I don’t know about you, but every year I look longingly through the White Company catalogue and wish my festive décor was half as tasteful. Silver, white, natural colours and textures, all framed in glorious evergreen. Alas, my tree decor is far from catalogue perfect. Our baubles all came from B&Q and Poundland on Christmas Eve two years ago – because we had only received the keys to our house the day before and I insisted that we have a tree – and were in garish shades, their only saving grace being the sheer number of them we managed to stuff onto the poor thing. Nobody would have pinned pictures of that bad boy, but he made our first Christmas in our own home.
Now though, I want something a bit more sophisticated. But with the ongoing house renovations which drain our money and having spent rather too much on our wedding this year, buying new ones are off the agenda, certainly new ones from the White Company! So I decided to do what any self-respecting DIY-er would do, and upcycle my decorations.
The two ideas below are very basic, but I think quite effective. The first involves spray paint and is quick and easy (as long as you ensure your spray paint is contained), and the second, as all good crafts, involves glue and string and is what I’d call a two-gin kind of craft. It’s not difficult, just a bit fiddly, and is best done in front of a Christmas film with a G&T to help you not care quite so much at the glue you’ve got all over your fingers/the furniture/the dog. Both would be suitable to get your children involved with, providing they are old enough to be trusted with items which have the potential to ruin furniture etc. (I’m thinking age 10 and up, but you may have a prodigy!)
How to Upcycle Baubles With Spray Paint
First up, spray paint. The brilliant thing about this is you can use any colour to suit any scheme. I already had some silver lying around so silver it was. You can even buy stone-effect paints which give a really great natural effect. I will be trying these next year. You will need:
- Baubles of varying sizes
- Can of spray paint in your chosen colour
- Bin bag/cardboard to protect your floor and surroundings
- a branch/pole/broom handle you don’t mind getting sparkly
- two chairs
- Outdoor space (spray paint should always be used outside due to the fumes, but a well ventilated garage or workshop will do too)
How to do it:
- Set up a spray paint “studio” in a suitable location. Place a branch across two chairs, with space for your baubles to hang on it in the middle, and then protect your chairs and floor with cardboard or bin bags or newspaper. I neglected this step and regretted it.
- Hang your baubles in a line on the branch.
- Following the instructions on the can about recommended distance, spray a light coat of paint onto both sides of your baubles and up from underneath.
- Leave to dry for an hour.
- Spray a second coat ensuring all areas are covered.
- Leave to dry overnight.
How to Upcycle Baubles With Jute String
You will need:
- Craft glue like PVA
- roll of jute string (from DIY/craft shop)
How to do it:
- Take your first bauble and your string. Tie a knot around the centre of the top of the bauble, with a little end of about a centimetre.
- Apply glue sparingly to the top centimetre of the bauble below the string.
- Holding the loose end flat against the bauble, wind the string slowly around the bauble over the loose end, making sure each layer sits under the one above it.
- Apply more glue as you go, continuing to wind the string.
- When you get to the very bottom of the bauble and have only two small coils left to complete, cut the string to the required length, then applying some extra glue to the last bit of exposed bauble, curl the string into the space. Hold the end down for thirty seconds to help it stick.
- Repeat until your string or will to live runs out.
I also got spray paint happy on this little deer chap who I bought in Poundland of all places. He was a very garish red glitter when I bought him. I think he looks quite classy now. In fact, I am pretty chuffed with my little Christmas set-up, and I actually think it wouldn’t look too out of place in a catalogue (picturesque log burners help, as do poseur dogs!). What do you think? Would you upcycle baubles or just splash out on a few new ones? If the latter option is more you, we have some lovely items in the Roost Shop which fit the aesthetic I’m going for. I just have to try not to buy
any too many myself! You can buy directly from this post which makes your festive shopping even easier (we take a commission on all sales, but no item costs more here than if you buy it directly from the seller).