In her sea­sonal series, El­iz­a­beth Har­bour shows how to cre­ate a col­lec­tion of beau­ti­ful hand­made dec­o­ra­tive ac­ces­sories, each with its own orig­i­nal charm THIS MONTH: CHRIST­MAS MAKES

Country Living (UK) - - Contents - de­signs and projects by el­iz­a­beth har­bour styling by ben ken­drick and alaina binks pho­to­graphs by rachel whit­ing

Con­tin­u­ing her sea­sonal series, El­iz­a­beth Har­bour shows how to cre­ate beau­ti­ful hand­made dec­o­ra­tive ac­ces­sories. This month: Christ­mas makes


Se­lec­tion of small paint­brushes Acrylic paints: white, yel­low, red and black Wooden dolly pegs White pa­per-cov­ered florist wire (20 gauge) Small wire cut­ters/pli­ers Pen­cil Fab­ric scis­sors and pink­ing shears 8cm-wide cream sheer rib­bon (40cm per fairy) PVA craft glue Sheet of white tis­sue pa­per White or cream thread Sewing nee­dle 1cm-wide cream satin rib­bon (12cm per fairy) Thin white card Gold paint Thin rib­bon, to hang

1 Mix to­gether a base colour for your doll’s face us­ing white, a lit­tle red and yel­low. Paint the top half of the peg on all sides.

2 When it’s dry, use black acrylic to paint on hair.

3 Us­ing slightly wa­tered-down black acrylic and a fine paint­brush, dot two eyes half­way down the face and two smaller dots for a nose.

4 Paint on lips in red acrylic. Mix to­gether red and white acrylic to make a soft pink and paint small cir­cles for her cheeks.

5 For the wings, take a 36cm piece of the pa­per-cov­ered wire and bend the left end round in a loop to make one wing (one third). Se­cure by wrap­ping the end of the wire where it meets.

6 Re­peat with the right side to make the sec­ond wing. There should be a longer length of wire left hang­ing down from the mid­dle (see far right) – wrap this around the mid­dle of both wings once or twice to se­cure in place. This should still leave a small amount of straight wire be­tween the wings.

7 On the sheer rib­bon, draw around both of the wings and then cut out and glue to the front of the wire wings. Trim when dry if needed.

8 Po­si­tion the wings in place on the back of the peg and neatly wrap the re­main­ing wire (from the wings) around the waist of the fairy to se­cure. Fin­ish by wrap­ping it around the base of the wings.

9 Cut an­other piece of wire into three 12cm pieces (this will be enough for three fairies). Take one piece and turn both ends into a small loop to make hands. Cut strips of white tis­sue pa­per to wrap and glue around the wire to neaten the hands.

10 Twist the arms in place around the back of the wings and glue to se­cure. Al­low to dry.

11 To make the skirt, cut a 30cm length of the sheer rib­bon; sew to­gether the two ends us­ing a run­ning stitch. Turn it in­side out so the seam is on the in­side.

12 Gather the skirt with a sim­ple run­ning stitch around the top edge, 1cm down. Gen­tly pull the two ends of the thread to close and gather the skirt around the fairy’s waist. Tie a knot and glue in place with the seam at the back.

13 Cut a 12cm piece of satin rib­bon. Drape it around the fairy’s neck, cross over the chest and glue in place at the back. Cut away any ex­cess.

14 Cut a 2.5cm x 1cm strip of thin white card with pink­ing shears. Wrap it around the end of a small paint­brush and glue end in place to make a crown. Al­low to dry, and paint gold. Al­ter­na­tively, use gold card. Glue in place on the fairy when dry.

15 For the fin­ish­ing touch, tie thin rib­bon be­hind the wings to make a hang­ing loop.


A pack of white Sculpey (oven-bake clay) Old rolling pin (no longer used for food) Plas­tic mat A medium Dala horse cookie cut­ter, avail­able from Ama­zon (ama­ Wooden skewer or knit­ting nee­dle Bak­ing tray Bak­ing parch­ment Craft knife Fine paint­brush Red Liq­ui­tex Soft Body Acrylic Paint, avail­able from Cass Art (cas­ Blue butcher’s twine

1 Take one sheet of Sculpey and roll it out evenly on a plas­tic mat to 0.5cm thick (any less and the dec­o­ra­tions will be too frag­ile and break).

2 Cut out sev­eral horses us­ing the cookie cut­ter. Press the ex­cess clay to­gether and roll it out again to make more horses. Re­peat with an­other piece if needed.

3 Work out where the hole for the rib­bon should be on each horse. Prior to mak­ing a hole, hold each horse be­tween your fin­gers to sim­u­late it hang­ing from a rib­bon to en­sure each one will hang level.

4 Us­ing a knit­ting nee­dle or wooden skewer, make a hole 0.5cm in from the outer edge, mov­ing the nee­dle in a cir­cu­lar mo­tion to make it big enough.

5 Fol­low the Sculpey in­struc­tions for bak­ing the clay in the oven.

6 When the dec­o­ra­tions have hard­ened, tidy up any rough edges with a craft knife.

7 Us­ing wa­tered-down red acrylic paint, paint your de­sign; when dry, do the same on the re­verse. 8 Once the paint on all the dec­o­ra­tions has dried, thread a length of twine through each to hang.


Formy foam blocks, avail­able from Ge­orge Weil ( Wooden skewer Pen­cil Cot­ton lace Scis­sors and glue Card­board Raised inkpad in fes­tive colours that’s big enough for the Formy block (wa­ter­proof ink is best for giftwrap) Smooth pa­per for print­ing on (this can be thin car­tridge pa­per, brown pa­per or lin­ing pa­per)

1 There are two ways to cre­ate images on Formy blocks – by draw­ing di­rectly on them or tak­ing an im­pres­sion. If you do the lat­ter, you’ll be able to re­use them. You can also use both sides of the block.

2 To draw your own de­sign, gen­tly press a wooden skewer at a 20 or 30 de­gree an­gle (to avoid tear­ing) into the foam to cre­ate in­den­ta­tions – you may want to draw a light de­sign in pen­cil first. To cre­ate dots, pierce the foam and ro­tate the wooden skewer.

3 To take an im­pres­sion from a piece of lace (as seen here), make a de­sign from cut sections and glue them to the card­board (see top right). Once dry, fol­low the ‘tak­ing an im­pres­sion’ in­struc­tions for the Formy blocks – you will need to warm the side you want to make an im­pres­sion on by hold­ing it above a toaster or iron for about 15 sec­onds – do not let it come into con­tact with the source of heat or it will burn. Press the block di­rectly on top of the lace de­sign and hold for a few sec­onds. If you go wrong, warm the foam and start again.

4 To print (a draw­ing or an im­pres­sion), press the Formy block onto the raised inkpad, mak­ing sure the im­age is evenly cov­ered with ink, and then press onto the pa­per.

5 Ex­per­i­ment with print­ing in dif­fer­ent colours and by stag­ger­ing the de­sign. You could also print gift tags and Christ­mas cards.

These sim­ple but stylish Christ­mas cards have a dec­o­ra­tion on the front that can be kept and used.


Mill­board (back of a sketch­book) Scalpel or sharp craft knife Cut­ting mat Grease­proof pa­per Gesso White Acrylic Cov­er­ing Paint, avail­able from Hob­by­craft (hob­by­ Paint­brushes Fine sand­pa­per Acrylic paint: red, yel­low, white, blue and black Bradawl and bod­kin Nar­row red ging­ham rib­bon Sheets of card Stamps and inkpads

1 Draw a sil­hou­ette of a goose, dove and robin.

2 Trans­fer the de­signs onto mill­board and care­fully cut out us­ing a scalpel or craft knife* on a cut­ting mat. Cut out sev­eral of each de­sign.

3 Lay a length of grease­proof pa­per on a flat sur­face.

4 Us­ing the Gesso paint, paint one side of the dec­o­ra­tion and lay, un­painted side down, on the grease­proof pa­per to dry. Then paint the other side and edges with the Gesso paint and al­low to dry in the same way.

5 When dry, smooth off any rough edges with fine sand­pa­per.

6 Mix red, yel­low and white with a lit­tle blue to cre­ate a grey colour for the geese. 7 Mix white with a hint of yel­low to cre­ate a warm white for the doves.

8 Mix red, yel­low and a lit­tle blue to cre­ate a brown colour for the robins. Squeeze out ex­tra red and white sep­a­rately ready to paint the robins’ breasts.

9 Paint both sides of the dec­o­ra­tions, al­low­ing each side to dry be­fore paint­ing the same on the other side.

10 Once dry, mix yel­low with a lit­tle red to make orange and paint the feet of the geese and the beaks of the geese and doves.

11 Add a bit more blue to the brown, used for the robins if there is any left, and paint their beaks and dot an eye onto all the birds.

12 When the dec­o­ra­tions are dry, make a hole in each bird us­ing a bradawl and cut­ting mat (work­ing out where the best place is so they bal­ance when hung).

13 Thread the bod­kin with a 20cm length of rib­bon – pass it through the dec­o­ra­tion.

14 Cut and fold the sheets of card (scor­ing them first with the back of a scalpel and ruler for a neater fold).

15 Make a hor­i­zon­tal cut in the cards, 1.5cm from the top edge.

16 Use al­pha­bet stamps to print a fes­tive word along the bot­tom of each card.

17 Push the rib­bon through the slot in the card, tie into a knot and al­low the bird to hang freely on the front.

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