First Christmas in London
For the first time we moved during Christmas, an overseas move at that. We had no Christmas decorations to put on our tree this year, and very little money left over from the move and buying gifts. The challenge was that all my craft supplies where gone as well, so these projects can be done by those who have very little crafting tools. So we set out to make our own ornaments, and it was a lot of fun. We did these projects together as a family, which made it extra special. Our tree turned out wonderful, and the kids really enjoyed helping out with all the projects.
It turns out that dried orange slices are popular here in London, especially on the trees in historic areas. It was very simple to cut the oranges into small slivers with a sharp knife and lay them on a cookie sheetlined with foil. I baked them on a low heat until the edges got a darker orange. Then I flipped them and let the other side cook. I am sorry I can't tell you specifically what temperatures, but our oven has numbers not temperature ratings. Once they cooled down I threaded some ribbon through it and hung it on the tree.
Paper Tubes and Cones
The secret to the success of these is having the right paper. I found some that had a nice shininess to it with Christmas prints. This should be easy enough to find in the scrapbooking section of any craft store.
Take the 12 x 12 sheet and cut it down into four equal squares. To make the tubes you roll up the paper like a toilet paper roll and tap the sides so it says. Next take the top of the roll and squeeze the circle together so it touches. Tape this shut. Turn it over and tape the other end in the opposite direction. If you would like now is a good time to tri
m the cone to the size you want. Tape it shut and tape a ribbon loop on it.
The cones are much easier, you simple take the bottom right hand corner of the curl it so it touches the upper left hand corner. Tape the seam, and at the top of the cone make a hole punch. Thread ribbon through the hole and tie it off to hang from the tree. Martha Stewarts website has a nice elaboration on how to make very cutesy paper cones for those interested in something a little fancier.
Here we made some origami ornaments. To mix up the paper and give it an antique look, we used some pages from the phonebooks that were left behind here. I tea dyed the pages to give it a different look, so it didn't look like we ripped out pages from the phonebook. I took the pages front the front where there are more informative pages. One or two of the ornaments are from pages of the Tube map. With the yellow pages paper we made origami cubes, and I took some of the fancier paper and made some other origami creations such as the flower and the paper cup. Origami Fun is a good resource for learning how to do basic origami creations.
In putting the tree together we added some finishing touches. Misty came crawling to us with a key chain full of skeleton keys, so we put ribbon on those and hung them on the tree which added a nice touch. We also put up some cookie cutters we strung with embroidery floss.
Another thing I did this year which I haven't done in eons is string popcorn and cranberries. Its been a family tradition of mine forever. My mom and I used to do it together and she told me that her grandmother did it with her every year. The kids helped me do it this year, so it was kind of special. Of course two days before Christmas we got some of our ornaments in, so we picked a few of our favorite ones, but the kids where so happy and proud of the ones we made that they pretty much left the tree alone. It was nice to have our angel as the tree topper and our tree skirt.