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Upcycled Scandi Christmas decorations

Author: Alice Roberton

Janice Issitt

Read time:

14th December 2023

Make your own thrifty Scandi-inspired decorations from upcycled materials

The Scandinavians are known for their love of Christmas. The Nordic festive look is all about handcrafted simplicity, based on traditional shades of red and white with a touch of silver. Decorate your home with plenty of evergreen foliage, snuggly throws and the glow of candles too, for the full cosy hygge factor.

 

Janice Issitt
Janice Issitt

Embellished stockings

Nothing says ‘Christmas’ quite like stockings; they are true festive stalwarts with a nostalgic feel. Beautiful stockings can be expensive, especially if you have a large family. But the making option costs a fraction of the price and uses up otherwise waste materials.

For these I used a mix of old jumpers waiting to go to the charity shop and woollens which had fallen victim to washing-machine shrinkage. (If you hot wash 100% wool it shrinks almost to felt and is easy to cut up and use for making.) Vintage brooches and diamante jewellery add the all-important sparkle.

You will need

  • Paper for template
  • Pencil
  • Second-hand jumpers or shrunk woollens
  • Scissors
  • Needle and thread
  • Accessories/embellishments
  • Ribbon

How to

  • First create a stocking template. If you’re good at drawing freehand then give this a go, otherwise look online for one to print out.
  • Take your chosen jumper or woollens and, using the template, cut out two pieces, making sure you have mirror images.
  • There are two options for stitching together. Either use a decorative blanket stitch around the outside edge, or place the fabric wrong sides together and use a running stitch.
  • Add your embellishments, and stitch on a ribbon to hang the stocking.
Janice Issitt
Janice Issitt

Tin can lantern

I learnt to make these lanterns when my children were at kindergarten and they have been enjoyed season after season. The materials cost very little and when placed, or hung, in a group their homemade magic shines out.

Inside they look effective hung in windows, placed on the kitchen table, along a sideboard or on stairs. Outside they work brilliantly dangling in bare trees, or hung on the end of a foraged stick and poked into the ground to light pathways.

You will need

  • Used tin cans: washed and with labels removed
  • Towel/blanket, as a padded surface to work on
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Wire: from a local garden centre or craft shop
  • Tea lights: real or battery-operated
  • Reusable adhesive, like Blu Tack

How to

  • Fill your tin cans with water and place in the freezer overnight.
  • Set yourself up on a solid work surface and cover it with padding. Place your now frozen cans (if they have any remaining glue from the labels, this can now be knocked off with a blunt knife) on the padding and, using the hammer and nails, puncture holes in your chosen patterns or shapes. The ice inside the can will provide you with a solid surface to hammer into.
  • Make two holes either side at the top of the can to attach the wire hanger.
  • Once your design is complete, run the can under hot water to melt the ice.
  • Attach your wire hanger and place a tea light inside, attaching with reusable adhesive.
Janice Issitt
Janice Issitt

Doily snowflakes

Inspired by dreamcatchers, these vintage doilies make the perfect snowflakes with their delicate lace and crochet patterns. If you don’t have your own heirloom pieces handed down by aunts or grannies (or if they’re too precious to use for this), it’s easy to find vintage doilies on Etsy or at car-boot sales and vintage fairs.

You will need

  • Embroidery hoop
  • Vintage crochet or lace doily
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Ribbon to hang

How to

  • Choose a doily which is fractionally larger than the embroidery hoop you have. Make sure it stretches right over the hoop, over the edges, and around to the back.
  • Pin in place, then sew the doily to itself, at the back.
  • Add a ribbon to hang.

Looking for more crafty inspo?

Then check out Scandi Christmas by Christiane Bellstedt Myers. This book is full of heart-warming, seasonal making ideas to help add some Scandinavian simplicity to your festive decor.

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