It is certainly starting to feel a lot like Christmas as the nights draw in and there is a distinct nip in the air, even here in Cornwall, where the weather is generally mild.
I'm very excited that our lovely shop in Mount Edgcumbe will be getting a festive look this week due to the hard work of a talented interior design student from Plymouth College of Art. Look out for more about her ideas, which might be transferable to your home in another of our journal articles closer to Christmas!
Sustainable Christmas Ideas
Earlier this year we joined the SME Climate Hub, an alliance of organisations that are working towards an emission-free economy. Running a sustainable business has always been important to me and the whole Helen Round Team.
If you’re a regular reader of our journals, you may know that our Eco Collection was originally developed to use up off-cuts from other products, all of which are made locally in our Cornish studios. This is an important and fast developing part of our business.
With the principles of reuse and recycle in mind, I thought it might be fun to share some ideas with you for unique home made Christmas cards and some fabric Christmas ornaments, using natural materials which could transform your home!
You can use any fabric scraps that you happen to have spare or you can buy plain and printed linen offcuts from us here.
These fun ideas are suitable for anyone and you don’t need specialist skills or equipment. It’s something you can have a go at during the evening or at the weekend.
Christmas Tree Card Using Linen Scraps
This makes use of the edges of fabric (selvedges), which are a by-product of the pattern cutting in the studio. Each selvedge is about 1.5 cm wide, so you could use strips of fabric 1.5cm wide if you don’t have selvedges available.
You will need:
- Fabric strips of about 1.5cm in width in contrasting colours
- Sewing machine (or sew by hand)
- A4 card, folded to A5
- Glue to stick fabric to card.
- Cut the selvedge ends into equal lengths, roughly as wide as you would like your tree to be at its widest point.
- Lay one selvedge edge overlapping another and sew together in a straight line. No need to be neat here at all.
- Keep layering and sewing until you have a square piece of material, big enough for your tree motif.
- Using a template or just your eye cut a triangular basic tree shape with fabric scissors.
- Sew roughly around the edge of the triangle shape to avoid it from unravelling and to add to the home made feel.
- Fold an A4 piece of card of your choice in half.
- Using a hot glue gun, PVA or fabric glue, attach the triangular tree shape motif, just below the centre mark of your card.
- With a marker pen, pencil, crayon or glitter pen draw a star or angel on top of the tree. Add more stars if you like, have fun!
- Add a quote or simple statement to your card.
- You could use the same approach for any Christmas motif. Go wild!
Christmas Decorations From Fabric Scraps
Depending on your interest and skill level, you can come up with all sorts of different approaches to making Christmas decorations. We've offered some very general advice and some visual ideas and we'd love to see your creations.
You will need:
- Scrap Fabric
- Cut out Christmas shapes using our patterns or your own ideas. Lay your linen with the print (if any) facing up and place your pattern piece on top. Trace around the pattern and cut out the fabric.
- Embroider or embellish fabric before stitching. You might want to add beads, trimmings or buttons.
- Once embellished lay the printed or embellished linen face up.
- Lay the plain linen on top and pin the two pieces together around the edge.
- Sew around the edge of the fabric approx 0.5cm from the edge. Don't sew all the way around, leave a small opening.
- Trim away any excess fabric on the corners. Remove the pins and turn the fabric the right way through the unstitched gap. Poke out the corners using a pen.
- Stuff with plenty of wadding or scrap fabric. Turn in the unsewn opening and stitch in place. Now sew on your loop and ta dah - you've made a simple Christmas Decoration that's kind to the planet.
You can use any pattern you like!
Make by hand, or use a sewing machine and run a few up each day to hang on your tree. Use fabric scraps to stuff each decoration.
For full details of how to make these fun, homemade Christmas decorations you can download instructions and a free pattern by signing up to our newsletter here.
I hope we may have inspired you to make a few Christmas ornaments or cards this year. It's a perfect wet weekend activity for all the family. Please feel free to pass on these ideas to your friends and family.
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