A novel Christmas tree

 

book-tree

Sarah writes…

If you love books like I do and fancy a pine-free tree – or just another tree to add to your collection – how about giving this book tree a go?

It’s pretty easy and only a little bit fiddly – and it’s guaranteed to make your festive poppers-in think you’re really literary and clever.

 

flower-2square-bare-tree

booksclose-up-tree

Here’s how…

1  Get all your books together – it’s good to get a mix of large hardback, paperback and smaller books. A metre-high tree, like this one, requires about 30 or 40 books

2  Lay your foundations by arranging 6 books of a similar size and thickness into a flower shape. If you’re doing a massive book-off tree then you might want to use 10 or even 12 books in your first flower layer

3 Start building, bringing your books towards the centre of the tree a bit more with each new flower layer. Make sure to use books of a similar girth (oo-er) on each level to prevent the wobbles

4 When you’ve gone as far as you can with your flower layers, you can start using one large book or two smaller books to build up your tree, getting narrower as you go

5 When you’ve reached a height you’re happy with, add a few smaller books to finish it off – Jasmine’s tiny pop-up books came in handy here. At this point, you might also want to prettify your tree shape by shifting books around here and there

6 Drape your tree in lights – I’m a sucker for a retro coloured light as it reminds me of being a misty-eyed kid in the 80s and 90s. I topped off the tree with a flickering LED tea light, too, but you could go for a pine cone, or an angel or whatever floats your Christmassy boat

Important aside: if you have a marauding toddler like I do – you could secure your books with a bit of blue tack to stop it from being smashed over. Or even better, build your tree on a surface they can’t reach. Building your book tree on a low bookshelf means double the book-y joy

finished-tree

Will you be decking your halls nice and early? We’d love to hear your DIY deco ideas..

You might have noticed that WMBL has driven back for Christmas – yup, we had a very extended summer break and didn’t blog during that time, which we’re slapping our own wrists for. No excuses other than we’ve all been manically busy with jobs and kiddos etc. But we’re back now and won’t be going away again! Thanks for bearing with us and see you again very soon. Merry early Christmas! 

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Make a Pawsome Christmas Card

Christmas is on its way, John Lewis said so. And with it, the impulse to get creative. Or drunk. We’ll do both.

First, however, we decided to get creative and make our own Christmas cards. With a dog theme, because why not.

So if you’re feeling festively crafty and craftily festive and want a bit of Scotty Dog Christmas card-making action of your own, here’s a nice how-to – courtesy of Alice. Who came up with this cute dog design in her very own brain.

Want to make this bugger now? Here’s how…

You’ll need: Plain white card/s and envelope/s; a piece of festive material; thin ribbon for the dog collar; cotton wool for stuffing; tracing paper; needle; thread; pins; scissors; nice pen; chopstick, and glue or a fancy glue gun – Alice does creative things for Topshop so if she didn’t have one she should probably be sacked but don’t feel bad if you only have a tube of Super Glue

  1. Create a dog template. If you’re a great artist, freestyle. If you can’t draw for toffee it’s time to go dogging. The best tip is to Google-image ‘Scotty dog silhouette’. If you’re not into Scotties, search for the dog of your choice

2. When you’ve found a dog you like, that’s the right size for your card, print it off and trace it. Then add 5mm around the edge for your seam allowance. Cut neatly along your line

3. Now fold your fabric in half and pin on your tracing paper dog. Next, cut around your template

4. You’ll be left with two little flat dogs (Sheila and Sandra). Put them right side together so the inside of your fabric is facing out

5. Start stitching anti-clockwise from the top of your dog’s right paw. Don’t worry if you’re no Vivienne Westwood, or even one of the workers from Underworld in Coronation Street.

The stitches don’t need to be ultra neat; they just need to be very, very close together – because you’ll be stuffing this bad boy and you don’t want its innards spilling out

6. Stitch all the way around until you reach Scotty’s belly. Then stop abruptly, tie a neat little knot and cut your cotton. Now turn your fabric right side out

7. It’s time to get stuffed. Rip your cotton wool into teeny pieces and start stuffing your mutt with the help of your chopstick, which will get into those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies

8. All nice and stuffed? 

9. It’s time to stitch up your Scotty’s tum

10. Let get this pooch dressed up. Tie the ribbon around her neck in a fancy festive bow

11. Cute, huh?

12. Now add blobs of superglue to your Scotty and whack it on your card. FYI, we bought a pack of 25 ready-made cards and envelopes from John Lewis’s craft department (hey, JL, fancy sponsoring us? That’s your second mention today)

13. Woo hoo, it’s pun time. “Have a Woof-ly Christmas”, perhaps. “A Winter’s Tail”? “Have a Pawfect Christmas”? “The Most Woof-derful Time of the Year”, “Dog Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”? “Bone Noël”? Let’s stop there. Time to proffer this thing to someone special.

14. Et, voila. A handmade original for Christmas, which your nearest and dearest will go ruddy barking mad for.

Will anyone else be crafting anything unique for Christmas? We’d love to hear from you…