Entries Tagged as 'Christmas decorations'

DIY advent calendar

It’s that time of year – time for my annual DIY advent calendar.  Since I shared my mini forest DIY advent calendar last year, I have had so much love for it.  It even got featured in Marie Claire Maison. Wow!  So this year the stakes were high – I’ve also had readers asking me months ago what I was going to make this Christmas!

I went through a few DIY advent calendar ideas but in the end I loved the idea of making santas and their little elves.  Aren’t they so Christmassy and cute?  I chose different sizes as they not only look great but also allow me to put different size gifts under each one.   I love making my annual advent calendar to share here and inspire others but also it’s Anya’s favourite part of Christmas by far.  She adores the little surprise that each day brings and that makes making my own advent even more special for me.

diy advent calendar

To make this DIY advent calendar you will need:
24 craft cones in different widths and sizes
acrylic paints (in your chosen colours)
a fine black pen
mini felt balls
number stickers

advent calendar to make for childrenmake your own diy advent calendar

First of all get your cardboard cones and using a pencil mark out the outline of the hat area and face for the santa cones.  Also mark out the little face area for the elves.

Next paint the santa hats in your chosen colours, paint the beard bit white and the face bit in a skin tone colour – I used an acrylic paint colour called antique white.  Similarly paint the elf cones and their faces. Some colours will require two coats for a better finish otherwise the cardboard will show through.

Using a fine black pen draw on little eyes for both the santas and the elves.  Glue the felt balls on to make santa’s noses and thats the cones done.  Either use number stickers to number the cones or you can even paint or write them on.  Finally, add little gifts, notes or whatever you like under the cones and you have a super cute advent calendar.

DIY advent calendar for kidsDIY advent calendar santa

What I especially love about this DIY advent calendar is that it’s simple enough for kids to make.  Just get them the cones and they can create and decorate the santas as they wish.  Also once the advent calendar has been used, you can easily turn these santas and elves into hanging Christmas tree decorations.  Do you make your own advent calendar?  I’d love to hear about what you make.

{I bought the cones on ebay but they are easily available from craft shops as are the felt balls.}

"four easy Christmas crafts for kids"

Christmas is the perfect time for crafting.  It’s cold outside, the holidays are on and so it’s a great way to keep the kids entertained.  My preference is always for quick and easy crafts.  Anything too involved and I find that the kids patience wears thin and the crafts don’t get finished.  So with that in mind I’ve picked four fun and colourful crafts most of which come with free printables too.

1.  How cute are those printable Christmas crackers?  The printable templates also come as blank ones so they’re great to give to the kids and let them decorate as they wish.

2. I’m loving these playful DIY birch Christmas tree ornaments.  For these you will need to buy the birch rounds or improvise with something else like thick cardboard.  And then decorate as you wish – with stickers or drawings or both.

3. These printable tree and gingerbread pouches come undecorated so you can print on to colourful paper or plain paper and decorate.  These shapes can be used for so many things – storing little treats, making hanging ornaments, gift tags and so much more.

4.  A cute little printable geometric snowman that even comes with a hat.  This little snowman can be used on it’s own as a decoration or if you print quite a few, it would make a super cute table decoration on Christmas day.  You could even use it for place names – just write each persons name on the hat.

Have a great weekend all!  Enjoy the happy, cheerful, festive atmosphere which is the thing I love the most about Christmas.

P.S. Today is the last day for UK Christmas orders from our kids clothing shop.

"best alternative DIY Christmas trees"

The weather’s turned freezing, we are well in to December, lights and decorations are popping up everywhere; that can only mean one thing – Christmas is coming!  As I’ve been busy moving house, I haven’t really gotten in to the Christmas spirit but now I fully intend to.

With the chaos that a house move brings and moving to a home that needs complete refurbishing getting a Christmas tree isn’t going to work out this year.  Anya looks forward to decorating the tree each year so I don’t want to disappoint her and besides I want to have a little festive corner so that we all feel a bit more Chrismassy.  I thought instead of a real tree we can make our own alternative tree which Anya can help with.  That’s my plan for the coming weekend so I’ve been collecting ideas for alternate Christmas trees which are also great if you have limited space or some of these ideas are perfect for creating a little Christmas corner in your kids rooms too.  I especially love the simple washi tape Christmas tree (no. 2) which you can create so easily in any room of your home.  And aren’t those brush trees (no. 7) a great idea too?

Here’s where more about each tree: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

"Easy Christmas DIY crafts"Here are 4 fun and most importantly easy Christmas DIY projects that I found around the web.  Those giant baubles are just the best!

1. Giant baubles: made from balloons, this is such a fun DIY and I can’t wait to try it.  2.   Character cookies: a tasty looking treat and the kids can help decorate too.  3.  Snowman ornament:  a quirky take on a traditional snowman, perfect for kids to make and hang on your tree.  4.  Elf ornaments: cute little tree hangers that can be stitched but for the easy option just print out the paper versions.

"7 things I love about Christmas"

There’s so much to love (and possibly hate too) about Christmas.  I like to focus on the  good things and so here are the 7 things I love the most about Christmas:

1.  Sitting round a big table and eating an even bigger meal stretched out over hours with your closest friends and family. 

2.  Sparkly, twinkly lights everywhere you turn.  Makes everything feel magical and if I had my way, I would have lights throughout the dark Winter months.

3.  Decorating a tree or just decorating your home is fun but watching your kids do it is even better.

4.  Cookies, cakes, sweet treats in abundance… what’s not to love?!

5.  Snow… this of course isn’t ever guaranteed but I always dream of a white Christmas.

6. Hot chocolate especially the Italian kind.

7.  The endless craft possibilities that Christmas brings – from the little decorations that Anya brings home from school to the fun of getting creative with your gift wrapping.

What do you love about Christmas?  I would love to hear about your favourite things. 

Image credits: one | two | three | four | five | six | seven

mama & baby…

November 1, 2012

"sad santa book for christmas"

This week’s picks for mama and baby… with Christmas coming, let mama decorate with these colourful glass baubles while baby reads all about *Sad Santa

It’s 1st November so I think it’s time to start talking Christmas.  I will be bringing you lots of gift ideas for kids over the coming weeks but for the first time I will also be sharing some gift ideas for mama’s.  Apart from gifts, you’ll also find some fun Christmas crafts and lots of pretty decorations in the next few weeks.  I hope you enjoy them all.   In the meantime, you can always browse previous years Christmas gift ideas.

* Via Design work Life

Thinking pink…

October 5, 2012

"pink toys and pink party food"

My daughter turns 4 in a couple of months and I asked her what kind of party she would like.  Her answer, without a seconds hesitation was ‘I want a pink party’!  So, a pink {and white} party it will be.  I’ve been searching the web for ideas to create a tasteful pink party and I have found many like these cute bunny cookies.  The plan is to have lots of white in there too, to balance out the pink.  I’ve started putting together a pink party inspiration board on pinterest and if you’re on there you’ll know just how fun and perfect pinterest is for something like this.  So that was the inspiration behind today’s post.  I’m seeing pink everywhere and thought I would share a few things I’ve liked in the last few days; some are party related but others are just lovely pink things.   I hope you like them too and have a wonderful weekend wherever you are.

1.  Adorable bunny cookies with fluffy little tails… 2.  A cute owl poster for a kids room… 3.  A cool pink wooden tank toy that even I feel like playing with… 4.  Neon and wood mini elf decorations for Christmas or any party.

"free christmas gift tags to print"

Christmas is nearly upon us and I haven’t even started my shopping!  I’m really panicking now.  But what I have got sorted is some lovely Christmas gift tags.  I rarely buy Christmas gift tags because there are such fantastic ones available to download for free.  Many talented kiddy designers create tags every Xmas and all you have to do is print and cut.  Here are 4 that I’ve liked so far:

1.  You may know Camilla Engman’s work if you’re a regular reader as I have featured her before.  But in case you don’t, she’s a super talented designer from Sweden who creates art and more for kids and adults too.  These lovely gift tags are her creation and also the 4th one pictured (with the cute little characters) is by her.   To download these Christmas gift tags, head to Studio Moran.

2.  I liked both the simplicity of the buttons tag and the quirkiness of the reindeer girl one.  And the raindrops and star ones are nice too, especially to adorn an adults gift.  I found this over at a blog called Ginger & George where you can print them for free.

3.  Last are these simple but beautiful tags with drawings by one super creative dad called Joel.  I’ve featured Joel and his projects a few times on my blog so you may already know him.  But if you don’t, Joel makes crafts, toys and little projects for his kids and all his projects are pretty awesome!  Head to Made by Joel for these cool gift tags.

P.S. You can also check out some fab free gift tags by Haciendo el Indio and some birdy ones by Wee Birdy.  I featured both last year but they’re still available for you to print and use.  And before I go, a big THANK YOU to all of these designers for giving us such lovely tags for free.

UPDATE DEC 2012:  For more free Christmas gift tags, check out my latest selection.

"christmas decorations for kids by maileg"

It’s December!  Where has the year gone?!  But the good news is that we can officially start being all Christmas-y now.  With that in mind I thought my first post of December has to be about Christmas.  And I’ve picked these Christmas decorations by Maileg that will delight both adults and kids too.  On offer are hanging pigs, cones and candy cane but my favourite has got to be those adorable hanging pixies.  How can anybody resist them?!  Maileg are a Danish company who are best known for their little matchbox mice which are fantastic and so sweet too.  But today it’s all about these fun decorations which you can get at Amstrong Ward

P.S. Have you seen our Christmas 2011 gift guide for the kiddies?

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