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December 2016

Home  |  2016  |  December

3D Christmas Star Decoration DIY

Its almost the end of Advent but that doesn’t mean we can’t still make lovely crafty decorations and get festive, find our collection of random treasured decorations and make cards, gifts and plan for the Christmas holiday! This paper craft project was taught to me by my Danish Aunt Mona when I was about 12 years old and has remained a seasonal favourite. its pretty simple but a little bit fiddly… a great project to make with friends. I’m super happy to be passing down a family favourite with you all this year!

3D Christmas Star Decoration DIY

You will need:

Paper strips from Tiger or Sostrene Grenes

Scissors

Needle + Thread

SAMSUNG CSC 1 – Lace your 4 paper strips together.SAMSUNG CSC

2 – Roughly tighten the ‘mill’.SAMSUNG CSC

3 – Fold back one length of strip of 4, then fold back one length of strip 3….SAMSUNG CSC

4 – Across 4, fold back 2 across 3, fold back 1 across 2, then push it under strip 4.SAMSUNG CSC

5 – Fold strip 1 over into a point.SAMSUNG CSC

6 – Next fold down into a triangle.SAMSUNG CSC

7 – Push the strip under 4, but take care! It can be difficult to get behind the strip. SAMSUNG CSC

8 – Repeat with all four arms of the ‘mill’ until they are all points.SAMSUNG CSC

9 – Turn over and repeat on the other side.SAMSUNG CSC

10 – Lift up a strip and thread the adjacent one loop around and thread under the strip you have lifted.SAMSUNG CSC

11 – Pull strip through until a start point begins to pop up! Turn your start 1/4 anti clockwise and repeat this lifting – looping – threading method to create 4 points on each side.SAMSUNG CSC

12 – Trim off the excess length of paper…
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13 – thread your needle and sew through one corner of each star.
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14 – Display in your favourite spot at home or in your studio!
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Why I Choose A Handmade Christmas

For many years I have chosen a handmade christmas in part or full. Most years I have good intentions to start creating gifts for my nearest and dearest around October but then December comes and I have to speed things up a little to catch up! I wouldn’t say panic, but my plans become a little less elaborate that’s for sure! I guess its easier for me to go on about why a handmade Christmas is such a brilliant thing because I am a maker… so it just makes sense. But for those of you who are new to the idea or less confident in your creative skills there are still a wealth of simple and lovely projects to make to get you started on your creative christmas journey. You never know by next year you might look forward to origami decorations and knitted sock making!

I thought i’d just bullet point a few of my favourite things about creating a handmade christmas in the hope that inspires you to think about even the smallest things you could do.

Thrift and consumerism Lets start here – I am OVER the bombardment of adverts and consumerist BS trying to sell us pointless, useless stuff that has been created from the latest fad trend which will be yesterdays news as soon as the January sales begin. Don’t get me wrong I love a little treat now and again, but as a creative small business owner I have gotten used to working with and supporting small business and seeing from start to finish how thoughtful and beautiful hand crafted items are created. So in short I just cannot support this crazy consumerist trend of buying for the sake of the latest must have gift. It puts so much pressure on families to earn more, spend more, work more and more. more more more. Don’t even get me started on giving gifts because you received a gift! In short I’m sure I am preaching to the converted but it just feels like this time of year can quickly become about retail rage and money stress. Lets not support that craziness, save some of our hard earned pennies and try and find small ways to stay happy, healthy and calm this holiday season! Rant over :)

Mix things up

Why not keep the cost of gifting down this year by setting yourself a small budget for those in your family you need to buy something for and thrift or make gifts for the other nearest and dearest on your list? My Mum for example is desperate for a new pair of slippers that she can take the dog out in the garden in every morning – I can’t make those so have bought her a pair, but the rest of her gift is going to be handmade. You see!

Pop into your local charity shop and see if anything exciting catches your eye. Not only are you supporting a local charity and keeping your costs down, but you literally have no idea at all what you might find! Last year I got a couple of amazing retro board games for my best friend and avid collector and said games came to £2!

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Personalise your treasure

Making a small item is a super easy way to personalise a hamper or stocking. You can add a message or paint their initial on the item making it special just for them! Buy a sweater and add patches or fun cat shaped pockets, order some blank notebooks and print with ink stamps on the front, cut out triangles in some old fabric and make a string of bunting with their favourite saying on it… there are some fun and simple things to make with a little crafty skill.

Joy/sentiment

Sentimental gifts are always a little extra special aren’t they. And they can also be super sweet and cool too! For example, do you have a stash of family photos or are you an avid IG’er? Try and sort out a few snaps and create a mini photo album for a loved one! My friend Ollie makes sure that every christmas he goes through his phone photo albums and Instagram feed choosing his top snaps from that year and prints and sends a couple in a lovely little card to all his besty’s as a reminder of the adventures we have had together. There are plenty of apps and websites where you can get photos printed cheaply in a high quality.

Connecting with like minded creative’s

If you are part of a local creative group or FB forum why not ask what everyone else is up to this year?! You can share tips and ideas with other novice crafters’ and support each other though the trials and tribulations of project making on a tight deadline! Why not organise a craft social and take your xmas gift crafting projects along! Again get advice or just spend an afternoon or evening crafting along to fun festive songs with a mulled wine in hand.

Value in time

When you hand make a gift you are investing your skill but also your time… and we all know that more often than not that is a rare treasure in itself! Choose an item that’s simple and lovely that you can take to your day job and work on in your lunch break! If you have an hour a day that’s ample time to have several yarn or paper goods finished in a week. Failing that I find that crafting along to a box set is an amazing way to manage my xmas crafting time! I have challenged myself to create one item per 1hour episode this year…. ha so far i’ve had mixed results!

Crafting on the commute… follow the same rules as above, choose a small simple item with few materials, pack all your bits into a tote bag or carrier and pop it in your bag and go.

Warning – make sure the programme you choose isn’t too scary/tense or has subtitles because this will most definitely throw you off task!

one of a kind

I can guarantee that even if you decide to choose the most pinned handmade gift project on Pinterest, no one will receive the same lovingly hand crafted item that you are about to make! Crafting has its own hand writing… each person has individual nuances that distinguish their work from someone else’s. And thats the beauty of it! So scroll that board and pick a couple of lovely projects to try.

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supporting local makers

This year I became an Etsy team leader in my home town Nottingham and have been so lucky to meet the most amazing bunch of craft and creative small business owners. So where possible I have tried to buy items from them. There are so many christmas craft fairs going on around the country so now is most definitely the time to hop on board the #buyhandmade #buylocal wagon. And if you can’t find what you are looking for at the fair or market you visit you could always try Etsy! Or just supporting the local makers you have met by sharing their store’s and websites with your friends and family. Every little helps! And with the handmade community going from strength to strength now is that time to find some cool and up and coming designer makers to support.

A great way to spend a winters evening

Back to basics… what the giving season should really be about is community, family, loved ones and feeling grateful for the abundance of things and opportunities we have. Right?! I love spending a cosy evening at home planning and making little treats and gifts for the awesome people in my family and friendship circle. So grab a pom-pom maker, fresh cup of tea and cosy down on the sofa for an evening of crafting… there’s list of gifts that need finishing!

Everybody loves a jar of something home made

If all your best efforts fail or this year you simply do not have the time or brain power to try creating a handmade christmas… you could always try making a pan of fruit or savoury chutney with simple ingredients on a Sunday afternoon, popping it into some (clean) jars from your recycling box and writing the name of your bestie, college or gran on a label then sticking it on the front. Brownie points for tying a ribbon around the top! I used this recipe as a basis for my hampers last year and added a few little extra spices etc. It has turned out great!

Before I get back to it, here are a few things that I have created this year that are perfect stocking fillers for those of you looking for handmade gifts. I am excited to be designing new items for my Etsy store Jan 2017. You can also find lots of inspiration and projects over on the Super+Super Pinterest account!

If you are looking for inspiration or to connect with crafters on IG or Twitter try using the following Hashtags #handmadechristmas #buylocal #buyhandmade #DifferenceMakesUs #craftyxmas #favehandmade #diygifts #etsyUk