To say I attended my first festive event back in October (#VikingArtyParty – check the hashtag for continued calibre content) you’d think I’d be fully on board with Christmas and all its associates but now with just one week to prepare, I feel less wired than I did when I was sipping mulled wine, eating gravy doused sandwiches, and getting nifty with arts and crafts with the best bloggers in town.
Ironically, it was one of the warmest days so it did feel a little odd walking in there on full Elf mode; however after celebrating the snowy season in skillful style I left with a sparkle of merriment and a different mindset to the one I usually carry when it comes to getting utterly creative for the yuletide joy.
I’m so quick to just go out and buy on impulse, whether that be for gifts, decorations, stocking fillers, the whole load, just because it’s easier to stick my hand in my pocket and reach for money instead of originality and innovation – but what hours of crafting and grafting taught me is that you can think out of the box, you can muster up your own folksy themed mementoes – whether that be for under the tree or round the table – and you can behold a prized handmade possession that no one else will have which makes Christmas that extra bit special.
During our afternoon of artsy designing we all partook in three separate activities from three separate expert workshops that resulted in a piece to take home at the end of it… even if it did mainly consist of failing on my part because I am incapable of succeeding in tasks until I’ve practised for days on end.
First up, was some Christmas cracker making from scratch with the lovely Jane from Tea and Crafting (and some instructional guides to go with). Built up with glitter paper, scissors, toilet roll tubes, sticky dots, and ribbon – all resourceful essentials you can pick up from your local convenience store – but something that can be made into a glitzy masterpiece adding detail to something ordinary and ready to pack with goodies that suit your tastes. Simple but effective. It’s amazing what you can produce from some cutting, sticking, folding, rolling, and tying! The miniatures would be perfect for placing as trimmings on a small tree or taking into the office for your annual party.
Next up was some seriously impressive and goal worthy calligraphy from the fabulously talented and considerate, encouraging, and patient with a novice like me – Joyce from ArtsyNibs. Calligraphy is a dexterity I’ve always wanted to learn and grasp, especially with the fancy lettering becoming more and more tasteful on those dreamy Instagram feeds that ooze inspiration.
It’s actually A LOT harder than it looks. Admittedly I found it difficult not just because I’m left handed but because said left hand is also numb, painful, and lacking grip 24/7. However, once I got the hang of finding the angles and pressuring the pen’s density from bold to light depending on the alphabet choice it became more fluent and flowing and I was soon swishing strokes at my own pace.
I think this was my favourite pursuit, not only because it was cathartic to the senses but because it can be constantly developed at home thanks to the black point and metallic pens we got to keep for ourselves. It’s such a charming way to add personality and flair to your Christmas cards, tags, envelopes, and whatever else you fancy experimenting with. It really does add that unique, homespun aspect!
Lastly, we got stamping till our heart’s content with some block printing lead by Maddie from Tea and Crafting. All you needed was some average stationery supplies, a blank magazine file, a gluestick, paint, and foam pads to make stencilled templates. I underestimated how much mess mine would make by going with an intricate design opposed to a no-nonsense quick one but nevertheless it was so much fun – I almost felt five again (just with a little more adult knack!).
The best thing is, you can make it your own, based on your individuality and your quirks – not just for Christmas, but all year round, too. Saying that, the Christmas tree and star-like prints would be a delightful addition on your desk for some extra ornamentation!
After getting my hands dirty (and I mean seriously dirty, I think I was still finding specks of red paint down my nails a week later) it made me want to strive for the blueprint prototype and it influenced me to go searching for other methods of crafting you can try out and present to either yourself or your loved ones. Just a few of my most desired examples include Christmas Watercolour, Crochet to stitch a fabric garland or a knitted jumper, Hamper Making (something I almost always try implementing into my Christmas gifts on a yearly basis), Bauble Making, and even Origami. It makes a wonderful pastime, is different from the generic shop bought goods, and can even become a full time hobby!
Thanks so much to the lovely Jennie for organising this event, thanks so much to the team for generously gifting us with our own present box, thanks to Matt for allowing us to use his candid photography in our posts, thanks to Lambert’s Yard for the sublime catering, and most of all thanks to the crafty specialists for broadening my horizon when the spirit is lacking!
Are you a DIY person?! I’d love to see and hear about some more inventive ideas!