DIY Advent Calendar

 

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Hello my lovelies! It’s finally that time of year! The time when you can start to get Christmassy and nobody can get on your case about it, because it’s practically December, so it’s totally allowed! And we all know what that also means, it’s almost the start of advent!

I actually love the start of advent, it’s the time when I begin to get fully into the Christmas spirit and excited for the big day. And of course, who doesn’t love getting a chocolate every day for 24 days? Side note: Yes, I am 20, and yes, I still get an advent calendar. But besides the chocolate, that’s what I really love about advent. Having a daily countdown reminding me of how close we are to the 25th is something that still excites me now, and I never start to feel quite as festive as when I open that first door!

I’m super excited as I’m writing this because I’ll be travelling home from university on the 1st December to spend the weekend with my family and Jason. We’re going to put the Christmas decorations up, which normally involves lots of cheesy Christmas music. My parents, Hannah and I have always done this together for as long as I can remember; it’s really the start of the festive season in our household. This will also be the fifth time that Jason’s helped out with it- I love having us all together.

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So, with all that talk of advent, you’ve probably already guessed that this post may have something to do with it (or maybe you just read the title). This year I really wanted to make my own advent calendar. At first I’d considered sewing one, but I don’t have room for my sewing machine up at university, so it wouldn’t have been too practical. I’m also not exactly swimming in free time, so I wanted a project that would help me get in the Christmas mood without taking an age to create! I’m also broke, so cheap was a necessity!

Enter my toilet roll tube advent calendar! The definition of frugal. Inspired by my toilet roll tube bats, this advent calendar was completely free to make, seeing as I already had some Christmas craft paper in, and I’ve been saving up my left over loo roll tubes since returning to uni. Side note: For another free craft project, why not check out my previous post? DIY Conker Wreath.

I’m actually pretty happy with the result, I really love the homemade festive vibe it adds to my room. The best thing about this calendar is that you can fill it with whatever you want, be it a festive poem for each day or a small christmas trinket. Or, of course, chocolate. Adding a little christmassy tissue paper inside each of the ‘parcels’ makes it seem a bit more upmarket and less toilet roll-y. 🙂

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There’s not much to say about how to recreate this advent calendar; I’m sure you can suss that out for yourself! But I thought I’d post it more as an inspiration for yourselves if, like me, you’re wishing to create a frugal and alternative Christmas countdown for this festive season. (Or maybe as some inspiration for next year!) I’ll still include some basic instructions though for those of you wanting to recreate this craft project!

So what did I do?

You will need:

  • Toilet roll tubes.
  • Christmas paper.
  • Scissors or pinking shears.
  • Small advent numbers. I had these in my crafting collection, from Hobbycraft, but you can purchase similar from most craft stores at this time of year.
  • Some acrylic paints- optional!

Ok, so lets get started! I’ll forgo my usual numbered instructions here and resort to giving you a basic description of what I did.

Firstly, the more observant of you may have noticed that my advent calendar only actually has 15 days- shock horror! No, I did not get lazy and couldn’t be bothered finishing it- well, maybe a little… 😉 – this is actually because I’m only up at university until the 15th December, so I decided just to make parcels for those days.

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The first thing I did when making my advent calendar was put on my Christmas music and settle down to paint some Christmassy designs on a few of my cardboard tubes. I opted for holly berries and snowflakes. Obviously this step is completely optional, but I really enjoyed this process, and I love how these parcels turned out! They are definitely my favourite.

Now all that’s left for you to do is the super easy and quick part! Cut out strips of Christmas paper, I used pinking shears for this but you could also just use scissors. Glue a strip of paper on the front of each of your tubes. I also chose to cut a small square of paper to go on my painted tubes.

Add your advent numbers, before folding the bottom of your tube in to get the nice, pointed corner, parcel shape that I had. Fill each of your parcels with a little tissue paper and a small gift, before folding in the top of your tube in the same manner as the bottom.

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Ta da! It’s actually that easy. Blu tac your parcels up like me, or pin them to a cork board. Or why not tie some string around and hang them from a ribbon on your wall?

I love how this advent calendar turned out! I think it adds a really sweet, homemade and cozy vibe to my room. And it was super cheap and super easy! You really can’t complain at that!

Are you guys looking forward to the count down to Christmas? Have you been doing any festive crafting recently? You know I would love to see your own seasonal projects, why not link them in the comments?

Wishing you all the very best of days as we head into December,

Maddie xxx

My Uni room tour!

 

Hey guys! First things first, I have to apologise if I don’t seem like my usual cheery self in this post. It’s been one of those days and I’m just starting to come down with a cold, but I didn’t want to leave you with no post today! 🙂 Today was also my first day back at University- I know, I know, we start sooooo late here!– so it’s safe to say I’m feeling pretty frazzled.

But now to what this post is about! Today’s post is my uni room tour (‘Wow, really Maddie? We’d never have guessed- it’s not like you called it that!’). This is my second year living in student halls, and I have had a room like this for both years. Seeing as I’m incredibly nosey curious and LOVE looking at people’s accommodation and housing, I figured some of you may be interested in seeing what kind of accommodation I live in while at University, and also how I choose to decorate my room while I’m here.

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You can see pretty much all of my room on this photo. I am stood near the entrance, and to my right is a small wet room consisting of a toilet, sink and shower. I also have to apologise for the terrible quality of these photos! The lighting made it really difficult to get a good shot- sorry! This photo also gives you a good idea of the amount of storage I have in my room. I’m very lucky to have a lot of shelving over my desk-something that is very much necessary for a crafter! I also keep all my folders and textbooks up here. You can also see three drawers: one for hair products and styling equipment, one for makeup and one for underwear. Then there’s also my wardrobe; it’s a double wardrobe with plenty of space for my clothes and shoes; it also has a large shelf at the top where I keep all my cleaning equipment and an over night suitcase for when I go home for the weekend.

As you can see, I have a single bed against the wall featuring a quilt that I made last summer. I am incredibly proud of this quilt! It took me months to complete it but I love how it looks; on a side note it also washes really well! You have probably also noticed the abundance of blankets on the end of my bed- I get super chilly during winter, and seeing as the heating is turned off over night I find it best to wrap up!

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The paintings behind the bed are my own work, acrylic on canvas. I haven’t really mentioned it much on my blog before, but I love to paint. You’ll probably spot a few more of my paintings dotted about as you look through the other photos. I love having my paintings up at uni, as it makes my room feel like home!

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I always have a vase on my windowsill, although sadly it is not always filled with flowers! I keep it here for the occasions when Jason brings me flowers, and I also sometimes buy my own to brighten up my room a bit.

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My record player is probably one of my favourite things in my room, it’s a bright orangey-red Crosley make. I love vintage style and music, and it’s so relaxing to be able to have my records playing while I work at my desk. My vinyl collection is stored just above it on the built in shelving.

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Behind my desk is a really large notice board that I can pin things to. I covered this with two posters as soon as I got here; a world map and a doctor who poster (I’m such a nerd). I pin my fairy lights up here too, just under my shelving.

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The wall next to my bed also has some of my paintings stuck up on it. I hate the colour of the walls at uni, it’s a really ugly off white, so it’s nice to add a bit of colour and personality to them.

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I would not be able to get by without my TV while I’m away at uni. I wouldn’t say that I’m a tele-addict, but having a spare hour to just relax and watch a tv show at the end of the day keeps my stress levels low. I study a very full on and (at least for me) challenging subject, and I think I’d really struggle without that downtime.

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Here’s the view from the other end of my room (left) and my ensuite (right): not quite as pretty as the window end, but it does give you an idea of how much space I have here, which I thought some of you would like to see. You also get a little sneak peak at some of my other paintings that I have tacked up on my ensuite door.

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So there you have it guys! What did you think? I actually really like my accommodation here at uni. I’m very lucky to have an ensuite, and I love making my room feel like home by adding all my little finishing touches. My paintings and my posters are probably the most important things for me here, as they make my room feel much more personal.

Would you guys like to see more like this post? Let me know! I hope you enjoyed it, and I will be back on Wednesday with a new travel post- so keep your eyes peeled!

Best wishes to you all,

Maddie x

 

Homemade Bunting DIY- renter friendly decor!

Handmade bunting makes a really unique and beautiful addition to any home. Great for renters, this bunting can be stuck up with blu tac!

Hi guys! Today’s post is my DIY bunting. I LOVE bunting. Seriously, love the stuff. I’ve got it in my bedroom, the kitchen, the garden, on the wall, in the window… you get the idea.

I think bunting is a great, cheap way of adding character to any space. I love the vintage look and feel of bunting, and it’s ability to transform a room. For me, it creates a festive and homely atmosphere- plus its renter friendly! I use blu tac when I’m at uni to stick bunting up on my walls to help make my room feel like home.

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Working in a fabric shop, I often get asked for suggestions on easy sewing projects for beginners, and I always respond with bunting. It’s a really simple but rewarding DIY, perfect for people who are just getting to grips with a sewing machine.

If you fancy giving it a go yourself, find my step by step instructions below!

You will need (for a 2m length of bunting) : 

  • Assorted fabric. The bunting featured in this post was made using five different fabrics; use what you have in or purchase quarter of a metre lengths of each. This will give you more than enough fabric to produce two metres of bunting. 
  • 2.5m of Bias Binding or ribbon.
  • A sewing machine.
  • Matching thread.
  • Fabric Scissors.
  • Greaseproof paper, card or similar to cut a template out of.P1230233

I purchase all of my fabric from The Buttonhole, my place of work. They offer a great selection and also international delivery on all of their fabrics. All fabric featured in this post and my other DIYs is sourced from The Buttonhole.

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What to do:

  1. Cut out a template for your bunting. An equilateral triangle of approximately 6″ by 10″ will do the job, or scale to your own requirements depending on what you want your final bunting to look like. P1230286.jpg
  2. Pin your template to each of your fabrics in turn and cut around. To make a 2m stretch of bunting you will require around ten flags, this means you will need to cut twenty triangles. Note: Two triangles makes ONE bunting flag. You will see why in the next step.
  3. Place two matching triangles right sides together, that is, with the correct sides of the fabric facing each other. Pin down the two long edges of the triangle before machine stitching down these edges, leaving the top open. Tip: By pinning perpendicular to the edge of the fabric as shown below, you can sew over you pins with your machine without breaking the needle.P1230297.jpg
  4. Turn your flag the correct way around and press with an iron. Repeat this method until you have created all your flags.
  5. Fold the two raw edges at the top of you flag inside the flag to create a neat edge, press and machine stitch into place.
  6. You are now ready to attach your ribbon or bias binding. If you wish to use bias binding and would like to know how to do this, please refer to this blog post where I explain in detail how to attach bias binding to your projects. If using ribbon, place the top of your flag just behind the ribbon and machine stitch into place.
  7. Repeat this, spacing out your flags evenly along the length of your bunting until all have been sewed on!P1230300

That’s it! Congratulations on your new bunting! I hope you guys enjoyed this post and maybe it inspired you to get crafty! Have you got any renter friendly DIY decor ideas? Let me know! It’s always great to discover new ways of decorating my student halls.

Best wishes to you all!

Maddie x