Creativity Before Consumption

HOW TO: HANDMADE CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS THAT SHIMMER & SHINE

A couple of years ago I teamed up with my friend Yolly, a talented florist and a former photographer, and we created these sweet handmade ornaments for the Anthropologie blog. Using elements from nature – feathers, pine cones, dried lotus seed pods and other foraged, found and purchased bits and pieces – we made these simple, shimmery modern rustic ornaments to add to our ever growing collection.

(It’s been a few years since we shot this craft and in that time we have realised that using glitter, even so-called eco or bio glitter is harmful to the environment. We used bio-glitter to make these ornaments, but now that has also been found not to be much better than real glitter once it gets into the water supply. I suggest removing glitter from this craft. An alternative is to replace the glitter with a sprinkle of sugar to give the effect of snow. Otherwise, paint alone will still look sweet).

Every year I try to add a few homemade ornaments to my tree along with those made by my children when they were young. I also ask them each to buy a new ornament every year, now that they are young adults (we have ceramic santas driving cars, snowmen in tutus, glittery mobile phones, knitted sushi, glass pickles, you name it). We don’t have a huge amount of Christmas family traditions, but this is one I try to carry from year to year, so that decorating the tree becomes a trip down memory lane as we remember where we were when we made/bought each ornament.

I’ve always loved contrast – in interiors, in fashion, in food – and I love this craft because of the contrast of the natural rustic elements and the shimmery glitter. The feeling of painting on the raw, porous surfaces is also deeply satisfying and calming. So put on some Christmas tunes, pour a glass of something warming and create some magic. I hope you enjoy x

ALL YOU’LL NEED:

NATURAL BITS AND PIECES COLLECTED ON WALKS, PICKED FROM THE GARDEN/PARK OR BOUGHT FROM THE GARDEN CENTRE OR ONLINE

METALLIC PAINT, GLITTER (UPDATE: WE SUGGEST WHITE GRANULATED SUGAR INSTEAD FOR AN ECO-FRIENDLY SNOW EFFECT), PAINT BRUSH, AND WIRE TO HANG

CHRISTMAS TUNES BY GEORGE MICHAEL, BING CROSBY, MARIAH, DOLLY PARTON OR WHOEVER GETS YOU SINGING

LITTLE SPARKLY DRINKING GLASSES FILLED WITH SOMETHING DELICIOUS

Paint sections of each piece – just the edges of a feather or the tips of a pine cone
While the paint is still wet, sprinkle with glitter (SUGAR), catching the overflow on a plate below
Once dry, thread a loop of wire onto each ornament
Hang onto your tree with fairy lights and watch them shimmer
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