• Lauren Harley

Christmas is coming... do something creative

Photo By: Brooke Lark/Unsplash

As I sit here shovelling rosemary crackers with French brie and Vintage cheddar (I know, but it’s Christmas), down my throat, I chose to write a list of suggestions on how to be creative at home. I have always been creative but when I started my teaching career, I didn’t have the mental capacity to keep it up. I finally feel like my creative streak has come out again and really love when I have a creative evening or sometimes whole day - yes, I really get lost!


Some of these I did over Summer, but most recently I planned a lockdown birthday surprise for my partner so decided to make some props so I could share the story with you.


Lockdown birthday decor


I originally planned for us to go to Roller Disco but with Lockdown 2.0 that was swiftly off the cards so I transformed a room into “Wandreland” and made a sign and some accompanying props including the White Rabbit’s pocket watch, the Queen of Heart’s crown and the Doorknob to Wonderland which I actually fitted to the kitchen door.


This took me hours but I had some alcohol - probably wine or rum - and I find creating things very therapeutic so I was in my element. I also ordered some additional props online: a shower curtain that appeared to have some sort of optical illusion, napkins to match and miniature Alice in Wonderland characters.


I used LED tea lights, recycled jars and ordered some mushroom cupcakes and a fresh cream Victoria Sponge from @JustTheGem to dress the table. We were more than satisfied with the outcome. Why not do something similar for Christmas or New Year to end 2020 with a bang?

Pictures by: Lauren Harley


Homemade greeting cards


I will never buy a card from the shops again! I started making these over the summer with recycled cardboard packaging and letters cut out from magazines and these also took ages but whether I was in the garden or at my desk, I could get lost in these for hours.


Sometimes I design a card on my laptop - I literally use Google Docs, nothing fancy - and I print them which is obviously much quicker than cutting and sticking. I’ve made birthday cards, condolences cards, thank you cards and I have an idea for Christmas cards, although I’m not big on Christmas cards but as I’ll be making them it’s different.


I’m strangely excited about Christmas this year. Besides the fact I was supposed to be spending it in South Africa, which I’m obviously heartbroken about, nothing much is going on but I think it’s almost the most exciting part of 2020…


Recycled storage


I have been saving all the food jars and they were piled up in the kitchen but I’ve finally started using them for storing opened packet foods like pasta, dried fruit and seasonings. I could spend hours rearranging the kitchen, although I know it's not for everyone!


I have also used them as pen pots, candle holders and probably some other things I can’t remember right now. Why not find a use for some of your recycled goods and save some money whilst doing your part to save the planet!


Get the kids involved!


If there are children in your household, challenge them to build something out of recyclable materials. I saw a cat “scratch house” for sale in the supermarket recently and I was shocked to see that it was a cardboard box in the shape of a house with some painted details on it… Are people really buying those when we have cardboard boxes all over the place in our homes?


I have been creative in lots of other ways but I feel the above are most accessible in the current climate. I actually ordered a whole load of equipment to help me with some of the things I have created, most incorporating recycled materials as I am passionate about living more sustainably. Above all, staying creative is a therapeutic activity for me and I am so happy and in my element whilst creating things. It's worth it for that alone.

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