you can stack ’em up high if needed. Use them to put the cakes and desserts on or turn them into a bar. Another idea is to turn them into a low table across the lawn with blankets and cushions on either side.

garden party ideas
Image: comoorganizarlacasa.com

And of course…food & drinks

Last but not least: don’t forget the food and drinks. Ice lollies only for children? No way! Make a batch of Gin & Tonic lollies and share them out at your party. Guaranteed a hit and pretty too. Mix your gin and tonic together with some lime juice in a pitcher (measured as you would in a glass) and pour it into ice lolly molds. Drop a a few slices of cucumber in it and freeze.

For those looking to make their wine a little bit pinker, create a ‘pimp your prosecco’ bar! Also perfect for sparkling water for the non-alcohol drinkers (just call it ‘pimp your bubbles’!)

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Gin & tonic ice lollies anyone?

Prepare for non-meat eaters!

Many people are becoming more conscious when it comes to eating, and vegans are a growing group. I bet you have one in your circles! Even if you are not a vegan yourself, catering for all is a good thing, and it will certainly add a lot of flavour and variety to your buffet. Need some inspiration for Vegan BBQs? Try this book by Nadine Horn.

best ideas for summer party

Have a fabulous fiesta!

How to decorate a rental (without losing your deposit)

Anyone who has ever tried to decorate a rental apartment or house knows it is quite a challenge to make it completely to your taste. Not too bad if you’re only going to live there briefly, but if you are planning to stay longer term, then what do you do? Today I am sharing some great ideas on how to decorate a rental without making your landlord go mad.

HOW TO DECORATE YOUR RENTALWITHOUT LOSING YOUR DEPOSIT

Decorate a rental: from magnolia to magnificent

Rules about decorating rentals vary per country, as in the Netherlands, where most rentals are unfurnished, it is usually OK to paint walls. You are usually allowed to change other things around the house, as long as it’s put back to what it was before. If it is improving the place somehow you may be able to negotiate a discount on a month’s rent. Laying new flooring for example.

In Britain I have seen that many rentals are furnished and have magnolia (ugh) walls and often are a bit trickier to make you feel at home. In Spain, where we recently moved to, we were lucky to find a house that was unfurnished, which again is not always the case – many rentals are full of other people’s stuff. Unfurnished meant that at least all our own furniture could move in too. But how much can you change in terms of wall colours….hanging pictures, the look of the kitchen and bathroom?

Here are a few tips and ideas on how to jazz up that rental without losing your deposit!


Removable wallpaper to decorate your rental

I have not tried this, but I have heard these wallpapers are as easy to put up as they are to take back down again. Doesn’t this wall look amazing? The shop Betapet on Etsy sells a fantastic collection of self adhesive wallpapers in a wide range of patterns and prints, from subtle geometrics to bold florals.

Removable wallpaper botanical
removable wallpaper chevron


Tile decals to decorate your rental

Nothing worse than ugly dated tiles in the kitchen or bathroom, to clash with any nice modern kitchenware or towels you may own. There are many companies nowadays selling tile stickers, self adhesive and easy to stick on and take back off. HomeArtStickers on Etsy has hundreds of different stickers for both floor and wall tiles, so take your pick.

Decorate rental ideas
tile stickers kitchen

Curtains…and using fabric as wall covering

Don’t like the curtains in your rental? Fold them up nicely and store them away. Replace them with your own. Job done. But have you ever thought about using fabric as wall covering? Yes! Attaching fabric to the wall can be done in a variety of renter-friendly ways: staple gun, upholstery tacks, upholstery strips, liquid starch and some drawing pins to name a few. When it is time to move out, simply remove the fabric and take it with you. Check out this blog by Sincerely, Sara D, where you can find a handy tutorial on how to DIY a fabric wall.

fabric wall tutorial

Decorate your rental with Washi tape

I have seen this done on Pinterest and I love how versatile this stuff is. You can decorate virtually anything with washi tape and it doesn’t leave any damage. Create a confetti wall, a chevron pattern, words, lines, mountain shapes, the options are endless. Decorate walls, but don’t forget the doors, the edges of shelves, the back of cupboards or create ‘picture frames’ with the tape. In kids rooms you can really go to town with this stuff. How about a house? Or a road? Or a bear? With the geometric trend still going strong, your rental flat will look very modern in a flash. To find washi tape try your favourite stationary shop for some or order them in sets from Etsy.

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washi tape kids room
washi tape door decoration

Change the light shades in your rental

You probably thought of this one yourself, but if not, go and change out your light shades. We arrived in an unfurnished house in Spain, which meant bare wires hanging from the ceiling, so we have to do even more than just changing out a shade (!), but mostly you’ll find dusty old shades or other light fittings that are easily replaceable while you are living there. A nice shade can really set the mood for a room, so pick wisely to make an impact. Try Artisanti for some elegant, quality lighting.


Decorate your rental: Cover the floor

Cream carpet? Ugly tiles? Invest in a nice big rug to cover that up. Check Kukoon for some regular offers and free delivery in the UK.

vintage distressed rug


Self adhesive picture hooks

You may find a few conveniently placed screws in the walls of your rental already, in which case, just hang up your framed artwork straight away. If not, and the landlord doesn’t want you to add any more holes to the walls, try heavy duty self adhesive hooks.

Self adhesive picture hooks
animal prints for kids room

Happy rental decorating!

Prepare your house for selling: 7 tips to style your home

We have just put our house on the market and that meant we had to make it look great for potential buyers. To prepare your house for selling means a lot of decluttering. I cleared out little by little for months, which is quite a nice thing to do believe it or not. The letting go of stuff, the minimising, the emptying out, it is all rather therapeutic.

Our house, which we redecorated top to bottom, remodeled and upgraded over the past ten years, is up for sale. I thought I’d share some tips to help you prepare your house for selling if you happen to be in the same position. We ended up taking all furniture with us to our next home already, so the house is currently empty. At least the photos for the advertisement were done before, to give viewers a good idea of what the house can look like when furnished. Here’s what we did.


How do you prepare your house for selling?

1. Pretend to be a viewer

To get a better idea of what work needs to be done to prepare your house for selling, have a walk through. Pretend to be a potential buyer. Come in through the front door. What do you see? Is there anything that catches your eye? What do you like and what annoys you? Take a note pad and scribble your comments while wandering from room to room. Once you’re done, make the changes. A good idea is to ask a friend or neighbour to come in with a fresh pair of eyes and give some honest feedback – sometimes you don’t see things yourself when you’ve been so busy doing all the work.

Prepare your house for selling. Styling tips for your home
All shoes, bags, jackets neatly stored away in the hallway, nothing on the stairs. Mail and paperwork sorted out and cleared from the landing spaces.


2. Put the toys away

When you prepare your house for selling, you’d better clear all Lego away. Put those action figures in the cupboard and drag toy cars from under the sofa. You may have a busy family and all the junk that comes with it but no one needs to see that. It’s tricky to keep the house tidy all the time when you still live in it, but try to clear stuff away at least for the photos. Have a few nice big storage baskets handy for when viewings are booked and you quickly need to clear the decks.

Prepare your house for selling. Styling tips for your home
Books and toys stored on the shelves, in baskets or put away in drawers for the time being. Bed made up neatly with a neutral cream woolen blanket on top, with added throw cushions. I also added three new pictures above the bed, replacing the more personal ones.


3. Clear away your own clutter

How many vases do you need in your window? How many picture frames or knick knacks? If you want to keep them, put them in a box under the bed or in the cupboard for now. Spaces look better with clean lines and clear surfaces. It doesn’t need to look like a house that’s not loved or lived in, but viewers may see themselves living in your house better when the shelves are not full of personal items and family photos. You’ve got to pack them anyway at some point anyway, right?

Prepare your housee for selling. Styling tips for your home
The kitchen never looked so tidy! All clutter put away, with just a few items remaining on the worktop. Jars tidied, some fresh fruit in the bowl. And don’t forget to polish that cooker hood!


4. Store excess furniture

You may have needed that extra armchair, comfy foot stool or side table in the lounge because it worked for you and your family, but the room will look bigger and tidier if you only leave the necessary pieces in. A sofa, an armchair or maybe two if space allows, a coffee table, perhaps a sideboard or lamp table, that should be sufficient. Store extra furniture in the garage or shed for the time being.

Prepare your house for selling. Styling tips for your home
I took out some excess furniture such as a chair which I used to put my clothes on at night. It makes the room look a lot neater and more spacious. Books tidied, lamps straightened, curtains open. A nice throw can make a real difference to the bed.


5. Buy some new throw cushions or blankets

You may already have lovely pretty soft furnishings all over the house, but perhaps the cushions on the sofa have seen better days and the blanket on the bed is your dog’s favourite. Buying a few fresh new cushions and blankets for your living room or bedrooms will freshen up the look and will add colour and interest to the spaces. They don’t need to be expensive, try your local supermarket, Ikea or other affordable high street stores for some quick updates.

Prepare your house for selling. Styling tips for your home

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6. place Fresh flowers and house plants

A house looks cared for when there are fresh flowers on the kitchen table and leafy plants around the house. A bit of greenery can do miracles for a room.

7. Tidy up the garden – or dig out some summer pictures

Our garden is large and it was winter when the photographer came around. Not great for pictures. Dead plants, snowy patches, no leafy trees. We still tidied up the garden furniture and potted plants and cleared away any stray toys from the lawn. We also found some photos of the garden in summertime. This helps viewers get a better idea of what the garden looks like in its full glory when the sun is out.

Prepare your house for selling. Styling tips
If you are selling in the winter months, a photo of your garden taken on a nice day last year may help give the buyer a better idea of what the garden looks like in summer.


Bonus tip: use baby wipes to get marks off walls!

Before you get the pain brush out to redecorate the walls when all of a sudden you spot all those marks and hand prints, sometimes all it needs is a baby wipe and some elbow grease to get rid of them or at least make them less visible. If all else fails, by all means go over it with the emulsion, but I tell you, just give it a try 😉

Have you tried any particular thing to sell your house?

For anyone interested in finding out more about our house, please visit www.aspc.co.uk for more pictures, the full details and to book viewings.


 

Get a minimalist Scandinavian Christmas decor with no fuss

Almost the end of November. A month until Christmas. Who’s got the decorations out yet? Who loves a bit of minimalist Scandinavian Christmas in their house this year? Now here’s a thought. We can either find our toddlers shattering the pretty sparkly baubles on the floor, the dog eating the tinsel and discover those pesky fairy lights all still tangled up in a bag from last year – and there’s always at least five lights not working – or we leave the box up in the attic and keep it simple. Just a nice tree, a couple of branches, a wreath maybe. More eco-friendly too, especially if you were secretly considering getting a plastic tree this year (you weren’t, were you?). Boring you say? Well, let me show you a few ideas on how to create a beautiful Scandinavian Christmas decor in your home this year. You may like them.


Keep things white (and green)

Leave the gold and red baubles up in the attic this year, and go monochrome. A true Scandinavian Christmas decor has plenty of whites, natural wood and wicker, greenery and simple fairy lights. Group some lanterns together on a table, at the fire place or in the window. Use white or grey sheepskins as throws and rugs for texture and warmth.

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Use clear bottles as Christmas decor

Who knew it looks so pretty to drown a little branch in a bottle of water? Gather empty clear bottles in various sizes and use them around the house as decoration. Also nice on your Christmas dinner table with candles.

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thatscandinavianfeeling.com

 


Create your own Gift wrap with brown paper

Don’t forget the gift wrap in your minimalist Scandinavian Christmas adventures! Cheap rolls of brown paper, string, simple tags and some leaves will make very beautiful, stylish parcels you’ll sure impress the guests with.

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image: thesefourwallsblog.com


Use Eucalyptus as Christmas decoration

Eucalyptus makes for great decorative branches at any time of year, so Christmas is no exception.

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Wooden sign from Etsy


Twigs and branches in oversized vases as christmas decor

It’s all about keeping things simple. Find a large big vase or bottle and fill it with a few nice branches of a pine tree or something with red berries on it.

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annixen.blogspot.se


The green wreath

A nice green wreath on the door or indoors is always a winner. Make one yourself or buy one ready made. Remember, less is more to get that Scandinavian Christmas look.

 

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Farmhouse Wreath on Etsy

 


A naked Christmas tree

What, a tree but no baubles? Yup. And a good looking tree doesn’t need any really, or very few. Just a nice big pot or basket and maybe some fairy lights.

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Saved from thatscandinavianfeeling.com

Workshop review: how to make paper origami lampshades (when you have very little patience)

It’s been a while since I actually crafted something with my bare hands other than a blog post or a room design, but today is the day. I booked myself in for an origami lampshade making workshop at arts centre The Barn in Banchory, Scotland, with Mel Watt from Misty Concepts. Her creations are absolutely stunning and seem to require a lot of skill and patience. I also really like that they are made of paper, which makes it a great eco-friendly alternative to your plastic shades from the high street shops.

Origami fold and testing of patience

But I have to be honest with you, when I booked I thought, yay, this will be so much fun! Right now I fear that with all those origami folds my usual lack of patience will play up and I’ll end up sitting grumpy and frustrated in the corner with a badly looking lampshade. But one can only try! This is what happened next:

Craft scotland

craft scotland


origami sweat shop

As soon as we start with the first A1 sheet (there are two in total, both 120gsm and fire proofed with an eco-friendly coating), I realise that this is not your average relaxing arty crafty class where you leasurely create something while having a chat with the other participants. This is serious business. Origami sweat shop! It requires both patience, precision and a mathematical way of thinking – three things that are not my strong points. How about that for getting out of your comfort zone! ! All eight of us get stuck in and no one says a word. Utter concentration. All you hear is the sharp creasing of the paper: horizontal, vertical, diagonal and all lines need to meet exactly. My brain hurts.

Although I am getting slightly impatient by the end of sheet one (I am one for quick results and there is a lot of repetition involved, folding, folding, more folding…), I get excited when all of a sudden the sheet starts to jump into shape and a structure begins to form as by magic. Once all the creases are in place and sharpened, it’s time to ‘crush’ or rather concertina the paper. Carefully of course.

origami lampshade


training your memory with origami

Sheet two gets done in half the time. We all know what we’re doing – kind of – and it’s amazing how much you remember. “Origami is very good for your memory actually”, Mel says. “It’s also meant to be quite relaxing.” Well, I don’t know about that second bit, Mel. Sparks are flying as the production line continues after the tea break.

We all finish around the same time. The two sheets get glued together and form a beautiful globe. Look! Glowing with pride, both me and my shade.

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I’d say, get yourself onto a workshop with Mel. It’s hard work, but fun and you actually manage to create something pretty cool in one afternoon. This type of craft is also perfect for anyone who wouldn’t class themselves as particularly ‘crafty’ and is perhaps more of an engineer than an artist. It is very exact. Mel does workshops around Scotland, so if you are up here, do try and book yourself onto one of her classes. If you don’t feel crafty, live on the other side of the planet or just want to get your hands on a gorgeous ready made one, visit the web shop of Misty Concepts and order one of Mel’s (far more complicated! The folds! How is she still sane?) shades online. Knowing now how much work is involved, I can honestly say from experience, they are worth every penny.

Misty Concepts web shop

origami lampshade

Misty Concepts can also be found at Flock, contemporary Craft & Design Christmas fair at The Barn in Banchory, Saturday and Sunday 18 + 19 November 2017, 10am-5pm.

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Easy craft projects with pom poms for Christmas

It always takes me a little while to get into the Christmas spirit, and I still have one leg in summer really, but hey, if you want that garland finished by December, you got to get your act in gear. Today’s post features some fabulous easy craft projects with pom poms for Christmas! Yes, pom poms, those fluffy colourful woolen balls that you probably made as a child. A fun alternative to your usual decorations. They are super versatile and you can use them as tree baubles (the kids would love them!), on wreaths and even as gift toppers. If you have children, get them involved as it makes a great rainy Sunday afternoon craft project too.

Easy craft projects with pom poms for Christmas
A super colourful tree by Paint the Gown RedPaint the Gown Red

First things first, let’s learn how to make a pom pom – in case you have forgotten. You can use cardboard, a fork or even your fingers, so I am sharing these tutorials with you today.



How to make pom poms

Get some wool! You may have some leftovers in the cupboard, but if not, try Create and Craft, who often have great offers on all kids of craft supplies.

This is the way I learnt it as a kid. The bigger the cardboard circles you cut out, the bigger the pom pom.

Easy craft projects with pom poms for Christmas

Make pom poms using a fork

This is a genius way of making pom poms. No need to cut out cardboard, just use a fork! Watch the video to see how it’s done.


Make a pom pom tree garland

A nice alternative to your plasticky glitter garlands; one made out of wool. This one used paper straws to separate the pom poms, but you can of course just tie the pom poms on a pretty ribbon or a string too.

Easy craft projects with pom poms for Christmas
Image and turorial on Elsie Marley

Make a pom pom tassel

This could either be a tree decoration or something to hang on a wardrobe key or a door knob. Or even your hand bag. Very pretty and so easy to make.

Easy craft projects with pom poms for Christmas
Pom pom tassel via True Blue Me and You

Gift toppers with pom poms

Looking to jazz up your wrapping paper? Pom Poms make everything look Pinterest-worthy. Go and make some small ones just for this purpose. They will make any Christmas gift stand out.

christmas craft project pom poms
Image via Lia Griffith

Pom pom Wreaths

Christmas isn’t Christmas without a beautiful homemade wreath. Here are three very different style pom pom wreaths, so take your pick! I love them all.

Make a Giant Hula Hoop Pom Pom Wreath

This is a gorgeous one. I love the purples and browns on it and the simple wooden hoop with some green as a base layer.


Make a colourful wreath with baubles, bells and pom poms

What a gorgeous mix of shiny baubles and colourful woolen pom poms. This would brighten up any door at Christmas. Just tie them individually to a styro-foam or wire wreath with string. And don’t be afraid to overdo it, the more things the merrier!

Easy craft projects with pom poms for Christmas
Image via Molly Makes

Make a snowball wreath with pom poms

I love this one. Just using white or off-white wool, making lots of fluffy pom poms and securing them onto a wreath for a wintery effect. Nice. It makes you want to stroke it, so soft.

pom pom wreath
Image via Etsy

Give your room a quick update with stylish wall stickers

Do you like the idea of updating your walls, but the idea of wallpaper is a bit daunting? I definitely feel like that sometimes. I have no problem getting the paint brush out and giving a wall a totally different colour in a day, but the idea of pasting on wallpaper always makes me feel a bit nervous. I love the look of wallpaper and would use it in my designs for clients, but it can be quite permanent, and I like a change in my home every now and then. I mean, stripping wallpaper is not a nice and quick job, now is it! Today I am going to show you something totally different to update your walls: stickers. Sophisticated ones.

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Gorgeous floral wall sticker from sticker company Tenstickers


Wall stickers have been around for quite a while now as wall decoration and are especially popular in nurseries and kids’ rooms in the shapes of animals and trees (or in our house, my boys’ own spontaneous creative half ripped additions from their sticker books). But there are some very pretty designs around now to use in other parts of the house too without it looking too gimmicky.

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I also like the more abstract, geometrical sticker designs, to just give the walls a bit of interest. Add a strip across the length of the wall, or just a a focal point above your desk or in the hallway.


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A lot of wall stickers can look too cheap and glossy or have a lot of material around the actual picture. I came across online sticker maker Tenstickers, who seem to have sorted those problems. Their stickers don’t reflect the light, so look part of the actual wall rather than well, yes, a sticker. They are easy to apply too, with no air bubbles and they supply a piece to practice with. Handy.

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I definitely need one of these reminder on my wall, who’s with me??


Apart from wall stickers, Tenstickers also supply laptop, car and even fridge stickers, if your appliances could do with a new look.

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You can also order personalised stickers with your own photos, drawings or text. Hmmm… that opens up some pretty cool possibilities and interesting alternatives to traditional picture frames too. How about a large photo sticker of your family summer holiday to cheer you up over breakfast before heading into the office…?

Reader discount

I am excited to being able to offer my readers a 15% discount if you fancy some wall sticker yourself! Just visit the website www.tenstickers.co.uk and use the code NINAS15 at checkout before the 1st of November.

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PS: Please do send me pictures if you are jazzing up your walls with some cool stickers, I love seeing people’s room makeovers!

Reader Discount Code