Folded Book Christmas Tree

#52weeksofchristmas

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This Christmas tree is made from an old book that was destined for landfill.  It’s a simple make and perfect to use as a table centrepiece or to adorn a sideboard.

What you’ll need:

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  • an old paperback book (no less than 75 pages, numbered 1-150)
  • tea light holder or candlestick (I suggest hitting up your local charity shop or car boot)
  • old ornament, preferably something flat like shown above (this one had lost its hole for tying the string through)
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • all purpose glue

Step 1

Remove the cover from your book and put it to one side.  If your book is more than 75 pages, use a craft knife to carefully cut away the extra pages at the spine.

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Step 2

Fold your pages.  Each page consists of 3 folds:

Fold 1: take the top right corner and fold to the spine.  Crease firmly.

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Fold 2: fold over again to the spine and crease firmly.

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Fold 3: tuck up the triangle that is hanging over the bottom.  Crease firmly.

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Step 3

Continue this process with all pages until the book resembles a cone.

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(this is about 15 pages in)

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Step 4

Cut a circle out of the cover.  It should be bigger than the size of your tea light holder/candlestick.

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Step 5

Using the all purpose glue, affix the circle to the centre bottom of your cone.  Leave to dry for 5 minutes.

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Step 6

Apply glue to the top edge of your tea light holder/candlestick.  Attach to the centre of the cardboard circle on the underneath of your folded book cone.

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Step 7

Glue your ornament into the top centre of the paper cone.  Set aside to dry.

Top tip: I had to trim some of the pieces from my ornament to get it to fit.img_0819 copy

Voila! One folded book Christmas tree.  You could leave it here or go big!  Attach beads, buttons or even lights.  Personalise by adding a name tag, wrap in tinsel or cover in glitter!

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Advent Calendar Flip Frame

#52weeksofchristmas

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This is a great craft project to make use of your Christmas cards and wrapping paper.  It’s also a great craft if you’re not that crafty, as there are no special tools or skills required.

What you’ll need:

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– old christmas cards, wrapping paper, gift tags and bows

Ikea Tolsby frame

1″ metal book binder ring 

wooden numbers

– glue

– double sided tape

– foam tape

– scissors

– pencil

– ruler

– hole punch

I’m also using cupcake liners because they’ve been in my stash for a while now.

Step 1

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Assemble the base to your Tolsby frame.  Put aside the clear perspex as we won’t be using it on this project.

 Step 2

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Cut 12 pieces of cards that will fit freely inside your frame.  I recommend 12.5cm x 8.5cm.  Trim the top corners to create a gift tag shape.

Top tip: I used the backs of my Christmas cards for this as both sides will be covered.

Step 3

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Decorate each card on both sides.  Cover with wrapping paper, fussy cut around the images on the fronts of cards, stick on gift tags.  Play with different layouts, textures and shapes.

Top tip: When using wrapping paper, it may be easier to back it onto card before cutting, especially if you are fussy cutting around intricate shapes.

Step 4

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Affix your wooden numbers to the tags.  1 -12 on one side, 13-24 on the other.

Top tip: Remember to ensure you number each tag correctly.  So for the first tag, 1 will be on one side and 24 on the other.  Tag number 2 will have 2 on one side and 23 on the other, and so on.

Step 5

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Punch a hole in the top centre of your tags.  Thread onto your ring and attach the ring to the top of the frame.

Top tip: add decorative touches to your frame to match your decor.  Wrap in washi tape of affix small ornaments.

Voila!  One advent calendar flip frame.  Count the days down 1-12, then simply turn the frame around to continue the countdown to Christmas Eve.

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The possibilities are endless with this advent calendar.  You could add photos or samples of handwriting from your cards, personalising it to the recipient.  You could have your children each design tags, making it a family tradition for each year.

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52 Weeks of Christmas

#52weeksof christmas

It’s official – Christmas is over, the decorations are down and the new year resolutions are in full swing.  But I’ll let you into a little secret:  here at Ava Kitsch HQ it’s the beginning of 52 weeks of Christmas!

I’ve curated a collection of crafts and DIY’s that I’ll be exploring throughout the year, sharing them with you as I go.  The idea for this came from my mad panic rush to get everything done in the weeks leading up to Christmas.  Instead of enjoying my crafts, I ended up adding to my Christmas stress, with time that should have been spent with family instead spent frantically trying to put the finishing touches to the many projects I had optimistically started.

Another reason I wanted to do this was because I was appalled at the amount of waste that my family had produced over the festive season.  At Ava Kitsch HQ, it’s a mission to reduce and reuse waste wherever possible, and the amount of cards, wrapping paper and broken ornaments we acquired absolutely astounded me.

Some of these craft projects have been specifically chosen  as they are designed to recycle what would otherwise be thrown away.  The Sunday Post states that each year the amount of waste collected in the UK increases by 30%.  The Independent writes that we will use 108 million rolls of wrapping paper, and the average household will throw away 24 Christmas cards .  That amounts to 1 billion cards thrown away, according to envirowaste.co.uk.

These statistics are staggering.  And let’s not forget the actual cost of Christmas cards in terms of pound and pence.  We all have those ‘special’ cards we send to favourite aunts, close neighbours, the great uncle you never see but never forget to send a card to.  These generally cost more than the bog standard pack of 24 cards we send en-masse.  We take time to pick out the perfect card for each special recipient, but inevitably they are simply disregarded and disposed of with the rest of the household waste.

So let’s make better use of what we would otherwise throw away.  Keep tuned for new blog posts throughout the year and show me your makes with the #52weeksofchristmas on Instagram.

Happy 52 weeks of Christmas!

Ava Kitsch

Halloween Party Pack

It’s just a few short days now to Halloween. Every year it gets a little bit bigger and a bit more spooktacular…

If you are still looking for some last minute party inspiration look no further.

I’ve created a quick board filled with costume and party ideas on Pinterest -take a look here

Halloween Free Party Printables

I’ve also created a FREE Halloween party pack for you to download.

Halloween Free Party Printables

The pack includes straw marker so your guests don’t get their drinks mixed up.

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The pack also includes some zombie heads, punch a hole in each ear and thread through some string to create a quick party mask or stick them to the wall as a quirky Halloween decoration.

Halloween Free Party Printables

Halloween Free Party Printables (2)

 

Halloween Free Party Printables

You still have time to order your Halloween jewellery from my Folksy Shop.

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You also still have time to save 10% on your Ava Kitsch jewellery order by using the discount code SPOOKY10.

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Are you planning a Halloween party? What are your ultimate Halloween party tips? Have you got a great recipe for a spooky treat or an amazing idea for a ghastly costume?

I would love to hear from you. Thanks for taking the time to visit.

Are you ready for a spooktacular Halloween?

Hi everyone, it is definitely starting to feel more like Autumn with the nights getting darker and the chill in the air.

Halloween is just around the corner and here at Ava Kitsch HQ we are busy getting ready for the big day.

To help you plan your party outfits I’ve put together my top Halloween jewellery picks. You can check out the collection here

Highlights include some awesome Nightmare Before Christmas necklaces.

As an extra treat, I’ve also got a discount code for you to save 10% off any item purchased from my Folksy Shop. Use the code SPOOKY10 to save 10% at the checkout.

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I would love to hear from you. Are you going to a Halloween party? Does it have a theme? What will you be getting dressed up as?

Happy Halloween x

Are you ready for Autumn?

I love October, it is probably one of my favourite months in the entire year.

The weather is starting to feel cooler which is a relief after the hot summer. The leaves are starting to change colour and it is finally jumper weather.

Which is your favourite month?

Another reason for loving October is Halloween is just around the corner and Christmas (yes, I know, the ‘C’ word) is just hovering on the horizon.

This week I’ve had a little browse on www2.hm.com and found some beautiful clothes and accessories that would be perfect for Autumn.

My first choice is this textured weave jacket. This style of jacket is everywhere at the moment. I love the 80s vibe it is a classic design and is great for matching with jeans or wearing for work. It is also a great jacket as we transition from summer into the cooler Autumn months.

 

 

Match this jacket with a unique accessory, go with an oversized Bow Brooch. This could be worn on your jacket or used to add a bit of Gothic Victorian charm to your outfit.

 

 

My second choice is this beautiful dress. I do love a great black dress, definitely a must for any wardrobe. This dress would be perfect for grown-up Halloween parties but thinking ahead this dress would also be beautiful for Christmas parties.

 

 

You could match this dress with a truly unique accessory. I love the little details on this choker, the vintage photos make it really interesting.

 

 

 

My final choice is some really good boots. I love boots with a nice bit of grippage. H&M have some really great boots this season.

 

 

If you want a cute accessory to create that gothic look then take a look at this beautiful ribbon and lace choker.

 

 

Bonus Find

If you are planning ahead and getting yourself ready for Halloween check out this awesome dress from H&M. It won’t break the bank, it’s simple, stylish and fun.

 

What would be your perfect Halloween outfit?

 

 

Top 3 Animal Print Picks from New Look

There are some great trends this season, my favourite for September continues to be animal print.

New Look has a lot of choice for animal print so it was really hard to narrow my choices down to just three.

My first choice is this beautiful rust colour shirt.

Source: http://www.newlook.com

I really like that you can wear this shirt for work , a great shirt to transition from day to evening. You could pair it with some skinny jeans and boots for a great weekend look.

You could match this on trend shirt with some statement earrings. This pair of earrings combines owls with steampunk styling. A great accessory to wear in the Autumn to add a bit of fun and glamour to your outfit.

Pick two is this really great scarf. You can never have too many scarves and they are a great accessory for layering up as the weather is still so unpredictable.

Source: http://www.newlook.com

The perfect accessory to match with this glamorous scarf is these gold pineapple green bead earrings. This season is all about bold accessories, really fantastic statement pieces that will get you noticed.

My final pick is this super cute zebra print jumper. I just love the bold print. Jumpers are great for adding extra layers, this is the perfect jumper for date night.

Add a splash of colour to this jumper with some funky accessories. Turquoise is a great colour to add a bit of boho chic to your animal print.

Which is your favourite animal print this Autumn

I would love to hear from you. Let me know in the comment section.

The Great Plastic Debate Part II: The Final Tally

My week of collecting my plastic waste has come to an end, and I have to say that I’m both shocked and appalled.

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There it is.  The big reveal.  In a meagre 7 days, I’ve managed to acquire:

  • 11 plastic bags (carrier and packaging)
  • 18 bottles
  • 27 food packaging
  • 4 envelopes with bubble wrap lining
  • 1 tablet strip
  • 1 razor blade case
  • 9 protective air pockets from packaging
  • 9 miscellaneous items

Let’s do the maths.  Single handedly I’ve used 80 pieces of plastic.  80 pieces in 7 days.  That’s an average of just over 11 pieces of plastic used only once for every day of the week.  That’s madness.

I always thought I was quite good at saying no to plastic, that although unavoidable as it is I always manage to minimise what I use.  How wrong I was.  Apparently the fact that I take my own cotton totes when I go shopping doesn’t mean I avoid plastic carrier bags.  When I’m offered free bags I take them (and it seems more often than I realised).  Plastic bottles are an issue that I have thus far managed to avoid dealing with.  I don’t drink enough fluids, and having plastic bottles are handy for me, as I grab one and can leave it to come back to, having them dotted everywhere in the house and the car.  They’re handy.  Too handy it would seem.  I knew that food packaging would be a biggy.  It’s hard to say no to when it is literally on every supermarket shelf.  But that big?  That’s a lot of plastic, and a lot of it unnecessary.  Oversized to say the least, more air than food.  Tut tut, food manufacturers.

And let’s be honest, 80 probably isn’t the real number here.  I was conscious of the task in hand and therefore I know there were times when I deliberately avoided plastic (especially near the end of the week when bags of waste were overflowing and the guilt started to hit).  So let’s add another 10 to that number and call it 90.  And for total honesty and any incidentals (there’s probably plastic I’ve thrown away without even considering it, I know I wore two plasters this week and the packaging for them is not in this pile) let’s call it 100.  100 is my number.  In 7 days I would have sent 100 pieces of plastic to landfill, to our oceans.  I would have had the best of intentions, recycling where I could.  But as my research has shown that doesn’t always mean they’re going to get recycled – only 9% gets a second chance.  9 pieces of my plastic.  9 out of 100.

So let’s try to do something about that.  Let’s take the single use out of single use plastic and be responsible for our own recycling.  Follow me as I attempt to put the fantastic back into plastic, donning my cape of creativity to transform my trash into treasure.

 

 

The Great Plastic Debate

Our habitual use of single use plastic is an issue that has come to the forefront.  According to The United Nations Environment Programme, we globally use over 300 million tonnes of plastic each year, with only 9% of that actually been recycled (nationalgeographic.com).  A staggering 79% of plastic ends its life in landfills, and according to nationalgeographic.com, it inevitably reaches our oceans.

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(courtesy of change.org)

The solution would be for us to stop using single use plastics, but that can be a hard thing to do.  It’s everywhere; from the food we eat, to the clothes we buy to the post we get through our door.  So I’ve been thinking: what if we took the ‘single use’ out of single use plastics and instead reuse and repurpose?  It has been a mission statement of mine since I began making jewellery 6 years ago to stop what I could from going to landfill, and now it’s time to apply that ethos to everyday life.

The Plan

 I’m going to collect all of my plastic waste for 1 week.  At the end of that week, I hope with a little creativity (and probably a lot of pinterest, I’m not going to lie), let’s see if I can transform my trash into treasure and stop at least a little bit more plastic from polluting our oceans.

Easter Bunny Pom Pom Picture Decorations

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The Easter Bunny is about to pay a visit, and what better way to get ready than with these very cute bunny rabbit pom pom pictures.

What you’ll need:

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  • picture frames (glass removed)
  • scrapbook papers
  • coloured paper/card
  • pom poms
  • pritt stick
  • hot glue gun
  • pencil
  • scissors

Step 1

Select your background paper.  I found this pretty paper in my stash and with its bright blue sky and pretty flowers it’s perfect for Spring.  Cut to size.

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Step 2

Select a coloured paper/card for your Easter Bunnies.  I’m using glitter card stock to add a little bit of bling.

Step 3

Draw and cut out one large circle for the body, a smaller circle for the head and two ears.  Cut off a section of the larger circle so you have a straight edge.

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Step 4

*please be careful with hot glue*

Assemble your Easter Bunny onto your background paper, using the pritt stick to stick the pieces down.  Use the hot glue to attach the pom pom tail to the bottom of the large circle.

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These are so cute, I made one large and two smaller and made them the centrepiece of my Easter/Spring display.  These would also look super cute in a nursery!