It's 11 days till Christmas and my tree is up!
That is absolutely unheard of in my house. Growing up we'd always get the tree a few days before Christmas eve and put the decorations up together. I don't remember ever doing it before we broke up for Christmas holidays. But this year I've been enjoying slowly gathering lots of bits and pieces and decorating the house a little more mindfully.
On Saturday afternoon I dragged a pretty little tree home from Brixton, huffing and puffing all the way. Had I not also picked up three rather cumbersome branches that were being thrown away by the guys I bought it from I probably would have been fine but I arrived home rather sweaty and seriously questioning my sanity.
It was worth it though because I managed to make my first ever wreath, all from things I foraged in my local area.
I have three really easy Christmas decorations you can make that are all ethical and don't have any crappy plastic!
I made this wreath without a frame, the base is made from ivy vines stripped and twisted into (almost) a circle.
I then clipped the pine branches the tree guys gave me. Using just the bendy ends not the main branch I wound them around the ivy vines. I had to use a little string to attach them at the top but nothing else.
I went out that same evening at dusk and clipped some holy (the ivy vines) and some other branches and vines I found around in the park.
These I just pushed the pine branches through and made sure they were stuck into the base vines.
Finally, I added some dried oranges (how-to below) and a piece of ribbon I already had at home.
It's amazing the things you can find when you look around. I'm always surprised by how much nature the centre of London has to offer.
If you've never been out gathering and foraging don't be nervous. As long as you are respectful to both nature and people's front gardens you'll have no problems!
Dried Orange Slices
Another first for me was drying orange slices.
They are incredibly easy and make for a stunning, easy way to decorate I tied some to my wreath with string and I've also hung some on my tree and all over the house. They smell amazing and look really lovely.
All you need to do is cut a few oranges (I also used a grapefruit) into slices about 1/2 an inch thick and pop them on wire oven racks. Put them in the oven for 2-3 hrs at about 70 degrees celsius.
Check they aren't going too brown although I really like them a little bit brown around the edges.
I know paper snowflakes are a little bit tacky, so forgive me because I love them.
I use brown packaging paper that is recyclable and you can always keep them for next year if you're careful with them.
There are plenty of guides and templates on Pinterest for how to cut them. If you head to my Pinterest and follow my Christmas Making board you can see some. Once you've got the idea with one or two that you like it's really easy to improvise a little.
A little tip, use a craft knife if you've got one to avoid bruising your thumb with the scissors!
I hope this inspires you to get a little crafty this Christmas. It only takes a little extra effort and time.
I suggest getting a glass of mulled wine or a hot chocolate and settling down with Netflix on in the background for an evening of Christmas making.
Let me know how you get on in the comments or through the buttons below.
Until then, go wildly & slow