Welcome to the holiday edition of the New Provincial Newsletter ✨🎄
The last time we talked, I walked you through everything I learnt running a flower side-hustle (can't remember? Read it here). I had big plans for November but work and a big flu forced me to slow down: I simply didn’t feel creative and crafting became a chore.
But we’re in December now, and it feels very different! Christmas is my favourite time of the year because I can unleash my crafty self completely (mulled wine and mince pies help too!). Today, I’m coming to you with three sustainable holiday craft projects that you can complete in a matter of days, just in time for the celebrations.
Let’s get started!
1. Dried flower ornaments
To make our ornaments, we’ll simply make mini wreaths. Start by making small bunches of dried materials or thread the wire directly through the flower heads (be delicate - dried flowers are fragile). Then, using your hoop as your base, attach your bunches to your hoop by looping the wire around the stems. You can either stack your bunches in two different directions, and cover the stems with a ribbon, or go in the same direction and cover the whole hoop!
Thread a ribbon at the top and it’s ready! Stored properly, these ornaments will last a couple of years. But if you fancy a change, simply remove the dried material and reuse your wire and hoop with new flowers.
2. Holiday cards
I love Christmas so much because it gives me a legitimate reason to send mail and use my calligraphy skills. I love seeing people’s reaction when they see the glittery envelopes and it warms up my heart when I go to my grandma’s house and see all the envelopes I sent her over the years lined up on the mantlepiece.
I usually make my own cards but I ran out of time this year and decided to buy charity cards instead and put all my creative efforts on the envelopes. I went for a white, gold and red theme.
If you have never used a dip pen before, don’t sweat it. You can give it a go or simply use a nice brush pen to spruce up your normal handwriting! Just make sure to leave space for the stamps and that numbers are easily readable.
Finally, warm up your wax over a candle and apply your wax seal. You can keep it simple, like I did, or add dried flowers to the wax.
If this inspires you to start calligraphy (yay!), then I can’t recommend enough Lindsay Bugbee’s beginner course, on her blog the Postman’s Knock. That’s how I got started! I also get all my supplies from The Calligraphy Store, a London-based small business. Happy writing!
Is it really Christmas without a big wreath on your door? It can be easy to buy a plastic wreath from the shop, and while I know plastic ornaments have benefits, it’s really not my thing. I much prefer a natural approach and get the real stuff in my house. Mostly because I love foraging for seasonal plants so much!
Before I made my first wreath, I always thought they looked difficult to make but I could not have been more wrong. To start, braid the branches together to make a rough round hoop. You may need to secure the ends with a bit of string.
Coat your hoop with a think layer of moss, using your string or wire to secure it. Personally, I find wire easier to use but I force myself to using string because it means I can simply chuck the wreath in the compost pile at the end of the holidays, without having to dismantle it to retrieve the wire. Up to you!
Using the same technique employed for the dried flower ornaments, make bunches with a variety of your plant material. This year, I used:
I wanted a very natural look this year but please don’t let me stop you! Feel free to add more flowers and decorative elements, like dried orange slices, cinnamon sticks, pine cones... The world is your oyster!
To finish, secure the bunches to the wreath using your string or wire. If the moss is thick enough, you may be able to simply stick stems in the moss directly. Once all your bunches are secure, loop in a big velvet ribbon and hang your creation proudly!
But, wait… is it too late?
Absolutely not! I love making such things in the week before Christmas because it makes me feel so festive. I would even argue that it’s the best time to make your wreath, especially if you are planning to hang it outside in the rain or snow - making it now will ensure it still looks its best by Christmas!
It may be a tad late for your Christmas cards (especially if you are in the UK and were planning on using Royal Mail) but I hope to inspire you to apply your skills to gift tags, or New Year wishes cards you can send later.
Where to find dried flowers, seed heads and evergreen plants
Don’t panic if you don’t have buckets of dried flowers on hand. Reach out to your local flower growers and my bet is they offer dried plants. If not, you can always turn to Etsy - just make sure the flowers were not bleached or chemically died, that’s not great for the environment and they should not be composted.
For seed heads and other materials, turn to the hedgerows and woodlands! I absolutely love going on a walk with my basket and secateurs and see what I can find. But remember:
There you have it, some small projects to get you crafty and merry at the same time! They are best completed when you have a glass of mulled wine by your side. I will be back very soon with loads of creative inspiration but in the meantime, I wish you a wonderful merry Christmas and a Happy New Year ✨
P.S: if you do get to make one of these projects, please send me a picture! I love seeing what you’re making.