Shop-bought cheap treats

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

THE ob­vi­ous choices for in­ex­pen­sive dec­o­ra­tions are Ikea and Wilkin­son’s. Both go to town at this time of year.

Ikea has a 25-piece set of Sno­mys baubles for £3.75 and a Strala pa­per star ta­ble lamp for £10 that looks great in a win­dow with its base sur­rounded by fresh win­ter green­ery. Ikea also do in­ex­pen­sive can­dles, though they will burn out much more quickly than some thing hand­made with nat­u­ral es­sen­tial oils. It might be bet­ter to in­vest in one qual­ity can­dle than lots of cheap ones.

Wilkin­son, which is the next best thing to the much missed Woolworths stores, has a good se­lec­tion of baubles and fairy lights. A pack of four large snow­ball baubles are £2.50 and there are 20 clear lights, also for £2.50. There are some smaller bat­tery pow­ered lights that are great for ta­ble tops and th­ese start at £1.50 for a snowflake tealight.

Home Bar­gains stores and pound shops are also good hunt­ing grounds, though you have to sort the wheat from chaff.

A less ob­vi­ous choice is another Swedish store, Clas Ohlson, which spe­cialises in hard­ware and some home­ware. There’s a branch on the Head­row in Leeds or you can buy online at www. cla­sohlson.com/uk

It has 25 per cent off dec­o­ra­tions, in­clud­ing a pearl LED string light, now £6.99 and Christ­mas tea tow­els for £2.19, which you can hang on the wall.

I’m a big fan of vin­tage and spe­cial­ist shops and fairs of­ten sell old dec­o­ra­tions at this time of year. I re­cently picked up a cou­ple of large, glass baubles beau­ti­fully dec­o­rated with birds for 50p each.

Re­mem­ber too that rather than buy­ing lots of cheaper dec­o­ra­tions, you could treat your­self to one or two spe­cial, more ex­pen­sive ones. If you like some­thing dif­fer­ent check out Re. Their items are stocked in Lib­erty. www.re-foundob­jects. com. Gra­ham and Green,www. gra­hamand­green.com , also have some great ideas. In York­shire, check out The Home at Salts Mill, Sal­taire, www. the­home­on­line.co.uk, which is a real in­spi­ra­tion. two pack­ets of small, cir­cu­lar gift tags and a roll of florists wire. You can n buy the lat­ter online, from craft shops, or Wilkin­son sells 5 me­tre lengths for £1. Sim­ple pierce a hole in the top of each tag and thread the wire through. You can also use string, em­broi­dery cot­ton or nar­row rib­bon.

Home­made salt dough dec­o­ra­tions are also easy to make. Sim­ply roll out the dough to around 3mm thick and cut fes­tive shapes with cookie cut­ters. Stars and tiny ginger­bread men look best. Don’t for­get to cre­ate a hole at the top with a darn­ing nee­dle be­fore leav­ing them to dry for at least 24 hours. You can hang them in­di­vid­u­ally or string to­gether with florists wire to make a gar­land.

Brown or white lug­gage la­bels make great al­ter­na­tive baubles. You can write Christ­mas mes­sages on them or buy a fes­tive stamp and ink pad and print pic­tures and words. www. stampin­gallthe­way.co.uk has a good se­lec­tion.

Hob­by­craft, www.hob­by­craft. co.uk, has an ideas sec­tion on its web­site. It re­veals how to make ev­ery­thing from a felt stock­ing to a dec­o­ra­tive but­ton tree and this cute rat­tan wreath snow­man, pic­tured. holly, ivy, fruit and spices, and, of course, the poin­set­tia, which look best in groups.

You don’t have to be artis­tic to col­lect a few twigs and branches, dry them out, tie them to­gether then dec­o­rate them with tiny

Don’t con­fine holly wreaths to the front door, they look great hung in­side, lit with fairy lights.

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