Right, I am not going to tell you how tough life is at the moment, so let's look at some ways to save a little bit of money over the Christmas holiday, which means this week we will make gift bows, candle holders and place settings.
Firstly the gift bows, you will need:
An old map book (charity shops are brill for these) or magazines - or double sided paper
Cut out 9 strips 3/4" wide and 11" long (about the length of a magazine page), then cut an inch off three of the strips and two inches off another three strips.
Fold the strips into a figure of eight and staple them together.
Lay the strips on top of each other and pop a tiny bit of glue in the centre of the strips.
Now repeat this for the next two groups of paper, leaving one of the small pieces aside.
With your left over small piece make a loop, trimming off the excess and glue it together holding it in place with a paper clip.
Pop the final loop into the centre with a dab of glue and there you have a cheap and cheerful bow, this looks brilliant if you wrap your gift in either newspaper or brown paper. If anyone challenges you either raise your eyes and mutter global warming or ask them if they do not understand irony and look disappointed!
Now, onto the candle holders, I first used these for my first Christmas dinner in my house and over 10 years later I still use them! You will need:
Empty jam jars
Stencils or pastry cutters and cardboard
Wash the jars, dry them and put the lids somewhere safe.
Use the shoe whitener pad to create decorations, just using it on its own without stencils and the circles will make a flower. Or if you are getting small children to do this when they are on hols, just dobbing the foam top of the whitener over the glass will look like snow. If you do not have any Christmassy stencils then use your pastry cutters to create some by tracing them onto the card and cutting them out. Pop the stencil against the glass and dob the whitener onto the jam jars.
I put these all over my dining room to light it for Christmas Day, they look lovely with the tea light candle behind them and the great thing is that you can wash them after and use them for jam. The other good thing is that the candles are really safe in the jars especially if you have ever suffered from a tea light flaring up, but do remember to always snuff out candles if you leave a room.
And finally, an idea that I had for place mats, which I will be making for myself later and will post pics... using mirror tiles (I found these at Wilkinsons for £4.95 for four) make sure that the edges are rounded/bevelled as I do not want to be sitting with you in Casualty on Christmas Day. Cut out four small squares in felt and glue them onto the corners so that the tiles do not scratch your table. Stencil or paint a decoration in acrylic/poster paints around the edge or in just one corner. Now as we are being very thrifty, you will be able to wipe the paintwork clean and recycle them for Easter, Thanksgiving, birthdays and other special occasions.
Now off you go and take a look at Handmade Monday to see how all the other crafters are preparing for Christmas.