Guest Post

Christmas Decorations, Craft, Guest Post

Oh yeah! Needed to get that out of my system.

As we all start to put up our trees, the lovely Ella has written some great instructions on how to to save a few pennies and make your own decorations…take it away Ella…

It’s hard to avoid all of the commotion of Christmas now we’re officially in December; festive songs are now being played on the radio, wish-lists are being compiled and it’s not long until the Christmas tree is due to go up – which also means, it’s time dig out your best festive decorations that have been collecting dust up in the loft all year.

But, as you unwrap that glittery snowman from last year’s newspaper sheets and dust him off, you suddenly feel that decorating the house has become a bit of a chore, rather than a festive pleasure.

Why? Well, because, having to use the same decorations every year is just getting a little bit boring, right? So, it’s time to make this year’s decorations ten times better than the last. But, I’m not talking about spending those much-needed pennies by popping down to the shops and buying new ones here, I’m talking about making them – from scratch.

Now, I know with the mountains of Christmas shopping you have left to tackle, making decorations is probably the last thing you want to do. But, trust me, because doing so will add a whole new meaning to your Christmas celebrations, this year.

So, grab yourself any craft materials you can get your hands on and give the following festive ideas a go:

(Image: mnn.com)

There’s often one festive home decoration that many of us seem to forget about, until we start seeing our neighbours putting one up, and that’s the wreath. As an important symbol of the advent season, it’s a key decorative requirement for your household at Christmas.

But, rather than nipping down to your local garden center to get one, it’s much more fun to make one!

To start, you will need:

  • Two wire coat hangers
  • A mixture of greenery; leaves, ivy, berries and ferns from the garden are a good place to start, as they’re guaranteed to make your wreath look beautiful.
  • Floral tape
  • Ribbon
  • Lightweight floral wire or hot glue
  • Any extra optional craft materials; such as glitter, glittery spray, paint or string.

Then, to go about making your very own festive wreath, just follow these simple steps:

1.
Make a circular base using two wire coat hangers. You can weave the hangers together for extra support, or just secure them together using the floral tape. For a bigger circumference, you may have to use more than 2 coat hangers to extend the original length.
2. For the body of the wreath, cut your greenery into 8” or 10” long branches – keep them longer in order to allow enough length to successfully wrap the greenery around your base.
3. To add a more festive touch to your wreath, add a little glue to the greenery and shimmer over some glitter. Or, use glitter spray to lightly coat the greenery.
4. Then, using the lightweight floral wire, secure the branches to the wreath base by over lapping them, and then repeating the process for the other pieces of greenery. Keep adding the stems until the wreath base is fully covered.
5.  Using the ribbon, tie together a big bow and secure to the top or bottom of the wreath using the floral wire or hot glue
6. Then all that’s left to do it hang it to your door and watch as your neighbours admire it!

 

 (Image: potterybarn.com)

This festive decoration is great to rest on any fireplaces, shelves, windowsills and mantelpieces, because aside from looking great, they’re also great fun to make!

All you need to make one is:

  • A selection of wooden letters (available from many craft shops. They cost around 75p – £1.50 depending on what size you choose) to spell out your chosen festive word; Noel, Joy and Christmas are popular choices.
  • A mixture of greenery from your garden, such as leaves, ivy, berries and ferns (or any you may have leftover from your wreath!)
  • Hot glue
  • A flat wooden plank (available from most DIY stores)
  • A selection of craft materials; for example, glitter, glitter spray, ribbon, paint, or felt tip pens.

To start making your festive mantelpiece decoration, follow these simple steps:

1. Start by decorating your letters and wooden plank to make them look a little more appealing, by either painting/spray painting them, covering them in glitter, or drawing on them using felt tip pens – it’s completely up to you how you want your decoration to look!
2. Once the letters and the plank have dried, use the hot glue to affix your wooden letters to the flat wooden plank, making sure to leave regular spacings between each letter. The wooden plank will not only act as the base of your ornament to make it a little more sturdy, but it will also act as a good base to attach your greenery to.
3. Once the hot glue has dried, all that’s left to do is decorate the rest of your ornament. Use the greenery to cover the entirety of the base to give your ornament more body – you can even affix any of your smaller decorations to the ornament; baubles or old tree decorations are great for this.
4. Once again, leave everything to dry. Once everything has been set in place, all that’s left to do is place the ornament wherever you like in your house and voila! – A brand new, homemade Christmas decoration!

Ella Mason, an experienced freelance writer, wrote this article. Ella specialises in providing useful home craft ideas to those looking to decorate their homes this Christmas.   

Thanks Ella, you’ve inspired me to go find some cheap wonky trees and cut the branches to make a wreath :)

Nicole @ beaufrog

 

 

Guest Post, Inspired

There are a ton of fashion trends this winter – so many it’s almost hard to keep up.  Luckily, some of the trendiest looks most likely incorporate items that you already have in your wardrobe. So, by investing in just a few new pieces this winter you can easily mix and match the new with the old and the high-end brands with the less expensive to put together chic and affordable looks this holiday season.

Whether you’re running errands, going to a coffee date or attending a holiday party, incorporate one of these must-haves into your look to stay warm and right on trend.

Tailored Blazer

A well-structured blazer can add a touch of sophistication to any look. During the day, try a tweed blazer with a pair of skinny jeans. For a more formal affair, opt for a tuxedo jacket in either black or white.

High Boots

Boots that that hit at the knee are wardrobe staple, while over-the-knee styles are making it big this season. When paired with jeans, leggings or a dress, high boots create a dramatic and sexy look.

Layered Leather

Don’t just limit leather to your shoes. Try mixing leather leggings or a skirt with a chic biker jacket and boots for an even sexier and edgier look. Soften your outfit with a billowy blouse or a simple cashmere sweater.

Bold Reds

Nothing says holidays like the color red. It also happens to be one of the sexiest colors. Crimson pieces, like a classic Azzaro dress, may be your go-to outfit for holiday shindigs, while the deeper, oxblood hue is great for everyday wear.

Fur

If you’re going to splurge on one thing this season, make it a luxurious fur coat or vest. Some of the best finds are in vintage shops where you can score real or faux goods. Fur is a stand-alone piece that looks great with an LBD or a pair of fitted jeans. I chose this one from Asos Marketplace -

Textured Knits

From chunky cable knit sweaters to textured jackets and capes, textured knits are seen everywhere this season, and for a good reason – they keep you warm on those chilly winter days. A traditional sweater works great during the day with jeans and fun accessories. For night, glam it up by trying a more structured knit jacket.

Silk Trousers

Strong, sexy, stylish and soft. With a tailored fit and in a variety of prints and colors, silk trousers take a modern spin on the classic pants and shirt look. From high end designers to high street fashion stores, these super luxe pants are everywhere, so you’re bound to find a pair that is within your budget.

Scarf

From chunky snoods and wild prints to pashminas and dainty silks, a fun, warm scarf can be your best friend this season, adding interest to your outfit and keeping you warm.

Go-To Hat

Having a bad hair day? Don’t worry. A big hat will hide it and instantly make you look glamorous. Complete any look with a floppy or wide brimmed hat.

 Estate-Sale Earrings

Whether they’re handed down to you from your grandmother, a great steal at a vintage boutique, or a fun pair from a trendy shop – it doesn’t matter where you get these over-the-top statement earrings from, as long as you have a pair. This statement accessory adds a touch of glam and style to any outfit.

Thanks to Patti for the advice, all I need to do now if find all these things!

Nicole @ beaufrog

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