Anyone who's ever watched Escape to the Chateau will know that Angel Strawbridge is an expert at taking items from around the house (or, should we say, the castle) and creating gorgeous interior design schemes.
Christmas is a special time at the Strawbridge home, with Angel and husband Dick going all out to create festive magic for their family. From the food to the outfits to the decorations around the place, no stone is left unturned when it comes to making Christmas feel like the most wonderful time of the year.
Angel's love of creating homeware using items she already has available to her is something she continues when it comes to festive decor and she's keen to share inspiration and ideas. Angel has chosen her top decorating tips, using everyday items from glass jars to old party dresses, so you can spruce up your home this Christmas, too.
Angel in the Tresorerie, her little haven in the Chateau’s attic. You can see Angel working her creative magic ✨ & helping fellow Chateaux owners in the NEW series of @escape_to_the_chateau DIY which returns to @channel4 on March 16th at 4pm! 🏰 . . . . . . . . . . #escapetothechateau #escapetothechateaudiy #angelstrawbridge #personalisedgifts #chateaudelamottehusson #thechateau
A post shared by The Chateau (@the_chateau_tv) on Feb 19, 2020 at 6:43am PST
Create an alternative advent calendar
"Hang numbered, decorated mini buckets from a chain or ribbon to create an alternative advent calendar," Angel suggested. "Alternatives to buckets can be tiny plant pots, little glass jars and small gift boxes."
"Decorate the buckets with Christmas wrapping paper or images, feathers, winter foliage such as holly and berries, dried flowers, or family images from past Christmases.
"Then, number the buckets and fill with treats. You could use alternatives to sweets or chocolate like small toys, or pieces of a puzzle that can be built through the month to be finished on Christmas Eve. Anything different is exciting and they don't just have to be for children."
Make wooden decorations
"Choose images you love, showing the warmth and fun of family Christmases past and print onto waxed paper before transferring onto wood," Angel said. "Remember to mirror print if there is any text on the picture.
"Cut the wood into small discs and finish with a thin coat of varnish and a hanging loop. Use glitter glue or beads to add a bit of Christmas sparkle!
"You can personalise further with names and then use them as place markers on the Christmas table. Or, use a large branch from the garden and hang the pictures to create a genuine family tree. Alternatively, they make great gift tags on presents."
Craft a foliage wreath
"Use a foam ring to create a unique wreath for the door to welcome your visitors at Christmas time," Angel suggested.
You can build a wreath on top of the foam circle using a range of materials.
"Don’t be afraid of experimenting with foliage," Angel said. "Use pine, holly, laurel, or any evergreen foliage to cover the base, then select some unusual or different pieces of foliage to bring the wreath to life. Use seed heads/pods, nuts, or berries. Spray some of them with glitter, snow spray or gold and silver colour. I love acorns sprayed gold, they are beautiful," she says.
"Decorate with ribbons, bows, feathers, bells or snowflakes to add that extra touch of Christmas. If it's for your front door, remember to go big and bold for that grand entrance."
Make your own Christmas stocking
"Use Christmas fabric, velvet or even cut up an old party dress to make your sack. Make sure its big enough for all those lovely gifts, though," advised Angel.
"The easiest way is just to sew it into a big rectangle. You don’t even need to make a channel for the cord, just finish the top nicely, or use pinking shears to give a fancy edge and then fill with gifts and tie closed with a fancy cord or ribbon.
"Decorate the bag too, with sparkles, ribbons, bows and gems, names or initials. You could print pictures onto T shirt printing paper and iron those on," Angel added.
Opt for pom-pom decorations
Pom-poms make a fun and unique Christmas decoration, according to Angel.
"Use cardboard circles as the base and loop layer upon layer of yarn over before cutting, tying and removing the card," she said.
"Experiment with different yarns, use fine yarns for a really tight pom-pop, and add wrappings of metallic yarn as you go for sparkle. If you use a yarn which is really chunky and loosely twisted, when cut it is really soft and fluffy. You could try fabric scraps, felt, or old T shirt fabric for a more unusual look.
"It doesn’t have to be just ball pom-poms either, you can do ovals and drop shapes," Angel said.
Then, use your creations to decorate the Christmas sacks or hang from the tree.
"Fasten groups of small ones together to create drops or clusters. Tiny ones look like little berries and go well on a wreath or as decorations on the advent calendar buckets."
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