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New LED Lights Just Arrived

Our 2012 stock of LED christmas lights have just arrived.   This year we have  a selection of various lit lengths in white, warm white, multi colour and blue ligths available.   Last year the warm white christmas lights proved to be the most popular – some sizes selling out well before Christmas.

Christmas lights are so useful for using other than on your christmas tree.   They can give such a festive look to your home – lay them accross the mantelpiece, wrap them around the bannisters, use them to decorate the top of your kitchen units – just a few suggestions where they can be used.

We also have in stock some fabulous red cherry lights that are wonderful for decorating a tree or bush outside.   I always think that a lit tree in a garden or pathway is a great welcome to friends and family over the Festive Season.

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Using Christmas Decorations To Brighten Up Your Home

While we traditionally decorate a Christmas tree with a wide range of decorations, you don’t have to stop there. Christmas decorations can be used anywhere in the home, it just takes a little imagination and the desire to do something different. One area of the home that always looks great when decorated is a staircase. Consider some of these ideas, and if you don’t have a staircase, take the ideas on board and use them to affect elsewhere.

Baubles are normally tied to a Christmas tree, yet they can look good anywhere. Tie a Christmassy ribbon to baubles and hang them from a staircase railing. Mix the colours around, or use contrasting decorations with just the one colour bauble. You can add red and white Santas, white stars, or white angels for contrast. Don’t fall into the trap of hanging everything the same length. Vary your length including allowing some to hang below the staircase to the supporting wall. Use your imagination and be sure to stand back constantly to review your handiwork. Don’t have a staircase – use the same principle to hang baubles of varying lengths in your window – that looks great too, especially at night from the outside with the interior lights highlighting them.

If you have a cut Christmas tree, cut the bottom branch or two off, trim them back a little, then run them down the length of the staircase railing. The green foliage looks good if offset by red, gold or silver baubles. Don’t forget to hang a length of foliage down the newel at the foot of the stairs.  You can decorate the foliage as well, however, use small decorations. There are two problems with using a branch from your Christmas tree – you need to be sure your tree still looks proportionate with missing lower branches, and, more importantly, the branch used on the staircase will suffer from needle drop.

Finally, add a string of Christmas lights. LED lights are best for this as they generate less heat and are more hardy. You could also consider rope lights or icicle lights depending on the size of your staircase. If you can place your decorated Christmas tree alongside your decorated staircase, the overall effect is terrific. Christmas decorations are not just for Christmas trees; they can be used anywhere you like.

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Welcome Your Visitors This Christmas With A Well Decorated Front Door

Decorating a front door for Christmas used to start and stop with a Christmas wreath. Then plastics took over and we had all sorts of decorations including the plastic Santa mask. You can do a lot more than that and the end result is a front door that really does welcome your visitors. It doesn’t take a lot of work and it needn’t be expensive. Here are a few tips that may give you ideas on how to brighten your front door this Christmas.

  • Icicles – For a simple look, hang a traditional wreath on the door, then hang white icicle lights above the door.
  • Garlands – here, you can really use your imagination. Create a colourful garland using any form of greenery for the base. You can often buy these from garland bases from florists. Create a matching wreath to hang from the door, then hang the garland from the door frame. If you have themed your Christmas tree, then continue the theme to your front door.
  • Potted Christmas tree – buy a small potted Christmas tree, decorate it and place outside rather than inside.
  • Wreaths – not one, but two, three or even four wreaths. This will depend on the size of your door. The best effect is a large well decorated Christmas wreath in the middle with smaller less decorated wreaths top and bottom with the edges just touching.
  • Rope lights – frame your door with rope lights. These have a lit length of eight meters so that’s plenty of light to frame your doorway.

You can really use anything to decorate your doorway. Use a little imagination, or take a walk around your neighbourhood to see what others are doing this year. A well decorated doorway always looks inviting, and it certainly works as a conversation starter.

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Turning Christmas Cards Into Christmas Decorations

Here’s a suggestion that all the family can do – turning your old Christmas cards into Christmas decorations. It doesn’t have to be old Christmas cards either – if you haven’t kept them, then pick up one of those boxes of cheap cards and use them. Your options are many and this is one activity that even the smallest child can help with, especially if you have children’s safety scissors.

Kids love to cut things out so let them cut out the pictures from the front of your Christmas cards. Use a small hole punch to put holes in the cut out images, then either thread them onto a long piece of thread or use them with plastic cable ties to decorate your Christmas tree. If you want a different look, cut the verse that often appears inside Christmas cards and scatter them around your tree – the effect is even better if you cut them out in different shapes.

Images that have been threaded can be used to frame windows, doorways or from corner to corner in a room. Your children can also make interesting Christmas collages that can be placed in windows, or in their bedrooms. If you are dexterous with a craft knife, you can cut images from the front of cards that place the card just in front of  Christmas lights – the effect is a little like a lantern with light coming through where the image has been removed. Your use of old Christmas cards is really only limited by your imagination.

If you receive a few Christmas cards each year, consider punching a hole in one corner of the card and hanging them from the branches of your Christmas tree. They help to add dimension to the tree, especially if hung close to the truck rather than from the ends of branches. We live in a world of recycling and reusing, so why let your youngsters recycle those old Christmas cards – they make great Christmas decorations.

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Creating Novel Christmas Tree Toppers

While we focus a lot of creative attention to decorating Christmas trees, we often forget all about the top of the tree.  Instead of being creative, most decorators revert to the traditional star or angel for their tree. Why don’t you become creative and add something completely different to the top of your tree this Christmas? Here are a few Christmas tree topper suggestions to consider.

  • Feathers – you can buy imitation feathers from most craft shops. Peacock feathers can add some real elegance to a tree – and certainly look different.
  • Flowers – a posy of fresh flowers can make a great Christmas tree topper. You can also consider larger flowers such as a white poinsettia or hydrangea.
  • Snow Flake – your children will enjoy helping here, in fact, most school age children are better at making a snow flake than their parent. Fold up a sheet of white paper then cut a snow flake design. Unfold and behold a wonderful snow flake for the top of your tree.
  • Ribbons – create an elegant and formal bow tie using ribbon,  or simply hang coloured ribbons in a streamer effect. It’s your tree, use your imagination.
  • Teddy Bears – teddy bears make great decorations, whether it’s small bears for the tree, or a large bear for the top, they look great. If you have a young member of the family, make it their teddy once Christmas has finished.
  • Toys – there are a wide range of toys that can be added to the top of a Christmas tree. Make sure the toy is not too large for the tree.
  • Photos – for the sentimentalists, photos of absent or departed family members often bring sobriety to Christmas, they also make the tree somewhat special.
  • Star – while a star is very traditional, you can make your own. Make a wire five pointed star then decorate it with what ever comes to hand. Small coloured baubles, paper, flowers – again, use your imagination.
  • Mix’n’Match – try mixing several of these ideas together, for example, a teddy with a posy of fresh flowers, or a hand made stare with ribbons.

Christmas tree toppers can be anything that appeals to you and your family. The joy of a modern Christmas tree is that there is no right or wrong way to decorate a tree when it comes to being creative. If the end result looks good in your eyes, then that is what matters most. Tree toppers add that final finish, and you don’t have to stick with traditional Christmas stars, create your own stunning effect instead.

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Add Variety To Your Christmas Tree Decorations

Decorating a Christmas tree should be fun. However, it can become boring if, year after year, you just use Christmas lights, baubles and tinsel. Why don’t you break with tradition this year and really have fun. If you have children, get them to join in. Christmas decorations can be made from anything. Here are a few ideas to stimulate your imagination:

  • Fresh flower daisy chains – okay, they don’t last for long, but kids love to make them and if you have enough flowers, keep making new ones.
  • Paper chains – cut old wrapping paper and/or colored paper into one inch strips six inches long and put them together in loops to make a colourful chain. Make the paper strips thinner, wider, longer or shorter to vary the effect.
  • Presents – wrap small boxes with Christmas paper to look like small presents. Make squares, rectangles, triangles and even ball shaped “presents”.
  • Sweets – hang small bags of sweets from the tree. You can use them as rewards if you have children.
  • Nature – there are many items that come from nature. Pine cones, acorns, berries, twigs, leaves just to name a few. Dip them in paint and hang them from your tree. See how creative you can get by putting them together. You can also purchase a plain Christmas wreath and decorate that using these items.

When you make your own decorations, there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way. Creativity has no rules bar one – whether or not you like the finished effect. One word of warning, once you start, it’s hard to stop, and the last thing you want is a tree that is over decorated. There is one thing we do know – there’s nothing more satisfying than creating your own Christmas decorations, especially when family and friends look at your Christmas tree and say – WOW! Still don’t have a Christmas tree? Perhaps we can help.

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Adding Garlands To Your Christmas Tree For Added Effect

Christmas trees look great when they are fully decorated with lights, baubles and trinkets. You add extra dimension to your tree by adding garlands. In some areas, the tradition is to use colored tinsel as a garland, however, you can really make garlands out of anything. Crepe paper can be used to make great garlands, especially if you give the crepe paper a half twist between branches. You can sit down with string and beads (or any other craft material) and create your own as well – kids love this task and they can be as creative as they wish. One thing to be careful with when using beads is that you don’t make your garland too heavy.

When placing a garland on a Christmas tree, work from the top slowly going around your tree. Never place a garland too tightly around a tree, otherwise you will tend to pull branches together and this will take away the symmetry that Christmas trees are famous for. Instead, place the garlands loosely with a slight sagging between branches. Work your way from the top of the tree to the bottom. Light garlands such as those made from tinsel or crepe paper look good on the branch extremities as the final decoration. Heavier garlands should be placed deeper into the tree where the branches are a little stronger.

Decorating a Christmas tree is all about imagination, and about what looks good to your eye. Be sure you garlands complement your lights and baubles – each should add to an overall picture. One danger that many make is to make a Christmas tree too busy. This is a Christmas tree, so we do want to see the tree as well.

When completed, step back and look at the finished product. Does it look balanced; do branches sag from too much weight? Do remember to turn the room lights off and your Christmas lights on – this will give you a good idea of how well decorated your Christmas tree. Decorating a Christmas tree should be fun, not a chore – so enjoy the experience, you only get to do it once a year. Of course, you have to order your tree first – have you ordered your farm fresh cut Christmas tree yet?

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Turn Baubles Into A Fun Tabletop Christmas Decoration

Are you looking for new and novel Christmas decorations? You are really only limited by your imagination when it comes to creating decorations, and sometimes, the items required are all close at hand. While baubles are commonly used to decorate Christmas trees, they can be used in a variety of places. Here’s a do-it-yourself tabletop decoration that you and the children should have fun putting together. Remember, use your imagination, and include other decorations like leaves, dried berries and dried twigs for ever better effect.

Materials: Length of dowel (this is the height of the table top decoration so cut to your preferred size); silver or gold wrapping paper; baubles and decorations in a range of sizes and colours; old large sock stuffed to form a rough ball shape; attractive bowl filled with stones, rocks or glass beads (deep enough to anchor your decoration). You will also need a large needle and thread and plasticine.

How: wrap the dowel in silver or gold wrapping paper. Place one end in to the stuffed sock and keep in place using an elastic band. Thread a large needle and tie one end to the hanging ring of a bauble. Thread the needle through the sock pull the thread through until the bauble is firm against the sock (not to tight). You can thread the next bauble and continue placing baubles (and other decorations) as you go.

Be creative, the end result should be similar to lollipop made from baubles and anything else you have found. You can add hanging ribbon or tinsel for added effect if you like. Once complete, anchor the base into the plasticine, then place in the bowl surrounded by rocks, stones or beads.

This decoration looks great as a central tabletop decoration, and it’s one that you (and your children) can proudly claim as your own. After Christmas, you can easily take the decoration apart again, carefully storing the decorations ready for an all new decoration next Christmas. Tip – the larger the ball shape to begin with, the larger the lollipop, however, don’t make it too big, otherwise it will be unstable and hard to keep from toppling over. If you don’t have enough baubles, then check out our range of fabulous Christmas baubles – there’s plenty there to keep your imagination busy this year.

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Christmas Table Top Decorations To Add Wow To Christmas Dinner

When we think about Christmas traditions our minds often drift to decorated Christmas trees, wreathes on front doors, Christmas carols and Christmas dinner. Kids of course think of Christmas presents, and all the wonderfully decorated homes. If you’re into the big family Christmas dinner, consider adding a little wow with a table top Christmas decoration.

Christmas dinner is a special occasion for many families. A lot of time and work goes into putting together a real family feast, and that includes giving thought to who is sitting where, and the special decorations and  tableware to be used. Most decorations at a Christmas dinner revolves around a themed table cloth and napkins. Perhaps it’s time to add that wow.

The silver spiral Christmas tree adds that special touch. It stands 40 cm tall and comes with 24 blue LED lights, perfect for the centre of your dinner table. The LED lights are static so they won’t distract diners while the tiny red and blue baubles add colour and interest. Being silver in colour, the spiral Christmas tree will match most table themes and layouts. The lights are subtle enough to make the tree glow without any of the harshness that is often associated with small lights.

Unfortunately, there are not too many of these left, and they are currently at a special price. If you have a large dinner table, then buying two certainly wouldn’t look amiss – it creates two centres on your dining table, helping to make it appear smaller and a little more intimate. If you haven’t had table top decorations before, the silver spiral Christmas tree is a good place to start.

 

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Another Festive Trend for Winter 2011

Teal & Silver Bauble Decorations

We visited the retailers exhibition  Top Drawer in London where there were a few interesting trend tips for Christmas this year. One is tapping into the traditional, craft side of things where homemade decorations are being encouraged – this fits the choice for a real christmas tree without at doubt!  The other was a silver & teal colour combination – our collection of bauble decorations certainly fits the look.