Decorations To Remember

This week’s blog post is a little late due to that pesky Covid.  I was going to do a post on a fun decoration I’d made as gifts for a couple of friends but have been unable to deliver them due to being suddenly upgraded (or is that downgraded?!) to Tier 4, which is essentially another lockdown.  Since the recipients don’t have their gifts, I can’t post about them!  So instead, I’m focussing on Christmas tree decorations.  First though, I finally got my wreath made for the front door.

Do you have a colour theme for your tree? Ours is predominantly red and gold but not exclusively!  Wherever we are, if we spot a nice Christmas decoration, we get it to add to the collection.  I love unpacking the decs each year and having the memories of where they were bought.  I’ve got ones made from Fimo by my sister about 30 years ago, a Smurf Santa from when I was a kid and collected those Smurf figures, ones given to me by old neighbours and lots of homemade ones too. Our tree is lightly decorated this year due to the kittens.  There’s nothing breakable on there and nothing below the bottom 18”!  It still looks lovely though.

These ones are purchased decs.  Clockwise from top left: angel from Monaco, moon and star from a French supermarket, pebble cat on a heart from a local lady (Em’s Pebbles) and a metal tree from the Netherlands, accompanied by my gold ring felt ornament.

These are a selection of some handmade decs.  Clockwise from top left: sequinned pudding (on a polystyrene ball), cross-stitched Tigger mini cushion, piper piping felt ornament and a clay heart sent by our wedding venue the first Christmas after our marriage.

My latest felt decoration, again from mmmcrafts, is a Santa.  Mrs Claus is almost done but is alarmingly headless at the moment. I must try to get her finished before Christmas Day! 

mmmcrafts has just released a pattern for some elves so hopefully they’ll make an appearance next year too.

Wherever you are in the world and whomever you’re allowed to celebrate with, here’s hoping it’s a happy and healthy Christmas.

Christmas Tree Skirt

Whilst your decorated artificial Christmas tree may look stunning, the stand usually doesn’t, by virtue of it having to be practical rather than aesthetic.  I used to just lay sheets of cotton wool ‘snow’ around mine but then heard of a tree skirt and set about making my own.  We have two trees so I made one with Christmas trees on and one with snowman.  Here’s the snowman skirt.

A friend was admiring the skirts and asked where I’d bought them and subsequently commissioned me to make one for his tree.  His daughter then admired that one and requested one of her own so I thought it’d make the perfect Christmas project for the blog.  So, if you fancy having a go at making your own, here’s how I did mine.

First, draw a circle that will cover the legs of your stand plus an extra inch or two for the seams.  Cut out a section so that the skirt will form a cone shape and then cut this out from your main fabric and backing fabric.  I divided my paper template into 3 pieces and sewed them together to save on fabric.  You may also need to divide the template into more pieces if the pattern on your fabric is directional.  Remember to add extra width for seam allowances!

Now is where you can go wild with your decorative elements!  My friend wanted Christmas trees so I drew out a tree shape, divided into three tiers, as I wanted to use different fabrics.  I traced around each shape and the trunks 5 times onto Bondaweb and roughly cut them out.

The beauty of Bondaweb is that you can then iron your shapes onto your chosen fabrics and cut the shapes out precisely.

I then peeled of the backing paper, revealing a layer of fusible adhesive web, and placed my trees onto the skirt base, ironing them in place to secure, ready for quilting.  The quilt sandwich was stuck together with Odif 505 temporary adhesive and formed using polyester wadding and another piece of fabric.  It doesn’t really matter what fabric it is as it won’t be seen.  I like to reuse old bed sheets (washed, of course!) for this purpose.

Using a satin stitch on my sewing machine, I quilted around the edge of each tier of the tree and around the trunk.  This makes the trees puff up and adds lovely texture.

Once the appliqué was complete, I sewed on 3 rouleau loops onto one side (for the buttons) and then sewed on the backing using the bagging out method, turned right side out and top stitched all around the edges.  Finally I hand stitched some rope trim around the edge, gold stars on the trees and some covered buttons to hold the tree skirt in place.

Flower Shadow Box

At the end of last month, my in-laws celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary.  I had seen these box frame projects on Pinterest and wanted to make one in reds and purples since traditionally 40 years is a ruby anniversary.

To begin, I downloaded a flower file and cut it out on my Cricut.  It was a bit large to fit under the glass but a good practice.  After scaling it down to fit, I then cut out 25 flower templates in a mix of red, pink and purple card.

Flower templates cut from Stampin’ Up! card in Real Red, Lovely Lipstick, Melon Mambo, Cherry Cobbler, Blackberry Bliss and Rich Razzleberry

Using my bone folder, I gently curved the first 3 petals and then, using my tweezers, started rolling up the petals.  Once rolled, I released the tension slightly until the flower was the right size and then glued the base on with my hot glue gun.

The next stage was to cover the back of the shadow box with white card and then glue the flowers in place.

I used Cricut’s Design Space to make my vinyl decal, which was stuck onto the front of the glass, and then assembled the box frame.