Christmas is meant to be about giving thoughtful gifts to those most important to you. I think there is no better way to make a present special than make it yourself; this way you can put a bit of your own personality and twist into it.
I received a wonderfully creative gift this year at a pre-christmas drinks from a good friend and editor of Nested Home’s sister blog, Holly. She bough a pretty old fashioned jar and layered it with all the measured ingredients I needed to make Christmas cookies. I say all ingredients, by this I mean all apart from margarine, egg and vanilla essence… layering these may be slightly more difficult. Cooking instructions were handwritten on an attached card.
The resulting gift rippled smiles across my face and I was quite touched by the time taken to create a gift special to me. It certainly inspired me and the next day I was sat on the living room floor creating some of my own. Within a few days I had two different variations; tall jars filled with sweets and larger jars with ingredients, similar to Holly’s original design.
They were so easy to make and I’m certain they too will bring their new owners a huge amount of joy; anyone with a sweet tooth would be delighted! This is what Christmas is all about so why not give it a go yourself?
Maybe it’s just me but I love buying the lottery tickets where you have to scratch off the grey block to reveal your fate. My mind races as I imagine everything I could do (or more likely buy!) with that extra cash; that Chanel dress, a holiday in the Bahamas, a new car, a new house…
I admit, it usually ends in heart-breaking disappointment, you win nothing, or worse, you win 10p. But, what if you could design them yourselves? Admitedly it would lose the ‘what if‘ factor, but then the prizes could be more fun.
For children, home-made scratch cards could be an incentive to tidy their room, gambling on whether they win a Mars Bar or a trip to the zoo. For couples, the concept could be a little naughtier but what a wonderful way of spicing things up. They’re also a great way to aid a secret Santa and can be the decider in an endless ‘what shall we do this weekend?’ saga.
I’m thinking about making a batch and keeping them in a jar in the kitchen – it’ll be an excellent perk-me-up on those rainy days when I just feel like a treat.
So after all that build up, how can we make our own? I found a handy blog post from ArtMind which gives a step by step guide:
Here is what you need:
Cardboard, a print-out of your lottery ticket, glue stick, sticky back plastic (contact paper), metallic acrylic paint (preferably silver) and washing liquid.
Method: (Note: the paper cutting was prepared beforehand so that part of the tutorial has been skipped)
1. Beforehand you print out a design that you want to be on the scratch off lottery tickets. If your printer can take thick paper you can print it directly on the cardboard and skip this part. If you do it in two steps, it is nice to get a fun color background paper and glue the design onto the card.
2. Then you take a piece of sticky back plastic and put it onto the design.
3. Mix some metallic acrylic paint with washing liquid. Try to use 1 part washing liquid and 2 parts of paint. Mix the substance.
4. Paint the plastic part on the ticket and let it dry. Make sure that the picture underneath the paint is hidden. Add another layer if this is not the case.
5. And then… scratch away!
Children are often at their happiest when given the time to simply scribble. Give them a packet of brightly coloured pens, a selection of paint and thrown in some glitter for good measure. Once the initial excitement has passed, the home settles to a gently hum of small creative minds. It may only last half an hour but that’s still something!
The thing is, these scribbles and random lashings of paint, often only clutter a kitchen fridge or pinboard. The sheer volume created can often mean a rotation system is put in place and memories are slowly hidden away in dusty attic boxes. What if there was a way of using your children’s creations to create your own form of art?
I came across a blog post on Putti Prapancha which gives a little incite into how adults can take control and create order in a sea of colourful imagination. Roopa re purposed her daughter’s drawings as Easter cards but the same can be done for Christmas and general art around the home.
Why not get creative with your shapes and creative something really abstract. I think this idea would work wonderfully with silhouettes of your children as they grow. Whatever your style, this is a great way to make more of your children’s art work.
As someone who will always be trying to travel my way through life, these lamps really appeal to me. I love travelling and have spent a great deal of time and money backpacking my way around the globe. This is such a simple yet inexpensive way to infuse my passion for all things globe-trotting in my home.
This idea got me researching other creative ways in which a traveller can display their passion across their home. Here’s what I came up with:
A few weeks ago I spent an afternoon at Highclere Castle in Berkshire, the set of the very popular British TV series, Downton Abbey. I spent the majority of the time captivated by the ceilings, resulting not only in severe neck ache but also inspiration. The intricate paintings were beautifully framed by cornicing and medallions and got me thinking, how could I make art out of those?
Once home, I began my hunt on Google and found this image on Apartment Therapy.com. Now that I see it here, it seems such a wonderfully simple idea. Why strain your eyes and ruin your neck to see these beautifully detailed pieces?Made to be painted you can keep it simple with muted tones that don’t distract from the detail or maybe even be a bit creative and highlight certain points . I’d far rather have these on the wall than the traditional plates.
These medallions are very detailed and quite old fashioned in style, a reason why I love them. However for the more modern home you could try a contemporary design. I found a great selection on UK Home Interiors ranging from the traditional through to art deco and contemporary. Whatever your style, this is a creative and artistic way to decorate your walls.
I love finding ways of getting creative with what most consider to be rubbish; I’m also a big fan of a saturday night in watching XFactor and eating take-a-way pizza, who isn’t?! So, when I came across this blog post from Home-Dzine I just had to re-post it. Great idea!
Here’s how to make the most out of your old boxes
You will need:
Pizza boxes – small, medium or large
Wallpaper, wrapping paper or fabric
Bostik spray adhesive
Craft or utility knife
Double-sided tape to mount onto wall
1. Cut a sheet of paper so that it is bigger than the box and will fold nicely over the sides.
2. Spray the back of the paper and the front and sides of the box with Bostik spray adhesive and leave for five minutes.
3. Place the front of the box on the paper, making sure to position in the centre, and press down.
4. Use scissors to cut all four corners diagonally.
5. Fold over two opposite side. Don’t fold all the sides over just yet as you need to create nice, neat corners.
6. Fold the edges/corners of the sides that you have just folded over onto the other sides – as shown left.
7. On the other two corners, trim the edges straight and then spray adhesive onto the corners that you have just folded over. Wait for five minutes.
8. Now fold the other sides onto the edges.
9. Use a craft knife to cut away any excess at the back.
10. Hey presto! Done.
I apologise sincerly for the title of this post but it had to be done.
I found this image on Pinterest and I am still working out how these wonderful little lights have been made. It is such a creative use of the simple egg carton! I think they look like seed pods or dried leaves, definitely one for the Autumn home!
Any other creative ideas for fairy lights? Let us know and we’ll post them up!
I am a great one for recycling old items and giving them a second chance to shine. One of my favourite things to do this with is picture frames. Littered around my the walls of my little London flat, I have old recycled and mismatched frames, sanded down and painted black for effect. It makes a really interesting display of your favourite images and definitely fuelled my inspiration for other things you can do with old picture frames.
It’s amazing just how versatile old frames can be. Start going through the loft and raiding local car boot sales, it’s time to get creative. I think I am going to run out of wall space thanks to this picture perfect post!
Tea and coffee tray
Make sure you find a sturdy frame for this. All you need to add is a pair of handles, either from your local DIY store or a car boot sale and hey presto, a unique and ever changing tray. I like the idea of framing interesting, vintage wallpaper.
Frame within a frame
If you want to get a bit more creative with photo montages then this is for you. A pretty sizeable outer frame is required but the effect is really nice, bringing all the inner items together. I also love the way colour has been used here to match the frames with their surroundings. Simple but very effective in creating a fresh and clean design.
Shake it like a Polaroid picture
An old frame works really well here and complements the rustic approach. If you can’t choose which images you like the best or are a bit of a Polaroid hoarder, then this is the solution for you. As I apply to both those categories, I am now looking for a spare wall of my own to do this with!
Last but not least why not make your very own underwater world. I love this and best of all no fish food is required. The slightly faded wallpaper is a nice touch so it would be worth while shining a light on the frame or even simpler, white washing the square of wallpaper behind the frame. Trying using a different type of frame for different rooms; a bright frame would work equally well in a kids room!
As the evenings gets darker and the woolly hat creeps out of the box above the wardrobe, I find myself on a mission to keep a little bit of summer in my home.
In my quest I recently came across this DIY paper lanterns post from Martha Stewart and am now determined to create one of my own. Look out for pictures soon!
It is so simple and can be used to bring those bright summery colours back into any winter home; they almost look like flowers. Great for a baby’s room. Why not play around with the concept yourself and post your pictures below. It’s easy, cheap and helps light up any rainy British evening.
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