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.

How to Make Your Own Christmas Wrapping Paper

Gift giving is one of the most personal experiences people can engage in. A personal present shows that you know what your friends and family are interested in, that you listen and that you know what they appreciate. Whatever gift you decide on, you can make it even more special with personalised wrapping paper. Read on for some handy info on how to make your own custom Christmas wrapping paper on Zazzle! Before we get into the how-to, here’s a breakdown of our wrapping paper finishes.

Selecting a paper type can be a tough choice, but ultimately it comes down to how you want your gift to be presented. Do you want the wrapping to feel smooth to the touch, have texture or glossy photo finishes?

Matte – This 60 lb weight matte paper produces a soft surface and dull finish, while the colour won’t pop it’s perfect for contrast and getting a nice effect from two opposing colours.
Glossy – This glossy finish creates a slight shimmer that’s ideal for printing photos.
Linen – This 24 lb weight paper is textured with a crosshatch pattern similar to linen so will give your gifts an air of luxury.
Tyvek – This lightweight paper is very rip resistant so is perfect for protecting your packages and ensuring they arrive in amazing condition around the globe.

How to Personalise Your Wrapping Paper

With our design tool you have millions of options on how to print Christmas wrapping paper. Either start from scratch or, for an easier option, pick a wrapping paper template from one of our creators. Here are some ideas!

Photos –  Dig out old Christmas snaps and make your or your recipient’s face into some fancy gift wrap.
Initials – Put an initial as a monogram on your wrapping paper; make it a centre point for your festive design.
Name – Add a first or family name to make your gift wrap even more special.
Interests – Does your recipient have any special interests? Maybe they love animals, or play music or a sport. There are plenty of designs on Zazzle that are tailored towards things people are passionate about.


Christmas Wrapping Paper Templates

Here are some of our wrapping paper favourites, ready to make your own:

Create a festive collage with this design. Add photos of your friends and family and you can also adjust the initial.

Collage Christmas Wrapping Paper

This one will give the family a few laughs. This comical design allows you to add photos to animal portraits, as well as names and initials.

Photo Reindeer Christmas Wrapping Paper

Add a range of photos into the Christmas tree frames on this festive gift wrap. Personalise further with names in the red trees.

Christmas Tree Photo Wrapping Paper

Change this classic slate grey and gold antler design by switching the monogram to the letter of your choice.

Antler Monogram Initial Christmas Wrapping Paper

Add an initial to be surrounded by this beautiful holly wreath design.

Holly Wreath Monogram Christmas Wrapping Paper

Another one for the animal lovers, this adorable polar bear design can be personalised with a name. Perfect for kids!

Polar Bear Kids Name Wrapping Paper

Personalise every aspect of this Christmas gift wrap: the monogram being held by the elf, the family name, the greeting and the photos used.

Elf Monogram Christmas Wrapping Paper

Decorate your gift with this modern wrapping paper design. Change the monogram between the pictures, edit your season’s greeting and the names and the year. Don’t forget to change the photos themselves!

Modern Photo Christmas Wrapping Paper

Adding your details is just the beginning. If you want to play around with the designs, you can select ‘Click to customise further’. This brings you to the Zazzle design tool, which allows even more personalisation. Change filters, background colours, tile or pattern the picture, add your own text boxes or your own images.

Well, that’s a wrap! Have fun making your own Christmas wrapping paper!

How to Design Photo Christmas Cards: Our Top Tips & Templates

It’s nearly Christmas and you know what that means? Getting those address lists at the ready and sending your Christmas cards! I’ve been preparing for this since last year, saving all those funny photos, matching Christmas jumper pics and even shots of my dog modelling. Choosing the right picture for your photo Christmas cards is pretty important, but knowing which templates to use for different photographs is even more so. So, if you’re new to designing photo cards, or want to get it right this year, follow my top tips!


What to Consider When Picking a Photo

Colour

Colour is a significant factor when designing your photo Xmas cards. If the photo is too dark, you may not see all that’s going on in it, and if it’s too light, some elements may become lost on the card. This is especially true when printing photo Christmas cards as ink tones can vary. Of course, don’t let this stop you in your tracks completely; you can use a photo filter to darken or lighten your photograph. Be sure to have your photo bursting with Christmassy colours if you want to show off the family’s matching Christmas jumpers. If this Christmas is reminiscent of an anniversary or celebration, you could even turn the photo black and white instead.

Black and White Family Vintage Christmas Card


Collages

If you just can’t decide which photograph to use, consider combining a couple of them. Zazzle has lots of photo collage Christmas card templates to choose from. Use two photos, three, four or more – the choice is entirely up to you. If you have more than one photograph, consider using a theme to tell your story, like a different activity for every year. Alternatively, dedicate each section to a member of the family.

Photo Collage Christmas Card


The Best Templates for the Best People


The Whole Family

There are a couple of ways to cater for the whole family this Christmas. If you’ve got a big family photo you want to feature, then use all the space available coupled with a bit of text. You can save any other messages for the inside of the card. This template is perfect for the annual ugly Christmas jumper or matching Christmas shirt photo. If you’d like each member of the family to stand out, choose a photo collage with lots of segments for lots of photos. Include snaps of the family together having some fun and dashing through the snow!

Photo Collage Family Flat Christmas Card


The Married and Merry Couple

Is this the happy couple’s first Christmas together as newlyweds? Celebrate in style with a cheerful ‘Married & Merry’ Christmas card; you could use loving snaps from the big day. Moved into your first home together? Get a photo of you two cosying up in your best Christmas pyjamas with a cup of tea or hot cocoa. You could use a half and half photo template. Half the card would be of you two, and the other half would be decorated with text announcing you’re ‘Married & Merry’ or ‘Our First Christmas as Mr & Mrs’. If you just got engaged, you could announce that instead and add in a photo of the amazing moment it happened.

Married & Merry Christmas Card


Baby’s First Christmas

Blessed with a bouncing bundle of joy this Christmas? Need somewhere to put those adorable pictures? Put your baby in the spotlight  with one of our ‘Baby’s First Christmas’ cards. If you have yet to take Christmas snaps, put some felt reindeer antlers onto baby’s head for the most adorable photo Christmas cards ever.

Wreath Baby's First Christmas Card


Festive Pets

Okay, technically, pets aren’t people, but they’re part of Christmas as much as us humans. There are so many ways to include pets on Christmas cards. Give them their own square in a family collage or dedicate a whole card to your dog or cat with our pet Christmas cards (there are lots of Christmas pet costumes for a reason). If you’ve got the perfect photo, you can fill the front of the card with it and add a season’s greeting like ‘Bark Humbug’ or ‘Happy Howlidays’.

Happy Howlidays Christmas Card


What to Consider When Adding Text


Text over the Photo

When picking a template for your photo of choice, it’s important to take note of the colour of your photo and any text over it. If there are lots of whites in your photos, then a white or brighty coloured font would blend in with the background and be difficult to read, so choose a darker one instead. Whereas a picture with a dark background will need a brighter font. If your photo has lots of colours, no matter if they’re all bright, all dark or a mixture, it’s best not to add text over the photo, so choose a template with the text to the side instead.

Happy Howlidays Dog Christmas Card


Text to the Side

If you have an announcement or want to put your message as a large block of text, choose a template with text to the side or under your photo. It’s nice to match the style of the text with the theme of the card; for example, if the photo is of your newborn, you could use a fun and bouncy font. Another good tip is to try match the colour of your font with the colours in the photo. This isn’t always possible, but when it is, it looks beautiful.

Rose Gold Baby Christmas Card

I hope that helps get you started designing your Christmas photo cards! Good luck and Merry Christmas!

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
.

Why It’s MY Mug: Zazzlers & Their Favourite Mugs

If your office is anything like ours, you’ll know that some people get very attached to their work mugs. We even see forlorn emails from colleagues desperately trying to track down precious coffee cups. On a long day at the desk, a funny or personal mug topped up with tea will do wonders and you can feel lost without it. Since Zazzle makes personalised mugs, you won’t be surprised to hear that many of us have one, two or possibly five each! But one is always a bit more special than the rest and can tell you a lot about someone’s personality. So we decided to chat to some Zazzlers about why they chose and love their very unique mugs.

Krystal’s Harry Potter Mug

Harry Potter Cartoon Mug

Is your favourite Harry Potter character featured on your mug? If so, who is it? I chose this over other Harry Potter mugs as it has cartoon versions of the characters. Dobby the elf and Hedwig the owl look so cute it made me sad all over again (spoiler alert – they both die in the end).

Now tell us, which Hogwarts House do you see yourself as being in? Um, Gryffindor all the way!! Ravenclaw as a close second choice though.

Aisling’s Royal Wedding Mug

Royal Wedding Mug - When Harry Met Megan Mug

What made you pick a Royal Wedding mug?  I’ve always been a big fan of the royals ever since I saw Kate Middleton walk up that aisle. When I heard there was another royal wedding in the making, I made sure I had my mug to mark the occasion. Mugs are my favourite keepsake for any event.

Who are your favourite royals? My favourite royal has always been Prince Harry, I even named one of my cats after him! He’s the most chilled out royal and isn’t afraid to break tradition from time to time!

Do you prefer light or dark roast? I’m all about trying new things when it comes to coffees so I don’t really have a preference.

Hazel’s Skull Mug

Skull Mug

What was your inspiration for your mug? What made you choose this one in particular? I had no inspiration really. I went through all the mugs we had. There were so many and I came across this one. Skulls would typically be incorporated with dark, scary designs but this is different. It’s full of colour and very vibrant. It stuck out.

I can see you went for our Jumbo mug, what made you choose this size? I am a very thirsty person. If I am having a cup of tea, a cup of coffee or even just drinking water I find the more the better. It keeps me happy and hydrated.

Jacintha’s Hedgehog Mug

Van Gogh Hedgehog Mug

Why did you choose this design? I already had a hedgehog themed mug for home so I wanted to buy a similar one for the office. I stumbled across the Urchin_Wear store and decided to go with a design that combined my love of hedgehogs and Van Gogh paintings!

Tell me a little about Ricki, your pet Hedgehog I’ve had Ricki for more than a year now and she occasionally comes into the office. Ricki is a bit of a character – she mainly loves sleeping and eating but she enjoys all the attention she gets when she’s in the office!

Describe yourself in the morning without coffee? A different person – tea or coffee is needed in the morning.

Tessa’s (that’s me!) Boxing Panda Mug

Hipster Panda Mug

Why did I choose this mug as my favourite? Working at Zazzle, you come across new and talented creators every day. One of my favourite creators is bsolti, I came across this mug and knew I just had to have it!

Where would be my ideal place to enjoy a coffee? I’ve spent a lot of time travelling over the last couple years. Within my recent travels I was introduced to the authentic coffee of Spain. Nothing beats Spanish coffee, taking in the breath-taking architecture in the warm summer sun.

How do I prefer my coffee? I usually take my coffee black or with a splash of milk. However, my Canadian roots tend to come out when at home as I like to add a drop of maple syrup too. Trust me, it’s life-changing!

Share with us your favourite Zazzle mug designs and coffee secrets in the comments below!

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.

UK Creator Store Spotlight: Scrummylicious

Today we’re chatting to Sharon Turner, aka ‘Scrummylicious‘ from Nottingham, biomedical scientist turned artist! She’s inspired by nature, animals and architecture and her store is packed with eclectic animals and patterns. She’s a fan of sci-fi and dreams to live by the sea…

Tell us a bit about yourself! Where are you living right now?

I’m based in Nottingham, which is about as far away from the seaside as you can be. Not good planning on my part because I love the sea! Art is my work, my hobby and my therapy… I’m kind of lost if I’m not being creative. I love to draw. Drawing is the best thing ever.

Scrummylicious- Sealion Coaster


Where you do you draw? Do you have a studio or are you just as creative at home?

My studio is in the corner of my dining room, which looks out onto our lovely garden. I can lose myself in my designing but still be around for the real life stuff too. As long as my laptop is playing a movie for me to listen to as I work, it’s all good. Horror and sci-fi are my favourite genres!

Scrummylicious - Mandala Work in Progress


What is your background in art and design? What got you started creating?

I’ve always been a very creative person. I chose to study biochemistry and biomedical science for my degree, but found my way back to art after I got married. I’ve studied interior design, sewn home furnishings, made jewellery… I’ve always been obsessed by shape and colour! Now I draw and make patterns for a living. I’m very lucky.

Scrummylicious - Leggings

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

Nature, animals, architecture… anything, nothing and everything! It’s hard NOT to be inspired. I love having beautiful patterns and prints all around me, all of the time.

Scrummylicious - San Francisco Clock

When do you feel your most creative? Your least?

I’m a night owl. I’m definitely the most productive in the early hours. And I need at least three cups of coffee in the morning to start being even remotely human.

Scrummylicious - Bike Mug

What are your favourite products to design on Zazzle?

I love the cushions the best. So many options, and they are such a great way to update a room. I also love the shower curtains and leggings. I’m fond of the bigger items as my patterns and animals look really great on them.

Scrummylicious - Fox Pillow

If you could wish for one new product on Zazzle, what would it be and why?

To be honest, you now have the one that I’d been wishing for forever – fabric! Designing patterns for textiles is fantastic, especially when I get to see what people make with it!

Scrummylicious: Deer Fabric

What was the very first Zazzle product that you sold?

I always like to have my best work in my Zazzle store. I occasionally have a spring clean to keep everything fresh. So (cough) I’m afraid I don’t know… I think I deleted it. But I’m sure it was lovely!

Scrummylicious - Shower Curtain

Do you have any advice for new Zazzle Creators?

I’m not very good at taking criticism or direction. I just do what I love. I think if you have art in your soul, you will be great. Just enjoy it. And drink coffee.

Scrummylicious - Panda Wood Wall Art

Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you?

I’m arting all the time… my portfolio is getting pretty big! Do check out my store and follow me on social media to keep up to date! If you ever spot an artwork that you’d like on a particular product on Zazzle, drop me a line. I’m always happy to help when I can.

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!

The Dark Knight 10th Anniversary – Our Favourite Batman Moments

This summer it’s ten years since the release of The Dark Knight! As big fans of Bruce Wayne and the city of Gotham, we’ve compiled our favourite Batman moments from the epic trilogy!

1. Batman Begins  “I’m Batman!”

Having waited so long to see our hero back in action, Christopher Nolan introduced a new style of Batman. The fantastic opening scene in Batman Begins displays this new mix of ferocity and craftiness. Batman battles a gang of thugs down at the docks, but remains unseen until the last moments. He then grabs the crime boss, Falcone, from his car. Falcone yells “What the hell are you?!” to which he receives a hair-raising response in that deep, husky voice: “I’m Batman.” A brilliant opening scene to welcome back Batman!

2. Batman Begins – Call For Back-Up

It wouldn’t be Batman without a few bats! Bruce chooses the bat as his symbol based on a frightening experience he had as a child, so representing the power to overcome fears and facing them head on. We see the relationship he has with these flying rodents come to a head when he is surrounded in Arkham Asylum, with what would appear to be no way to escape. However, then Batman pushes a small button in his heal. This engages sonar, causing a cloud of bats to swarm the building, and creating the perfect cover for Batman to make his escape. Epic Batman moment complete!

3. Batman Begins – “Why Do We Fall…”

Alfred acts as Bruce Wayne’s loyal and diligent housekeeper, guardian and best friend. In an emotional scene, we see Alfred bring Batman back to Earth that reminds us that, behind it all, Bruce is a complex individual. As we see Wayne Manor burning, there is a powerful exchange between Bruce who feels defeated: “I wanted to save Gotham. I failed”. To this Alfred quotes Bruce’s late father and offers some hope in an exciting ending to the film: “Why do we fall Sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up”. I can feel the tears welling up already!

4. The Dark Knight – Bank Heist

The opening scene to the second installment of the trilogy really sets the tone for the whole movie. In a bank heist, we are introduced to The Joker and his cronies creating chaos in the city of Gotham. With the bank manager close to death, he asks the criminals what they believe in. The Joker pulls off his mask to show a much scarier face and says: “Whatever doesn’t kill you, simply makes you stranger.” We can already tell we’re in for a story of madness.

5. The Dark Knight – Gate-crashing The Party

At a party hosted by Bruce Wayne, we get to see some classic violence and madness from the Joker and his goons. With The Joker on the hunt for Harvey Dent, they gate crash the party. We see Batman put Harvey in a sleeper hold and carry him, while The Joker begins to interrogate Wayne’s guests. The attention is then brought to Rachel Dawes, Bruce’s love interest, as The Joker brings a knife to her mouth and tells the chilling tale of this scars. As the tension is mounting, Batman returns and the fight begins. Close one Rachel!

6. The Dark Knight – Revealing Dent’s Dark Side

Here we see Harvey’s dark side introduced. The first indication that something is wrong with Gotham’s White Knight is when he questions one of The Joker’s henchmen, Shiff Thomas. Shiff gets the coin flip several times with a gun held to his head, until Batman swoops in and stops Dent. Batman warns the D.A. that if anyone were to see what Dent was doing, belief in the White Knight and Gotham would begin to crumble. Is all hope lost for Harvey Dent?

7. The Dark Knight – The Interrogation

The interrogation is probably the best Batman scene of all three movies in this epic trilogy. The Joker being cross-examined by Batman. The conversation between our protagonists is sharp, as The Joker queries Batman’s ethic. Here we see Batman really lose control. Batman pounds his enemy with hit after hit, as The Joker just laughs, giving the perfect scene of terror and suspense. The Joker once again unleashes his madness and says: “You have nothing to threaten me with, nothing to do with all your strength”, and continues to laugh. I have Goosebumps just thinking about it!

8. The Dark Knight Rises – Bane Hijacks A Plane

After the epic second installment, the third film needed to start with a bang! Well it certainly did with our introduction to Bane, Batman’s latest adversary. After Aidan Gillen’s character allows three hooded thugs onto his plane, he begins to question them about a secretive character that is known by the name of ‘Bane’. Naturally Bane is one of these hooded thugs. Here Bane’s charismatic side is unveiled with his witty response to a question about his mask. However, we also see his very violent side as he easily eliminates of his rivals and pulls off an unbelievable mid-air hijacking. What a start!

9. The Dark Knight Rises – Breaking The Bat

This next scene is a shocking one! Throughout this entire journey we had believed that Batman could beat anyone. But now we see Bane demonstrate a brutal spectacle of strength on The Dark Knight. Bane doesn’t seem to have to put in much effort as he knocks Batman to near death, before terrifyingly breaking his back. Bane walks away as we wonder how our hero is going to come back from this ruthless attack!

10. The Dark Knight Rises – It’s All Over

The closing moments of this impressive trilogy were always going to be an emotional. With no way to stop the bomb from destroying Gotham, Batman hauls it far over the bay, where it safely explodes. While we all wonder if Batman is gone for good, the final scene shows Alfred in Florence where he sees Bruce. We’re left to decide whether Bruce survived the bomb and was in fact happy in Paris with his love, Selina. It’s an immensely satisfying ending to a one of the best trilogies out there!

So that’s our top 10 Batman scenes from The Dark Knight Trilogy! There have been so many epic moments through these three movies. So if we’ve left one out, why not leave us a comment or share your favourite moment down below!

You can also pick up all these fantastic products of Batman memorabilia and more in our official Batman store, right here on Zazzle.