How to Decorate the Perfect Christmas Tree

The Christmas lights have been turned on in town for weeks, and now everyone is asking the same thing: “Do you have your tree up yet?” For some, decorating the Christmas tree is a highlight of the year; for others, it’s a bit of a faff. To make the process as enjoyable and simple as possible, we’ve put together the ultimate guide on how to decorate a Christmas tree!

Select Your Tree

First things first: what kind of tree do you want? Real or artificial? A fir or spruce? If you’re going with an artificial, do you want a traditional green, or something a little more daring, such as white or purple? Do some research: some real trees shed more and some artificial trees look more real than others.

Also, know your measurements! Bring a measuring tape with you when you go to buy your tree, and take note of your ceiling height beforehand to make sure the one you buy fits in the room!

Find the Right Spot 

So you’ve found your perfect tree. You’ve just about got it inside, and you find yourself scratching your head wondering where to put it. This is important. Do you want it where you can see it as soon as you walk into the house? Maybe in the room where you’ll be having Christmas dinner? Or perhaps even in your bedroom?

Whichever room you decide on, place it somewhere away from any vents, open flames or heat sources – to stop it drying out and shedding too many needles or catching on fire! Also make sure it’s not crammed into a space it doesn’t fit.

Once it’s positioned, spend some time opening out the branches. If you’ve opted for a real tree, it may take up to a day for the branches to fall properly. If you have an artificial tree, carefully spread out the branches and make sure there are no gaps. If there are, just twist the tree so the fullest side is facing the busiest part of the room. 

Create a Theme

This is where you can start getting creative. Whether you like sticking to tradition, or you’re a Merry Maverick, your Christmas tree should show off your personality.

Think about what colours would look good together, what kind of baubles you could use, what colour lights you like. Decorating your tree is no different to getting a new piece of furniture; it should suit the space. Reds and golds are a classic, whites/silvers and blues give a snowy, clean look, and black decorations with white lights can give a classy, elegant feel.

Start Decorating!

Lights first. Before you put them on the tree though, plug them in to make sure they work – there’s nothing worse than realising they’re broken only after the tree is decorated. Once you’re sure they work, start at the top of the tree and nestle the lights into the branches so as to hide the wires. If you’re unsure of how many lights to use, the general rule of thumb is ‘the more the merrier!’

Next come the decorations. Start with the centre column of the tree. Put plain, simple baubles nearest the trunk. This will set the colour theme and give the tree depth. Place any expensive or fragile decorations nearer the top. They will draw the eye to the top of the tree, and will protect them from any children or pets that may be tempted to play with them!

Lastly, a finishing touch: the topper. Traditionally, this would be a star, to represent the star that led the Wise Men to the stable, or an angel, to represent the Angel Gabriel. Crowns are also very popular. However, there are endless choices. If you’re looking for a less religious option, birds, such as owls or peacocks, add a beautiful flourish to any tree. 

Cover the Base

Complete the look by hiding the base with a wicker basket, handmade patchwork quilt, or a tree skirt. It will not only dress up the stand, but also catch any needles, saving you the pain of trying to get them out of the carpet in January. You could continue the decorating, and add a train set around the base of the tree, or maybe surround it with some wrapped presents. Place some cushions or a soft chair next to the tree to make the perfect reading nook on those cold winter evenings.

Get Everyone Involved 

If you have children or young family members, give them their own part of the tree to dress how they wish. Or, why not make a party of it and invite some friends over? Make some mulled wine or hot chocolate, play some music and games, and start the festive season as you mean to go on. Not only will it make the whole process more enjoyable, but as the saying goes, many hands make (Christmas-)light work. 

Keep It Safe

Decorating is fun but it’s important to be responsible, too. If you’re buying an artificial tree, make sure it’s fire resistant. Opt for LED lights as they don’t heat up as much as traditional lights, and they can save you some electricity bills.  If you’re using extension cords, avoid having more than three plugs in one unit at a time, as having too much power draining from one outlet can be very dangerous. Also keep all power sources up and away from the tree base to stop water coming into contact with the power source. Finally, do not leave small children or pets unattended with the tree!

Creative Ways to Display Your Christmas Cards

If you’re anything like me, you’ll have received a bunch of beautiful Christmas cards by now, but they may still be in a pile on the kitchen table! I love that my family and friends put in the time and thought to send me cards, but they often end up in a mess. Not this year though! I’ve put together a list of the best ways to display Christmas cards and, in the spirit of the season, I’d like to share it with you! 

Christmas Fairy Light Wall

Putting up a Christmas tree can be a mammoth task. Untangling fairy lights, baubles rolling away on the floor and tinsel going absolutely everywhere. Ditch the mess this year and just decorate your walls instead. When you finally untangle the fairy lights, hang them on your wall using some blu- tack or sticky tape in the shape of a Christmas tree and hang your cards between the lights. 

Greeting Card Ladder

Decorate the sides and rungs of a ladder with some tinsel or fairy lights and place your cards along the rungs so the front of the card is horizontal. To put cards on the sides of the ladder, use some sticky tack. Alternatively, hang a string from top to bottom and attach the cards using wooden clothespins.

Rustic Christmas Card Holder

Find an old piece of wood you have lying around or a wooden pallet and sand it down to avoid splinters. Once it’s good to go, hammer some nails into the wood and wrap some twine around them (like the fairy light wall, you can make shapes with this). Grab some mini wooden pegs and start attaching your Christmas cards to the twine. Finally hang it on your kitchen wall or place it against a table or mantlepiece.

Book Christmas Card Holder

Do you have some old books lying around at home? It’s time to put one of those spare copies to good use! First, remove the front cover from the book and fold each page in half to the centre of the book. Next, open the book flat so both the front and back pages are touching the table with the pages fanning out. When it’s finished it’ll look something like a Rolodex. Stick your cards into the slots created between the folded pages, and there you have it, a book Christmas card holder.

Across the Mantle

This is one of my favourite Christmas card display ideas because it’s so easy! Keep it simple by putting your cards on the mantlepiece. But that doesn’t mean it can’t look festive and eye-catching. Place a garland with fairy lights across your fireplace and add some cards with mini wooden pegs. This is also ideal if you’re running out space to stand cards on. You could also add cute decorations like pine cones, lights and bows!

Let us know your favourite ways to hang or display your Christmas cards below!

Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas & How to Wrap Them

Christmas is the season of giving… and eating! These homemade Christmas presents are sure to go down a treat with the foodies in your life. Who wouldn’t love to find a homemade chutney or an infused oil under the tree? Plus you can make them even more special by presenting them in personalised gift wrap. So let’s get started!


Make Your Own Gingerbread

Nothing says Christmas quite like the smell (and taste!) of gingerbread, and it also makes a wonderful present. For something a bit different, why not turn it into a fun do-it-yourself gift. This idea is really simple to put together and has serious wow factor!

Simply layer up the dry ingredients from the recipe below into a jar or even one of Zazzle’s personalised mason jars. Then attach the full recipe to a label or gift tag. All your recipients have to do is add the wet ingredients and follow your simple steps!

Gingerbread Recipe

Dry Ingredients:

• 175 g plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
• 80 g light soft brown sugar
• ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
• 1 ½ tsp ground ginger
• 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon

Wet Ingredients:

• 50 g butter
• 1 small free-range egg
• 2 tbsp golden syrup

Method

Step 1: Sift the dry ingredients in this jar (flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon) into a food processor. Add the butter and blend until it resembles breadcrumbs.

Step 2: Beat the egg and syrup together, add to the mix and pulse until it clumps together.

Step 3: Remove the mixture from the processor and knead the dough briefly until smooth. Wrap in cling film and leave to chill in the fridge for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas Mark 4 and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Step 4: Roll out the dough to about 0.5 cm/¼ inch in thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut out gingerbread men using a cookie cutter and pop them onto the baking tray, leaving a little space between them.

Step 5: Bake for 12–15 minutes, or until golden-brown. Leave on the tray for five minutes and then move to a wire rack to cool down. Once cool you can add any icing or decorations!

If your recipients are not the best bakers, just make these yourself then pop them into jars or even favour bags for some pretty presentation.


Hot Chocolate Cones

DIY Hot Chocolate ConesIs there a better combination than hot chocolate and a roaring fire on a cold crisp evening? I don’t think so! This gift is great for children and adults alike and makes for a cute stocking stuffer too. Simply fill a cellophane cone about a quarter way up with hot cocoa or chocolate mix and tie with some ribbon or string. Why not add marshmallows, chocolate chips, or candy canes for an extra festive treat?


Homemade Winter Spiced Chutney

Homemade Christmas Chutney with Personalised Stickers

You’ll need to plan this gift ahead since the chutney needs a few weeks to reach premium tastiness. Pop your preserve into collected jam jars then dress them up with some Christmassy ribbon like this tartan design from Zazzle. You can even label your little pots with cute personalised stickers so everyone remembers who made them!

I use this recipe year in, year out because it has proven to be such a winner. So I can personally give it the seal of approval.

Chutney Recipe

750 g cooking apples peeled and chopped small
1 orange – zest, flesh chopped and juice
1 onion, chopped
350 g fresh or frozen cranberries
100 g prunes, chopped
300 g dried dates, chopped
400 g caster sugar
1 tsp crushed whole cloves or ground cloves
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
500 ml white wine vinegar
1 tsp salt

Step 1: Put all the ingredients (holding back the vinegar) into a large pan. Now, pour the vinegar over the top, and stir well.

Step 2: Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down low and simmer without a lid for about an hour or so until the mixture thickens like jam.

Step 3: Use a funnel to pour the mixture into sterilised jars and leave in a cupboard for 4-6 weeks to mature before enjoying!


Infused Olive Oil
Homamade Infused Olive Oil - DIY Christmas Gifts

This gift is perfect for the aspiring chef in your life. What’s more, it requires little effort and basic ingredients!

Simply place some garlic, chilli or rosemary into a bottle – whatever flavourings you fancy. Next gently warm some olive oil in a pan, being careful not to burn it. Then simply pour the oil into the bottle ready to infuse with what’s inside. Be sure to use a funnel to avoid a warm oily mess!


DIY Peppermint Lip Scrub

DIY Peppermint Lip Scrub - Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas

This isn’t exactly a food gift but it does have sugar in it so that counts as food, right? This is one of my ‘go-to’ DIY gifts as I always have the ingredients in my cupboard.

Just add two parts sugar with one part oil, add 2-3 of drops of vanilla essence and 3-4 drops peppermint essential oil to give the scrub a yummy candy cane taste.

Then scoop it into a little jar or pot and, voilà a super sweet sugar scrub! This is perfect for keeping your lips ready for the mistletoe!

So there you have it, my little assortment of homemade festive goodies. Now it’s over to you to create some Christmas gifts for your loved ones.

Fabric Advent Calendar DIY

As a child, I absolutely loved Christmas and as I have grown so has my enthusiasm! Today I’m very excited to show you how to make this fun fabric advent calendar DIY. There is something particularly magical about waking up each morning in December and opening a little door or pouch to find a treat. This homemade advent calendar is sure to fill your home with Christmas cheer. It’s also reusable so you can make it part of your family’s tradition and enjoy it for years to come.

Ready to make your own advent calendar? Let’s get started!

You Will Need:

  • Fabric (I used a few of my favourite patterns on Zazzle but you can use whatever you have to hand.)
  • A needle and thread or a sewing machine
  • 6 metres of ribbon or string
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • A safety pin

DIY Advent Calendar Materials


Step 1:
  Make a template out of paper or card. To do this just draw a 9 cm x 24 cm rectangle and carefully cut it out.

DIY Advent Calendar Template

Step 2: Now, pin the template to the fabric and start cutting! You will need to repeat this 24 times.

DIY Advent Calendar: Cutting out template

Step 3: The next step is to sew the bag. Start by folding over 1 cm on either end of the fabric to create a hem. Use a running stitch with a needle and thread or you can use a sewing machine.

DIY Advent Calendar - Sewing Each Bag

Step 4:  Fold the strip of fabric in half, making sure you leave the pattern on the inside. Now sew the sides, leaving a centimetre at either side, making sure to stop just below the hem of the top of the bag.

DIY Advent Calendar

Step 5: Next, thread the ribbon through the top hem. To make this easier, I use a safety pin, which I attach to the end of the ribbon and use it to pull the ribbon through. Do this on both sides of the bag.

DIY Advent Calendar : Threading Ribbon

Step 6:  Once the ribbon has been threaded, you need to leave about an inch on either side so you can tie a knot.

DIY Advent Calendar: Tie Knot

Step 7: Turn your bag the right way around and ta-da! You have yourself a cute drawstring bag. Repeat for the other 23 to complete your advent calendar DIY!

Advent DIY: Finished Pouch!

The Bags Were Hung by the Chimney with Care

I’m not saying that these have to be hung by the chimney, but the next step is deciding how you want to display your handiwork.

You could hang them on a string or even arrange them into a Christmas tree shape and use pegs to keep them in place. I found some cute numbered stickers to label the days, which you can pick up in a craft shop or even make your own. Other ideas include pinning them to a corkboard or popping them in a basket.

Advent Calendar DIY: Numbered Stickers

The Countdown Begins

Once you have completed your homemade advent calendar, the fun doesn’t stop there! Next, it’s time to fill those little festive bags with advent treats. As well as the traditional chocolate or sweet, I like to add an activity to each day to really make the most of the Christmas season.

Ideas of activities I have used:

  •       Read a Christmas story
  •       Tickets to see the pantomime
  •       Bake and decorate cupcakes
  •       A trip to the cinema
  •       Go and listen to Christmas carols
  •       Visit the hospital or old folks home with treats
  •       Go and see Santa
  •       Take family Christmas pictures
  •       Make Christmas cards
  •       Donate old toys
  •       Go ice skating
  •       Make Christmas decorations for the tree
  •       Have dinner out
  •       Bring treats to school
  •       Bake cookies for the neighbours
  •       Bring toys to a toy collection
  •       Watch a Christmas movie with popcorn
  •       Have hot chocolate by the tree
  •       Drive to see the Christmas lights
  •       A ‘stay up late’ pass
  •       Have a pyjama day
  •       Make a gingerbread house
  •       A trip to the Christmas markets
  •       Roast marshmallows
  •       Donate money and/or time to a charity


These are all just ideas, do what works for your family, of course you can double and triple up on activities such as ‘read a Christmas story’ or ‘watch a Christmas movie’ if you are short on time or on a budget. The main thing is to have fun and spend time together as a family making memories
.

DIY: Easy, No Sew Fabric Garland

If you’re hosting a party or are simply redecorating a room, you have to try out this simple, no sew fabric garland. It is the perfect piece to take a space from drab to fab! What’s great about this DIY project is that you don’t need a sewing machine or needles, you can use new or old pieces of fabric, it can be done in less than an hour and you can pretty much get started on it right away! Read on below to discover how you can create your very own fabric garland.

Here’s what you need to get started:

  • fabric (new or old pieces)
  • ribbon or twine
  • scissors

DIY Fabric Garland - What You Need

Step 1: Choose some lightweight fabrics that tie in with the colour scheme of your room or party. Choose between three and four different styles for a nice effect. Cut up your fabric into thin strips. My strips roughly measure 4 cm wide by 40 cm long, but choose whatever measurements you feel are best, or that suit that fabric you’re working with.

DIY Fabric Garland - Cutting Fabric

Step 2: Once you have all your fabric ready to go, cut a piece of ribbon to however long you want your garland to be, remembering to allow extra ribbon on each end to hang it up. Then loosely secure to your work surface with some paper weights so that it doesn’t move around too much when you’re knotting the strips on.

Step 3: To begin adding the strips to your ribbon, fold one fabric strip in half. Then from the top, slide the folded end beneath your ribbon.

DIY Fabric Garland - attaching fabric to ribbon

Step 4: Open the loop at the bottom and pull the opposite ends over the ribbon and through your loop. Then tighten the ends so they are securely in place on the ribbon.

Fabric Garland DIY - Loose Knot Picture

Step 5: Continue with these steps for each strip you want to add to the ribbon. Make sure to slide the strips close together  so there are no gaps. Also make sure to interchange between fabrics so that the designs are evenly spaced out. If you feel that there are gaps in the garland at the end, simply go back and add more strips where desired.

DIY Fabric Garland - Adding Fabric

Step 6: Once you have tied on all of your strips you can either trim the bottom of the strips for a neat look, or leave as is for a more rustic feel. Then you are ready to proudly display your new garland wherever you choose.

There you have it, a super simple no sew garland that is sure to impress! This little DIY is the perfect way to use up some spare fabrics you might have or is a great opportunity to pick out some new designs.

End the Desk Mess! How to Declutter Your Workspace

You’re back fresh and sunkissed from your holiday and ready to get stuck back in at the office, until you’re greeted by a scene of chaos… your messy desk. It’s probably the last thing you want to tackle what with all the emails and projects to catch up on. But a cluttered workspace can often create a cluttered mind, so we’ve put together our top tips to help you clear your space and increase your productivity and stay focused!

1. Commit to the Big Clean

Sifting through the office can seem like a huge task and it’s often we find ourselves putting it on the back burner. First things first, mark that date in to the calendar and make sure it’s on one of your less hectic days, like a Friday evening when the week is starting to wind down. Take a few minutes before you begin to close your eyes and imagine how you’d love your workspace to look and feel. Imagine a bright room, light colours and a sense of freshness to the air. Imagine how good it feels to have an open space, free from distractions for you to foster that burning creativity!

Custom Calendars

2. Ditch the Clutter

Letting go of all the items that you ‘might use’ will play a huge step towards creating your dream desk space. It’s time to recycle, donate or send to the skip anything that you no longer need. For any items that you’re completely unsure of, place them in a box for review in six months’ time and if they still haven’t been used, get rid! If you’ve recently finished one project and you’ve started into something new, pack away all of the items you’re done with. You can label your boxes with custom stickers or even stamps so you know where everything is. The less clutter left to sit in your workspace, the more organised and refreshed it will feel.

Custom Self-Inking Stamps

3. Dive into the Junk Drawer

Everyone be honest, we all have one! This is the time to tackle the infamous catch-all drawer head on. Compartmentalise your junk drawer into categories and sections. If this drawer happens to be part of your work station, store anything regularly used at arm’s reach. This also helps with freeing up open space on your desk. Hold on to that declutter mindset and let go of anything that’s old and no longer needed. I mean, how many dry ink pens does anyone need? Give your shelving and drawers a facelift with some paint and wrapping paper to line your shelving and drawers. Rather than throwing out old furniture, it’s just as easy to give them a makeover.

Custom Desk Organisers

4. Sanitise Your Work Station

You’ve finally ditched the clutter so, for your own sanity and health, ditch the dirt too! Clean down those walls and shelving, dust the cobwebs of the windowsills and wipe down your desk. A clean work area will also reflect on you, showing others that you’re calm, collected and on top of your daily work routine. Make sure to get those wipes out and clean the grubby keyboard and monitors in your area too. You could even make a new mousepad if yours is looking a bit tatty on your now sparkling clean surface. Also single out the bundle of cables around the room to untangle and label them going forward.

Funny Custom Mousepads

5. Declutter Your Desktop

Bring some order to the chaos of your computer, starting with your desktop. File away any documents you no longer use or refer to regularly. Send anything irrelevant off to the virtual recycling bin, eliminate those unnecessary sticky notes, archive any old emails, cancel out the completed tasks and update your to-do lists. Not only with you have a more desirable looking desktop, but you can now also breathe a sigh of relief when you go to find those all-important files on your PC!

Custom Post-It Notes

6. Proximate by Priority

With the deep cleaning tackled, it’s time to piece your workspace back together again. Organise your drawers, shelving, cabinets and storage based on priority and importance. Keep it simple for yourself and place the most important items at arm’s reach and work outwards from there like your precious Post-it® Notes. If there are items you don’t use every day but do come back to at different intervals, keep them close by without taking up essential desk space on your desk. For files you rarely refer to, sort them away in a cabinet or a filing system that works for you. Make your filing a bit more fun by customising your own file folders.

Personalised File Folders

7. File, Don’t Pile

Don’t abide by the filing cabinet practice in your office? Avoid papers piling up in the future and go paperless! Scan incoming documents onto your PC and virtually file accordingly. Not only will this save on paper, but you’ll never worry about misplacing important files on your freshly-cleaned PC and back-up on a USB key. You’ll also have so much more room in your office for air to circulate and energy to flow!

Custom Monogram USB Key

8. Partition Work and Pleasure

Whether you work from home or in an office, it’s important to minimise distractions to help stay focused throughout the day. Keep toys, gadgets, technology and the likes away from your workspace. Mobile phones can really diminish creativity. So, keep phones in a designated area and only take out when the time is allocated. This can play a huge part in keeping your mind on a particular task and hitting those targets! It also helps to separate your desk and dining space. Avoid working through lunch as much as possible and try sticking to lunch in the kitchen area. Rather than cleaning away crumbs and empty wrappers, save yourself the time and put it into reaching the end of a big project. Leaving your desk can also help refresh your mind and keep focus throughout your day.

Inspirational Quote Mug

9. Motivational Prints for the Mind

Freshen up your walls with some cool wall art prints and motivational quote posters to keep your energy up! Reuse an old frame for your new prints, choose a colour scheme that reflects the essence of your workspace. You can also create your own prints if you have a design in mind or a quote that keeps you inspired on a daily basis.

Motivational Quote Poster

10. Mark Cleaning into the Calendar

Cleaning is never any fun but we can honestly say that doing a little every day makes for a lighter load! Tidy and store as you go on a daily basis and take as little as ten minutes in the week to wipe down your area. Your work station will be fresh and clean for the next day’s work ahead and certainly makes for a much less gruelling task when it comes to the next big clean out! And remember to subtract before you add to your office. We all happen to hoard deep down, but with this simple trick, you can easily keep the clutter at bay!

DIY Tissue Paper & Glass Jar Lanterns

I recently decluttered my ever-expanding home and, in my bid to go green, I came across a cupboard filled with recycled glass jars. I figured what better way to make use of all this glassware, than to upcycle with trendy patterned tissue paper. Candles and ambient lighting can makeover any setting to create a cosy and comfortable atmosphere and add an idyllic but subtle touch to your home.

For this DIY I chose a cute cactus print, a memphis design and some pretty watercolour paper!

Here’s what you need to get started:

DIY Tissue Paper Lanterns - Materials

Step 1:  Gather a variety of glass jars to make a nice arrangement based on height and size. For a regular glass jar, one sheet of tissue paper per jar is plenty. Simply cut the tissue paper to the height and width of the glass jar.

DIY Tissue Paper Lanterns - Step 1

Step 2: Using your sponge brush, evenly paste the Mod Podge onto the outside of a glass jar.

DIY Tissue Paper Lanterns - Step 2

Step 3: Wrap the tissue paper around the glass jar to fully cover the surface and smooth out any air bubbles as you go. As this glass jar was round, I found it easiest to roll the tissue paper onto the outside of the jar, pushing out any air bubbles as I went. You can even cut the tissue paper into strips to easily paste onto more complex shaped jars. Once wrapped, trim off any excess tissue paper to perfectly join each end.

DIY Tissue Paper Lanterns - Step 3

Step 4: Apply another layer of Mod Podge to seal the outside of the jar and allow to dry until the Mod Podge is clear and no longer tacky to touch.

DIY Tissue Paper Lanterns - Step 4

I chose Mod Podge with the Matte effect but you can also opt for the Gloss effect if you really want your prints to stand out.

DIY Tissue Paper Lanterns - End Result

And there you have it! Discover designs to match your home interior and create your very own atmospheric lanterns with ease. If you’re trying this DIY at home, make sure to share it with us using the hashtag #zazzlemade on Instagram. We would love to see your creations!

Easy DIY Wedding Ideas To Impress

While a wedding is a wonderful and joyous occasion, it can also be an expensive one! By taking charge of some of the elements and some simple DIY wedding ideas, you can make big savings. I had the recent pleasure of helping a relative of mine with her wedding, which was truly special. So I wanted to share some helpful homemade wedding ideas to add some unique elements to your ceremony and venue. Not only will they cut down on costs, but also make your big day more personal and a stand out affair!

Fairy Lights

Adding fairy lights to your decorations can be a simple and cost effective way to add some sparkle and glamour to your wedding décor. Whether you have a blank wall to arch way to dress up, fairy lights can both brighten up a dark area and create a relaxing ambiance. If your wedding venue is full of architectural features that might often go unnoticed, dress them up by wrapping a few strings of lights around them and as the day turns to night, these areas will become prominent features. Curtain lights can also be the perfect way to create an Instagram-worthy backdrop!

DIY Seating Chart

Making your own seating chart is one of the simplest DIY wedding projects. With Zazzle you can create your own wedding seating chart poster that matches your wedding theme such as vintage, rustic or classic romance. The great thing about designing your own seating chart is that you can create it in your own time, edit it as seating plans change, and place the order when you’re ready. You can jazz up your seating chart by sourcing a blank antique frame from a second hand shop, and hang it in the entrance to your wedding reception for instant, cost-effective glamour.

Candles

At my relative’s recent wedding, we used candles in just about any available space we could find. Candles, lit or unlit, can add an element of romance to the décor. This venue had a rustic feel to it so we used cream candles for a touch of rustic elegance and placed them around windowsills, a feature fireplace, and even in the bathrooms to dress them up! Using candles of varying widths and heights can draw the eye in and create focal point.

Greenery and Flowers

Flowers and greenery can end up being one of the most expensive elements of the day if purchased through the wedding venue or a wedding florist. Sourcing flowers from a wholesaler and creating some DIY flower arrangements can actually be simpler then it appears. Flowers such as roses and alstroemeria can make for the perfect flowers for your arrangements, and DIY wedding bouquets for the bridal party, as they are both available in a wide variety of colours to suit your wedding scheme. Greenery such as myrtle and honey bracelet can be used to fill out your flower arrangements, and ivy can be used among your decorations, for instance, surrounding candles or wrapped around your fairy lights for added impact. Source your flowers and greenery in advance and collect them the day before the wedding so you can create fresh and stunning arrangements.

Place Cards

Another one of our favourite DIY wedding ideas to do on Zazzle – design your own place cards. This is exactly what we did for my relatives wedding. We uploaded our own design, added some background colour and the end result was simply spectacular! Of course, for a really cost effective and personal touch, you can create your own from scratch. Source some simple white or cream colour blank cards and hand-write them yourself (or ask someone with nice handwriting!). Then with a simple stroll through the woods you can collect some pine cones to act as place card holders, and you’ve got the ultimate rustic chic place setting decorations!

Favours

It is often the small touches that will stand out to your guests and have them talking long after the big day so it’s important to get the favours just right. That doesn’t mean they need to be expensive – in fact DIY wedding favours can be much more memorable. Homemade sweets and treats can look truly impressive when wrapped up nicely. So why not pop some truffles or fudge in personalised favour bags or wrap them up in polythene and label them with gift tags. Or you could gift little bottles of homemade gin or liquor dressed up with personalised labels. If you don’t have time time to make your own, you can still buy your treats (we won’t tell), but the personalised packaging will give them a homemade, rustic look!

Wedding Signage

If your wedding venue is particularly large or you’re having an outdoor wedding, then you’ll want to have some signs to let your guests know where all the important parts are from the dance floor to the sweets table or toilets. You can create wedding sign posters to be in keeping with your wedding theme, or in bold, statement colours to stand out amongst the rest. Place these signs on easels or in simple frames for easy viewing. If you’re having an outdoor wedding, you can try your hand at creating your own custom signs from scratch. Source some wooden pieces, paint on your words of choice and nail the pieces to a simple blank. Without much hassle you’ve got some wedding décor with rustic class!

Centrepieces

Re-using everyday materials can be a great hack for wedding accessories. You can use jam jars or mason jars to act as wedding centrepieces that you can fill with lights and foliage. Additionally, if you want to collect some wine bottles over time, you can spray paint these with gold or silver metallic paint. They can make amazing vases for flowers to be used as fabulous centrepieces, or as decorations throughout the wedding. This little trick will make your vases look much more expensive than they actually are!

Bake It Away

A recent trend with many wedding parties is to make their own wedding desserts and sweet treats, giving their big day a very personal element. By making your own sweet treats for the dessert table, you’ll make a big saving in this area, as well as getting exactly what you want and love. Better yet, you can ask some close friends or family to lend a hand for a marvellous spread of delicious desserts for all to share!

So there you have it, for my own family wedding we found that the parts of the wedding that really stood out to guests were the decorations that we had taken the time and effort to do ourselves. Adding your own personal touches to your wedding day can make the day truly unique and can let you and your soon to-be spouse’s personalities shine through!

Make Your Own Travel Memory Map

If you love jetting off on new adventures, or know someone who does, this Travel Memory Map DIY is for you! Travelling is a great way to learn about different cultures, taste amazing food, spend time with friends and family or to meet new people along the way. Many of us enjoy documenting our experiences so we can look back and reminisce. Let’s face it, with Facebook and Instagram at our fingertips, it’s never been easier to just check in at that hidden coffee shop in Paris or to take a quick snap of your favourite gelato in Florence. By the time you’ve arrived back home, you’ve taken a trillion photos and posted nearly all of them on social media. You may print a few and place them in a photo book that you will probably never look at again. But what if you had a creative and tangible way to document it all? That’s where the memory map comes in and since I’ve started one I’ve never looked back. Here in this one place, I have photos and postcards and little snippets of my travels. Hanging over my desk, it’s a joyful reminder of all the places I’ve seen and fun memories I have – perfect for perking up any Monday morning. What’s more, it’s super easy to create and personalise. So just follow the guide below to create your own travel memory map!

Materials & Steps

Your Map:

First things first, you need a map! You can opt for a traditional world map or, if your travels are focused in one area, a single country or continent map. For example, perhaps you aim to visit all the US states or want to plot out an Interrail trip in Europe.

Some people paste a world map poster onto foam-board or on a corkboard. If so, make sure the board is cut to the size of your map. Then lay your board down flat and spay with an adhesive spray and place your map on your board. Carefully smooth out any wrinkles and let dry.

Me I like canvas, so I have a world map canvas stretched over a wooden frame.

USA States Canvas Print

What To Add To Your Map:

Postcards & Photos
I love taking photos when travelling and have a few special ones that I print. To avoid cluttering my map with too many big photos, I often print them smaller or grouped together on a postcard with the ultimate saying or quote to sum up the trip. You can include postcards you’ve bought while on holiday – I even post a few back to myself with snippets of that day’s adventures scribbled on the back. Or buy some vintage travel postcards after you get home.

Vintage Travel Postcards

Labels & Stickers
With a pin, I add little labels to the cities or countries I’ve visited. Or to avoid using too many pins, simply print some stickers to stick on to all your locations. You could customise your stickers on Zazzle with the year of the trip or even a tiny photo of who joined you.

More Memorabililia
If you’re sentimental and hang on to little bits and pieces, pin those up too! For example, maybe you have business cards or receipts from favourite restaurants or tickets to a museum or attraction.

Yarn or Ribbon
If you want to mark a special journey like a road trip or round the world adventure, I’ve seen people stitch or mark out their route.

Future Trips
As well as past adventures, you can use your map to plan your next adventure. Perhaps pin a colour-coded label or sticker for all those places on your bucket list. Then you can replace it when you make it there.

The best part of all is that it’s never finished! You can continue to build your map and memories trip by trip for years to come. How would you make your own travel memory map – or do you record your travels in another creative way?

DIY Easter Decorations: Fabric Bunnies

If you’re anything like me then you’re always looking for an excuse to get out some decorations and Easter is no exception. It’s really the first time since taking down the Christmas tree that there is another reason to decorate, and decorate we shall! Once the first day of lent has started you can be sure that I’ll be hanging the Easter bunting on any available wall space. Plus, while I love to decorate, I love to make my own Easter decorations even more. It gives me the chance to search the web for new ideas, and adds that unique and personal touch to my home.

Once I saw these little bunnies on Pinterest, I decided I had to make them! It’s the perfect Easter crafts project for me as it’s quick and easy, and they look adorable dotted around my house. You can make one of these rabbits in 15–20 minutes. So you’ll have a whole nest of bunnies in no time, which is really egg-citing! Also, using a selection of different Easter fabrics really makes these creations stand out. Pastels, polka dots and striped fabrics work perfectly for the season.

So without further ado, let’s hop into the how to!

What You’ll Need:

  • Selection of fabrics
  • Pencil and paper
  • Stuffing
  • Needle
  • Threads
  • Dress pins
  • Scissors/pinking shears
  • Bows & ribbons (optional)
  • Craft glue

Easter Fabric

How to Make Your Fabric Easter Bunnies

1. First of all, draw out your rabbit template. It’s completely up to you on how big you want your bunnies to be. If you don’t trust your drawing skills, like me, just search the web for a simple template to work with!

2. Next, cut out your template. Once this is done you want to double up your fabric so that both sides of your rabbit are the exact same size. Fold your fabric so that the front or outside sides are together and you can place your template on the back side of the fabric. Trace an outline of your bunny on the back side of the fabric.

Eastr Bunny Fabric DIY

3. Cut through both layers of your fabric along the outline of your bunny, using a scissors or a pinking shears. I used pinking shears because I like the crimped effect and this method also helps the fabric from fraying. But you can just use ordinary scissors for this. I also held my fabric together with a couple of dress pins, just to ensure they didn’t move during cutting.

Easter Bunnies DIY

4. Once you have your two pieces cut out, place them together, front sides facing out. Again, secure them with a couple of dress pins to ensure they don’t move around when you sew them together.

5. Next, you need to sew the pieces together. Using a simple running stitch technique, start from the bottom corner and sew around your bunny to the other corner. Ensure you don’t sew the bottom part just yet as we still need to fill the bunny. If you have a sewing machine, you can use this instead to speed up this process and create a tighter stitch.

Easter Fabric Bunnies

6. Once you are happy with your sewing, you can begin to stuff the bunny to your desired level of plump. I like to fill these up as much as I can so that they feel like little teddies. When your bunny is nice and plump you can sew up the bottom part and close up the bunny.

Stuffing Easter Fabric Bunnies

7. The final step is completely optional. If you are happy with your bunnies as is, then you can stop here and start the process again to create a whole colony of Easter bunnies! But if you want to add a bit more personality then read on! For my bunnies, I picked up some bows and ribbons from a local craft shop. Using some craft glue, I stuck these little accessories onto my bunnies for the perfect finishing touches and set them aside to dry.

For alternative accessorising ideas, you could sew little eyes and a mouth onto the bunnies instead of buying extra bits. Also, if you have some cotton balls lying around, you could glue a little bunny tail onto the back for extra cuteness!

So there you have it, super simple and cute DIY fabric Easter bunnies. I have made quite a few of these for my home and plan to make some extras as Easter gifts for family and friends. It’s a great alternative to giving Easter eggs because we all end up with far too much chocolate when Easter Sunday rolls around anyway! One or two bunnies each plus one of Zazzle’s Easter cards and your loved ones will be wowed!

Fabric Easter Bunnies

Let me know if you give this DIY a go in the comments below. Also include any more suggestions you have to personalise the little cuties. Oh, and Hoppy Easter!