TASSEL trashy glittery Dec2014

I’ve been looking at a LOT of Pinterest images in the last few days – there are some very pretty things out there!

Specifically I’ve been hunting for things to hang around the house instead of on a Christmas tree since we probably won’t have a live one this year.

I LOVE the smell of pine trees – it reminds me of childhood Christmases and really brings the season into the house like nothing else. I might put a few sprigs around to do the job, but our house is way too crowded with stuff to manage an actual tree. In fact, I’m not sure we have wall space enough to trace a tree on the wall or hang anything at all. Really, I should declutter. After Christmas maybe…

Christmas tree 2008- Jane Schouten - atlitwIngrid Jansen tree 2012 via atlitw

I’ve seen some wonderful alternatives to Christmas trees. The two above come via the photostream of Jane Schouten (of All the Luck In the World). Thanks Jane for letting me share these images!

The first was made by Jane in 2008, a tree-shaped hanging of  (useless but pretty) objects  to use Jane’s description.

I certainly have a lot of useless but pretty, even useless and quirky, or weird, or where-did-this-come-from objects collected over the years. If I had enough wall space I could have a pretty fabulous tree and feel vindicated for collecting (um hoarding) them all this time.

The second tree, made from salvaged recycled timber is by Ingrid Jansen of woodwoolstool. This particular one was made in 2012, but Ingrid has some similar assemblages in different colour themes available from her Etsy shop – along with some other gorgeous things to drool over…

There are hundreds of non-traditional Christmas trees out there in Pinterest, Instagram and Flickr, but I haven’t yet found my tree – the one that’s taking shape in the back of my mind…

In the meantime I am busying myself with making the ornaments and hanging thingies that will eventually be my tree. One such hanging thingie – a tassel really – is featured at the top of the page. It’s made from that shiny plasticized packaging that crackers and biscuits, crisps and chips come in. That stuff is FABULOUS to make sparkly glittery things from. I tried to describe my process over on my occasional blog habertrashery, but I’m not sure I was very clear. So I’m posting here as well with a few pics:

  1. Get your shiny plastic packaging, open it up and cut the stiff seams off – these can be used for making another hanging thing later.
    Christmas2014-bag seam hangy 1 low res
  2. Roll up your piece of packaging longways and then snip it up into strips – about half a centimetre or quarter of an inch wide.Trashy glittery tassel - cutting Making2-Dec2014 copy
  3. Unfold the strips and lay them together in parallel. Using some thread – sparkly is always good – tie the strips securely together about half way along the bunch. Looks like a big glitzy spider or a scrappy bow tie.Making-3 -trashy glittery tassel Dec2014 copy
  4. Fold all the strips down so they are hanging down vertically and use some more thread to tie them together near the first knot – the top of the tassel. Now it looks like a proper tassel – or a shiny person in a big sparkly dress. I’m now finished – TA DA – but you could add some wings by using a wide ribbon instead of thread for that last knot and make an angel.TASSEL trashy glittery Dec2014
  5. With the leftover stiff seams of the packaging I tied bows together for another hanging thing. Trashy glittery hangy thing Dec2014
  6. And finally all those left over scraps of packaging and sparkly thread was cut up into DIY glitter for future emergency glitter projects!  Trashy glitter Dec2014 low res

That was a lot of fun to do – but I have a lot more hanging stuff to make before I have my tree finished.

Back soon!





Easter Egg


Easter is on its way — a little earlier than usual — end of March, so it will creep up on you before you know it. As we are camping without extravent cooking facilities I am thinking of making some chocolate easter bark — which I think will be achievable, delicious and not too fussy — I was thinking of a toasted almond and a ginger or mint snap version. This gorp version would be great for camping and this coconut and macadamia version would go down very well, do you have a favourite chocolate bark recipe?

Don’t forget to grab a copy of the Easter Special edition of Action Pack Magazine from our shop.

Some more quick and fun easter crafts just in time for this weekend. Happy weekending!


DO get in touch if you are interested in writing a guest post for whipup this year! Send me a short email with your idea Kathreen {at}


Sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter via email

{ 1 comment }

Love links

by kath_red on 13/02/2013

in Holidays

valentine arrows

{ 1 comment }

Do you make some (all) of your gifts each year? Do you encourage your kids, family and friends to do the same. This time of year it is so difficult to get away from the commercialism of the season, it is inevitable that you will enter a toy shop at some stage … being realistic myself I know that I won’t be able to make all our gifts this year.

But for those that do … here are some free printable labels you might like to use. Click on the image to go to a print quality pdf. This is from the latest Action Pack — it is the Family Apothecary edition — and includes some great ideas for last minute gifts, lots more labels, and just lots of really scrummy things for your skin and body care.

What to make … what to make …

Five quick crochet gifts

  1. Crochet bow
  2. Crochet heart
  3. Convertible cowl
  4. Slouchy hat
  5. Owl hat

Five quick gifts for kids to make

  1. Printing with found materials
  2. Basket weaving
  3. Painted feathers
  4. Circle weaving
  5. Handmade boats

Five quick handmade gifts for him

  1. Tool rollup
  2. Camping stool
  3. Cosy slippers
  4. Car kit
  5. Leather notebook

{ 1 comment }

Can you feel the energy that this time of year brings? There is almost a vibration in the air as everyone gears up for end of year events, school performances, end of year concerts, parties, dinners, picnics and pool parties for some and snow days and fireside warm drinks for others. It feels so frantic but exciting and fun too. There are secretive packages being stowed, and holiday cooking in action, the tree and decorations come out, holiday drinks are mandatory (and some songs too). What are you doing at this time of year? are you up to your eyeballs or trying hard to avoid it all?

W generally try to have a pretty low key Christmas, we have a tree, and big lunch and we exchange presents, I bake. This year we are in the midst of packing up our house for our road trip next year, and so we will be even more minimal than usual — not a lot of baking (and it has become hot here already) but we will have our favourite ginger cookies (which I included in our Celebration Action Pack from last year).

But naturally I have to have homemade gifts for friends and family (and teachers) — and most everyone will be getting some Homemade Apothecary salves and lotions and bath salts and lip balms.

What are your homemade holiday making plans? I have a couple of pinterest boards you might like for this time of year – DIY holiday crafts and DIY gifts, cards and packaging. I am loving the idea of spices and pinecones and oranges as a holiday theme — simple and natural. Pom pom berry wreath :: toothpick stars :: string art tree :: cardboard roll stars.

Are you planning on giving foodie gifts? Mulling spice packs :: Salted hot caramel mix :: Chai concentrate :: Vanilla caramel sauce :: Homemade Nutella :: Peppermint bark

Stuff I have been doing

  • Book reviews: Push series :: five knitting books :: three textile craft books
  • Mentioned our Year of Reading Out Loud — and posted a book list for 10 years and up for our family to read out loud together.
  • What is a magazine for kids — do you have any favourites or suggestions?
  • At whipup the knitting designer series finished up – and I am thinking of another series for next year — any ideas? Anyone want to contribute?
  • Working through corrections for my upcoming quilt book, will be coming out with Stash mid next year — very excited about this one! (and as you can see from the pic above, I was checking my twitter at the same time!)

Action Pack Kids Magazine News


Sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter via email