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Country Baskets Festive Face-Off: DIY Christmas decoration challenge

Country Baskets Festive Face Off Christmas craft challenge 2014

As if December wasn’t busy enough already, we’ve been knee deep in crafting this week (well, covered in glitter and bits of wire, at least). The folks at Country Baskets invited us to take part in their Festive Face-off challenge and we couldn’t resist!

We were sent a box of goodies and the challenge was to transform them into a festive decoration, using at least four of the items (plus any extra items of our own). The items provided were as follows:

Make your own Christmas decorations

Green 2mm wire

A chain of mini bells

A stem of artificial (and very glittery) mistletoe

A box of blue wire balls

Silver poinsettia decorations

A box of silver heart baubles

A roll of silver ribbon

A length of white mini snowballs

Hmm. What to make?!

* At first glance, we wondered about creating a large hanging door wreath, as the wire would make a great base. We did start doing this, using pieces of cut up fabric and ribbon, before realising that we probably didn’t actually have enough fabric to make it effective enough.

* Next we considered creating a garland, to drape over the mantelpiece or hang vertically.

* Or maybe some pretty napkin rings, using a wire wrapping technique, to decorate a Christmas table.

But in the end, after much deliberation and an awful lot of playing, we came up with this:

How to make a contemporary Christmas tree table decoration

We present to you a contemporary style Christmas tree made from wire, standing amidst a mini decorated festive wreath.

How we made it

We created a mini wreath to stand the Christmas tree in. This is made from a piece of wire (that wire was jolly handy!), which we’ve wired together to create a circle.

The wire is decorated with two ribbons – the plain silver ribbon provided and a sparkly silver ribbon that we already had. The ribbons have been wound around several times to create a nicely padded base and also so there are spaces to be able to weave in the ends of the decorations.

How to make a festive table decoration Fresh Design Blog

Make your own Christmas decorations

We chopped up the large piece of mistletoe into several smaller, more manageable pieces and fitted these into the ribbon base – the ends easily slipped under the folds of ribbon to secure them.

How to make a Christmas table decoration

We rather liked the look with just the mistletoe, but to add a bit more depth to it, we’ve included the silver poinsettia flowers too. These were great to use as they’re attached to thin pieces of wire, so could easily be wrapped around the base, helping to add some extra security.

We loved the pom-pom style white snowballs and thought they worked rather well with the frosted berries on the mistletoe, so detached some of those from the string and wrapped them around the base too.

How to make a wire Christmas tree

The contemporary style Christmas tree is shaped and moulded from the wire. It’s very pliable wire and easy to handle, which helped a great deal. There are a couple of rounds on the base and we’ve used a thinner green jewellery wire (4mm, which we already had and luckily matched perfectly) to bind the pieces securely together to form a sturdy base.

The tree is decorated with the mini bells. We’ve taken them off the chain they came on and re-used the jump rings they were on to hang them onto the tree. It takes a bit of fiddling around to get the bells to hang where you want them.

Aside from making the wire tree construction a tad unbalanced when you put them on, the bells also all want to automatically whizz around the tree like a mad helter skelter, so a bit of experimenting and patience is required.

Fresh Design Blog DIY guide to making a contemporary Christmas decoration

All in all, it seemed to work quite well and we were pleased with the end result. It looks nice displayed on a mantlepiece or used as a Christmas table centrepiece. The two pieces (tree and wreath) aren’t attached together, so could also be used separately – the mini wreath is the perfect size to act as a candle wreath.

So we did succeed in using at least four items (the green wire, some of the bells, artificial mistletoe, silver poinsettias, silver ribbon and some of the white snowballs) and still have loads left! We liked the look of the turquoise wire balls, but they didn’t quite fit with this, and are already thinking of what we could do with the left over decorations.

What would you have made?

Check out the Country Baskets blog and Twitter channel to discover more ideas for festive makes.

(Disclosure: Products were supplied by Country Baskets for the purposes of the challenge and this post serves as an entry into their 2014 Festive Face Off competition)

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