Super Quick Salt Dough Christmas Decorations

After decorating our Christmas tree on Monday (bit keen I know…) it was still looking fairly dull so I started trying to find crafty ideas to add to it. I kept coming across blogs with Salt Dough decorations so thought I’d give it a go – however most of the instructions suggested cooking them for 4 – 6 hours or leaving them out to dry for a couple of days! I definitely lack the patience for either of those so set about finding a quicker method of setting the dough – a bit of trial and error later and a few slightly exploded decorations and I found a much easier way where you can set the dough in about 5 minutes!

To make the dough mix 2 cups plain flour (I used a mug instead of the official ‘cup’ measurement as it’s just important to keep the proportions the same) with 1 cup regular table salt and gradually mix in 1 cup warm water – you might not need all the water, I had a teeny bit left over. Stir all the ingredients in a bowl and then knead until…. doughy? I’d say between 5-10 minutes depending on how buff you are (ha…)

It should look like this:

salt dough, christmas, craft, diy., hobby, decorations, homemade, xmas, festive,

Next, roll the dough out onto a very well floured surface. I found it best to roll it really quite thin – maybe 5mm – as this stopped the dough puffing up when cooked. Then cut out your decorations using cookie cutters. I started off making round ones but they looked a bit boring so I ended up doing stars instead.

salt dough, christmas, craft, diy., hobby, decorations, homemade, xmas, festive,

To make the decorations more interesting I then jazzed them up using an ink pad and some individual letter stamps which I bought from Amazon.

IMG_7358 salt dough, christmas, craft, diy., hobby, decorations, homemade, xmas, festive,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

salt dough, christmas, craft, diy., hobby, decorations, homemade, xmas, festive,

Don’t forget to pierce a small hole in the decorations if you’re planning to hang them – I used a cocktail stick – and now they are ready to ‘bake’.

This is where my incredible cooking skills really came in handy as I stuck the decorations in the microwave!

Initially the dough kept puffing up as it was heating too fast and the moisture was trying to escape too quickly so I turned the microwave to a lower setting and tried again. After a few attempts at this and lots more turning the microwave down I found the perfect setting was the lowest one – you know the one that’s even lower than defrost and you’ve never used before? We shall call it the Salt Dough setting.

I’d suggest cooking for about 1.5 mins then flipping over – continue this until they are completely hard and dry – should take about 5 minutes ish… And there you go!

This amount of dough makes about 35 decorations so filled all the tree gaps nicely and I had enough left over to make a garland for over the mirror.

salt dough, christmas, craft, diy., hobby, decorations, homemade, xmas, festive, tree, garland, ink, stamp, baubles

salt dough, christmas, craft, diy., hobby, decorations, homemade, xmas, festive, tree, garland, ink, stamp, baubles

Hope you like them!

Thanks for reading,

Tali x

 

DIY Advent Calendar!

This year I decided to do something a little different for my boyfriend’s Advent Calendar as sadly I couldn’t quite afford this £140 Rum filled Drinks By The Dram one from Selfridges….

Advent calendar, christmas, selfridges, rum, luxury, 2014, festive, gift, inspiration

So I took the next best option and went on eBay – I bought 25 paper sweet bags, 20m red and white bakers twine and some numbered vintage looking stickers. I sourced a large twig and some ivy from the park and bought a selection of his favourite chocolate – plus a little extra something for his birthday day which is in December.

paper bags, advent calendar, homemade, craft

After filling the bags, I sealed them and tied them to on to the twig.

IMG_7319

When all the bags were attached (3 hours later…) I finished it off with the sprig of ivy.

IMG_7328

And voila!

advent calendar, christmas, homemade, diy, crafts, unique, natural, outdoors, festive, season, present, home, inspiration

Let me know what you think!

Thanks for reading,

Tali x

Home Improvements!

Apparently my boyfriend and I both own an unnecessary amount of shoes and, until this weekend, we had nowhere to store them. Our flat doesn’t have a hallway and so shoes always just seemed to get dumped in the bedroom which looked awful and often led to me falling over them. I’m really not a fan of standard shoe racks as you either end up with some kind of shelving unit of shoes which still looks just as messy, or one of those hideous pretend cupboard thingys which only ever seem to come in ‘pine-effect.’

We wanted to find something to put against the wall in our kitchen. Currently this area held a very out of place bookcase, an old mirror which I horribly decoupaged a few years ago – apparently before I had any taste – and the box of frames which we still haven’t got round to putting up.

Cue a trip to IKEA!

home improvement before

We came across the Kallax (previously Expedit) unit which I’ve always been a fan of but never really had a use for. The Kallax series is great because there’s loads of different inserts and boxes so you can switch it up depending on your colour scheme. We chose 4 of the black Dröna boxes which is perfect for hiding all of our shoes and they’re only £2.50 each!

ikea kallax expedit drona

Turned on its side the Kallax was the perfect width for the space but not quite high enough and would have looked a bit stumpy. We decided to add some legs and chose the stainless steel Capita which added another 16cm making it the perfect height.

As I’m currently obsessed with copper we sprayed the legs with spray paint after carefully masking off the little black feet, and also decided to add some copper to the ugly decoupage mirror.

Ikea Capita legs spray paint copper

After an evening of stripping, we sanded and masked off an area of the mirror to be sprayed.

Decoupage mirror frame stripped back to woodspray paint copper mirror frame

*On a side note – I met my upstairs neighbour for the first time this weekend whilst I was outside our building wielding a can of spray paint talking to a passing cat. She didn’t say hello. I don’t know why.*

Once it was dry and we took the masking tape off there didn’t seem to be enough variation between the wood and the copper so we painted a thin stripe in baby blue as well.

mirror frame painted copper blue

Et voila!

Hope you like the finished result. My bruises and I are certainly pleased not to be constantly tripping over shoes anymore…

after home improvements interior ikea copper

Thanks for reading!

Tali x

Our coffee table for under £5

Hi!

I’ve been putting off starting this blog because the idea of writing the all-important First Post is so intimidating that I’d convinced myself it would be the hardest part of ‘blogging’ by far. However, as this is in fact, my second attempt at a blog (the first lasting a whopping TWO posts in total) I think that excuse is a bit pants and I really just need to get on with it.

On the whole this blog will be a way to document a few exciting things that are happening in my life as I’ve finally decided on a career path as an Interiors/Prop Stylist and I’ve also just moved in with my boyfriend after six years together! Both of these things give me an excuse to find pretty things to put in houses which leads me smoothly on to….

THE TABLE I FOUND IN THE STREET!!!

I’ve always been so jealous when reading other people’s posts describing the amazing things they’ve rescued from skips and charity shops because all I ever seem to find on the street is discarded shoes. However, my time finally came and I stumbled across this coffee table, complete with delightful faux marble effect…..

Before table upcycling diy

After a quick spider extraction and – in true DIY style – a 3 week period of just ignoring it, my boyfriend and I finally stripped off the paint using some paint scrapers from the pound shop, a lot of elbow grease and the inventive use of my hairdryer…

table sanded stripped upcycling

We decided to leave the top wood and paint the legs a nice coral colour – Dulux Caribbean Dawn 2 – that I matched from our cushion covers (I might do a post about those later as I whipped them up out of some bargain Ikea fabric and they really brighten up the sofa). The colour of the legs is quite girlie but the rest of the living area is very black, white and grey and I worried it was verging on Batchelor Pad-esque so I think it helps to counteract that.

And here’s the final result!

after finished table sanded painted diy upcycle

Thanks for reading and I’d love to hear any feedback!

Tali x