A Christmas Craft Wreath with Toadstools & Felted Holly

The last few years we’ve been able to take part in a pre-Xmas home ed day doing lots of Christmas crafts but this year it just wasn’t on the cards any more (sob, sob) and so I had to make a wreath all on my very own. I’ve been meaning to get round to trying something suitably ‘me’ for a while and never quite had the time. This year I managed, as one of the very few crafty things I did do, to make it happen and I was properly thrilled with the result. It arrived on the door horribly late on in the run up to Xmas, but it did make it. Hurrah.

Yay. This years wreath is a keeper. It's late but it came out just how I wanted it :) #craft

The only fresh purchase in this was the willow wreath from The Range for £8 but everything else came from home. The pine cones are all ones that have been attached to Xmas trees we’ve bought in the past (from the days when we had a fake one) and the berries normally sit in with pomander oranges to make them look pretty (but we didn’t have time to do them this year). The toadstools, which like the cones have wire at the bottom of them, I bought in the post Xmas sales at Van Hage a few years back and have been winking cheerily at me from the craft box ever since. The bells had been in there too and with a bit of coercion, I persuaded the girls to help me felt some holly leaves. I had a bag of green bits from something we did a few years ago and using a holly leaf biscuit cutter as a frame, we made various leaves in different tones, wired them together with berries on wire (no idea why I had those) and then glue gunned them into place. The bells and some pine cones also needed fixing with the glue gun.

I have to say, I’ve very proud of the result. It will definitely come back out again next year.

Bene’s Christmas Stocking.

 

Last year I made Bene his very own Christmas stocking; as a January baby he was just old enough to enjoy unpacking one with some help and I wanted it to be special to him, not just bought off a peg. I have a vivid memory of the girls wanting to buy Freddie a stocking ‘ready for next year’ and looking at all the ‘First Christmas’ ones and I hated the idea of going out an negotiating all of that; I just knew it would be too painful. Besides, I had an urge to make one – the girls are all deeply attached to theirs and won’t let me replace them with home makes so Bene was my last chance. And I had plenty of felt fabric!

iPhone March 2013 340First I drew round one of the girls stockings on red felt and then I cut out the appropriate dark green add ons to make it look authentic. (I actually can’t think if I did those for both sides or if I was shockingly lazy and only did one side). I stitched the inner edges of the green bits with a decorative line of red stitches to make it look pretty before gluing them into place. Then I did blanket stitch all around the edge. Top TIP: start by going across one side of the top of the stocking first, then go round the stocking and finish off by doing the second side of the opening at the top. If you are clever, you’ll get it done all in one piece of thread. Maddy designed the train pattern to match the ‘Bene Express she woodworked for him when he was born. She glued it all on to the cloud shape, stitched around the outside edges of the main shape to give it some definition and we stuck it in place. Just perfect.

The Bene Express made by Maddy & his favourite @bigjigstoys train.

Considering hew is now totally and utterly obsessed with trains – and in particular all his lovely BigJigsRail, I think he is going to be very pleased to see it back out again.

Last year it was filled with toys like these.

iPhone March 2013 545We love our Haba Baby Toys; they feel wonderful, look gorgeous and keep little people happy for absolutely ages. I didn’t wrap most of his (I think I folded some in tissue paper) and he enjoyed just diving in and helping himself. This year I think he will be in full mental present opening mode pretty quickly. It’s going to be good to have a toddler in the house for Christmas again this year. It’s been a long time. Too long.

It’s December and the crafts (might) come out.

Something tells me that I’m not going to see nearly enough of my children this December to pepper the blog with Christmas Crafts. I’m sorry about that; it used to be the highlight of my year to call a halt to maths and english and science on December 1st and crack open the great box of Christmas Crafts I’d bought and hoarded ready. We had such a lovely time in December 2009; snow on the ground, my brother here, me heavily pregnant with Freddie and loving the enforced quiet and togetherness while work ticked along without me.

But they are all big and at school now and Bene is just a bit too small for me to have patience for that stuff yet but too busy wanting to try everything for me to be able to craft with him doing something alongside. Next year, next year I will get back to being a crafty blogger. Simple Crafts misses me and I miss it but I just haven’t had time to do it justice this year.

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However, this year I will get one last chance to enjoy a few days of home ed alongside all my nearest and dearest friends as two of the girls, Bene and I head off on an HE camp that was booked before they started school. Last year I took felt and fabric and the adults crafted together while the kids played (not sure that was totally the plan but it worked); I made a snowman (Bene wasn’t going to let me do much else!) and various friends made very beautiful things too. I don’t know when I’ll get another chance at a camp, so I really hope I get to enjoy this one.

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If all else fails though, my trusty Christmas Crafts Pinterest board is still there. It’s a popular one and it is stuffed full over a good few years worth of great ideas from around the web. Enjoy.