How to Prepare Your Home for the Christmas Festivities

Merry Christmas; Holidays background with Xmas tree decoration on red background

As enjoyable as Christmas is, the run-up to the festive season can really be a drag. It’s a bit of a hassle, having to tick off all the many (many) things that need to be done before the big day rolls around. And then Christmas Day is a stress, finding a place to put all that scrunched up wrapping paper all while having to rush around the kitchen prepping the dinner.

So let us help you with that. Unfortunately, we can’t come around and do all your wrapping for you, but we can give you some tips so that preparing for Christmas is a little bit less stressful than it usually is.

Step 1 – Clean

Okay, so this isn’t much fun, but it has to be done if you want your decos to truly shine and dazzle. Vacuum, dust and polish for as long as you can before you get sick of the chores.

Any potted plants that are outdoors, bring them in so they don’t die in the cold. Cover any patio furniture. Get the kids to help out, too – Santa isn’t going to be visiting any messy bedrooms, after all!

Step 2 – House Decorations

Now is the time to set up the general room decorations, now that everywhere is tidy and neat. Decide on what you’re doing before you make a proper start of things – are you stringing lights up around the perimeter of the room, or are you focusing on one side of the area?

Are you putting anything on the roof or in the garden? Make sure to plan out what you want and how you’re going to go about making it happen. Only after the rooms are done should you make a start on the main event.

Step 3 – The Tree

Whether you choose artificial or natural is entirely up to taste, but remember that real trees can be a hassle to clean up after! Put your tree in its desired location in the room and get to decorating it.

Lights should come first, as they can be difficult and fiddly to put on after the other decorations have gone on. Next comes the tinsel or garland, with baubles and other ornaments going on after. Save the best for last – make a bit of a ceremony out of putting the angel or star on the top of the tree.

Step 4 – Everything Else!

Now that your home is ready for the gauntlet, you can safely go about the rest of your Christmassy business. Make your lists and check them twice, buying all the various gifts to put smiles on faces, then obviously you have the chore of wrapping them… we don’t envy you there.

Maybe make some Christmas cookies, or even get the kids together to build a gingerbread house as a family. Then it’s time to prep the turkey, or the goose, or the nut roast; whatever it is that you’re eating for your dinner!

Here’s to a very Merry Christmas!

How to Make Your Own Christmas Decorations

Decoratating christmas gift

Christmas is here – the sleigh bells are ringing, the halls are decked with holly, the gifts are under the tree and the figgy pudding is in the oven. It’s the season of goodwill and all that, and a time for all the family to come together and spend some quality time with each other.

You’re getting everyone together, so it’s only natural to want to put a lot of effort into your presentation and your cooking. One way of ensuring that everything looks fantastic (and one of a kind) is by making your own Christmas decorations.

Don’t worry; it’s not as difficult as it might sound! Here are our favourites – get involved and create something wonderful this Christmas.

Paper Tree Decorations

There are plenty of beautiful tree decorations that you can make with just a few simple supplies. Grab some A4 paper, a scalpel and a cutting mat, a pair of scissors, some wool and a stick of glue and you’ll be good to go. Here are some of our favourite paper decorations.

The Snowflake

Cut out 12 5mm strips across the width of the page. Grab two, stick them together to make a cross, then glue further strips to each end, resulting in three verticals and three horizontals.

Take a horizontal and its closest vertical and glue the points together. Do this with all of them, and then repeat these steps until you have two “halves”.

Glue them together, front to front, at a 45-degree angle, matching the straights with the loops. Feed each strip through its corresponding loop and stick it to its point. Thread the finished article onto some wool and hey presto – one beautiful decoration.

The Heart

This one is even easier than the snowflake. If you want two large heart decorations, you only need the one piece of A4. Fold the half (A5 size) in half itself, then draw half a heart from the fold with a pencil. Next, cut along the line.

Repeat this process with a smaller heart within the larger one, cutting out a smaller, heart-shaped hole in the centre. Unfold the piece, smooth out the crease, then get a hole punch and make a small hole towards the top of the heart. All that’s left to do is thread in a string of wool! Simple, but lovely.

Doily Decorations

You can create delicate and angelic decorations with just a doily, some beads and a few strips of white ribbon. Cut the doily in two, then roll it onto a cone, taping it together at the back for some structure.

Create a head by threading small, metallic beads onto a short stretch of wire and shaping it into a ring. Insert the ends into the peak of the cone, taping them together inside. Then you can start on the wings!

All you need to do here is create two loops with your ribbon (we like the white, semi-sheer variety) and tape this to the back of the doily. One lovely angel, made in minutes.

Winter Crafts For Decorating Your Home

Merry Christmas - christmas ornaments on a wooden table

It’s a little alarming to think that Christmas is only around 2 months away! Are you prepared? Do you have everyone’s presents wrapped up secretly in the attic? Have you made plans with your family? Even if you haven’t covered all of this quite yet, you can start crafting a few baubles and decorative items for your home now, ready for advent.

Clay Christmas Decorations

By purchasing air hardening clay, you can have your very own stamped and decorated Christmas ornaments in seconds. Pressing your desired pattern into the thinly rolled out clay, and cutting the shape into stars, will leave you with a simple – but fun – festive decoration, which you can then paint or adorn in whatever way you like. Don’t forget to push through a hole through the top to hang the ornament up though! Find out more information on how to do this here.

Glittered Candles

If you want sparkling, eye-catching candles – and you’re sick of the same old, white pillars – it couldn’t be easier to jazz up your fireplace. Just purchase some adhesive glue and spoon over glitter to coat the candles. And there you have it, your very own magical tapers.

Cosy Granny Blanket

When winter comes along, sometimes you need a good throw or two to snuggle under, while you watch TV. If you know your way around a crochet hook (or even if you don’t), you can create a stylish or wonderfully vibrant blanket of your own. Here is where you can find the method.

Winter Rug

On floors without a carpet, it can get pretty chilly on your feet, when the temperature drops. Keep things homely and warm, by knitting your own rug for your home. This particular set of instructions will show you how to make a comfortable seed stitch mat.

Felt Coasters

The great thing about working with felt is that sewing is optional. You can make your own coasters at home by cutting out some felt, making a little hole or window in one side, and then folding it in half. You can make a little pocket then by gluing down the two sides above the crease (you could alternatively sew them together), and leaving the top unstuck. Insert whatever cut up card or design that you want into the pocket, and you have a soft coaster, with a beautiful, artsy window.

Silhouettes

It seems a little Edwardian or Victorian, but silhouette portraits are making a comeback. You can paste your family’s silhouette portraits on to homemade Christmas ornaments, or you can even hang them up in pretty frames around the home. Instead of taking someone’s silhouette the old fashioned way, all you need is a profile picture of them, looking off to the side; you can then cut it out, draw around the outline on to black paper, and then snip around your new silhouette.

Sheet Music Stars

If you have any lovely Christmas Carol books, which perhaps your children have for practicing their musical instruments, you can photocopy your favourite songs from the book and turn them into paper stars for the wall, or your Christmas tree. It’s surprisingly simple to make, and you can find the instructions here.

Surprising Christmas Decorating Ideas

We know, we know. The Christmas ads start earlier and earlier every year. But as the saying goes, if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail – so even if you don’t want to start thinking about Christmas until December, it’s worth planning your decorations in advance so that you can pop up the tree and make the house look festive in a flash, without having to worry about what to put where.

bauble

  • Inject a bit of sparkle by hanging baubles from surprising spots in the house, as in the image above from a chandelier. You could also hang ’em from door handles, cupboard doors – basically, anything that you can drape them over. They also look fab piled into a pretty bowl.
  • You can create a festive look without going over the top. Use white fairy lights, silver and mercury finishes and voltive candles for an elegant, pared-back approach that’ll still look chic in the New Year.
  • Using winter florals and pinecones is a really simple way to add a bit of winter flair to your home without breaking the bank – plus, it’s wonderfully seasonal, too, as you can head to the woods with the kids and pick your own ornaments. Think of it as your very own Christmas tradition.
  • For a cool and quirky Christmas centrepiece, pile a three-tier cake stand with baubles, beads, pine cones and ribbons, and position a few fairy lights here and there to make the ornaments sparkle. Or, you know, use the cake stand to display cake. Cake is always a great centrepiece – particularly with a Christmassy sprinkling of icing sugar snow.
  • There is something about green holly and boxwood that immediately makes you feel wonderfully festive – and although it’s usually paired with deep, dark red, why not pair it with something a little bit different, like bright orange, turquoise or pink? It’ll add an unexpected and modern twist to your festive fayre.
  • Things like vintage toys are unexpectedly festive, so why not pop to your local charity shop or antique fair and buy some vintage toys? Display them in a little tableau on a side table for a lovely and rather unusual Christmas display.
  • Settle on a theme. Red and white are known festive hues, so you could recreate your usual decor with Christmassy-decor – for example, fill mason jars with red and white candy, candy canes, red pine cones, then hang up a framed print of the word “JOY” in place of your usual artwork. It’s an unusual way to decorate, but it’s really lovely, as your decorations slip right into your usual scheme so nothing feels overdone.

Source: Style at Home

Why You Should Hire Christmas Decorations

Christmas is the most expensive time of year – we all know it, we all expect it, but that doesn’t make it any easier! Having to fork out for a new Christmas tree each year, as well as replacing decorations – or having to buy a new tree and decorations for a business, event or for commercial purposes can set you back a fortune. Learn more about hiring Christmas decorations here.

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Hiring Christmas Trees

Although hiring Christmas trees might sound like a bit of an alien concept, it actually makes a lot of sense – especially if you buy a fresh Christmas tree each and every year. If you hire a tree, it can then be taken away after the Christmas period, re-potted and replanted and then hired out again the following year. This helps to reduce waste but it’s also environmentally friendly, and over the lifetime of the tree, will absorb a tonne of carbon. Plus, once the tree grows too big for the home, it can be used in larger commercial businesses, schools, supermarkets and nursing homes and then finally, replanted into nature and left to grow. Figures suggest that 6 million Christmas trees are thrown away each year – and only 10% of those trees are recycled, with the rest simply being thrown into landfill to rot. Wouldn’t it be better if we could re-use these trees year after year?

Hiring Christmas Decorations

If you’re a student, living in temporary accommodation or on holiday, hiring Christmas decorations is actually a really great solution. You might not want to invest in a full set of Christmas decorations until you move into your dream home, or, if you only need decorations for one season, it’s much more environmentally friendly to hire decorations, instead of buying a cheap set and throwing them away when Christmas is over.

  • If you’re not a creature of habit and you love the idea of creating a whole new Christmas wonderland each year, hiring could be the answer. You could have a traditional Christmas theme with gold, red and green one year and a modern minimalist theme the next.
  • Not looking forward to untangling all of those Christmas wires? Hire your decorations instead – the hire company will come and take away your decorations for you, saving you the effort!
  • Short on storage space? Not got space in your loft for Christmas decorations and Christmas trees? Hiring could be the answer as you only have to look after the decorations for the Christmas season, meaning that you don’t have to sacrifice any space in your loft during the rest of the year.

Hiring for Business or Commercial Use

If you’re running a business, hoping to set up a Christmas event or planning to decorate a commercial venue, hiring decorations and trees is a great idea. Lighting and larger props can be difficult to acquire, especially on a large business or commercial scale, unless you hire the items. Alternatively, you’ll be able to hire the same decorations and items each year – meaning that you don’t have to worry about finding props, lighting, decorations and trees each year, letting you get on with the job of enjoying Christmas!

Hiring Christmas decorations, such as this fantastic Santa’s grotto or even “real” Santas can really make your Christmas go with a bang. It’s incredibly easy, too – just follow the links in this blog or search www.hirejungle.co.uk for “Christmas” to take a look at our full range of items.