…for far too long!
Well it’s December! And I get very excited in December. I never thought this blog would have stuff like this on it, but below I’m showing you why I have not been cooking… I’ve been obsessively making Christmas decorations!
There will be a couple of recipes winging their way to you very soon, but I thought I’d excuse my absence with a little bit of paper folding, and decking of halls.
Little Paper Wreaths
1. Take millions of pieces of paper (use quite sturdy paper or they fall apart) cut into 8cm x 4cm strips (or if you want to make bigger or smaller just make sure width is half length)
2. Fold them in half lengthways, then widthways
3. Then fold down their corners so the open side is facing up
4. Now take 8 little bits and with the open side always facing up, slot the pointed ends into the open pockets of the tops (make sense? see illustration below if not!)
This was an unfinished project from last Christmas, I got so bored making decorations last year that this one sat on my desk looking mournful for a further 12 months. That is why I start so early in December!
1. Get a wire coat-hanger and bend it into a circle. Bend the hook around to form a loop.
2. Wrap the whole thing in something pretty (tape, ribbon, raffia, golden thread spun by angels?!)
3. Now make your baubles. You will work out how many you need as you go along: I used 3 different sizes for mine and I was left with 1 spare at the end; not sure how that happened.
4. Get some circular things to use as templates (cotton reel, bracelet and jam lid were mine)…
5. …And some nice paper. I used printed out William Morris textiles, and tracing paper (translucent and sturdy, perfect!) for the white ones…
6. …And some stiff card.
7. Use your template to cut 8 circles of paper per bauble (you can do 8 at once if you stack or fold the paper, just be careful to keep all the circles the same size otherwise you’ll have to trim later… If you are American, you will probably have a fancy circle cutting stamp gadget.)
8. Cut out one circle of the stiff card per bauble too, this will be the flat back piece .
9. Fold the paper circles in half (if you are using a coloured paper with white on the other side fold so the colour is on the inside of the fold)
10. Now get sticking. Glue an outside half of a circle and then stick 2 circles together matching up the the straight folded edge. Continue until you have all 8 circles attached but leave them open as if in a fan shape with a flat bottom.
11. Continue making your half baubles until you have enough to circle the entire wreath. Trim off any white bits from imperfect baubles as you go.
12. Now decide what order you are putting your baubles in, and attach them by gluing one half to your stiff card, slipping it over the coat-hanger, and then gluing the other half so it is attached with a flat back and a bauble fan on the front. Continue until all are attached, they will hold each other in place.
Then make a stylish 80s ribbon (or not) and ta daaaaaa! Wreath.
This was the easiest project in the world.
1. Buy 50 felt balls on ebay
2. Thread them onto about 10ft of red embroidery silk.
3. Tie a loop at each end.
4. Hang up.
More paper baubles…
This one isn’t finished yet so I’ll put up better pictures later…
1. Get an old book you have read twice by mistake and were going to give to charity because it wasn’t very good either time around
2. Pull out about 12 pages and use a circular template again to cut out circles.
3. Fold each circle in half and gather all 12 together (this is important as it helps keep you stitches straight)
4. Thread a big embroidery needle (anything smaller won’t get through the paper, but make sure it isn’t a child safe embroidery needle as this will be totally blunt, you need a good sharp point) with a long piece of black thread. Don’t measure out the total length you want to achieve or you’ll get in a tangle. Use just enough so you can get about 3 or 4 baubles on
5. Now sew along the folded middle of your 12 circles keeping to the straight folded line… when you reach the end of the circle don’t cut the thread, just leave it and then when you have made your next set of circles, just start sewing again leaving a few inches in-between each bauble. When you run out of thread, just knot the end and cut and then start again threading through the last hole.
6. Fan out the individual leaves of each bauble starting from the centre until each page is evenly spaced. They have a tendency to ‘open’ on the sewn edge.
7. Carry on until bored.
8. String up along the bannister, or across a window, or on the kitchen ceiling and relish the fact that you can never mistakenly read that book again…
I feel like these craft ‘recipes’ read a little bit like Sue Townsend’s Adrian Mole when he writes his recipe for scones… “Make a tin greasy; bung it all in”