Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Handmade Christmas Decorations - Some Ideas

I love Christmas! I love everything about it from buying and wrapping presents to cooking Christmas dinner. And there's nothing I like more than decorating my house with all kinds of festive ornaments. I have a very eclectic mix (I can't resist buying what I like, I'm not disciplined enough to stick to colours and themes!) ranging from old, and slightly tatty, favourites from childhood, to brand new store bought decorations and of course lots of hand made ones too.

Here I thought I'd share some of the decorations I've made for myself and love to take out year after year to make it feel like Christmas. These are just some of the ones I've made (it gets quite addictive; or I make them to sell at fairs but they never leave the house) with some ideas on how you could make some too.

Heart Garland

My handmade Christmas heart garland
I made myself this garland a couple of years ago when I was stuck at home in the run up to Christmas with Whooping Cough. I didn't feel like going shopping for decorations (nor did I think other shoppers would appreciate witnessing one of my coughing fits!) so I made quite a few for myself with what I had in the house. These little hearts are made from Christmas coloured fabrics, stuffed and finished with bows and buttons. A hanging ribbon then holds them to a length of cord and little jingle bells are spaced between them.


I've since made these garlands in different sizes and colours with various decorative features and they now also hang in quite a few peoples' houses. Not bad for a garland made from scraps I had!

Gingerbread garland

My handmade felt gingerbread garland 

I love gingerbread men (and women!). They always look so festive and cheery. When I wanted to make a garland for the rail across the top of the stairs last year they were my first choice. I used felt to give a bright and homely look choosing a gingery colour for the people and hearts and festive red, white and greens for the candy canes and holly leaves. The people are made simply by drawing around a gingerbread man cookie cutter twice, decorating one side with ribbons, bows, buttons and white embroidery thread then using blanket stitch to sew the two sides together. The gingham ribbons hold them on a length of cord which I then covered with felt holly leaves and big red buttons to look like berries. It took quite a while to make but I think it's definitely worth it!

Felt hanging decorations

Felt's a great fabric to work with as it's easy to cut, doesn't need hemming to stop it fraying and comes in an incredible range of colours. That's why I make so many decorations out of them! These hanging decorations are made in a similar way to the gingerbread men above but are stuffed to make them 3D. They hang from virtually every handle in my house at Christmas - doors, cupboards, drawers...


I also have them in lots of festive shapes including Father Christmas, puddings, snowmen, stockings, gifts, baubles, reindeer ... and they're just the ones I can see while sat here writing this!  You can let your imagination run wild with them as they also look great in more simplistic shapes which are easy to sew. 

Cross stitched pictures

When I used to have more time (and patience) I used to love doing cross stitching. I have quite a few decorations and pictures that are stitched but this little elf getting ready for Christmas is my favorite. It was part of a larger pattern of Santa's workshop which was then made into a stocking, but I didn't have the time to complete the whole project so I just took part of the pattern to make this picture. 

Well, there are a few of my handmade creations, I hope they inspire your Christmas crafting too!



Monday, 9 December 2013

Fun Themes For Weddings

I was very excited earlier this year when Brides Magazine (the UK's biggest selling wedding magazine!) sent me an email asking if they could have samples of my gingham favour boxes that I have for sale in my shop on Etsy.com. They said they'd like to photograph them for possible inclusion in their magazine, so I popped them in an envelope and posted them to the magazine. They were returned with a thank you note and since then I've been waiting to see if they were included in the magazine... and they were! The January/February issue came out last week and my little favour boxes are in there!

gingham wedding
Pink Flamingo's favour boxes in the latest issue of Brides magazine

They appear in the 'We heart details' pages where there are themes set out for weddings with products to match. My boxes are featured in the 'Gingham a go-go' theme with lots of other fun items to create a crafty and homespun look.

And this got me thinking about other fun themes and finds for weddings. So here I've put together some of my own picks for an interesting theme for the big day.

rainbow wedding

Rainbow Wedding

1. Paper Heart Garland £18.73 Ant n Frog
2. Butterfly Confetti £6.00 Decoraland
3. Set of 12 Place Cards £6.76 DMGE Shop
4. 50 Favour Bags £12.51 Marry Me Vintage Irish
5. Roses Cake Topper £26.27 It Tops The Cake
6. Personalised Wedding Invitations £7.51 The Parchment Place

woodland wedding

Woodland Wedding

1. 100 Flower Seed Wedding Favours £93.82 Fairy Land Bazaar
2. Floral Crown £21.89 Roses and Lemons
3. Love Bird Cake Toppers £21.27 Blossom Hill
4. Wood Cake Stand £44.66 Dalias Woodland
5. Wedding Thank You Cards £40.66 Starboard Press
6. Favour Bags £15.64 Moonflower Nature Art