Christmas gifts of the day: Collectable Christmas baubles

Collectable Christmas baubles | H is for Home

Collecting Christmas baubles is such a lovely hobby to have. Each year adding to your stash, each one having a story behind it – the place it was found, the person who gave it as a present. They could be vintage, hand-made or limited-edition. Nice ones are worth investing in as you should get decades of use out of them. Unwrapping them each year must be such a pleasure. And as they’re not permanently on display in the home, they retain a special attraction and fleeting magic… just like a white Christmas itself!

  1. SCS Christmas ornament, annual edition 2016: £49.00, Swarovski
  2. Authentic Tiffany & Co. Crystal Christmas tree holiday ornament: Etsy, £61.73
  3. Christmas 2016: ‘Iconic Cup and Saucer’ blue tree decoration: £12.50, Wedgwood
  4. 2016 Gift set, heart, ball, bell – palladium plated: £48.00, George Jensen
  5. Stieff Shaun The Sheep decoration: £79.95, Harrods
  6. ALESSI five-piece Christmas bauble set: £49.95, Selfridges

Dressing your windows for Christmas

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Christmas decorations around a front porch

Image credit: Crazy Frankenstein

The way we dress our homes for the holiday season is a big part of the Yuletide fun. Showing others that you’re taking part in the celebrations is a great way of joining in with the festive mood.

Metallic baubles hanging in a windowImage credit: Harpers Bazaar

Where to start

Whether yours is one of the many luxury new homes around the country or an older period property, there’s nothing more off-putting than dirty or grimy windows at any time of the year. So, the best place to start is to make sure your windows are sparkling clean inside and out.

The next thing is to decide if you want to decorate just the insides or make the most of the outside of your windows as well. Obviously this will come down to practicalities as in many cases it might be difficult to get to outside windows that aren’t on the ground floor.

Fir tree snowflake Christmas window decorationImage credit: Britt Willoughby Dyer

Materials

If you can put decorations outside it’s a good idea to let nature help you. You can use holly or other similar classic natural winter greenery which you know can withstand the outdoor conditions.

If you plan to use lights or other electrical equipment outside it is essential to check that they are suited to the purpose and will pose no threat or danger in wet or windy conditions.

Colourful Christmas stockings and decorations hanging in a windowImage credit: Impressionen

Indoors

Whatever the size of your windows, let your imagination run wild!

There are many ways you can decorate the inside of your windows – have some fun with it.

If you have a property with old fashioned windows such as sash windows – you can make them look great with just a little fake snow and glitter. Carefully applied in the right way this can result in a really authentic, classic Dickensian Christmas card look.

More modern windows with large panes of glass can provide a blank canvas for a whole range of ideas. Spraying glitter materials through stencils or other cut-outs can work just as well as using elaborate and potentially expensive lighting set-ups.

Christmas tree in a corner in front of windowsImage credit: Better Homes and Gardens

Tree

One thing that can’t be beaten for maximum effect is simply placing your Christmas tree in front of the window. This not only means you can leave curtains or blinds open to show your neighbours how lovely your tree is, but it also gives you some privacy too.

Christmas is a time of fun and festivity – so get involved this year!

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Salt dough decorations

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salt dough Christmas garland with red hearts and white stars

We spent some time this week putting up our Christmas trees and decorations. We’ve got a glistening artificial copper tree on the top floor and a real spruce on the ground floor.

salt dough ingredients

In addition to some shop bought baubles, I decided to make some home made Christmas decorations using salt dough, just 3 cheap & basic ingredients were needed. Plain flour, table salt and water – in easy to measure and remember volumetric quantities: 2-1-1. Two parts flour, one part salt, one part water. Measure out your mix using any cup, spoon, scoop or similar container depending on how much dough you want to whip up.

salt dough cut out shapes

I used cookie cutters to make a few different shapes – stars, crescent moons, hearts, medallions. Before you pop them in the oven, don’t forget to use a skewer to make a hole in each if you want to hang them on your tree or wall!

salt dough cut out shapes

I’ve seen instructions elsewhere on the ‘net that you can use either an oven or a microwave on its lowest setting to dry out your dough. I used both methods to compare & contrast. The microwave method was very quick –  this batch was done in about six 1-minute bursts. The oven method was much, much slower – about 4 hours at 110°C/225°F/Gas mark ¼. You can see the difference between the two methods in the photo below – the microwave method made the shapes puff up (unevenly); I prefer the way the ones made in the oven turned out.

cooked salt dough cut out shapes

I had a few bits & bobs of shiny, crafty things stashed away that I thought I’d use to embellish – glitter, ribbon, beads and sequins.

cooked salt dough cut out shapes with craft materials

I even had a spray can of gold paint – I can’t remember where or when I bought that – but it came in handy!

spray painted salt dough cut out shapes

We have a copper Christmas tree that these will look great on!

gold painted salt dough Christmas decorations

But my favourite salt dough decorations I made are these two garlands – very Scandi!

Salt dough garland

We’ve just gathered some lovely holly with nice red berries on one of our dog walks – and our garden is full of ivy with the most beautiful seed heads that look exploding stars. That will bring seasonal nature indoors and provide the perfect finishing touch.

olive green dotted horizontal line

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Christmas is coming!

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vintage rocking horse in the Christmas decorated shop window of Picture House Antiques in Todmorden

In addition to our web shop we have an antiques centre pitch.

vintage Christmas decorated shop window of Picture House Antiques in Todmorden

Following  Bev & Tim’s efforts, it’s now looking wonderfully Christmas-y.

vintage Christmas decorated pine dresser in Picture House Antiques in Todmorden

There’s a lovely tree and other festive decorations.

Christmas tree and vintage Christmas decorated shop window in Picture House Antiques in Todmorden

The window looks fab…

vintage Christmas decorated shop window in Picture House Antiques in Todmorden

…with its selection of traditional vintage toys including board games, teddies, dolls and a gorgeous rocking horse.

vintage toys and games in Christmas decorated shop window in Picture House Antiques in Todmorden

Do pop by if you’re in the area – you may just find that perfect present!