MAKE YOUR OWN ADVENT CALENDAR

Today is the 1st day of December. The 1st of December!!! Which means that there are 18 more sleeps until Star Wars: The Force Awakens!! I can’t wait!!!!
Oh yeah, and 24 sleeps to Christmas!
Make your own Advent CalendarThis year I wanted to make an Advent Calendar to help with the countdown to Christmas at home, to build it up more and, to be honest, to blackmail the kids into being on their best behavior for the month. Oh yeah, mother of the year and all that… that’s me…
Make your own Advent CalendarI wanted to make something simple but pretty. I decided to use 4 different patterns with just a couple of materials. Nothing complicated.
Advent Calendar - making the felt patternsI made Christmas stockings and mittens from felt and I made parcels with toilet rolls and wrapping paper.
Advent Calendar - making the parcelsOnce I had all the parcels together, I added the numbers with washi tape and I hot-glued them to some red ribbon.
Make your own Advent Calendar -Make your own Advent CalendarIt will definitely help with the build-up to Christmas.
24 sleeps. 24 treats. All waiting for them right there, on the wall.
Make your own Advent Calendar - 3This month is going to fly.
Are you ready for it?
Chaotic Itzi

BAUBLE WREATH

If you follow me in Instagram, you will know that 2 weeks ago we had painters in the house. As they were painting different rooms around the house, we had to move furniture, boxes and general stuff from room to room. I wanted to take this opportunity to clean and de-clutter the rooms so everything is taking that bit longer to go back to normal and most of the Christmas decorations are not up yet.

Christmas bauble wreath2

When it comes to decorating, I am of the opinion that less is more and Mr B tends to agree with me, but when it comes to Christmas, he thinks that more is definitely more. As he likes going over the top with the decorations, my job is to try to do more in a subtle way (tone it down, basically).

We don’t have many decorations up yet. We have the tree and the sitting room decorated, some decorations around the kitchen and outside, a little tree in the play room and the Christmas cards in the stairs (you can see them here). Obviously this is not enough, or so I have been told. We still had a big bag of baubles that hadn’t been used and Mr B kept looking at it with poppy eyes, so I decided to use them before he took matters into his own hands and we would end up with baubles hanging from every handle, light and frame.

I wanted to make a wreath to group all the baubles into one single decoration that would have the necessary impact to satisfy Mr B’s need for more, and my sense of less. This wreath is easy and quick to make and it adds colour and fun to any space so it’s definitely my kind of project.

Get a wire hanger and try to make it as round as possible. I used a football.
Once the hanger is round enough, use some pliers to undo the top of the hanger and to try to make it as straight as possible. Don’t worry if it’s not straight, it really doesn’t matter as it will be covered with baubles.
Wire hanger to make a bauble wreath
Opening the wire hanger to make a bauble wreath
Decide what colours you want to use and, after removing the string from the baubles, start feeding them into the wire. I would suggest to feeding them from both sides so you have more control as to what it looks like.
Selecting the baubles for the wreath
Feeding the baubles into the wire hanger
Once all the baubles are in, use the pliers to hook the two ends again. As the baubles will make the wreath quite wide, make a loop with the top of the hanger and turn it on it’s side so you can hang the wreath from it and it will be out of sight.
Close the top of the hangerTurn the hook on its side
To hide any bits of hanger visible at the top of the wreath, I used a bow and some decorative wire.
How to make a bauble wreathChristmas bauble wreath
I am very, very happy with the result.
I think it is a good compromise in the decorative front.
What do you think?

Chaotic Itzi

DISPLAYING CHRISTMAS CARDS

We all love receiving Christmas cards, especially from people that you don’t get to see that often. They are a lovely reminder that they are thinking of you and that you are loved
.Christmas tree with cards

At this point, I have to admit that I am not very good at sending Christmas cards. I used to be. I used to be very organised, serious and diligent. I would make a list of friends of family and they would be sent by the 15th of December. But everything changed 2 years ago. My eldest monkey started receiving Christmas cards in school, every day, consistently. So then we had to go out and buy 24 cards for all his friends. As he could not yet write,  I would have to chase him, get a list of all his friends, and write all the cards. From a child who can’t write, to children who couldn’t read. It’s the sentiment that matter, right? Then last year, when he could write his own cards, I had to write them all for Chaotic Monkey’s friends and school mates. So after buying 50 Christmas cards, making lists with the children, making sure that all their friends are included, I end up “carded out”. So apologies to all my friends and family, you know you are loved and that we are thinking of you. I just can’t do more Christmas cards. But enough about me!

Christmas cards have become part of the Christmas decorations, we like to display them in different ways somehow organised so they can be appreciated and cherished. Nowadays there are many gadgets that you can buy to display them but I think something hand-made is always more special.

This Christmas tree is very easy to make and it is a lovely and fun way to display your cards.
You need to decide how tall and wide you want your tree. I decided to “install” our one on the stairs wall so it would be visible when you come in to the house.
Get a long piece of string and secure it with some tape on the wall where you want the top of your tree to be. Let the string hang down.
How to make a Christmas card display
Now you need to decide how tall you want the tree to be. Once that has been decided, measure the same distance from the string to each side and mark the spot with some tape.
How to make a Christmas card display 1
Join all three points of the triangle with twine and that will make the outline of your tree.
How to make a Christmas card display - tree shape
Start securing cards inside the triangle with some tape alternating sizes and colours. Small cards are perfect from the bottom corners and a long one would be perfect for the top.
Making a Christmas card display
You can fill the gaps with some small decorations – no tree would be complete without some decorations.
Remove the tape and the string, take a step back and enjoy it.
Christmas tree with Christmas cardsChristmas tree with cards
You can use this system to make any shape you want, a star, a mini tree, a present with a bow on top…. anything you want!

Chaotic Itzi