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Christmas special 2016








357 Christmas

Ways to have your best ever

Essential guide to


Do-it-yourself decorations

64 deliciously festive recipes

don’t miss INSIDE...

4 Under £5 stocking fillers 4 The top Crimbo décor trends

Handmade gifts Stylish table settings Alternative centrepieces

Sparkling seasonal interior updates

53 pages of quick & easy creative how-tos for your home & more! FINAL COVER DESIGN copy.indd 1

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Thermal Lining

Free Cosiness Just a Click Away This winter, chattering teeth and lots of layers don’t have to be the norm. Instead, we’re giving away free thermal linings on hundreds of romans, rollers and curtains to keep you toasty. So turn down the heating and relax with beautifully designed fabrics made to measure just for you.

With unrivalled choice, free samples & a 3 year guarantee on all our products, you can see just why we’ve covered over 4 million windows to date.

Come and visit us today at

Welcome to our Christmas special!


hristmas is one of our favourite times of year, so it seems fitting to join the HomeStyle team just as our first ever Christmas Special comes into being! The team has worked hard to bring you everything you need to have your best Christmas ever! Inside you’ll find all kinds of exciting how-tos to get the handmade look, including decorations, décor and gifts. The felt decs on page 36 are particularly fab, and as felt is no-fray, it’s super easy to work with – double winner! The kitchen is the heart of the home, especially at Christmastime, so we also have a host of tasty recipes, from a clever twist on the classic mince pie on page 92, ideal for when visitors drop by, to a whole meal planner from page 107, which will have breakfast, lunch and dinner sorted – perfect if you have guests staying. We’ll be trying out the America-style sweets on p96 – peppermint bark laced with candy canes, what’s not to love? Luckily there’s plenty of time to get your home ready for the big event, and if you’ve started to think about your scheme this year, then flick on over to page 12, where we have the three top trends. Looking to update those tired old baubles? On page 32 there are six mini tree ideas including our Scandi-style cover star, which is just the thing for ringing in the changes.

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas!

PS. DON’T MISS IT! The November issue of HomeStyle is out 6th October BURDA COMMUNITY NETWORK Italy: Mariolina Siclari +39 02 91 32 34 66 Germany Julia Mund +49 89 92 50 31 97 Michael Neuwirth +49 89 9250 3629 Switzerland Goran Vukota +41 44 81 02 146

France / Luxembourg Marion Badolle-Feick +33 1 72 71 25 24 Austria Christina Bresler +43 1 230 60 30 50 UK / Ireland Jeannine Soeldner +44 20 3440 5832 USA / Canada / Mexico Salvatore Zammuto +1 212 884 48 24

EDITORIAL Editor Lorraine Luximon Features Editor Abbi Henderson Editorial Assistant Charlotte Page Designer Samantha Rogers Online Assistant Natasha Clift ADVERTISING Advertising Manager Simon Daniel 01206 851117 (221) Senior Sales Executive Louise White 01206 851117 (231) Classified Sales Executive Natasha Jackson 01206 851117 (258) MANAGEMENT Editorial Director Anna-Lisa De’Ath Publishing Manager Rachel Taylor Production Manager Reg French Managing Director Luke Patten Commercial Director Darren Summerfield Legal Advisor Cavan Browne Financial Controller Lesley Shard Back Issues Hilary King SUBSCRIPTIONS 01206 849077 Hubert Burda Media UK, The Tower, Phoenix Square, Colchester, Essex CO4 9HU 01206 851117

Prices and availability were checked at time of going to press, but we cannot be held responsible for any changes. Foreign currencies converted into GBP. No part of HomeStyle may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means either wholly or in part, without the prior permission of the publisher. The publisher, editors and authors accept no responsibility in respect of any products, goods or services that may be advertised or referred to in this issue or for any errors, omissions, misstatements or mistakes in any such advertisements or references. We can’t guarantee that colours reproduced will be an accurate representation due to the printing process. Neither the Editor nor publishing company accept responsibility for any material submitted, whether photographic or otherwise. Competition rules apply to all competitions/giveaways in HomeStyle. Employees of Hubert Burda Media UK and associated companies are not eligible. There is no cash alternative to prizes. Should the prize become unavailable HomeStyle has the right to offer an alternative prize. The Editor’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. HomeStyle is distributed by Marketforce Tel (020) 3148 3300

Get in touch email Web Facebook Twitter @homestylemaguk Instagram @homestylemaguk Pinterest Christmas 2016 3

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Essential guide to Christmas Your checklist for the lead-up to Chrimbo

24 Easy Advent calendars

Count down the days with these quick-to-make calendars

10 Create a cosy, warm welcome

28 Stockings

12 The top three trends for Christmas

32 Handmade tabletop trees

Greet your guests in style

Simple ideas for fab homemade stockings

Personalise your wrapping paper with these budget ideas

Turn an old, unused suitcase into a portable present- wrapping stash

52 Wrapping station

54 Woodland Xmas decs

Make quick Christmas trim with your foraged finds

Bubblegum blush, Indigo dream or Nordic glow – which is your fave?


Christmas gift guide

36 Festive felt decs

42 Gorgeous gifts

68 White Christmas

All the best buys for under ÂŁ30!

20 Christmas cards

Create your own cards with our easy designs

Faff-free tutorials for a cute Christmas centrepiece

48 Gift wrap

Bargain projects to make in a day Create handcrafted pressies for your nearest and dearest

62 Three looks for...

Style a dreamy dining room scheme with these fab festive ideas Creative inspo for your very own Christmas ice palace


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110 130 76 Centrepieces

Fast fixes to make your eating space sparkle

80 Food for friends

Serve up a storm with these easy-to-assemble platters

85 Make a magical gingerbread house

Satisfy your sweet tooth with this super-fun and festive project

88 Gifts for gourmets

Edible pressie ideas to whip up for your foodie friends and relatives

92 Mince pie makeover

Alternative toppings for your favourite festive treat

94 Christmas cocktails

116 Food news

96 Happy holidays!

118 Cheese with a twist

Delight diners with these delicious drink recipes

Create kitsch, American-style candy, cookies and syrup

Wow guests with a tower of tasty choux buns for a showstopping dessert

101 Croquembouche

104 Almost homemade

Five-minute gifts that’ll fool friends into thinking they’re handmade (we won’t tell if you won’t)

Breakfasts, lunch, pud and canapé recipes to fuel a full day of festivities

107 Christmas meal planner

Treats to eat and bakes to make this Christmas time Flavour combos to spice up your Christmas cheese board

120 Liven up leftovers

125 129 130

Mouthwatering dishes to pep up unused Christmas food

Subscribe to HomeStyle today From as little as £8!

Shopping directory Stocking fillers Goodies all under £5!

Christmas 2016 5

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More food please

Need some inspo? We’ve got all the recipes you’ll need for the big day, from breakfast to dinner. To get your taste buds tingling, turn to page 107.


Christmas is almost upon us! Fortunately, we’ve created a checklist to help you keep track of all the big tasks, so let the countdown begin...


24 more sleeps

Begin the countdown to Christmas by opening the first door of your advent calendar. Without a doubt, one of the best highlights of December is waking up to a cheeky bite of chocolate with your morning cuppa, but if chocolate isn’t your thing, there are many alternative advent options. Feeling creative? Be inspired by this DIY calendar from Talking Tables, it’s definitely one of the most stylish we’ve seen.


Play your cards right

Christmas cards come only once a year, but that doesn’t make writing them any easier. Our advice? Start them early as you can, especially if any need to be sent overseas. It’s also a good idea to write a few each day to prevent the spelling mistakes, the messy handwriting and the dreaded hand cramp that comes with rushing them all in one go. Natalie Lea Owen

Talking Tables




Festive fayres

It’s time to wrap up warm, eat, drink and find great gifts for your loved ones. Where’s better to stock up on unique presents than one of the hundreds of Christmas markets that take place across the country throughout the festive season? From the charming, one-of-a-kind gifts to the compulsory mug of mulled wine, few things will get you in the festive spirit like a Christmas market. But, if you still find yourself on the hunt for final gifts, we have some fab ideas from page 18.

To the North Pole

With Christmas just around the corner, now’s the time to get little ones excited by encouraging them to write their letters to Saint Nick. The Royal Mail has a scheme where children can send their letters to Santa’s actual address. How adorable!




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You’ve got mail

Christmas is just a few weeks away – eek! If you haven’t sent out your greeting cards yet, make sure you do it soon. The Royal Mail has a handy deadline list of all of the last recommended posting dates for different countries and you can find it at


Shopping made easy

If you didn’t find everything that you were looking for at the Christmas markets and still have those hard to buy for people lurking on your list, online shopping might just be the solution. Start surfing the web now to make sure that your pressies arrive with time to spare.

Good idea Make the


Food for thought

If you’re set on cooking up a storm this season, be sure to plan ahead. Afterall, Christmas is all about the food, right? It’s never too early to start planning for your feast and being organised will make the festivities less of a stress. Whether you choose to keep things classic, or decide to ditch the traditional turkey for some juicy steak, select a recipe for your centrepiece and choose all your trimmings, too.

Good idea If you shop for

food online, book now to secure a supermarket delivery slot.


Early bird

Now’s the time to order your turkey, or whatever else will be your meal show-stopper. If you have nowhere to store it for three weeks, fear not – order in advance and collect a few days before Christmas. Remember If you’re feeding the masses and need a big bird, check that it can fit in the oven and that you own a roasting tin large enough, too (trust us, it’s an easy mistake to make). Tesco

most of shopping online to avoid multiple high street trips which may lure you into spending more money.



The perfect pine

With two weeks to go before the big day, now is the ideal time to choose your tree. Of course not everyone opts for a real fir, but if you’re not into the artificial variety, buying your tree now will ensure that it stays fresh for Christmas Day and also means that you’ll get a pick of the bunch before it’s just the sad, bare-boughed ones that are left. If your tree is sparse, you’ll have to work twice as hard to decorate it, so save yourself the extra time and effort by bringing home the best.

Top Tip

You don’t want to find yourself forever picking up pine needles from the floor, so try to find a tree with needles that aren’t too dry or choose a low-needle drop variety.

Time for an update?

You can’t put it off any longer! It’s time to bite the bullet and get the decorations down from the loft to inspect the damage. Untangle the fairy lights, bin the broken baubles and please get rid of that old straggly piece of tinsel. Yes, we’ve all been there.

Top Tip

Test your tree lights! You don’t want to make the mistake of spending the best part of an hour carefully arranging them on your tree only to discover that they no longer twinkle. M&S



Time to shine

The time has come to start the festive fun and transform your home into a winter wonderland. Put on your top Christmas tunes, make sure you have a glass of your favourite festive tipple to hand and style every room to look as ‘Christmassy’ as possible. Christmas 2016 7


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That’s a wrap

Wrap your pressies as you buy them to save you time. We promise that you’ll thank us come Christmas Eve.

Good idea

There’s nothing more frustrating than finishing wrapping a present only to find that there’s a tear in the paper. Our best advice? If your gifts have sharp corners, roll them up in tissue paper first to prevent the wrapping paper from ripping.


Take a break

Have a well-deserved evening off, preferably in front of an open fire with a glass of mulled wine or a mug of hot chocolate. Watch your favourite festive film or play a good oldfashioned board game. While you’re there, you can check that the games still have all of their important pieces in preparation for Christmas day.

John Lewis

John Lewis

13 Feature Charlotte Page

Deck the halls with boughs of holly

Quite literally! Nothing beats a fresh Christmas wreath and they’re not just for decorating front doors. Consider hanging them inside to transform your home with the luxurious smell of Christmas. If you order them now, they will last throughout the festive season, as long as you give them a little bit of TLC. Any cut plants will stay fresher for longer if you keep them away from hot radiators and treat them to an occasional spray of water.


Icing on the cake

Love it or hate it, a boozy fruit-filled cake embodies the spirit of Christmas. If you were supposed to bake a cake in early October and feed it weekly with brandy but forgot, don’t worry, all is not lost. Purchase a plain, un-iced fruit cake from the supermarket and then have all the fun of feeding and decorating it yourself. There’s no shame in shop-bought.


Christmas spirit

Begin grocery shopping a week or so before Christmas so you don’t get caught up in the frenzy and end up panic buying. Now’s the time to stock up on products that have a longer shelf life. Think cranberry sauce, stuffing mix and tins. Don’t forget to ensure that the drinks cupboard is well-stocked, as the booze may not last as long as you think. If you fancy crafting fine concotions of your own, try your hand at making one of our cocktail recipes on page 94.

Top tip

Go all out and buy sprigs of mistletoe and maybe even a floral table display at the same time? We think it’s a great way to impress your guests.

Ginger Ray




12/09/2016 16:24


Bake up a storm

Get baking early to take some of the headache out of all that Christmas preparation. Mince pies are just one of the tasty treats that can be made ahead, put in the freezer and then cooked from frozen when needed. Alternatively, a nice tin of shortbread is cheap and easy to make and (if given the chance) will keep well beyond Christmas – perfect for when unexpected visitors or carol singers arrive at your door.


Get glazing

For many of us, Christmas ham is a firm favourite on the festive menu and what sets it apart from your average gammon is that scrumptious sweet and sticky glaze. If you boil and glaze your bacon joint now, it will bring festive cheer long after Christmas is over and makes the perfect Boxing Day snack.



Stock up



Deep clean

Now that the dust from the decorations has had time to settle, it’s a good idea to have a Christmas clean. Get guest ready and spruce up the whole house, including the spare room for any visitors who might be sleeping over. Remember Clear the fridge of outdated items and freeze what you can so that you have room to restock shelving space with goodies.


Dress to impress

Whether you go for a cosy festive knit or fabulous frock, Christmas is the perfect excuse to dress up. Celebrate in style and plan outfits now to avoid a Christmas morning meltdown. Dress your pets up too, it’s always a great way to spread some festive cheer.

Before your schedule gets too hectic, make a list of the cupboard essentials that you need and stock up on them. Make sure you have the basics like kitchen roll and toilet paper, but also restock your medicine cabinet. It will be tricky to find a pharmacy open on Christmas Day, so buying painkillers and indigestion remedies now will see you safely through the season and while you’re out and about, pick up batteries for all those toys you’ve purchased.


Cook to perfection

Get ahead Christmas Eve so you don’t stress over the sprouts or panic about the parsnips in the morning. There’s no need to spend Christmas peeling potatoes when you can be opening pressies, so prepare veggies in advance. There are lots of parts in a Christmas dinner you can do ahead, but the most important is to defrost the turkey. If you have any time left after all that prepping, save yourself another task by laying the table. Paperchase

Make a list (and check it twice!) to be sure that you haven’t missed off anything important. We recommend that you create a checklist of Christmas day tasks and make it as detailed as possible so that your day runs smoothly. Even note down oven temperatures and times so you won’t have to keep frantically flicking through your recipes.


Keep it green

Buy the final ingredients that need to be really fresh. We’re talking fruit, veggies and herbs. Make sure you remember everything. You don’t want to be that person doing the dreaded late night dash to the shops for brandy sauce.

Top Tip

Yellow Octopus


The best way to save money is not to over-buy. Arm yourself with an ingredients list so you don’t go off track and get distracted by all of the tempting things on offer.

Preparation is the key to success


Have yourself a merry little Christmas

The big day is here and your countdown is done, now all that’s left to do is to celebrate! But before you let the good times roll, we have one final piece of advice – when your guests offer to lend a hand, accept their help so that you’ll have more time to enjoy with your family and friends. Happy Christmas! Christmas 2016 9


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ĩ’TĻ“ĹUĹvøř„Ĺ ŕTĩèĹŕ’àvõç“ Give your guests the perfect greeting with a fabulously festive hallway


e all know the December drill – lug the boxes of baubles and other delightfully sparkly decs out of the loft/garage/shed where they’ve sat forlornly for a year, then use them

Tree Tip

If there’s room for a tree in your hall, pick one which works best in the space you have. If there’s a radiator where your tree will go, opt for a faux tree as a real one will dry out in days, leaving you treading pine needles all over the house. Also, a sturdy base is essential – you don’t want your tree to topple when a gust of wind blasts through the front door.

to lovingly decorate your living area. But why should your guests wait until they settle in the living room to get that Christmas vibe? For an instantly exciting entrance, dress your doorway and hall to really push that fuzzy festive feeling.


Wrap up empty boxes and tie with pretty ribbon to make the look even more authentic Feature & styling Lara Berry Photography Lizzie Orme

Create a festive front door Don’t forget to dress your doorstep with festive cheer too. Wrap ribbon around tree trunks and use baubles in your plants to perk up the garden, but most of all remember to add a festive door mat and a luxurious wreath to ensure the magic of Christmas starts before your guests even enter your home. LSQIWX]PIQEKGSYO


Make a seasonal display Whatever the size of your hallway, there’s always space for a festive display even if it’s a modest one. Use scented candles to create a beautiful fragrance, as well as fairy lights to add the feel of Christmas and a bowl of sweet treats to make your guests feel truly welcome.

Add a cosy place to settle A handy chair or ottoman in the hallway provides the ideal space for guests to sit and take off their shoes in comfort. A coat stand ensures there’s more than enough space to hang coats and scarves, while a basket filled with spare woolly socks and slippers for guests will help to keep everyone’s feet toasty warm.

Deck the hall Make it feel like Christmas as soon as guests walk through the front door with a beautifully decorated tree and a garland winding up your staircase. Use baubles and ribbons in your Christmas colour scheme for a well thought out look, then add bundles of cinnamon sticks and dried orange slices, plus plenty of twinkle with lights and candles for the perfect ambiance. 'LVMWXQEW


Pre Go two Joh thre

Bubblegum blush

Pops of pink

Pink fizz Festive decs, from £1, all George Home

Snowflakes and stars Cushions, from £10, all Matalan

Have a sound night’s sleep on the eve before the big day with pastel pink bedroom trim. Suspend decs from the ceiling for a grown-up mobile effect.

Stickers are a super-fast way to add a festive sparkle to your space. They’re low-cost, take just seconds to apply and are easily removable, too. If you can’t find a design you like, why not use stencils and pretty papers to create a cute ‘sticker’ that you can secure to the wall using tape or white tack? And if you’d like to further spice up your scheme, revamp old glasses by giving them a dip-dyed metallic sheen. Use masking tape to section off the rim of the glass then, avoiding the inside, spray using a glossy gold paint.

Pep up your social spaces with a spritz of candy floss pink for the sweetest Christmas celebrations possible. Dusty, pastel shades of pink work well on walls; adding a sprinkling of elegance, whilst also keeping the room cosy as can be. But if you’d rather stick with a neutral base, then go big on accessories and build the scheme from scratch. Use rosehued fabrics and throws to garnish chairs, and scatter goldtinted trinkets to finish the look.

Tree candy Baubles, from £3, all M&S

Use masking tape and metallic gold spray paint to update old baubles, then loop to a glitter-dusted tree with a little pink ribbon or thread.

Our top three trends for


Tired of the same Christmas scheme resurfacing every year? Try these themes out for size...


hat’s this sparkling before our eyes? Three swish Christmas schemes, you say? Ding dong! It seems as though Santa’s stopped by early, delivering a metaphorical sack packed full with fancy new trends for this year’s festivities, and we’re just itching to walk you through

our favourites. First up is candy-cane pink with a glittery gold finish – cute, and oh-so-classy. Next are dreamy deep blues with punchy floral accents – eclectic, sure, but still fabulously festive. And finally, a scheme so spectacularly Scandi it’ll have you white-washing walls before you can say ‘snow’! So, which tickles your fancy?


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Winter wonder 7ft champagne and silver Christmas tree, £65; baubles, from £1 each; cushions, from £5 each; gold crown tree topper, £7; star lights, £7; Alistair buttoned large sofa, £750, all George Home

Shop the scheme

What’s on your shopping list for this look? Sugar, spice and everything nice – plus pretty pink frills and golden goodies aplenty. M&S is bursting with beautiful accessories to suit the scheme, but George Home should be your first stop for bargain trim. Marching band Gold nutcrackers, £24.99 for two, Very

Geo design Metal door wreath, £3.99, TK Maxx

all that glitters Gold-effect cutlery set, £32 for a 16-piece set, Next

Festive florals Old rose paper ball, £1.79, Wyevale Garden Centres

Wrap star Gift wrap, £4.50, M&S

Go for gold Wonder object, £19.50, M&S

Cosy glow Gold base candle, £9, The Contemporary Home

CRACKING GOOD TIME Mini luxury crackers, £5 for a pack of six, Sainsbury’s

Sweet shades Bloomingville candle holders, £10 each, Printer + Tailor

Shine bright Pink star plaque, £9.99, New Look

Candyfloss Christmas Libra gold seaweed mirror, £175; wire lights in copper and soft white, £25, all John Lewis

Flecks of gold Metallic splatter cushion, £26, Oliver Bonas

Christmas crafting Washi tapes, from £2.50, Stone Gift stardust Star confetti, £3.50, Talking Tables

Glitz and spritz Gold confetti champagne flute, £3.99, Dobbies

Christmas 2016 13

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Indigo dream A fancy flourish

Thought ceiling decs were a thing of the past? Think again, dear friend, for we’ve never known a time in recent years where paper chains and honeycomb hangings were more relevant. They’re best used to festoon corners away from busy walkways – particularly if your ceilings are a little on the low side. Hang them in a cluster at varying heights for best effect, and if you’re not sure where to shop, then look no further than the Talking Tables collection to the right. Or, why not try making your own?

Paper pompoms Giant metallic paper fans, £9, Talking Tables

Christmas carnival

Reminiscent of those elaborate, dreamy designs by William Morris in the late 1800s, this scheme gives a whimsical twist to a classic look. Filled with fiesta-inspired finishes, this Ikea sitting room celebrates grandeur in a fun and totally unfussy fashion, with fairy lights strung to the walls and vibrant cushions to pop off the couch. Bauble mobiles and pillar candles complete the look.

Shop the scheme

Fancy trying this fun take on a traditional look yourself? Infuse floral, folk-inspired prints with deep, warm hues of blue and festival finishes for a kooky Christmas scheme that’s sure to delight guests. Noel, Noel Nativity advent calendar, £16.99, TK Maxx

Manor house magic Morris spruce 7.5ft Christmas tree, £295; Morris & Co Strawberry Thief wallpaper, £58 per 10m roll; copper standing pheasant, £15; copper feeding pheasant, £15, baubles from £3, all John Lewis

star of wonder Star light, £22, Debenhams


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Festival flavours Baubles, from £1 each, George Home

This scheme is a medley of old and new, so it’s ideal for reusing decs from days gone by. Baubles can be given a quick revamp with découpage techniques and printed papers, while burnt out light bulbs can be dipped in glue and glitter for a brand new set of baubles that cost next to nothing. Raid charity shops for retro – but not tacky – pieces, and peruse local pop-up Christmas shops to see what they have to offer. Snuggle down Strala pendant lamp shade, £5; Strala lighting chain with 24 bulbs, £19; Hostfibbla cushion, £3.50, all Ikea

Folk prints Multicolour cushion cover, £4, Ikea

Sleigh ride red Soho living throw, £16.99, HomeSense

Zesty festivities Recycled sari stocking, £23.95, Decorator’s Notebook

Bright and cheery Vintage Christmas lights, £19.95, Dotcomgiftshop Savvy storage Antler storage bag set, £42 for two, Marquis & Dawe

Silent night Christmas trim, from £1.50, all Sainsbury’s

Trail the theme to the dining room for a fabulously festive feast on a table that’s dressed to dazzle. Go for golds and rich reds as accent tones, though limit the latter to smaller trimmings; like candles, baubles and napkins. If you’re all out to impress, source a fallen branch and suspend above the dining table using hooks screwed securely into the ceiling. Bedeck with a leafy garland and string lights. Christmas 2016 15

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Exposed textures

Nordic glow A slice of Hygge

Contemporary yet relaxed with rustic finishes, this Scandi-style scheme sets the scene for a truly magical Christmas. Exposed white-washed walls and floorboards emulate festive flurries of snow, and layered textures like linen and faux fur add warmth and welcome to the look.

What’s ‘hygge’? Translated, it means moments of joy found in the little things; lighting candles, drinking coffee with friends or indulging in a Christmas ritual. The Scandinavians have many a festive tradition you may be tempted to try for some hygge of your own – including baking. There are seven popular types of cookie (including a thin gingerbread biscuit and delicious coconut macaroons) which are baked around Christmastime, with families often whipping up a batch or two and sharing them amongst friends. They serve the cookies with a warm cup of Glogg – the equivalent of mulled wine – for a festive hygge moment.

Cinnamon spice Notre Monde tribal hexagon tray, £100; Broste Copenhagen bowl, £8.50; Falcon mug, £9; Falcon teapot, £22, all Amara

Trees chic Recreate this dreamy House Doctor table display with mini trees (or branches), pinecones and green-tinted glassware

Frosty fantasy Nevada chrome and glass dining table with four white faux leather chairs, £599; Portmeirion Dandelion tableware, from £9.99; dip-dyed storage basket, £29 for two, sheepskin wool rug, from £79, all Very

Oh-so simple

With a focus on family and practicality, the chalky and slightly rough-around-the-edges rooms we’re all wishing would pop out of our Christmas stockings were actually designed with typical Nordic weather in mind. White is used to entice light in the darkest of winters, while thick furs are used to keep warm. Candles, paper shapes and foraged finds are used as trim, and the rest comes down to good food and good company. For your own wonderfully affordable Nordic Christmas, schedule a woodland walk to gather fallen pinecones and branches, then try your hand at origami for a set of bargain baubles. 16

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Shop the scheme

Follow that star Nordic Christmas star, £9.90, AtNo67

Brighten your blank canvas with charming trim in neutral hues. We needn’t remind you that Ikea is ideal for all your Scandi-inspired furniture needs, but it’s top notch for adding texture, too. Amara stocks dreamy geometric designs, and Flying Tiger Copenhagen is fab for the finishing touches.

get stuck in Vinter tape, £3 for three rolls, Ikea

gifts galore Icelandic stocking, £22, Etsy

Stamp duty Stamp set, £4, Paperchase

Dutch design Amsterdam house tealight holder, £5.95, Dotcomgiftshop

final flourish Wooden hanging ornament, £19.99 for three, Very

Door décor Mistletoe wreath, £15, Paperchase

twinkle twinkle 10 white LED star lights, £19.99, Very

spuds and sprouts Enamel oven dish, £38, Eclect Design word play Lightbox, £30, Debbie Bliss Home

Festive setting Add subtle Christmas charm with these relaxed decs from Bloomingville

cosy crimbo Khanda handblock cushion, £45, India May Home

luxe touches Sarala mini brass bowl, black, £10, India May Home

Scandinavian attention to detail is second to none, particularly when it comes to presentation. Gifts are enveloped in brown, printed papers (you can create your own design using stamps), and odds and ends are always utilised. Scrap shelving or floorboards can be used to replicate the wall hanging above, and beads from old costume jewellery can be strung up with cookie cutters for one-off decs.

Deck the halls Need inspo for fireside style? House Doctor has it nailed...

A pared-back palette is the order of the day for a Nordic Christmas celebration. Monochrome tones with tinges of light grey form the base, and primary shades including red, blue and green are often used to add animation. Geometric shapes can be seen on everything from sofa cushions to stockings, and concrete is a firm favourite for household accessories. Christmas 2016 17

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The ultimate BUDGET gift g Struggling for gift inspiration? Relax – we’ve got this. Our ultimate gift guide is

£5 and under

£10 and under Secret Santa? These will go down a treat at the office party

Stuff those stockings with these fabulous fillers

hey, good lookin’ Pocket mirror, £10, Caroline Gardner

sweet treat Penguin chocolate pot, £2, Hotel Chocolat

hands oFf! Fizz & Bubbles scented hand cream, £4, M&S

cheeky tipple Pink gin 5cl, £5, Pinkster Gin

too hot to handle Tea and treats oven glove, £5, Tesco

shake it up Cocktail shaker, £7.99, TK Maxx

fine wine Menestrello Pinot Spumante Rosé, £8, Morrisons

pretty as a picture Adult colouring book, £10, Amara

funky frame Mini photo frame, £10, Sass & Belle

happy feet Socks, £3.50, Nutmeg by Morrisons

shine bright Metal star candle holder, £5, Wilko

just add drink Hip flask, £10, Paperchase

special delivery Magazine subscription, £8, HomeStyle

made to measure Copper coated measuring spoons, £5, Sainsbury’s time for tea Earl Grey tea box, £3, Cath Kidston

star buy Star photo dome, £4, Paperchase

Feature Charlotte Page

glitz and glam Iridescent glitter jar, £5, Talking Tables

nice as pie Doggy mince pies, £5, Debenhams

pot of gold Gold elephant jug, £9.95, Not Just Jugs

beauty queen Ghost Girl mini lip gloss and fragrance, £8, Boots

cosy up Penguin cushion, £10, Matalan sugar and spice Festive spice gift box, £10, Twinings


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guide, and All under £30 packed full of pressies and these ones wont blow your budget. Happy shopping!

£20 and under

Want to surprise someone special? These should do the trick

BAG OF TRICKS Laura Ashley beauty essentials cosmetic purse, £20, Boots

£30 and under

SWEET OR SALTY? Popcorn Don’t be fooled – these gifts look more expensive than they are maker, £28, House of Fraser

top of the pops X-Pop portable bluetooth speaker, £24.99, Wowzr

heaven scent Ralph Lauren Love eau de toilette 30ml, £17, The Fragrance Shop

winter warmer Hot water bottle, £15, Debenhams

BOTTLE BANK Honeycomb wine rack, £15, John Lewis OFFICE ENVY Pink polaroid desk frame, £15, Wild & Wolf

rise and shine Lilac alarm clock, £12, M&Co

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT Love cosmetic purse, £30, Nina Campbell

arm candy Pink watch, £24.99, TK Maxx

bon voyage Ted Baker luggage tag and passport set, £24.95, Wild & Wolf

go retro Mini floral vintage radio, £30, Sainsbury’s

festive flowers Christmas gift bag with fresh flowers, £26, Interflora

sugarcoated Box of marshmallows, £15, Boomf

treat for two Champagne glasses with truffles, £20, Sainsbury’s

PUG LOVE Mini pug cushion, £15, M&S

FOOD FOR THOUGHT Hedgerow hamper, £29.99, Lakeland BLOOMIN’ LOVELY Orange home fragrance gift set, £20, Orla Kiely

GOURMET GADGET Waffle maker, £30, Debenhams

keep it cool Ice bucket, £12.99, TK Maxx

fit for a king Rose dog bed, £28, Cath Kidston

kitchen companion Pink retro hand mixer, £24.99, Swan Christmas 2016 19

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,TݓĹËļĹ Ē’ĩĮõîTá

Treat your friends and family to a handmade greeting this year with our easy-to-make cards


Feature & styling Alison Lovett Photos Lizzie Orme

e’ve all done it – standing in the shop, trying to choose cards that epitomise the perfect Christmas sentiment. Only problem is, our friends and family

=\jk`m\^XicXe[ Got lots of cards to send this year? A traditional wreath is simple yet effective to make in bulk.


4Tall blank card, £5.99 for 50, HobbyCraft 4Craft punch, £4.49, HobbyCraft 4Green paper or thin card 4Pencil and compass 4Glue 4Ribbon 4Red paint 4Fine artist’s paintbrush

Untitled-2 2

are all individuals and there’s no ‘one card fits all’ solution. So rather than buy separate cards for everyone and having to remortgage in the process, why not make your own – personal and affordable,, win!

Using your craft punch, punch (green out roughly 20 holly shapes from paper or thin card. Using a pencil and compass, draw )youra circle with a 10cm diameter on blank card. the holly leaves to the * Attach circle using small dots of glue. Decorate the wreath with a + ribbon bow and small dots of red paint to make red berries. two lengths of ribbon to ,cardCut measure the same width as your and glue to the top and bottom. Hey presto, Crimbo card!

08/09/2016 14:12

JXekXËje\nZcfk_\j Fun and colourful, this easy-to-make card is simple enough for your little ones to help with.


a length of cord or ribbon to (cardCut measure 5cm longer than your blank. Tuck under the two ends and glue to the inside of the card, close to the middle fold. Cut out small shapes from coloured felt to form Santa’s clothes. Glue on cord, ribbons and felt pieces to add more detail. Peg shapes onto cord. Take care when putting into an envelope.

4 Cord and ribbon 4 Glue 4Card blank, from £5.99 for 50; felt, £2.99 for a 15-sheet pack; mini pegs, £1.29 for 50 pegs, all HobbyCraft



the corrugated card neatly ( Fold in half to form a card. Cut strips of decorative paper, )wrapping crepe paper or even offcuts of paper and glue onto the

Reuse the Christmas cards you received last year to make your own unique, handcrafted greetings.


4Corrugated card 4Crepe paper 4Decorative paper 4 Old Christmas cards


middle of your corrugated card blank as shown in the picture above. Carefully cut out part of an old Christmas card. If the shape is particularly fiddly, you may wish to use a craft knife and cutting mat as this will help to get a neater finish. Glue this on top of strips of coloured paper. Ta dah!


+ Untitled-2 3


08/09/2016 14:12

=leXe[ Cover your work area with ( newspaper. Following the ]\jk`m\jgXibc\ manufacturer’s instructions, For grown-up glamour, use free wallpaper samples or offcuts of wrapping paper in rich, opulent shades.


4Card blank, £8.99 for 50, HobbyCraft 4Metallic spray paint, £6.49 for 400ml, Rust-Oleum 4Wallpaper samples or good-quality wrapping paper 4Pinking shears 4Glue 4 Ribbon 4Ribbon

h lightly spray the card blank with metallic spray paint. While this is drying, cut out three Christmas tree shapes from wallpaper using pinking shears, making sure that each one is slightly smaller than the previous one. Fold the shapes in half vertically. Apply a line of glue to the biggest tree and stick to the card blank. Repeat this step with the other two shapes, matching up their middle fold lines each time. Top with a ribbon bow to finish. Beautiful!!


* +

GXkZ_nfib gi\j\ek Rummage through your fabric scraps for festive shades of red, gold and green to create a magical card using simple stitching.


4Square card blank, from £2.99 for 10; fabric, from a selection at HobbyCraft 4Pins 4Sewing machine and thread 4Glue 4 Button 4Ribbon out four equally-sized (PinCut squares of patterned fabric. together in a square

shape, with the four quarters overlapping. Machine stitch around the edge of the square and across the middle to form a rough cross. Glue the fabric square onto your card blank. Attach a button and top with a ribbon bow to finish.



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05/09/2016 16:28

J_`e`e^jkXi Keep it simple with this fun and colourful design.


4Square card blank, from ÂŁ8.99 for 50, HobbyCraft 4Pencil 4Compass 4 Craft knife and mat 4Ribbon 4Star card topper, from 99p for four, The Range 4Tape 4Decorative paper 4Glue Draw a circle with a (middle 10cm diameter in the of your card blank, using a pair of compasses or empty container of the

correct size if you have one. Open the card out flat on a cutting mat and carefully cut out the circle with a sharp craft knife. Cut a length of ribbon to measure 6cm. Thread this through your star shape and fold the ribbon to make a loop. Overlap the ends of the ribbon inside your card blank and tape them carefully into place, so that the star hangs down in the middle of the circle. Cut out a piece of wrapping or decorative paper to the same size as your card blank and glue to the inside back cover of your card so that it shows through the circle you cut out earlier. And that’s it!


* + ,


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05/09/2016 16:29

Buckets full of fun Feature & styling Jo Rigg Photography Lizzie Orme

Tie small metal buckets to lengths of pretty ribbon and hang to make a festive advent display. Number the buckets with homemade labels and fill them with foil wrapped sweeties.

You will need

Ivory buckets, £1 each; red ribbon with white edge, blue ribbon with white edge, both £1 per 2m reel; red A4 card (used to make number tags), £1.49 for 10 sheets, all HobbyCraft. Self-adhesive numbers, £1.19 per packet of 220, Ryman. Chocolate coins and sweets, from a selection, Poundland 24

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How many sleeps 'til


Count down the days until Santa comes with one of these easy-to-make advent calendar ideas

Sock it to 'em For a fun advent look, hang children’s stripy socks in a line from a length of cord. Print out advent numbers from 1 to 24 onto white card and trim into neat squares. Hold the socks and numbers in place using miniature wooden pegs. Lastly, fill with surprises.

You will need

Socks, stylist’s own. Mini wooden pegs, £1.20 per pack of 50, Hobbycraft

Open the box! Wrap individual matchboxes with brightly coloured papers and ribbons. Fill with sweets and treats to make a modern and stylish advent display.

You will need

Matchboxes, £1.99 for 10, HomeCrafts Direct. Papers used to wrap matchboxes: lilac spot paper and purple spot paper, both 75p per sheet; green spotty paper, £1.79 per sheet; purple ribbon and lilac ribbon, both £2.10 per roll, all HobbyCraft. LSA Serve tall glass comport, £38, John Lewis Christmas 2016 25

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Light a candle Gather together an assortment of church candles and choose a tall candle to sit at the centre of your display. Lay the tall candle down and add a row of self-adhesive numbers to create an advent candle. Finally, group the candles together on a decorative plate; we tied ribbons to some of our candles for a finishing touch.

You will need

Church candle (7/8” x 12”), £8.20 for a pack of six, St Eval Candle Company. Purple self-adhesive numbers, 79p per pack, HobbyCraft


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Stack them high Wash and soak off the labels from 25 regular size food tins. Leave to dry. Lightly spray with two coats of white paint and leave to dry. Pop a selection of advent goodies, like sweets or tiny toys, inside each tin. Cover each tin with two teaplate-size circles of tissue paper; hold the circles in place with a thin elastic band. Decorate the top of each tin with a length of ribbon. Finally, add a number to the front of each tin. Arrange the numbered tins in random number order to make a tree shape.

You will need


White Super spray paint, ÂŁ6.95, PlastiKote. Pink star print tissue paper and plain pink tissue paper, both 99p per pack; ribbons from a selection, all HobbyCraft

Christmas 2016 27

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Expert advice

The stockings were hung...

Supersize Santa sack

Read on for some stylish homemade stocking ideas for every size and shape of present

Been good all year? Make this generously sized sack for Santa to put all those goodies in.

You will need

Q Natural hessian, £7.25 per m, Homecrafts Direct Q Red hessian, £4.99 per m, Homecrafts Direct Q Pins Q Scissors Q Pinking shears Q Gingham fabric, £3.15 per m, Homecrafts Direct Q Pencil Q Red felt, £8.50 per m, Homecrafts Direct Q Iron Q Bondaweb fusible adhesive Q Red embroidery thread Q Giant ric rac, £2.50 per m, Clothkits Q Ribbons Q Extra large white pompom trim, £10.50 per m, Clothkits Q Red cord


Cut a 102cm x 69cm piece of natural hessian and 104cm x 42cm piece of red hessian. Turn a double 1cm hem on the wrong side at each short end of the red hessian and stitch with a 1cm hem. Fold the red hessian in half lengthwise with right sides facing out. Pin the raw edges of the folded red hessian to the right side of the top long edge of the natural hessian. Stitch with a 2cm seam. Iron a sheet of Bondaweb fusible adhesive to the wrong side of a piece of gingham. Peel off the paper backing. Using a pencil lightly draw a stocking on the gingham and cut out with pinking shears. Place the stocking glue side down onto the front of the natural hessian and iron in place. Repeat step three with a piece of red felt cut into the shape of your chosen initial and finish by ironing it on top of the gingham stocking motif. With red embroidery thread, sew 1cm straight stitches around the stocking motif. Position strips of ribbon and ric rac horizontally above and below the gingham stocking motif. Pin, then sew the ribbons into place. Pin pompom trim along the join where the red and natural hessian meet and stitch in place.Fold the hessian in half with right sides facing in and the red hessian channel at the top. Pin then stitch the long edges of the natural hessian together using a 2cm seam. Press the hem open. With the sack still inside out, pin along the bottom edge and sew a 2cm seam all the way along to form the base of the sack. Turn the sack right side out. Thread cord through the red hessian channel at the top of the sack.

2 Projects, feature & styling Anna-Lisa De’Ath Photography Lizzie Orme


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Pretty paper stockings Try presenting gift cards for your loved ones in these paper stockings rather than plain envelopes.

You will need


Place the two stocking pieces together with right sides facing out and using a sewing machine or needle and thread, stitch a 1cm seam around the stocking, leaving the top of the stocking unstitched. Using pinking shears carefully trim around the edge of the stocking about 5mm away from the line of stitching. Using the template, trace a cuff shape onto another piece of your chosen decorative paper. Cut it out using pinking shears to add a pretty finish to the lower edge. Glue this to the top of your stocking. Decorate the cuff with your choice of fabulous embellishment. We used a selection of lace tape, sequins, ribbon and self-adhesive trim. Cut a 10cm length of ribbon, fold in half and glue to the reverse of the stocking to form a loop.

Q Decorative papers, from ÂŁ1 per sheet, Paperchase Q Scissors Q Pencil Q Pinking shears Q Sewing machine or needle and thread Q Craft glue Q Ribbons Q White lace tape, ÂŁ3.75 for 3 rolls, Paperchase Q Self-adhesive ribbons, 99p per pack, HobbyCraft Q Sequins

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5 6

Download a copy of the paper stockings template from Cut out the template and use it to draw two stocking shapes on your chosen decorative paper. Cut out two paper stockings using scissors.

Pop over to our website to download the template we used. Christmas 2016 29

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Expert advice

Novel no-sew stocking This clever twist on the traditional is made using a calico tote bag and a simple image transfer technique – no needle required!

You will need

Q Scraps of fabric, ribbon and coloured paper Q Selection of old buttons Q Scissors Q Glue Q A4 paper Q Calico tote bag, 99p, HobbyCraft Q Newspaper Q Waxed paper or foil Q Dylon Image Maker, £3, John Lewis Q Paintbrush Q Rolling pin Q Kitchen paper Q Bowl of water Q Sponge


Create a collage picture of a stocking by gluing scraps of paper, fabric, buttons and ribbons to a sheet of A4 paper. Once you’re happy with your design and the glue is dry, make an A4 colour photocopy of the collage. Place your tote bag on a flat worksurface and slip a sheet of old newspaper inside. Place your photocopy printed side up on a sheet of waxed paper or foil. Squeeze a generous amount of Image Maker paste onto your image and spread evenly over the picture surface with a clean paintbrush. The paste should be thick enough so the picture cannot be seen clearly. Carefully lift the wet image and place it paste side down in position on the front of your tote bag. Press it down evenly to ensure no wrinkles. Place a paper towel over the transfer and roll gently with a rolling pin in alternate directions for one minute to lightly press the transfer onto the tote bag and ensure the edges are stuck. Remove the paper towel and blot any excess paste. Allow the transfer to dry thoroughly for at least four hours, preferably overnight. Once dry, place a water-soaked sponge onto the transfer and allow to soak in until the paper is soft. Using your finger or the sponge, begin gently rubbing in the centre of the transfer until the paper can be rubbed off. Continue until the top layer of paper is loose and can be removed with a paper towel. Using the wet sponge rub off the layer of fuzzy paper. Leave to dry. When dry, gently rub off the remainder of the fuzzy paper from the transfer using a moist sponge and your fingers. Allow to dry thoroughly. To seal your transfer, place a few drops of Image Maker paste onto the transfer and rub gently into the grain over the entire image surface, using a clean brush. Allow to dry thoroughly. Your tote bag is now ready to fill with gifts and hang from a doorknob or place under the tree.







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Fabulous felt stocking This cute stocking is sure to become a Christmas classic that you will hang on your bedknob year after year.

You will need

Q Sheet of newspaper Q Pencil Q Scissors Q Pinking shears Q White felt, £8.50 per m, Homecrafts Direct Q Red felt, £8.50 per m, Homecrafts Direct Q Pins Q Red buttons Q White embroidery thread Q Embroidery needle Q Sewing machine or needle and thread Q Big pompom ribbon trim, £3.50 per m, Clothkits Q Ribbon


On a sheet of newspaper, draw a stocking template measuring 48cm from heel to top, 31cm from heel to toe and 18cm wide. Cut out the template. Using the template as a guide, cut out two stocking pieces from white felt using pinking shears. Cut away 1cm all the way round the paper stocking template and cut 18cm from the top and use this smaller template to cut one stocking piece from red felt using pinking shears. Cut out three circles measuring roughly 7cm in diameter from the red felt stocking piece, then lay it on top of one of the white stocking pieces. Use white embroidery thread to attach it to the white stocking piece using a running stitch 1cm in from the edge of the red felt. Sew the circle edges using running stitch. Decorate each of the white circles by sewing on a selection of red buttons using white embroidery thread. Place the embellished stocking piece right side up and the remaining white felt stocking piece on top of it with right side facing down. Pin around the edge and sew a 1cm hem all the way around the edge leaving the top of the stocking open. Turn the stocking right sides out. Fold the top of the stocking over by 6cm and stitch a length of pompom trim around the edge. Sew a button to the top corner of the cuff. Finish by folding a 1m length of ribbon in half and stitching the centre point of the ribbon to the inside edge of the stocking cuff. Use this ribbon to tie the stocking to your bedknob.

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Expert advice

Create a festive feel with a

tabletop tree

Feature & styling Lisa Hibberd Photos Lizzie Orme

Whether you use it to dress your dinner table or mantelpiece, one of these fantastic mini trees is sure to impress


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Elegant bay and berry tree You will need

4Silk laurel or bay stems, local florist 4Scissors 4Dry oasis cone, local florist 4 Red-headed pins 4Decorative red berries on wire, local florist

Wintry wonder You will need

4 2.5kg bundle of 30cm long florist’s wire 4 Masking tape 4Handy glue gun, £7.99, Bostik 42 spools of Heritage twine in natural, £3.40 each, Nutscene 4Scissors

a selection of leaves from the (theSnip laurel stems. Starting at the base of cone, cover with a row of leaves,

Top Tip

piercing each one with a pin or a berry, and pushing it into the oasis. Repeat, moving upwards, making sure there are no gaps and that you have an even arrangement of berries and pins. Wrap a leaf over and around the very top of the tree to finish.

This project would also work well with real bay leaves, which will give off a lovely festive fragrance.

some smaller bundles of wire )theseWrap (around 15 lengths) with tape. Push into the top of the trunk, and bend each one until you’re happy with the layout of the branches. Add some smaller bundles for the additional branches. Secure with tape and bend until you have the perfect tree shape. Begin to cover the tree with twine – start with the base of the branches at the top of the trunk. Cut a length of twine and wrap it tightly around each branch. Once you reach the ends, make a spiral and secure with glue. Once all of the branches have been covered, wrap twine in between the branches and around the top of the trunk, then work down the trunk and the four legs.

four bundles, each of around 30 * (theGather lengths of wire, and bend each one at centre to make a right angle. Wrap a few pieces of masking tape around each one to hold it together. Place one side of each together so that you have four sides pointing upwards to create the trunk of the tree, and four sturdy legs on the table, facing away from each other in a cross shape. Secure the trunk tightly with tape.

Top Tip

When you are fixing the sticks with the glue gun, be careful not to use too much or you may end up with visible drips of glue. Just a little will be enough to stick your tree together.


Fragrant cinnamon tower You will need

4 36 long cinnamon sticks, local florist or Asian supermarket 4Heavy-duty wire snips 4Handy glue gun, £7.99, Bostik 4Scraps of ribbon Cut four cinnamon sticks to around (14cm, 15cm long, and then another four to and so on, decreasing the length

by 1cm each time. You’ll need 36 in total. Take your longest four lengths, place two on your worksurface 15cm apart and parallel, and the other two resting on top, to create a square. Secure with hot glue. Next, glue two of the 14cm sticks on top, at a slight angle, then two more on top, for a new square shape. Continue until you have used all the cinnamon sticks. Once dry, tie on ribbon bows in your chosen colours.





Tapering tower of sparkly jewels You will need

4 250g bag acrylic craft gems, £5.99, Craftmill 4Papier mâché hollow craft cone, 20cm x 8cm, 89p, Craftmill 4Small artist’s paintbrush 4PVA glue 4 Silver glitter the brush to apply glue to the (onUse back of each gem and begin to stick in rows, starting at the cone base.

Work your way up, arranging the gems in your own individual design. At the top, you’ll need to use smaller gems. Once the cone is covered, fill any small gaps with glue, sprinkle with glitter, leave to dry and shake off the excess.


Colourful 3-D fan You will need

4 A selection of sheets of doublesided cardboard, a mixture of plain and patterned 4 Scissors 4Hole punch 4 Cotton thread or wool Download and print the ( cardboard tree template from Use this

template to draw tree shapes onto the pieces of card. You will need about 60 shapes in total. Cut out the shapes, then use the hole punch to make two holes on the straight edge of each one, making sure that the holes correspond. Place the shapes in a pile, then thread a length of thread through each set of holes. Tie to secure, then trim any loose ends and fan the leaves out to create your 3-D tree.

) *

Pop over to our website to download the tree template we used. LSQIWX]PIQEKGSYO


Twisty ribbon tree You will need

Q 25cm polystyrene cone, ÂŁ3.10 for two, Craftmill Q Handmade paper in co-ordinating colour Q PVA glue Q Scissors Q 20m roll of deckchair stripe ribbon, ÂŁ9.99, Jane Means Q Small pins the cone with a piece of 1ThisCover handmade paper and stick with glue. will help to avoid any white gaps

showing through the ribbons. Wrap a length of ribbon all around the base of the cone and pin to secure. Cut a piece of ribbon about 7cm long. Create a pointed loop by wrapping one end over the other. Secure with a pin, and push into the polystyrene, just above the ribbon around the base. Repeat until you have completed a row all the way around. Working your way upwards, create more rows of ribbon loops, trying to work neatly and avoid any gaps. Finish by wrapping a piece of ribbon tightly around the point at the top.


Christmas 2016 35

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We three trees…

A trio of charming felt Christmas trees.


Print out each tree template from our website, then cut around the shapes. Each tree has two parts – a body and base. Keep the pieces for each tree separate. Decorate the surface of two green felts with bleach to create patterns and stripes. Dampen the felt and smooth flat. Carefully drizzle bleach onto the damp felt. Wait a few minutes, then rinse thoroughly under running water. Leave to dry, then iron. To make the trees, pin the templates to the felt and cut out each tree then remove the pins. Hand stitch the cones together; start at the top point of the cone and work down. Stitch the bottom circle to the cone and leave a 5cm gap for filling. Fill with rice and then stitch closed. Stand the tree up and decorate as you wish.



White, wood sorrel and bottle green felts, £1.16 per 12-inch square, all The Felt Fairy. Sage green wool felt stars, 45p each; sage green felt string, £2.75 per 3m, both from Blooming Felt. Mini white felt pompoms, £1 per pack of 50, HobbyCraft. Medium American Jadeite glass cake stand, £42, RE.

Feature Jo Rigg Photos Lizzie Orme

Pop over to our website to download all of the templates we used.

Christmas never felt so good... Felt comes into its own at Christmas. Colourful, inexpensive and versatile, you can use it to create all sorts of fun festive decorations


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Under the mistletoe

Make a fun felt kissing ball that you can use year after year

1 2

Cut out about 60-70 mistletoe leaves using the mistletoe pattern online in a mix of all three different green felts. Pin the mistletoe leaves through the narrow centre part of each leaf onto the polystyrene ball. Pin felt balls to the ball at the centre of some of the leaves. Fold the ribbon in half and tie a bow at the fold. Pin the bow to the ball and hang.


Spring green, apple green and laurel green felt, £1.16 per 12-inch square, all The Felt Fairy. Apple green, lime green and duck egg blue felt balls, 15p each; Red dot grosgrain ribbon, 85p per m, all from Blooming Felt. 10cm polystyrene ball, £2 .50 for two, HobbyCraft.

Snowy village

Add instant festive atmosphere to your room with this cute village.

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Download and print the three differently sized felt houses patterns from our website. For each individual house, first cut out the paper pattern pieces and then pin them to the white felt. Take care to keep the pieces for each house separate. Cut around the pieces and remove the pins. Use a pencil to lightly mark the windows and doors directly onto the felt using the pattern as a guide. Cut out the window shapes and door openings. Iron small pieces of interfacing to the reverse of each wall so each piece has an opaque backing layer behind the windows and doors. Carefully peel open the doors away from the interfacing. This is easiest to do while the interfacing is still warm. It will allow the night-lights inside to emit a soft glow and also stiffen the walls of each house. The roofs do not need any interfacing. Stitch the four sides of each house together using white thread. Finish by stitching the roof in place. Place an LED tea light inside each house and switch on. Important: Do not use real tea lights, only battery-operated LED ones.




White felt, £1.16 per 12-inch square, The Felt Fairy. Iron-on interfacing, £3 per m, HobbyCraft. Battery-operated LED tea lights, £2 per pack of four, HobbyCraft. Fake snow, £1 per pack, Poundland. 'LVMWXQEW  'LVMWXQEW

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06/09/2016 10:03

A new dimension

Decorate with soft 3-D felt baubles.


Cut interfacing so it is slightly smaller than each white felt square. Use a hot iron to bond the interfacing to the reverse of the felt squares. Print the Christmas bauble template from our website, cut out and pin it to white felt. Cut out 14 bauble shapes. Fold and press each bauble in half down the middle of each shape. Peel away the backing papers and iron the baubles pieces together to create a 3-D shape. Make a few small stitches to pull the tips at the top and bottom of the bauble together. Finally, stitch a decorative glittery pompom to the top of the bauble, keeping the ends of the thread long so you can use them to hang the bauble.

2 3


White felt, ÂŁ1.16 per 12- inch square, The Felt Fairy. Iron-on interfacing ÂŁ2.99 per m, HobbyCraft. 2cm white pompoms, ÂŁ1 per pack of 25, HobbyCraft.

It’s snowtime!

Dress your table in style with festive snowflakes. Download and print the placemat snowflake template from our website. Cut out the snowflake design carefully. Place the paper snowflake shape at one corner on top of red stick-on felt. Use a fine marker pen to draw around the outside of the snowflake directly onto the red felt and cut it out. Use pinking shears to trim 1cm from the edges of the red felt. Stick the red felt centrally onto white stick-on felt. Sew around the two felt layers with white embroidery thread using large decorative running stitches. Finally, cut out the six small centre parts of the snowflake. Peel away the backing paper and stick them in place at the centre of the snowflake.



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White stick-on felt sheet; red stick-on felt sheet, ÂŁ1 per A4 sheet, both HobbyCraft.  L LSQIWX]PIQEKGSYO P O

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Rockin’ robins

Fun robin baubles to hang on your tree.


Cut out the felt pieces using the Christmas robin template on our website. Cut two white eyes, two brown bodies, one red tummy and one beak per robin. Use red embroidery thread to stitch the tummy onto the front body piece. Add a beak at the top of the tummy. Stitch on the two eyes, one on each side of the beak, use a brown bead at the centre of each eye. Start to stitch the back of the body to the front, pop in a little cotton wool for stuffing inside and a ribbon for hanging, and then finish by stitching closed.



White, chocolate and ruby felts, £1.16 per 12- inch square, The Felt Fairy. 15mm-wide red and white stitched ribbon, £1.05 per 4m, HobbyCraft. Miyuki drop seed beads in Iris Brown, £1.36 per 9g tube, BeadsJar


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Lovely lollipop place markers

These swirly decorations look almost good enough to eat!


Cut cream and green wool string to 1m long. Add a spot of hot glue to stick the two ends together. Slowly wind the two strings together to create a spiral, securing with spots of hot glue as you work. Trim the ends neatly, and glue to hold. Trim a straw to 15cm long and glue it to the underside of your lollipop. Tie the lollipop stick with a length of spotty ribbon and finish with a handwritten name card.

Sage green felt string and ivory felt string, both £2.75 for 3m; red dot grosgrain ribbon, 85p per m, all Blooming Felt. Paper straws, £3 per pack of 30, Talking Tables. All other items, stylist’s own. 40

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LUCIA Mirrored Bedside Cabinet


DEMETER Mirrored Dressing Table




Gorgeous gifts handmade with love Treat your friends and family to a thoughtful present made especially for them


iving is almost better than receiving, right? If you love to see the look on your loved ones faces as they open up their presents on Christmas morning, then this dazzling selection of handmade gifts is sure to have a few lucky recipients ticked off your list. Whether you’re making for the fashionista who almost has it all, a keen gardener, or want to create something special for a little one, we have just the make. So gather up your craft supplies and get ready to be inspired.

A pretty purse for a shopaholic Every handbag deserves to have a gorgeous purse inside and this one is the perfect size for loose change.

You will need

Q Purse frame, ÂŁ3.50, Josy Rose Q Paper Q Pencil Q Fat quarter of fabric Q Scissors Q Ribbon Q Pins Q Needle Q Thread

around your purse frame and 1youDraw make a paper template of the shape want your purse to be. Add a 1cm

seam allowance to all edges. Use the template to cut out two pieces of fabric.

the piece of fabric which 2WithDecorate will form the front with a ribbon bow. right sides together, mark the sides of your fabric with a pencil where the purse frame will be.

the purse edges together and 3fromPin stitch around the sides and bottom, mark to mark. Snip the corners off

diagonally. Turn through to the right side and press flat. Sew the fabric purse onto the frame with neat stitches in matching coloured thread.

Good idea

Why not add a snazzy lining? 42

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A handy journal for a gardener Transform a simple notebook or diary into a personalised keepsake.

You will need

Q Two fat quarters of fabric Q Scissors Q Pins Q Sewing machine Q Thread Q Ribbon Q Sew Simple, ÂŁ3.99, Bostik Q Iron Q Grey felt Q A5 hardback notebook

Cut out a piece of fabric measuring 1measuring 25cm x 24cm, and cut another 18cm x 24cm to form the

cover of your notebook. With right sides facing, pin and stitch the pieces together along the 24cm edge.

a length of ribbon to 24cm and 2overCut apply to the right side of the fabric, the join, using fabric glue. Allow

the glue to dry. Turn the fabric over, open the seam and press flat with an iron.

and machine stitch a 1cm 3 Pin hem around all edges of the fabric. Cut out a watering can shape from 4instructions, felt. Following the manufacturer’s apply fabric glue to the wrong side of the watering can and stick to the front of the cover.

the wrong side of the fabric 5by With facing up, fold over both side edges 4cm and pin along the top and

bottom. Check that your notebook fits snuggly. Stitch along the top and bottom edge of both flaps to hold them in place.

Good idea

Top Tip Instead of using fabric glue to stick your watering can shape, you could back it with iron-on interfacing instead. This adds support as well as a sticky surface on which to attach your chosen shape.

Why not personalise the felt motif to your recipient, such as a set of golf clubs for a keen golfer, or a pair of designer heels for a shoeaholic - the creative possibilities are endless! Christmas 2016 43

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A personalised door plaque for kids

Good idea

Add your ribbon hanger to one of the long sides if your chosen name is longer.

This colourful name plaque makes a lovely stocking filler for a little one and can be made in no time at all.

You will need

Q Drill Q Small offcut of wood, measuring approximately 18cm x 8cm Q Sandpaper Q Super spray, ÂŁ5.49 per 400ml, Plasti-kote Q Scissors Q Card Q Decorative paper Q PVA glue Q Buttons Q Ric rac and ribbon, from a selection at Jane Means

Drill two holes in the top of the 1edges wood offcut. Sand down all the and spray paint the plaque all over following the manufacturer’s instructions. Leave to dry.

Cut out letters from card or paper 2bottom to spell out a name and stick on the of the plaque with PVA glue. a selection of squares and 3UsingTrim rectangles from decorative paper. PVA glue, stick the shapes onto the plaque, pressing the edges flat.

the plaque with 4 Decorate buttons, ribbon or ric rac. a 30cm length of ribbon and tie 5at theCut the ends through the drilled holes top.

Top Tip To make your plaque more durable, coat with a layer of PVA after you have applied the lettering and decorative paper elements. Then apply any buttons and ribbons with strong glue.


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Felt beads for a fashionista Treat your loved one to a stylish necklace in their favourite colour using an array of ready-made felt beads and spare buttons. Why not make a matching bracelet to complete the set? For a different idea, you could even create a stack of multi-coloured bangles to make the perfect stocking filler to open on Christmas morning.

You will need

Q Waxed cord, from 30p per m; felt pebbles, felt balls and felt balls with beads, from 15p each, all Blooming Felt Q Buttons Q Ribbon Q Tapestry Q Needle Q Scissors Q Pliers

Cut a 30cm length of cord. Tie a 1needle knot at one end and thread a onto the other. Thread felt shapes on, spacing 2selection as required and mixing with a of buttons. If threading

the beads is difficult, pull the needle through with pliers.

Once you have threaded 3interspaced approximately 14 felted beads with buttons onto the cord, tie a knot in the end.

Cut two pieces of ribbon to 4ribbon measure 45cm. Tie a piece of to each end of the waxed cord and trim neatly. Secure the ends of the ribbon with a pretty bow. Lovely!

Top Tip Good idea

Alternate sizes, shapes and colours of beads and buttons for a fun multi-textured necklace.

For a super quick make, use ribbon as your stringing material and thread on a selection of large holed beads. Tie a knot at each side once you have finished stringing, then simply secure the ends in a bow.

Christmas 2016 45

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Scented teacup candles for a vintage fan These gorgeous rose-scented candles make the perfect present for a home lover. Charity shops and boot sales are full of odd cups and saucers at bargain prices, perfect for upcycling.

You will need

wax to stick the wick base in place.

Quarter fill a large saucepan with 2smaller cold water. Place the wax into a pan, and then place it inside the large pan. Gently bring the water to the boil and simmer on a low heat until the wax melts.

the wax becomes molten, 3 When add a few drops of rose scent. Once the wax has melted 4plastic completely, pour it into an old jug. Then carefully pour into the teacup and leave to cool, ensuring the wick is still standing up straight.

Feature and styling Alison Lovett Photos Lizzie Orme

Q Teacup and saucer Q Beeswax; pre-waxed wire wick with a base, from ÂŁ2 for 12; liquid rose candle scent, ÂŁ6 for a 1oz bottle, all HobbyCraft Q Two old pans, one larger than the other Q Old plastic jug

the wick base inside a clean, dry 1youPut teacup. If the wick will not stand up, may wish to use a blob of molten


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A gorgeous corsage for a style queen Scour your scrap fabric bag to add a splash of colour to a friend’s coat or jacket with this pretty corsage.

You will need

Q Fabric, from a selection at HobbyCraft Q Ribbon, from a selection at Jane Means Q Felt Q Scissors Q Glue gun and glue sticks Q Needle Q Thread Q Safety pin

out 20 fabric circles, each 1 Cut measuring10cm in diameter. one circle in half and then half 2PlaceFold again. Fold one half back on itself. a small drop of hot glue at the point of the folded fabric circle. Repeat with the other circles.

Download the diagrams on how to fold the fabric circles at a circle measuring 9cm from 4ontoCut felt. Glue four of the fabric triangles the felt circle, with points meeting in the middle.

Glue a second layer of fabric 5overlapping triangles on top of the first, the gaps. this process until you have 6 Repeat no triangles left. a loose running stitch, pull a 7of aUsing needle and thread along the centre piece of ribbon. Tie a knot to keep the ribbon ruched. Repeat this with another piece of ribbon.

the ribbons to the back of 8 Stitch the felt, and stitch on a safety pin.

Pop over to our website to download the diagrams we used.

Good idea

For a little girl, stitch onto a hair clip or headband instead.

Top Tip Fancy a multi-coloured look? Cut circles out of different colours of fabric and mix them up for a more tonal look. For wedding season, try adding some net circles - it will instantly look wedding day ready!

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Expert advice

Stylish stencilling Make snowflake templates by folding circles of paper into eight segments and cutting out triangle shapes. Unfold the templates and fix onto plain or brown parcel paper with masking tape, to create a pattern. Cover the area with a light coat of spray paint. Leave to dry for at least an hour before removing the templates. Use the templates as gift tags.

Make it personal Whether your loved one is a keen traveller and you use an old map to wrap their gift, a sheet of their favourite music for a musical friend or even a cookie cutter as a label for a foodie’s gift, adding a personal touch will make their present more special.


wrapped up Make your presents look extra special this year without breaking the bank 48

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Reuse and recycle Why not give last year's Christmas cards another lease of life by using them to dress up inexpensive crepe paper and doilies from your local craft shop?

Back to basics Create a work of art with a few bits and pieces from your kitchen cupboards and the contents of your recycling bin. Use corrugated card and pinking shears to make bows, layer torn paper from used envelopes and add buttons, baubles and even dried oranges and cinnamon sticks to make perfect finishing touches without spending a penny.

Perfectly printed Printing with a potato, cookie cutter or a ready-made stamp is a quick and easy way to make your own wrapping paper and your little ones will love helping.

Christmas 2016 49

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A stitch in time Use a sewing machine to create an interesting effect on paper or card, with or without thread in your machine. Or why not try punching the outline of a shape with a large needle?

Make it in minutes Why not disguise vouchers in pre-used gift boxes? Add a band of tissue paper, a simple ribbon or even a bauble to make your box look extra glam.

Wrap an awkward shape If your gift is a difficult shape, use tissue paper

and a gorgeous fabric remnant, all tied together and finished with a huge bow.


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It’s a wrap Wallpaper samples make decadent

wrapping paper and are often free at hardware stores. Why not layer with co-ordinating sheets of tissue paper, keeping the edges crisp and finishing with a large ribbon for an extra flourish? Christmas 2016 51

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case! GET ON THE

With your very own portable wrapping station

When you set about wrapping your presents, To keep scissors in easy reach, we made a little   there’s nothing more frustrating than first having pouch out of the lining paper and secured this to to rummage around in various drawers, cupboards and the lid with double-sided tape. We found glassine bags to locate the elusive scissors, tape and gift tags.

While it would be fantastic to have a dedicated  area in your home set up as a wrapping station, realistically, not many people can spare the space. As a happy compromise, we transformed a scruffy  old suitcase, that had long since seen its last holiday, into a portable wrapping station.

envelopes to be a great way to store tags so you can still see them, while gift boxes offered an ideal way to store sticky tape.

In the base of the case, we used mini jars to store  small decorative items, such as mini pegs and buttons. And we made a string dispenser by punching three holes in the side of a small cardboard box, which we then fed the string through – a great way to avoid any knots and tangles!

Meaning we now have all the kit we need to  Finally, we completed the station by filling transform presents into parcels of perfection in one g paper, handy place, with the added bonus that it can be easily the base of the case with rolls of wrapping ve material. materia sheets of tissue paper and scraps of decorative stowed away when not needed. To start the transformation from suitcase to  wrapping station, we needed to give the outside of the case a bit of a refresh with a couple of coats

of navy spray paint. Then, to pretty-up the inside, we lined the case with some gorgeous heart print paper – carefully cut to size and held in place with spray mount.

Feature & styling Kate Harding Photography Lizzie Orme

Once the case was lined, we set about  transforming the lid. A giant safety pin made a fun way to display our favourite ribbons. As we wanted to be able to take the pin out of the case when needed, we stuck three red pegs to the lid and used these pped to hold the pin in place. Then, to finish, we wrapped ribbon around some gorgeous wooden spools,, and fed these onto the pin.


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Top Tip

If you don’t already have a handy suitcase lying around (let’s face it, not all of us do!) head to your local charity shop or ask friends and family – it’s amazing what people can find in their loft whilst getting the tree decs down.

PlastiKote Super in Night Navy Satin, £6.95 for a 400ml can. Criss-cross heart paper, £2.25 per sheet, Paperchase. Giant safety pin, £22, Rockett St George. Red and white gift wrap set, £6.49 for five rolls, red and white spotty gift box pillow, £1.99 for two, cellophane bag with hearts, £2.99 for 10, mini bags and tags, £4.49 for six, all Panduro. Hand-painted heart decorations, £1.15 for seven, by Mollycupcakes; small glassine envelopes, £3 for 20, by Peach Blossom, both 'LVMWXQEW

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Expert advice

Living in a

woodland wonderland

Feature and styling Jo Rigg Photos Lizzie Orme

Take your inspiration from winter walks in the woods to create some stunning Christmas decorations


Create beautiful candleholders

Sew miniature Santa sacks

Add some festive cheer to your hearth with a collection of silver birch candleholders.

Stitched in minutes for the perfect stocking filler, these handmade hessian bags are ideal to fill with Christmas treats.

A sturdy silver birch branch is the starting point for this craft project. Give the log a quick dust to remove any loose bark or dirt. Use a saw to trim away a few centimetres at each end of the log. Divide the log into five pieces using a measuring tape and a pencil, increasing the sizes of the log sections as you go to achieve the staggered look we have created. Saw the log into five separate pieces following your pencil guidelines. Then use a drill fitted with a 4cm core drill bit and a chisel or screwdriver to remove a plug of wood from the centre at one end of each piece of log. Arrange the logs in a group and place a tea light in each log.

Measure and cut a piece of hessian to measure 20cm x 60cm. Fold in half and sew running stitches down each side using a tapestry or darning needle and natural string. Fill with goodies, such as sweets and chocolates then tie closed with a length of raffia. For extra decoration, why not hand embroider the front of each bag to personalise further? Dyed hessian, £2.83 per m; raffia assortment £16.14, all Specialist Crafts Ltd. Natural and green garden string, 99p, local hardware shop. All other featured items, stylist’s own.

Unscented tea lights, £4.99 for 12, Yankee Candle. All other items, stylist’s own.

Turn simple twigs into a stunning tree Make a simple Scandi-style twig tree for a minimalist look, with hand tied branches and a lick of paint.


Add a spray of glitter for a touch of festive sparkle

Begin by cutting a thick branch to approximately 1.6m long, this will form the main trunk of the tree. Then cut six narrower branches, these will become the horizontal branches for your tree. Cut the widest branch to approximately 70cm long and the narrowest to about 30cm long. Lay the trunk of the tree down on some scrap paper and then lay the six branches across the trunk, place the narrowest branch at the top of the tree and the widest at the bottom of the tree. Bind them tightly together with string. Next, paint the whole thing with a coat of cream emulsion paint and leave to dry. Stand the tree in a metal bucket or similar item and fill almost to the top with gravel or stones – these will hold the tree firmly upright and also prevent the tree from being knocked over. Fill the top of the bucket with pinecones for decoration. To make the hanging wooden decorations, use a drawing pin to attach a small length of string onto the top of each pre-cut wooden circle and hang. Make a star by cutting a very thin piece of silver birch bark into a star shape with a craft knife and glue to the top of the tree to hold in place. Similar wooden discs, £7.99 for 25, StickyTiger. All other items, stylist’s own.


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Expert advice Good idea

Dress your reindeer up with a gold ribbon and bell

Make animal magic Make an inexpensive but impressive reindeer decoration to add a cheerful touch to your Christmas tree. Gather together several silver birch twigs. Trim and cut away any shoots or leaves. For the main body measure a 10cm length and cut to size using a small hacksaw. Using a drill and a 2mm bit, drill through the body at both ends. Cut the remaining twig into two pieces to make a neck and head. Choose a narrower twig and cut into four equally-sized pieces to form the legs. Use the same drill and bit to make a hole at the top of each leg. Cut two 15cm lengths of leather thong, use the first length to join the back legs to the body and the second to join the front legs, tie both pieces of thong with a knot on top of the body and trim neatly. To make a loop for hanging, cut a 30cm length of thong, pass it though the two knots on top of each end of the body and then tie on top to form a loop. Use a little glue, or a hot glue gun, to stick the neck and head to the body. Lastly, cut two antlers from small twigs and stick them to the head.

Good idea

Brown round leather cord, £7.13 per 25 m, Specialist Crafts. 25mm brass bell, £2.39 per pack of five, Panduro. All other items, stylist’s own

Celebrate nature Show off an interesting collection of natural items and add a festive feel to your home with this wintry display, to really set the scene for your guests this Christmas.

Search junk stores for a selection of coloured vases

Top Tip Create a striking tabletop display with natural elements, including dried flowers in shaped vases, frame leaves to show off their natural beauty, add bunches of interesting twigs and lastly create a warm, cosy glow with candle light.

Head to the forest to gather some fallen pinecones. Once home, leave them to dry out then spray with a couple of coats of matt white spray paint; turn over between coats to ensure even coverage. The spray dries quite quickly so the cones can be re-sprayed in approximately 20 minutes. Fill a large circular vase with cones. Tie a simple pale cream silk bow around the middle of the vase, hold in place with a little double-sided sticky tape. To complete, trim the ends of the ribbon neatly at the back. Matt super white spray paint, £7.49, PlastiKote. Similar LSA pearl vase, £60, John Lewis. Tall green ‘Aquilegia’ flower bottle vase, £54; brown ‘Clematis’ flower bottle vase, £37; tall ‘Poppy’ flower bottle vase, £42, all Dartington Crystal. Gold ragged edge candle pots, £5.50 for small 8cm pot, £11.80 for tall 12cm pot, both The St. Eval Candle Company. All other items, stylist’s own


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‘Hemsjo’ block candles in natural, £1.50 for four, Ikea.

Good idea

Brightly coloured baubles bring colour to your display

Create a focal point with a traditional display of festive foliage Decorate your mantelpiece using a mixture of fresh greenery and add a few atmospheric candles for some magical extra sparkle. A woodland walk should provide you with most of the natural ingredients you need to create this beautiful festive display. Begin by placing a log on your mantelpiece, the log should be just a little shorter than the width of the mantelpiece. You can trim it to size if you need to. Next trim and neaten several lengths of green foliage. Holly, ivy, mistletoe and fir branches are easy

to find and ideal for this display. Tuck the foliage in and around the log using the log to hold everything in place. For more permanent fixing, use a staple gun to attach the foliage to the log. Gradually build up the display. Place church candles and pinecones amongst the greenery across the front of the mantelpiece. But remember, never leave burning candles unattended.

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Good idea

Create smaller displays using pretty gift tags

Be picture perfect Create a pretty display using an antique Christmas card, natural cork and vintage baubles. Pin a vintage postcard onto a piece of natural cork using brass drawing pins. Decorate with a length or two of festive wired ribbon and a few small baubles. Add some gold glittered holly leaves for a finishing touch. All items, stylist’s own

Top Tip

Work wonders with wood

Experiment with different shapes of floristry Oasis, you could try a sphere or even a rectangular shape. Our urn was perfect for this cone shape, but have a look in charity shops for a pretty base for your own design.

Create stylish coasters in a flash with these beautiful log slices. Saw a log into 1cm slices, then rub each surface lightly with a sanding block or glass paper to give a smooth finish. Wipe the surfaces of the slices clean. Stick a slightly smaller circle of self-adhesive felt to the underneath of each coaster to protect your tabletop. Ready-made wooden slabs, £4.99 for three large pieces, Panduro.

12cm diameter Oasis sphere, £3.10, The Essentials Company. All other items, stylist’s own 58


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Make an elegant mini Christmas tree

Twinkle, twinkle...

Make an instant decoration using small pinecones, a generous satin ribbon and a touch of festive glitter. Sit an Oasis sphere on top of a small metal urn. Use a small kitchen knife to carve the oasis into a cone shape. Stick the Oasis cone to the base of the urn and leave to dry. Next, push the stalks of miniature pinecones into the Oasis, starting at the bottom and working upwards. Tie the urn with a generous length of green satin ribbon and then spray the whole thing with a coat of gold glitter spray.

This star decoration is quick to make using freshly gathered sticks and a little natural string. Use garden secateurs to cut six twigs to approximately 40cm long. Lay the twigs down on your table and form a star shape. Bind each corner point with string then knot and trim the ends neatly. Thread one gold bell onto a length of red ribbon. Tie the ribbon to one tip of the star and hang. 25mm brass bell, £2.39 per pack of five, Panduro. All other items, stylist’s own

30cm diameter grapevine ring wreath, £4.95, Finland moss in dark green, £3.30 per bag, both The Essentials Company. Natural leaf skeletons, £2.50 per pack of 20, HobbyCraft. All other items, stylist’s own

Bring the outdoors into the dining room with a stylish centrepiece This beautiful Christmas table decoration was made in minutes using natural items, coloured glasses and delicate fresh flowers. Begin by gluing clumps of moss to the outside of a basic wreath using a hot glue gun. Next, wind a length of green enamelled wire round the wreath, twist the ends of the wire neatly inside the wreath. Lay the wreath in position on a tabletop and place six recycled glasses

in the middle. Fill three of the glasses with tea lights and three with flowers, we chose lily of the valley. Finally dress the wreath with gold-sprayed leaf skeletons and small bundles of silver birch twigs tied with long lengths of ribbon, leaving the tails long. Christmas 2016 59


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Trim a chair back Dress up a chair to make your dinner guests feel extra special Use a pair of secateurs to cut several lengths of ivy to the same height as the top of a chair back. Trim a few sprigs of holly to approximately 15cm to 20cm long. Gather the ivy in one hand and then bind with wire, wrapping the bunch two or three times. Tighten with a few twists of the wire, using the remaining wire to tie the ivy to the back of the chair. Again twist to secure the wire and trim the ends of the wire neatly. Nestle a few sprigs of holly into the ivy at the top of the bunch. Then tie two or three lengths of green ribbon over the wire. Tie with a neat firm knot and trim the ends of the ribbon neatly. Similar green ribbon, £2.10 per 4m roll, HobbyCraft. White taper candles, £4.40 for a pack of 12, The St. Eval Candle Company. All other items, stylist’s own

Good idea

Pop a sprig of holly into your presents, too

Top Tip Change the colour of your ribbon to match your own colour scheme. Traditional shades of red and green are lovely, but jewel colours have a more contemporary feel to bring your décor bang up-to-date!



08/09/2016 10:25

Stencil stylish napkins Add a festive touch to your Christmas table with simple stencilled napkins. Print a template for the holly stencil onto plain white A4 paper. You can download the template by visiting our website homestylemag. Use a little masking tape to attach the template to a heatproof surface. Tape a polyester stencil blank directly over the top of the holly leaf template. Carefully cut out each holly leaf using a hot stencil cutter. Unpeel the stencil from the template. Next, cover your work surface with scrap paper. Lay your napkin down flat in front of you and tape down each corner. Position the stencil on your napkin and begin to build up the layers of paint gradually using a stencil brush and stencil paint – for best results offload some of the paint from your brush onto some paper towel before you start. When you have finished, carefully peel away the stencil and wipe it clean. Reposition the stencil and add more holly leaves to your napkin, wiping the stencil each time you re-use it. When you’ve finished stencilling, leave to dry. Sew three red sequins in the centre of each leaf group. Polyester stencil blanks, £21.55 per pack of 10; hot stencil cutter, £35.99; stencil brush, 83p, all Specialist Crafts. All other items, stylist’s own

Get creative with place cards Impress your guests with personalised stamped place cards and twig holders.

Good idea

Why not try adding some coloured ink to your designs?

Begin by making the place cards. Cut a sheet of A4 card into small rectangles that measure 8cm x 4cm. Lay them on a flat surface and use an ink roller and gold stamp pad to roll an ivy leaf motif across the top of each place card. Next, use individual alphabet stamps to stamp each guest’s name across the middle of the card. Leave to dry for a few minutes. To make the holders, cut a small silver birch twig into 8cm lengths. Cut a slightly angled groove into the twig, cutting just halfway through. This groove will hold the place card in position. Rubber rolling stamp set, £16.70, Specialist Crafts. Alphabet stamp set, £2.50, Hobbycraft. All other items, stylist’s own Christmas 2016 61


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Dress your dining room for

Christmas Hosting a big festive gathering or something more intimate? Transform your room with one of these three stunning looks

Good idea

Ensure guests are comfortable with a plump cushion. Why not have a go at stitching your own?

A classic red and white Scandinavian look epitomises Christmas. Fill your space with festive patterns and rustic touches, then complete your scheme with a real Christmas tree – we chose a Blue Spruce which filled the room with a beautiful scent

Docksta dining table, £130, Ingolf chairs, £39 each, all Ikea. All other items, stylist’s own


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Scandinavian style

Go traditional with this classic look which never goes out of style at Christmas time

Capture the spirit of Christmas with this nostalgic look that the whole family will love. Homemade decorations, natural gifts and fun ideas combine in red and white to create a timeless Christmas dining room. If you’re restricted by space this is a great scheme to choose so make the most of your room with these clever ideas: l Stick to these two colours for the whole room, only adding natural touches, such as twigs and foliage, to enhance the scheme. The white will help to lighten your room and make it feel as spacious as possible, whereas the red adds warmth and character to make your room feel cosy and intimate. l A round dining table will make better use of a small room and allow an area for

your Christmas tree to take centre stage. If space is really tight, push the tree up against the wall, trim if necessary, and save your decorations just for the front. l Storage is vital in a dining room – open shelving will make the space feel larger, but don’t let them get cluttered. Use natural wicker or rattan baskets for storing smaller knick-knacks, while the shelves can display your crockery and linens – ideal if they co-ordinate with the Scandinavian scheme. l Every Christmas table needs a centrepiece. A round table looks best with a round focal point – we opted for a festive wreath filled with pillar candles and a selection of baubles. Keeping the display low-level stops it from taking over and leaves ample room for each place setting and guests won’t feel squashed in.

Perk up your dining storage by dressing it for the occasion too. Wicker baskets are perfect

‘Keep it fresh and modern by using white as the basis of your look, teamed with bold red. Add natural touches with wicker and willow decorations’ Continue the natural vibe by tying slate tags to the back of each chair dressed with a sprig of holly

pillow talk Bauble cushion, £15, M&S

patterned pegs Scandi Christmas peg decorations, £2.95, Dotcomgiftshop

Deck the doors Red berry poinsettia wreath, £29.99, Very

white christmas LED winter scene advent, £29.99, Lakeland

star of wonder Red star candle on a stick, £6, John Lewis

This theme boasts an informal feel, so napkins can be folded and simply placed at the setting Christmas 2016 63

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Luxurious gold

Nothing says luxe better than metallic accents for a sophisticated and grown-up festive look

Create a classic festive scene that’s dripping with gold, reminiscent of Christmas gone by. This sophisticated look is sure to impress your guests so here are our top tips for getting this look just perfect: Invest in a stylish cake stand – they make a great centrepiece, dressed with chocolates or festive decorations

l Mix your golden touches with brown, cream and bronze – it will add depth to the overall feel of the room and stop the look from being too stark. l Deck your tree with ornaments of different shapes and sizes – long, thin icicle shapes contrast brilliantly with larger baubles, ribbon and motif decorations. l Give your table structure by using lots

of layers – crisp white linens, elegant table runners with lavish tassels and golden chargers create the ideal base to arrange your crockery on at each place setting. l Get creative! Gold spray paint is an easy way of making everything suit your new scheme. We used it on fruit to add a lavish feel but you could experiment with leaves or old tree decorations that you could then use as name card holders. l Use textures to enhance your look – think velvet and silk fabrics and ribbons for subtle detail. Be clever and use them on your tree, table, chairs and to wrap up your presents.

‘Add the midas touch with twinkly gold accents, don’t scrimp on the lighting to make your setting really sparkle’ pot of gold Gold potted twig tree, £15, John Lewis

pear-shaped Large gold pear, £8, Sainsbury’s

gold-plated Nouveau plate, £8, M&S

Get crafty by spray painting pears and other fruit to give them a lovely golden glow. But don’t eat them!

at your service Rectangle dish, £10, John Lewis

Last year’s decs and glasswear is prime for updating with some spray paint. Use masking tape to create a stencil

branch out Rustic leaves wreath, from £9.99, HomeSense

What a cracker! Gold saucer crackers, £7 for a pack of eight, Talking Tables


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A golden Christmas scheme can feel ultra luxurious and will work brilliantly with wooden furniture of any shade. Ensure your room feels really opulent by adding golds in different depths and textures to make the scheme sparkle

Good idea

Layer up crockery for an eye-catching place seting. Just ensure they all boast the same colour palette for a co-ordinated look

Jokkmokk table and four chairs, £89, Ikea. All other items, stylist’s own Christmas March 2015 2016 65

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Similar Montana black leather chairs, £59 each, Tesco Direct. Similar facet starburst mirror, £44.99, Homebase. All other items, stylist’s own

Good idea

Continue the theme on your mantlepiece with bold blooms and bauble displays

A purple and teal Christmas scheme works beautifully with rich, dark furniture in a more modern setting. Ensure you balance these two colours equally throughout your room to really add an impact when your guests arrive 66

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Vibrant opulence

Combine jewel colours with mixed textures for an ultra glam and stylish party scheme

Add a touch of drama to your home this Christmas with an indulgent palette of purple and teal. Consider the following ideas when transforming your space: l Furniture in dark shades, even black, will match the depth of these two colours and make this scheme stand out. But if you’re worried that your existing furniture isn’t quite right, consider using chair covers to hide what’s beneath and a table cloth will easily disguise your table if it’s not up to scratch. l Stunning flower arrangements make fabulous focal points and can fill the room with a beautiful fragrance. Interflora have a gorgeous selection of displays to suit

every budget and space but you could also try your hand at making your own. l A table runner is ideal for this look – we chose a velvet runner with a beaded trim to enhance the luxurious and indulgent vibe. Layers are key, round high-gloss placemats teamed with rectangular bobble trim mats create detail and interest at each setting. l Glassware can enhance any elegant Christmas table. Stylish wine and champagne glasses don’t have to break the bank and there are lots of colourful options available – search the high street or even charity stores for colourful long-stemmed options to add some drama to your place settings.

Keep an eye out on the high street and in local supermarkets for beautiful baubles at bargain pric es

Feature & styling Lara Berry Stylist's assistant Natalie Kenton Photos Lizzie Orme

‘This look is perfect for a New Year party - sleek, colourful and dramatic. Go high-gloss for added drama’ keep cosy Christmas cushion, £1, Poundland

all that glitters Large blue snowflake decoration, £5 for a set of eight, Debenhams

A stunning harlequin mask makes a fabulous focal point at each setting and will be a fun talking point

stag party Turquoise glitter table top reindeer, £7.50, The Contemporary Home

set the scene Purple peacock stocking, £6, Debenhams table treasures Beaded napkin ring, £7.99, HomeSense

light the way Heather etched glass lantern, £14.99, Dobbies

Turn to page 129 for stockist details

Carry your opulent theme around the room with plenty of baubles layered in bowls and platters Christmas 2016 67

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White Christmas

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas Transform your home into an elegant ice palace with our creative ideas inspired by glistening snowflakes

Feature & styling Jo Rigg Photos Lizzie Orme

Make your mantlepiece truly magical

Good idea

Artificial snow sets the wintry scene

Dress up a mantelpiece with delicate homemade snowflakes. Form the snowflake shapes from white and silver pipe cleaners. Dissolve a handful of borax in hot water in a deep container and stir thoroughly until dissolved. Suspend the snowflakes in this solution for 24 hours, then remove and leave to dry. Tie them to a length of ribbon and hang them across your mantlepiece. White pipe cleaners, £2.05 per pack of 100; tinsel pipe cleaners, £4.10 per pack of 100 assorted colours, both Specialist Crafts. Dri-pak borax, £1.49, BigGreenSmile. All other items, stylist's own.


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White ‘Ludde’ sheepskin, £30, Ikea. All other items, stylist’s own

Top Tip When the festive season is over, why not turn your doilies into a more colourful runner, by dyeing with Dylon hand dyes, for a bohemian feel? You could even unpick the stitches and dye each one a different colour!

Good idea

Drape seating areas with fairy lights to add a cosy feel

Good idea

Stitch a delicate snowflake runner

Stitch on shiny beads for extra seasonal sparkle

Search your local charity shops for vintage crocheted doilies which you can stitch together to create an elegant snowflake table runner. Christmas 2016 69

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White Christmas

PVA adhesive, ÂŁ2.99 for a 600ml bottle, Specialist Crafts. Matt super white spray paint, ÂŁ7.49, PlastiKote.

Top Tip Sprinkle your doilies with a light dusting of glitter before the paint dries, so they catch the light and twinkle as they spin and turn.

Let it snow Make an impressive display by dressing your windows with falling snowflakes made from doilies. Gather together a selection of crocheted or lace doilies which can be new or old. Aim to collect an assortment of mixed sizes in white, cream or ivory colours. Begin by washing the doilies and ironing flat. The doilies are then stiffened with diluted PVA solution. Dilute the PVA with an equal amount of water. Lay the doilies flat and then brush the solution generously over, leave to dry. When dry remove the white doilies and place to one side. Spray the remaining doilies with matt white spray paint and leave to dry, they should dry in approximately half an hour. Finally suspend the snowflakes from clear nylon thread in front of your windows.

Good idea

Wrap presents in silvery gift wrap to follow your icy scheme


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Cerne outliner, £3.35 per 20ml tube, Specialist Crafts. Large mistletoe wreath with pearls, £14.95, Aspen & Brown. All other items, stylist’s own

Good idea

Incorporate some metallics and blues to complement the crisp white

Welcome Santa in style Add some festive cheer with a personalised plate for Santa’s seasonal offering. It's a good idea to have a trial run before you start to write on your plate. Lay the plate down on a sheet of scrap paper and draw round the outside. Then practise writing your message on the paper, this will give you an idea of the size the letters should be and also the spacing of your words. When you are happy with your wording, write your message using outliner paint directly onto the plate. Leave overnight to dry or alternatively finish by baking in the oven following the manufacturer’s instructions. Christmas 2016 71

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White Christmas

Design a stylish centrepiece Make an instant display using iridescent reindeer and silver candles. This very quick and easy table decoration can be made in minutes. Fill a glass dish with artificial snow and a sprinkling of glitter. Then place two reindeer deep in the snow and surround with small silver candles. Place at the centre of your table.

Top Tip Lighting is so important at this time of year, as the nights draw in. For a twist on this pretty candle lit stairway, why not try scented tea lights for a welcoming scent too?

Good idea

Turn a cakestand into a novelty scene


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Create a heavenly, twinkling stairway Created in minutes, this impressive display of flickering candles is sure to impress your guests. Gather a large collection of jam jars, soak off labels then wash and dry. Fill each jar with a little dishwasher salt and a sprinkling of silver glitter. Place a candle or nightlight in each jar. For a finishing touch tie silver ribbons round some of the jars. Place the jars to run up the outside of your staircase and light. Be candle safe and don’t leave burning candles unattended.

Good idea

Baubles instantly give your home a festive feel. Why not personalise and add to door handles ready for when guests come to stay for Christmas?

Decorate some dazzling baubles Decorate plain white baubles with festive words and crystal beads. Simply place a bauble in a small glass; this will keep the bauble steady while you work. Use silver outliner to write your festive word across the middle of the bauble. Then use a little more outliner to add a small star shape on the bauble and drop a small crystal or sequin into the centre of the wet outliner paint. Leave overnight to dry. As a finishing touch, thread the bauble with a length of thin white ribbon and hang in place.

Good idea

Add beaded chains for seasonal sparkle

Cerne outliner, ÂŁ3.35 per 20ml tube, Specialist Crafts. Christmas 2016 73

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White Christmas

Dust a cake with snowflakes

Design a sparkling napkin ring

Dress up a plain Christmas cake with a dusting of icing sugar and finish with a snowflake ribbon. Cover a cake with grey icing and tie a deep silver ribbon round the outside. Fold a paper doilie into six equal parts. Use a sharp pair of scissors to cut into the folded doilie and make a snowflake shape. Unfold and lay flat on top of the cake. Sprinkle the top of the cake with a generous dusting of icing sugar, then very carefully remove the doilie.

Make an inexpensive beaded snowflake to wrap around your Christmas napkins by threading crystal and silver bugle beads onto fine silver wire. Form it into a simple snowflake shape using small pliers to bend and close the ends of the wires neatly. Cut a 30cm length of fine wire and thread with silver bugle beads, this will form the tie that will wrap around the napkin. Stitch a napkin by hemming a 30cm square of silk. Wind the length of twisted wire round the napkin and lay the beaded snowflake in place, or secure with a short length of wire. Silver plated coloured enamelled wire, ÂŁ4.07 per 175 metre roll, Specialist Crafts. All other items, stylist's own

Transform tired chairs Make a decorative felt slip cover as an impressive way to transform a plain chair. Lay a length of felt over the back of your chair. Cut the felt to size and stitch down each side with a simple running stitch using silver embroidery thread. Use a large pair of scissors to cut a scalloped edge at the bottom of the chair back cover. Punch several snowflake shapes from silver and white organza, this is a little tricky but worth persevering with. Layer the silver and white snowflakes together and stitch in place with silver thread, add a pearl bead to the centre of each snowflake.

Top Tip Why not stitch up some seat pads too? These are easy to make by sewing together two squares of felt, leaving a gap. Add a cushion pad, close up the gap and add ribbon ties to secure them to your chairs with. White woollen felt, ÂŁ9.50 per metre, Specialist Crafts. All other items, stylist's own


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Doilies, ÂŁ5.29 per pack of 120, Lakeland. All other items, stylist's own

Perk up a place setting Paper doilies have many uses and cost pennies. Use an assortment of white paper doilies under glass plates to transform your table. Homemade, decorated snowflake cookies add to the snowy feel. Christmas 2016 75

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Be the centre of attention

No matter how busy you are on Christmas Day, you’ll be able to make these easy but elegant centrepieces in just a few minutes to give your table the ‘wow’ factor

Ikea, Dunelm and The Range are all great places to find bargain candles

Twinkle, twinkle Stand six church candles on a square of mirror. Graduate the height of the candles so the taller candles are at the back and the shorter ones are towards the front. Tie the candles together with a single length of white or silver satin ribbon. Next cut four lengths of foliage to the same size as the mirror. Lay a piece at each side of the arrangement and sprinkle with a little Christmas snow or glitter.

Feature & styling Jo Rigg Photography Lizzie Orme BE CANDLE SAFE. NEVER LEAVE BURNING CANDLES UNATTENDED.

Good idea


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Feeling fruity


Fill a trio of vases or glasses with shiny cranberries for a traditional table centre to complement a red and white theme. We chose to use frozen cranberries for our display, which we bought ahead of time and kept frozen until required. Fill each vase with berries to about half way, place a candle on top and then add a few more berries to nestle round each candle. Finally, place a twig and berry garland around the base of the vases.

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Good idea

Heighten the delicious aroma by including vanilla, cinnamon or festive spice scented candles

Nice and spicy Inspired by nature, this arrangement combines citrus, cloves and cinnamon to fill your home with the scent of Christmas. The ingredients are all easily gathered and cost very little but work together beautifully to create an impressive centrepiece. Decorate oranges and limes with cloves and add a few ribbons to finish. 78

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Blooming lovely Arrange silk flowers around glass hurricane lanterns for an instant table centre. We chose oversized purple flowers for a bold look and added small bunches of pearls to the centre of each flower as a finishing touch. Artificial flowers are very easy to work with and a simple arrangement like this can be made well in advance, leaving you time to enjoy the festivities.

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Food for friends Transform a handful of shop-bought ingredients into impressive platters in time for your next party or gathering

Food & styling Kate Harding Photography Lizzie Orme

Crunchy crudités Nothing could be easier. Simply prepare radishes, carrots, chicory, tenderstem broccoli, sugar snap peas and keep fresh in a bowl of iced water until needed. Wipe clean button mushrooms and keep to one side until ready to serve.

Homemade tortilla stars Making your own tortilla chips will impress guests yet only takes a matter of minutes... Using a cookie cutter, press out star shapes from flour tortillas, place on a baking sheet in a single layer, brush with olive oil and dust with sumac and salt. Bake at 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4 for 5 minutes until golden.

Give dips a quick makeover Harissa houmous – Mix 3 tsp of harissa paste with a pot of houmous. Pea and pesto dip – Roughly chop a handful of pea shoots and add to 300ml soured cream with 1tbsp of pesto. Mix together and season to taste. Tarragon aioli – Add a handful of freshly chopped tarragon to a jar of good quality aioli and stir to combine. Chill all three dips until needed.


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Smoked salmon platter Arrange smoked salmon on a plate and scatter over finely chopped dill and shallots and a handful of capers.

Prawns with Bloody Mary dipping sauce Mix together a wine glass measure of passata, a dash of vodka, 1 tsp grated horseradish, a drop of Tabasco, a dash of Worcestershire sauce and season to taste. Chill until needed, then serve alongside juicy king prawns.

Mackerel pâté Flake 150g smoked mackerel fillets into a bowl, taking care to remove any bones as you go. Add 2 tbsp crèmefraîche, a handful of chopped parsley, the grated zest of a lemon, 2 tsp grated horseradish and mix together until thoroughly combined. Season to taste, then chill until needed. Christmas 2016 81

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CHIC CHARCUTERIE Chorizo and cheese Bake cooking chorizo according to the packet instructions, remove from the oven and cut into bite-size pieces. Feed onto a rosemary skewer with a cube of Manchego cheese and serve while still warm.

Perfect platter Arrange a selection of charcuterie, such as Parma ham, prosciutto di speck, chorizo, pepperoni and bresaola on a board. Serve with caper berries, rustic breads and good quality olive oil to drizzle.


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SOPHISTICATED SUNDAES Sauce pots For an adult twist on an ice cream sundae, put a pot of hot, strong espresso on the table for guests to pour over vanilla ice cream and create their own, Italian classic, affogato. And everyone will thank you if you serve up a jar of salted caramel, a real crowd pleaser that works a treat drizzled over ice cream.

‘When guests are ready, bring out tubs of good quality ice cream and let everyone create their own sundaes’

Super sprinkles As sprinkles are the secret to a good sundae, try offering something a bit more indulgent – honeycomb chunks, mini caramel wafers, chocolate coffee beans and salted peanut brittle are sure to impress. To make your own peanut brittle, line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and scatter over a layer of salted peanuts. Place 300g of caster sugar in a saucepan, heat over a low heat until melted. Swirl the pan occasionally, don’t stir. Pour over the peanuts and leave to set. Once cold, break up into more manageable pieces. Christmas 2016 83

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Cunning design, foxy looks The sleek design of a Britannia cooker hides an array of helpful features, but there’s no hiding its quality. A range of colour options allows you to bring some personality into your home, while each Britannia has an attention to detail and ruggedness that makes it at home in even the most demanding environment.

For more information or to find your local stockist visit

Aber Gas & Electric Aberystwyth 01970 617 779 Appliance City Nottingham 0115 965 1937 Appliance Direct Morecambe 01524 400 703 Appliances Direct South Normanton 0871 984 4416 Blaines Dereham 01362 692 323 Watton 01953 884 005 Borshch Electrical Birmingham 0121 773 6361 Brisco Williams Swansea 01792 894 961 Built In Kitchen Appliances Ltd Liverpool 0151 263 8966 Capital Appliance Centre Ltd Harlescott 01743 463 261 Cookers and Ovens by Tippers Lichfield 01543 414 800 Coopers Bath 01225 311 811 Discount Appliance Centre (Cooks & Co) Newark 01636 335 266 Gardiner Haskins Homecentre Bristol 0117 929 2288 Global Domestic Appliances St Albans 01727 896 767 North Finchley 0208 492 7500 HBH Woolacott St. Austell 01726 222 970 Herbert Todd Harrogate 01423 701 496 Homemaker Ltd Shaftesbury 01747 851 476 JWA Electronics Alton 0800 092 8829 Knees Home & Electrical Trowbridge 01225 754 161 Mains Home Electrical Centre Bishops Stortford 01279 755 213 Macphersons Appliances Direct Birmingham 0121 427 4633 Marks Electrical Leicester 0116 251 5515 Mike Sanderson Electricals Fleetwood 01253 870 890 Molesey Refrigeration Centre East Molesey 0208 979 4619 Nailsea Electrical Bristol 01179 246 002 Nortons Sheff ield 0114 272 1294 Paul Davies Kitchens & Appliances Bolton 01204 387 767 R N Williams & Sons Ltd St. Asaph 01745 582 254 RDO Kitchens and Appliances Reigate 01737 240 403 Romerils St. Helier 01534 738 806 Sonic Megastore Ltd Bradford 01274 575 000 Stellison Ltd Brentwood 01277 233 373 Canterbury 01227 767 576 Chelmsford 01245 252 325 Ipswich 01473 261 950 Sparkworld Ltd Martock 01935 825 552 Newton Abbot 01626 834 666 The Stove Centre South Molton 01769 574 411 Walter Dix & Co Gateshead 0191 482 0033 Wellingtons Ltd Erith 01322 344 100

Make a magical

gingerbread house

Feature & styling Kate Harding Photos Lizzie Orme

Great fun for children and anyone with a sweet tooth!

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PREPARATION TIME 1 HOUR COOKING TIME 15 MINUTES MAKES 1 HOUSE YOU WILL NEED 43 tbsp golden syrup 4100g dark muscovado sugar 4 125g butter 4 300g plain flour 4 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 4 4 tsp ground ginger 4 1 tsp mixed spice 4 1 tsp nutmeg

Top Tip

Should any cracks appear when transferring to the trays you can easily repair by very gently pressing the dough to smooth it over.

TO DECORATE 4500g packet Royal Icing 4Your choice of sweets DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas Mark 6. Make your house templates by cutting the four walls and two roof panels from greaseproof paper. You can design your own house or download our template from To make the dough, melt together the syrup, sugar and butter in a pan over a low heat, stirring it occasionally. In a large bowl sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, mixed spice and nutmeg. Add the melted butter mixture and beat until combined, then bring together with your hands to form a smooth dough. Divide the mixture in two, place one half on a sheet of baking paper and roll to about 5mm thick then carefully transfer to a baking tray. Take the side wall template, rest on the dough and cut around with a knife, repeat so you have two side wall panels. On the same piece of gingerbread cut the front and back walls then remove trimmings. If you want to cut out windows and a door it’s best to do it at this stage. Take the remaining dough and this time using the roof template do the same as above. This should leave you with two roof panels, two side walls, one front wall and one back wall. To create a stained-glass window effect, crush some coloured boiled sweets and sprinkle into the window spaces before baking. Place the baking trays in the preheated oven and cook for about 10 minutes, until firm and starting to turn darker at the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the trays. Once completely cool transfer to an airtight container and leave overnight.


) * +


. /

Pop over to our website to download the templates we used.


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To start, find a stable base to construct your gingerbread house on – a cake board or small wooden chopping board is best. Next, make up the Royal Icing according to the packet’s instructions – this will act as the cement to hold the house together so it needs to be firm rather than runny. Add a couple of spoonfuls of icing to a piping bag and begin by icing along the base of a side wall panel, then gently press onto the board. Next take the front wall panel and ice the base and sides. Gently press the pieces of gingerbread onto the board and against the adjacent wall, then continue this process until all four walls are on the board and glued to one another. You can fill any gaps between the walls with extra icing to ensure it’s nice and stable. Hold the walls in place for a minute or so then let the icing dry, ideally for a couple of hours, before adding the roof. When ready, ice the top edges of the house, where the roof panels will rest and gently place the panels on top. Hold for a few moments to help them stay in position then leave to set. Now you have your house you can enjoy the fun part... Decorating! To decorate our house we used the remaining Royal Icing to create roof tiles and a snow effect on the ground, plus mini marshmallows to bridge the gap between roof tiles, cinnamon sticks as a log pile, lollipops as trees, sugar strands for the path and Jelly Tots to frame the board. Let your imagination run wild and you can create your very own magical gingerbread house that is guaranteed to bring a smile to kids and adults ad dul ults ts alike. aalilike ke.


+ , -

With a bit of patience and a steady hand, your finished house will look (almost) too good to eat!


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Gorgeous gifts for gourmets

Food & styling Laura Webb Photography Lizzie Orme

Whether your foodie friend has a sweet tooth or is a cheese fiend, they will love these luxury gifts


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Roasted cherry tomatoes and Camembert

You will need Q 12 cherry or baby tomatoes, halved Q 1 tsp caster sugar Q 1 tsp dried thyme Q 1 tsp dried oregano Q 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced Q Sea salt and freshly ground pepper Q 3 tbsp olive oil Q A few fresh basil and thyme leaves Q Extra virgin olive oil Preheat the oven to 120ºC/250ºF/ Gas Mark 1⁄2. Put the tomatoes on a baking tray, cut side up. Scatter over the sugar, thyme, oregano, garlic and the salt and pepper. Drizzle over the oil then mix with your hands so they are well coated. Cook for 2-2½ hours, checking occasionally. Pack into a hot sterilised jar with the fresh herbs and top up with extra virgin olive oil until all of the tomatoes are covered. Seal the jar and keep for up to a week in the fridge.

1 2

Spiced oranges



4 5

You will need Q 10 oranges sliced into 5mm slices Q 600ml white wine vinegar Q 1kg sugar Q 1 cinnamon stick Q 4 allspice berries Q 12 cloves Q 2-3 bay leaves Q 4 cardamom pods Put the orange slices into a pan. Cover with cold water, bring to the boil and simmer, covered, for about 40 minutes, until tender. In a separate pan, dissolve the sugar in the vinegar along with the spices. Once the sugar has dissolved, bring to the boil for a few minutes.


Remove the orange slices from the poaching liquid, keeping the liquid to one side. Put the oranges into the sugar syrup. If it doesn’t cover the fruit add a little of the poaching liquid. Cover and simmer again for another 30 minutes. Take the lid off of the pan and leave overnight. The following day, boil the fruit and syrup again for a few minutes before packing into hot sterilised jars and sealing. If the orange slices are not covered in liquid, then pour in a little more of the poaching liquid. Keep in a cool dark place for six weeks before using.

3 4

Marinated goat’s cheese and water biscuits

You will need For the biscuits: Q Butter for greasing Q 125g plain flour Q ½ tsp baking powder Q ¼ tsp salt Q 30g lard, diced Q ½ tbsp fennel seeds Q Water For the cheese: Q 1 goat’s cheese log, cut into rounds Q 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed Q ½ tsp fennel seeds Q1 small sprig thyme Q1 small sprig of oregano Q 1 bay leaf Q 1 small red chilli, sliced in half Q 3 strips lemon zest Q Extra virgin olive oil Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4. Grease a baking sheet with a little butter. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl with the salt. Rub in the lard with your fingertips then add fennel seeds. Add a couple of tablespoons of water then mix together until you have a firm dough. Add more water if needed. Knead then wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Roll out dough on a floured surface, to about 2mm thickness. Use a 6cm cutter to cut out the rounds. Bake on a baking sheet for 10 -15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool. Keep in an airtight container for up to two weeks. Put the goat’s cheese in a cooled sterilised jar. Place the rest of the ingredients in the jar. Pour in enough olive oil to cover the cheese. Store in the fridge for up to a week.

1 2



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Limoncello with apricot biscotti

You will need For the limoncello: Q 6 lemons, scrubbed Q 250g caster sugar Q 150ml water Q 700ml vodka

1 2

Use a peeler to remove the lemon zest in strips, then juice the lemons and set aside. Dissolve the sugar in the water in a pan over a medium heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the lemon zest, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the juice and stir. Leave to cool and add the vodka while still slightly warm. Pour into a cooled sterilised jar and seal. Leave in a cool, dark place, shaking every day. After a week or so, strain the limoncello and pour into a sterilised bottle ready to drink.





Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4. Beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla extract until light, fluffy and pale in colour. Beat in the eggs a little at a time. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into the mixture and combine before adding in the lemon zest, apricots, dates and almonds and mixing well. Tip onto a lightly floured surface, divide the mixture into two and roll into two loaf shapes, each about 25cm long. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until lightly golden. Lower the oven temperature to 170ºC/325ºF/Gas Mark 3.


Remove from the oven and leave until cool enough to handle. Using a serrated knife, cut biscotti into slices on the diagonal, about 1cm thick. Lay flat on the baking sheet and place back in the oven for about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Store in an airtight container for up to three weeks.


For the apricot biscotti: Q 115g unsalted butter Q 125g caster sugar Q 1 tsp vanilla extract Q 1 large egg Q 1 large egg yolk Q 275g plain flour Q pinch of salt Q ½ tsp baking powder Q Zest of ½ lemon Q 100g dried apricots, roughly dropped Q 50g medjool dates, stoned and roughly chopped Q 100g almonds, roughly chopped


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Salted nutty toffee popcorn

You will need Q 2 tbsp sunflower oil Q 100g popcorn kernels Q 80g brown sugar Q 4 tbsp golden syrup Q 80g butter Q Large pinch salt Q 25g chopped almonds and pecans


Heat the oil in a large pan then add the popcorn kernels. Coat well in the oil then cover with a lid. Lower the heat and wait for the kernels to start popping. When the popping slows right down take the pan off the heat and put aside. In a separate pan, heat the sugar, golden syrup, butter and salt over a high heat for a couple of minutes, until the sugar has dissolved. Mix the chopped nuts with the popcorn in the pan then pour the salted toffee into the pan with them. Mix so that the popcorn is well coated. Tip out onto baking parchment so that the popcorn doesn’t stick together in a clump and leave to cool.



Cherry and berry nougat How to sterilise jars...

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/ Gas Mark 4. Wash glass in hot soapy water and dry. Remove any rubber seals or stoppers. Place the glass on a baking tray. Put in the oven for 20 minutes. Drop the rubber seals into boiling water for a few minutes. Remove the glass from the oven and allow to cool if using for cold food.

You will need Q Rice paper – we used edible wafer paper from Lakeland Q 175g honey Q 300g caster sugar Q 2 tbsp water Q 1 large egg white Q Pinch salt Q 1 tsp orange blossom water Q 75g whole almonds, toasted and roughly chopped Q 75g shelled pistachios, toasted and roughly chopped Q 100g glacé cherries, halved Q 50g cranberries

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Carefully line a square cake tin, about 15cm, with edible wafer or rice paper. In a medium pan heat the honey, caster sugar and water. Gently heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and heat until the temperature reaches 164ºC/327ºF on a confectionary thermometer. Remove from the heat. Whisk the egg white with the salt in a large bowl until it holds soft peaks. Carefully pour in the hot syrup whilst still whisking. Continue whisking until the mixture becomes thick and pale in colour. Now mix in the orange blossom water and the fruit and nuts. Pour into the prepared tin and level out with a wet palette knife. Place more edible wafer paper over the top and press down. Leave to cool before cutting and store in an airtight container for up to five days.



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Expert advice

Feature and styling Laura Webb Photography Lizzie Orme Worktop: Cristallino White from Granite Transformations recycled trend-G range

Good idea

Save yourself a mad rush by making mincemeat in advance – it’ll store for a couple of weeks in a kilner jar

Mince pie makeover

Choose one of these toppings for a twist on this Christmas classic, or make all 9 for a really impressive display

Classic mince pies Makes 12 Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas Mark 6. On a lightly floured surface roll out 250g readymade shortcrust pastry to 5mm thick. Cut out 12 rounds using a 7.5cm cutter. Push the circles into the holes of a cake tin and spoon readymade mincemeat into each hole. Roll out the remaining pastry and cut out 12 rounds with a 6cm cutter. Brush the edges of the pies with milk then place the lids on, pinching the edges together. Brush with milk and sprinkle with demerara sugar. Make a small hole in the top with the tip of a knife and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Alternatively, choose one of our extra special toppings for a different kind of pie.

Pop over to our website for our tasty mincemeat recipe.


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Marzipan stars

Use a mini star cutter to cut out marzipan stars. Cook the mincemeat-filled raw pastry cases in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Remove and pop a star on top. Place under the grill for a few minutes.


Rub together 40g of cubed, chilled, unsalted butter with 50g plain flour, 4 tbsp demerara sugar, 1 tsp ground cinnamon and the zest of ½ an orange. Scatter over the mincemeat-filled raw pastry cases and bake for 15-20 minutes.


Bake the filled mince pies for 10 minutes. Sprinkle the mincemeat with some chopped nuts. Put back in the oven and bake for a further 5-10 minutes, until the nuts are lightly browned.

Orange iced

Bake the filled pies for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool. Sift 160g icing sugar into a bowl and slowly add orange juice. Spoon over the pie and allow to set. Place a dried cranberry on top.


Bake the filled pies for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Whisk 175ml of double cream until thickened, then gently fold in 40ml of Monin gingerbread syrup. Spoon over the pies. Scatter with Christmas sprinkles.

Fruit and nut

Bake the filled pies for 15-20 minutes until cooked. Roughly chop a handful of dried apricots and mix with dried cranberries and roughly chopped pistachio nuts. Spoon over the tops of the mince pies.


Bake the filled mince pies for 15-20 minutes until cooked. Remove from the oven, and once cooled scatter with a generous layer of pomegranate seeds before serving.

Mont Blanc

Bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Whisk 175ml double cream with 1 tbsp caster sugar and ¼ tsp vanilla extract until thickened, then fold in 50g chestnut purée. Spoon over the pies then scatter over a broken meringue nest.


Bake the filled pies for 15-20 minutes. Whisk 1 large egg white until thickened. Fold in 2½ tbsp of caster sugar until firm. Spoon the meringue over the mince pies and grill for a few minutes until golden. Christmas 2016 93

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Christmas cocktails Treat guests to a festive tipple or two with our delightful drink recipes

Cranberry Sour ingredients Q 50ml dry gin Q 25ml lemon and lime juice Q 25ml cranberry syrup (made from a blend of dried cranberries, 200ml water and sugar to taste) Q Ice cubes, as required

to keep it cool. Give the cocktail a final shake to aerate it. Dispose of the ice that’s chilling the cocktail glass, then pour in the Cranberry Sour and garnish with a twist of citrus zest – a perfect post-dinner refreshment.


Place back into the freezer until needed. Stir the cognac and triple sec together in a bowl over ice, before straining into a small glass or jug. Remove ice cream from the freezer and transfer to a small serving bowl. Pour the cocktail mix over the ice cream and serve garnished with a dusting of popping candy for extra festive sparkle.


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by adding the 1milkStart cornflour to a little to make a paste.

Place to one side. Gently heat the rest of the milk in a saucepan until it is hot but not boiling, then remove from the heat. Whisk in the cornflour and milk mixture and the grated milk chocolate. Stir continuously until the chocolate has completely melted. Place the chocolate drink back on a low heat until the mix has changed consistency

Recipes courtesy of Aldi


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Make entertaining easier by scooping the ice cream into freezeable bowls ahead of time.

out three balls 1in aScoop of ice cream and place small tub or bowl.

To make the cranberry syrup, simply warm the cranberries over a medium heat until the syrup has taken on the colour and flavour of the cranberries. Add sugar to balance the tartness of the fruit. Put all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Add cubed ice and shake hard for 10 seconds. Remove the ice from the shaker and pop into a cocktail glass

ingredients Q 250ml whole milk Q 100g milk chocolate, grated Q ½ tsp cornflour Q 100g dark chocolate, grated Q 25ml dark rum Q Cinnamon sticks, to serve

Good idea

ingredients Q 50ml cognac Q 25ml triple sec Q 3 scoops gingerbread ice cream Q Popping candy, to serve Q Ice cubes, as required Method


Choco Loco

Sleigh Ride

4 and is noticably thicker. Once heated, serve in a warmed mug or latte glass before adding a 25ml measure of dark rum. Top with a sprinkling of grated dark chocolate and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

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Hot & Spicy ingredients Q 400ml apple juice Q 30ml Scotch whisky Q 8 tsps clear set honey Q 4-8 tsps lemon and lime juice Q 3 cloves Q 2.5cm fresh ginger, finely chopped Q Ground cinnamon, to taste

Good idea

Set aside a little lemon juice to drizzle on your apple slices so they don’t go brown before serving.


the apple juice, 1limeHeat honey, lemon and juice, cloves, ginger

and cinnamon over a low heat until all the flavours have infused. Pour in a 30ml measure of Scotch whisky and remove from the heat. Serve your Hot & Spicy cocktail in a heat-proof mug (we particularly like glass and enamel mugs for serving up our cocktails, but standard ones are just fine, too) with a slice of green apple and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

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WAS £63.71 PER M²

WAS £59.96 PER M²

NOW £42.47

NOW £39.96







WAS £45 PER M²

WAS £52.67 PER M²

NOW £30

NOW £35


ed-ad_your-home_topps_2016-09_PRINT.indd 1


09/09/2016 14:37



Create kitsch, American-style sweet treats for friends and family


Q 600g white chocolate, broken into pieces Q ½ tsp peppermint flavouring Q 6 peppermint candy canes

Food & styling Laura Webb Photos Lizzie Orme

a baking tray with clingfilm, 1as Line making sure it’s as free of creases possible for a smooth finish. the chocolate in a heat-proof 2water,Melt bowl over a pan of simmering making sure that the bowl

doesn’t touch the water. Meanwhile, place the candy canes inside a plastic freezer bag and smash into pieces with a rolling pin. Remove the chocolate from the heat and stir in the peppermint flavouring and broken candy canes. Pour the chocolate into the prepared baking tray, and leave to set in the fridge for about an hour, then take out of the tray and break into pieces. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

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Q 200g plain flour Q1 tsp baking powder Q1 tsp salt Q 1 tsp ground cinnamon Q ½ tsp ground nutmeg Q 225g unsalted butter, softened Q 275g light soft brown sugar Q 2 large eggs Q 1 tsp vanilla extract Q 275g rolled oats Q 200g dried cherries Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/ Gas Mark 4. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg into a bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and sugar. Then, one at a time, beat in the eggs, then the vanilla extract.

mix the flour into the butter 4theGradually mixture and beat to combine, then stir in oats and cherries. Use a tablespoon to drop the mixture on 5paper,to aabout baking tray lined with greaseproof 5cm apart, and bake in the

oven for 15 minutes until lightly golden and turning crispy at the edges. Leave to cool on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


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Q 200g popped corn Q 200g dried cranberries Q 1 jar Marshmallow Fluff Place the popped corn and dried 1spoon cranberries into a large bowl then in the Marshmallow Fluff and mix well. This is easier to do with your hands. Lay a large piece of greaseproof paper onto the work surface then, with wet hands, take small amounts of the mixture and shape into balls. Place on the paper and leave to harden. Store in an airtight container for a few days.


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Q 200g white chocolate Q200g marshmallows Q 200g desiccated coconut Melt the chocolate in a heat-proof 1making bowl over a pan of simmering water, sure that the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Leave the chocolate to cool before dipping the marshmallows into the bowl, then rolling in the desiccated coconut. Leave to set on a sheet of greaseproof paper. Once set, store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

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Chocolate pretzels PREPARATION TIME


Q150g white chocolate, broken into pieces Q ½ 175g bag original pretzels Q Coloured sugar sprinkles Melt the chocolate in a 1simmering heat-proof bowl over a pan of water, making sure that the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Remove from the heat and leave to cool a little. Dip each pretzel into the chocolate to fully cover then sit them on a sheet of greaseproof paper. Sprinkle the coloured sugar sprinkles over the tops and leave to set. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

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Q 200ml maple syrup Q 100ml water Q 400g blueberries all of the ingredients together in 1untilHeat a pan and simmer for about 5 minutes, the blueberries are starting to burst. Pour the mixture through a sieve, 2as much pushing with the back of a spoon to get juice as you can. Using a funnel, pour the syrup into a hot sterilised bottle and leave to cool before sealing. Store in the fridge for up to a week.


Q 500g caster sugar Q 1 vanilla pod the sugar into a cooled sterilised 1thenPour jar. Split the vanilla pod lengthways, cut into three pieces and push into

the sugar. Seal the jar. The sugar can be topped up as used, but the vanilla should be replaced after a year. Christmas 2016 99

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Food & styling Kate Harding Photography Lizzie Orme


Croquembouche Wow your guests with a tower of wonderfully wintry choux buns

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f you are looking for a show-stopper, this impressive French dessert is sure to get lots of ‘wows’ from your guests. After all, what can possibly be more spectacular than a tower of choux pastry – yummy! PREP/COOK TIME 2 HOURS, PLUS COOLING SERVES 16-18

For the profiteroles

Q 175g unsalted butter, cubed Q 2 tbsp caster sugar Q 400ml water Q 215g plain flour, sifted Q Pinch of salt Q 6 large eggs, lightly beaten

For the filling

Q 1L double cream Q 250g custard

For the caramel

Q 200g caster sugar

To decorate

Q 600g white chocolate flavour cake covering

Good idea

If you’re short on time use readymade profiteroles

Silverwood croquembouche mould, £20.45, Windsor Craft 102



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Preheat oven to 220ºC/425ºF/Gas Mark 7. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper and splash with cold water – this will help create steam while cooking to help the buns rise. To make the profiteroles, put the butter, caster sugar and water in a pan over a low heat. Stir occasionally and once the butter has completely melted, turn up the heat and bring to a rolling boil. Remove from the heat and add the flour and salt, then beat with a wooden spoon until you have a smooth mixture that comes away from the sides of the pan.

Spoon the cream mixture into a piping bag and, taking one profiterole at a time, carefully pipe into the hole you made in the base until full. Continue until all of them have been filled. If you’re not making the tower immediately, keep well chilled in the fridge until needed.

Good idea

Decorate with edible stars for added wow-factor

To build the croquembouche, you can use either a specialist mould, or make your own by creating a cone out of cardboard and covering it in greaseproof paper. We used caramel to stick the profiteroles together. To make caramel, put the caster sugar in a pan over a low heat, swirl occasionally, don’t stir, until melted, then remove from the heat.

Transfer to a large bowl and leave to cool for about 10 minutes. Next, gradually add the eggs, using an electric mixer between each addition, to give a smooth, glossy mixture.

Now start building your tower by placing one layer of profiteroles around the base of the mould, so that the edges of each one touch the next. Then spoon over just enough caramel to go into the gaps between each bun and sit on top of the first layer.

Carefully spoon half into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm nozzle and pipe small rounds about the size of a £2 coin onto the prepared trays. Alternatively, use a teaspoon to spoon the mixture onto the trays, leaving space between each one, to allow for spreading.


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Then put the next layer on top of the first, spoon over the caramel as before and repeat the layering process until you get to the top, where you can finish with one profiterole.

Put the trays into the oven and cook for 25 minutes until the profiteroles are risen and golden brown. Then remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4. Turn the buns over and use a sharp knife to make a hole in the base of each to allow the steam to escape. Put back into the oven and cook for a further 5 minutes to dry out, then remove and put on wire racks to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining mixture.

If the caramel becomes too solid to use at any point, simply put it back onto the heat until it’s runny enough to work with again. Take care when handling as it can cause serious burns. Melt the white chocolate gently in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Carefully spoon over the tower until covered. Keep cool and serve within three hours to avoid it going soggy.

At this stage, you can store the profiteroles in an airtight container for up to three days or freeze until needed. When you’re ready to fill the buns, whip the cream until soft peaks form, then fold in the cold ready-made custard.

Tried and tasted... Chocolate Profiteroles 10 10

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Light and indulgent with a mouthwatering mousse-like filling

On the dry side with a fluffy cream filling and thick chocolate sauce

Dry pastry with little filling and a thin chocolate topping

£8 for 585g, Tesco

£3.99 per 240g, Waitrose

£8 per 870g, Asda

Good idea

Display on a sturdy and stylish cake stand Christmas 2016 103

Almost homemade

Making homemade gifts is something that we’d all love to do but many of us simply don’t have the time. As a happy compromise we show you four ways to repackage ingredients to make quick, thoughtful gifts that could almost pass as homemade! Good idea

Why not give your spoon handle a dip-dye look?

Takeaway risotto set Transform a handful of storecupboard ingredients into a thoughtful present.

a shoe box or similar and 1TuckTake wrap neatly with pretty paper. some matching tissue paper

inside the edges of the box and fill the centre with shredded paper. Fill the box with a bag of risotto rice tied with a ribbon, a jar of dried mushrooms, a small bottle of olive oil, a sprig of dried thyme, a couple of shallots, a garlic bulb and a risotto or wooden spoon.


Good idea

Use pinking shears for pretty edges

Feature Kate Harding Photos Lizzie Orme

Sweetie jar The perfect gift for anyone with a sweet tooth, choose their fave confectionery and pile it high, then decorate with a fabric topper.

Take a sterilised jam jar and fill with 1gems/jazzies, your chosen sweets. We used white jelly buttons and dolly mixtures but any colourful ones will work absolutely fine. Complete with a circle of fabric secured in place with a colourful candy necklace.



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Good idea

You can add any biscuit ingredients you like

Christmas cookie kit An ideal gift for families as they can use the jar as a biscuit barrel for years to come.

a sterilised medium kilner jar and layer with 1300gTake the following ingredients in the order as written: plain flour, 150g golden caster sugar, 100g dried cranberries, 100g white chocolate drops and 100g pecans, roughly chopped.

Write the following instructions on an attractive label: 2beaten “Empty contents of jar into a large bowl, add two lightly eggs and 150g melted butter, mix well until combined.

Wrap in cling film and roll to form a sausage shape, leave to chill in the fridge for at least an hour. Preheat oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4. Unroll the cling film and cut the dough into 2.5cm thick discs and place on a prepared baking tray. Flatten slightly with the heel of your hand. Bake for around 10 minutes, until golden.”

Good idea

For a vino lover, pop in a bottle of red instead

Mulled cider gift box A delicious seasonal alternative to a bottle of wine.

a bag of mulling 1of Take spices and tie to a bottle cider along with a

cinnamon stick. You can buy mulled spice bags ready-made or you can make your own – take a circle of muslin and place 10 cloves, 3 allspice berries and 1 tsp grated


nutmeg in the middle, then gather the edges up to create a pouch and secure with a length of string. Write the following instructions on a luggage tag: “Empty contents of bottle into a pan, add mulled spice bag, cinnamon stick and two tablespoons of sugar. Gently heat until sugar has dissolved. Serve warm with slices of fruit and enjoy!“ To make an extra-special gift, pop the bottle and tag into a wooden wine box and surround with raffia.



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Christmas meal planner

Short on ideas for a show-stopping festive spread? Turn the page for a full day’s worth of mouthwatering, faff-free recipes roast meat p110 Easy and simple sides

five-minute p109 Fab breakfast recipes

to make p113 Sweets ahead of time Christmas 2016 107

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Recipes created by Gizzi Erskine for Arla as part of the #ChooseGoodness campaign

‘Lebanese’ breakfast Prep/cook time 15 mins Serves 2 Ingredients Q 2 free range eggs Q 200g cottage cheese Q Zest of ½ lemon Q 1 Lebanese (or regular) cucumber, quartered longways Q 2 vine-ripened or heirloom tomatoes Q ½ tsp sumac Q A handful mint, finely chopped Q A drizzle of really good extra virgin olive oil Q 2 flat breads Q Black pepper Method Pop the eggs in to boil. The perfect egg for this is a 6 minute boil for a slightly gooey middle. Once cooked, rinse them under cold water and peel, then cut in half. Mix the cottage cheese with the lemon zest and serve on two plates, making a well in the centre of each. Grill, griddle or toast 2 flat breads until they’re warmed through and slightly darker in colour. They should still be soft once they’re cooked, not crispy. Between two plates add the halved eggs, cucumber and tomatoes, then top with sumac, mint, oil and black pepper. Serve right away with the grilled breads.


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Bircher muesli Prep time 5 mins, plus 12 hours minimum to soak serves 5-8 Ingredients Q 100g oats Q 2 tbsp mixed dried tropical fruit, roughly chopped Q 2 tbsps chia seeds Q 1 tbsp flax seeds Q A handful of brazil nuts, roughly chopped Q 350ml milk, plus extra to serve Q 250ml good quality apple juice Q 1 apple, grated Q 1 tbsp maple syrup Q A dash of all-natural vanilla extract Q 2-3 tbsps thick yoghurt, to serve Q 6 tbsp mixed berries, to serve Method Combine all of the ingredients (except for the mixed berries, yoghurt and extra milk) in a bowl and mix well. It will look too wet at this stage, but rest assured that the soaking process drinks up all the excess liquid (and flavour!). Cover the muesli mix with cling film, or pop it in a sealable container and refrigerate overnight (or for at least 12 hours). When you’re ready to eat, serve a portion of the muesli (around 4-6 tbsps) in a bowl, then top with a dollop of yoghurt, a slurp of milk and a handful of mixed berries. The muesli will keep for 4-5 days in the fridge, providing it’s well sealed, and tastes even better having been left to marinate for a few days – plus it’s good for your tummy, too!



Strawberry and banana yoghurt drink Prep time 5 mins serves 2

Granola parfait pots Prep time 5 mins SERVES 2 Ingredients Q 300g yoghurt Q 1 tbsp seedy vanilla extract

Q 2 tbsps honey Q 4 tbsps mixed berries Q 4 tbsps refined sugar-free granola Method In a mixing bowl, combine the yoghurt and vanilla. Split the mix between two tumblers and top with honey, then berries and granola.


Ingredients Q 150g frozen banana and strawberry mix or 1 small frozen banana and 100g frozen strawberries Q 150ml yoghurt Q 300ml milk Q 1 tbsp honey Q A dash of vanilla extract Method Place the frozen fruit, yoghurt, milk, honey and vanilla into a blender, then blitz for 1 minute. Pour between 2 tall glasses and enjoy!


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Simple roast chicken and separated gravy Prep/cook time 1 hour 45 mins SERVES 6 Ingredients Q 1 large organic chicken Q 100g curly parsley Q 10 black peppercorns Q 400ml water Q 100ml double cream Q Sea salt Q Freshly ground black pepper Method Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 160°C Fan/Gas Mark 4. Sprinkle the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper, and stuff with the parsley and peppercorns. Place in a roasting tin and rub the outside of the chicken with salt. Roast for 20 mins, then add the water to the tin and roast for 1 hour 15 mins, depending on size. Baste the chicken now and then with the fat that has rendered into the tin, to make the skin crisper. Use a meat thermometer to check the inside of a thigh to see if it’s done; it should read 75°C. Remove to a plate or board to rest and keep warm. While the chicken is resting, pour the liquid from the roasting tin into a saucepan, add the cream and bring to the boil, then season with salt and pepper. The gravy will separate, but give it a whisk and stir it every so often once on the table. Carve the chicken and serve with your favourite Christmas sides and lashings of gravy.


2 Recipes adapted from Scandinavian Comfort Food: Embracing the Art of Hygge, by Trine Hahnemann (Quadrille, £25) Photography by Columbus Leth

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Carrot and swede mash Prep/cook time 40 mins serves 4-6 Ingredients Q 1 swede (roughly 500g), peeled and cut into chunks Q 300g carrots, peeled and cut into chunks Q 1 small onion, chopped Q 1 ½ red chillies, chopped Q 75g butter Q 400ml water Q Sea salt Q Freshly ground black pepperQ 2 leeks, washed and sliced Q 200g kale, chopped Q 50g walnuts, chopped Q 3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil Q 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped Q 1 tsp coriander seeds, ground Method Melt 50g butter in a large pan, then add the carrot, swede, onion and chillies and sauté for 2–3 mins. Add the water, cover and let simmer until cooked (10 mins) Don’t drain. Using a balloon whisk, mix in 25g butter and season with salt and pepper. Whisk until everything is well mixed but still lumpy. Meanwhile, toast the walnuts in a large, dry pan until starting to brown. Add the olive oil, garlic and coriander and let them cook for a few mins, then add the leeks and kale. Season and cook for 10 mins, then serve with the mash.


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Caramel potatoes Prep/cook time 1 hour 15 mins serves 8 Ingredients Q 2kg small potatoes Q 300g caster sugar Q 175g salted butter Q Pinch of sea salt Method Cook the potatoes in boiling, salted water until tender. It is important that you do not overcook them – keep them firm to avoid them turning to mash at the next stage. Drain them, peel and leave


to cool (this is best done the day before you plan to serve them). Transfer the peeled potatoes to a colander, pour cold water over them and leave to drain well. Melt the sugar over a medium heat in a large saucepan. Don’t stir it! When the sugar is melted and golden brown, add the butter and let the mixture simmer until it becomes smooth, stirring as little as possible. Add the potatoes and gently turn them in the caramel. Cook over a low heat for 30–40 mins, turning regularly so the caramel coats the potatoes layer by layer. Serve hot with your Christmas dinner.

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Baked celeriac and cauliflower Prep/cook time 2 hours 15 mins serves 4 Ingredients Q 1 whole celeriac, washed Q 1 whole cauliflower Q 100ml extra virgin olive oil Q Coarse sea salt Q Freshly ground black pepper Method Preheat the oven to 160°C/140°C Fan/Gas Mark 3. For the celeriac, cut the base off if the roots are still muddy, leaving the skin on. Place on


a baking sheet lined with baking parchment, then pour over 50g of the olive oil and rub in 2-3 tbsps coarse sea salt. Bake for 2 hours, depending on size. Test if it’s ready to eat by sticking a skewer into its centre – it should be soft in the middle. For the cauliflower, rinse it and remove most of the outer leaves, with just a few left on. Place on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment, pour over 50g of olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Bake for 2 hours, basting it now and then with the olive oil. Serve both veggies whole on a chopping board for guests to cut off chunks.


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Sticky date pudding PREP/cook TIME 1 hour 10 minS, PLUS 30 MINS SOAKING SERVES 8 Ingredients For the pudding Q 200g pitted dates Q 65g salted butter, at room temp Q 175g caster sugar Q 2 eggs Q 1 tsp natural vanilla extract Q 175g self-raising flour

Pudding and canapé recipes adapted from The Dinner Ladies, by Sophie Gilliatt and Katherine Westwood (Murdoch Books, £14.99). Photography by Ben Dearnley

for the TOFFEE SAUCE Q 275g light brown sugar Q 160ml single cream Q 160g salted butter Q 1 tsp natural vanilla extract Method Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/ Gas Mark 4. To make the pudding, boil 350ml water and pour it over the dates. Leave for 30 mins to soften. Whizz in a blender, but not to a total purée. Let the mixture cool to room temperature. Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, continuing to beat the mix. Add the vanilla extract, then slowly add the flour and date mixture, alternating between the two. The mixture will be quite runny. Lightly grease a square tin with a capacity of around 1L. Pour the batter into the tin and cook in the oven for 25 mins or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. To make the toffee sauce, mix all the ingredients in a heavy-based saucepan and simmer for 5 mins, until all the sugar is dissolved and you have a good syrupy consistency. Pour a few spoonfuls of the toffee sauce over the cooked pudding, cover it with foil and return to the oven for a few minutes, until the sauce is starting to soak into the pudding and bubble around the edges. Cut into squares and serve with cream, ice cream or crème fraîche.


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Christmas panna cotta with gold trim PREP/cook TIME 30 MINS, PLUS 2 NIGHTS SETTING IN FRIDGE SERVES 10 Ingredients PANNA COTTA Q 275ml whole milk Q 550ml single cream Q 110g caster sugar Q 1 vanilla bean, split lengthways and seeds scraped (keep both pod and seeds) Q Tiny pinch of salt Q 5 gelatine sheets (roughly 8g) RASPBERRY JELLY Q 450g frozen raspberries Q 175g white sugar Q 2 gelatine sheets (roughly 3.2g) TO SERVE Q Edible gold leaf, stars or glitter Method Make the raspberry jelly 2 days before serving, and let set before topping with the panna cotta. Put the raspberries and sugar in a saucepan over a low heat, stirring continuously. Once the raspberries have started to release their juice, turn the heat up. Cook until the sugar is dissolved and the raspberries are mushy. While it’s still hot, strain the raspberry mix through a fine metal sieve into a jug, pressing down to get the liquid out. Set aside to cool slightly, then set out 10 ramekins on a tray. Soften 2 gelatine sheets in cold water for 5 mins, then lift them out of the water, squeezing to drain, and add them to the raspberry liquid, stirring well to make sure they have dissolved completely. Straight away, pour the liquid into the panna cotta moulds, dividing it equally among them. Cover the tray of jellies with cling film, and put aside to set overnight in the fridge. It is important they are completely set before you move onto the next stage. Once they are set, make your panna cotta. In a heavy-based saucepan over low heat, combine the milk, cream, sugar, vanilla bean and seeds, and the salt. Heat until shimmering, just below boiling point, stirring to make sure it doesn’t catch. Set aside to cool. Soften 5 gelatine sheets in cold water for 5 mins. When the panna cotta mixture is around 40°C, stir through the drained, softened gelatine (if you don’t have a thermometer, you can gauge the temperature by sticking your finger in and making sure it’s above blood temperature but not piping hot). When the gelatine has dissolved completely, strain the mixture through a sieve into a jug. Let the panna cotta mix cool to around 2027°C, so it won’t melt the jelly, then pour it over the jelly in the moulds. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge to set overnight. To serve, dip your panna cottas, one at a time, in a bowl of hot water to loosen the edges. The amount of time will depend on the containers you have used – metal will loosen in a matter of seconds, but ceramic containers will take longer. Don’t sit them in the water and leave them, though – the layers will melt and bleed into one another. Help loosen them by running a knife around the edge if necessary, then turn each panna cotta out onto a dessert plate. Scatter with gold decorations and serve.


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Chocolate mint honey pots PREP/cook TIME 10 MINS, PLUS OVERNIGHT CHILLING SERVES 6 Ingredients Q 200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa minimum), broken into pieces Q 1 tsp peppermint extract Q 300ml single cream Q 2 tbsps honey Q 1 large egg TO SERVE Q Whipped cream Q Peppermint chocolate sticks Method In a food processor, blitz the chocolate with the peppermint extract until it’s completely pulverised. Heat the cream in a saucepan over medium heat to just below boiling point, then with the motor running on the food processor, pour the cream and honey down the funnel. Continue to blend for 30 seconds. Crack the egg down the funnel, then continue to blend for another minute. Pour your chocolate mixture into six serving pots (espresso cups work perfectly well), and leave in the fridge to set, at least overnight. Serve with whipped cream and a few pieces of peppermint chocolate sticks.

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Huli Huli chicken wings PREP/cook TIME 50 MINS, PLUS 3 HOURS–OVERNIGHT MARINATING SERVES 4 Ingredients Q 1 tsp paprika Q 1 tsp ground cumin, toasted Q 2 tsps crisp fried shallots, ground to powder Q Freshly ground black pepper, to taste Q Cayenne pepper, to taste Q 2kg chicken wings Q 200ml pineapple juice Q 100ml tomato ketchup Q 75ml light soy sauce Q 50g light brown sugar Q 1 tbsp red wine vinegar Q 3cm piece of ginger, grated Q 2 garlic cloves, crushed Q Lemon or lime wedges Method Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/ Gas Mark 4. Combine all the dry spices in a large mixing bowl and toss the chicken wings in the mixture to coat. In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine the pineapple juice, tomato ketchup, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, ginger and garlic and bring to the boil. Cook until reduced and syrupy (roughly 15 mins). Leave to cool. Pour half the marinade onto the chicken wings and make sure they’re well coated. Leave for 3 hours or overnight, covered, in the fridge. Lay the wings on a tray lined with baking paper and cook for 30 mins, basting with the excess marinade and turning a couple of times. Allow to cool slightly, then serve with lemon or lime wedges.

1 Chicken, chorizo and olive empanadas Prep/cook time 1 hour 40 mins SERVES 4 (makes 12) Ingredients Q 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil Q 1 medium brown onion, chopped Q 1 large garlic clove, crushed Q 1 chorizo sausage, quartered lengthways, then cut across at 1cm intervals Q 1 tsp smoked paprika Q 1 tbsp tomato paste Q 500g chicken thigh fillets, trimmed and diced into 2cm cubes Q 2 ½ tbsps chicken stock Q 8 green olives, rinsed, pitted and diced Q Small handful coriander, stems and leaves finely chopped Q Plain flour, for dusting Q Ready-made shortcrust pastry Q 1 egg, beaten Q Salt, to taste

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Method Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas Mark 6. In a saucepan over medium–low heat, heat the olive oil and cook the onion, garlic and chorizo with a pinch of salt for 10–15 mins until soft. Add the smoked paprika and tomato paste, then turn up the heat and stir through the chicken. Cook until the chicken has all changed colour, then cover with stock. Turn the heat down and simmer until the chicken is cooked through (roughly 15-20 mins), stirring occasionally. When the chicken is ready, stir through the olives and coriander. Leave to cool completely. Clear a workspace and dust with flour. Pour a cup of water and have a pastry brush ready. Roll out the pastry between two sheets of baking paper to a thickness of 2mm, then cut 12 12–14cm circles in the pastry using a cookie cutter. Working quickly (you need to keep your pastry cold), place 1 heaped tbsp of filling off-centre on each of the circles. Paint around the edge of one pastry circle with water and fold the top of the pastry over, leaving a semi-circle. Repeat, until you have 12 semi-circles. Seal by pressing with a fork around the edge. Place the empanadas on a baking tray and brush with the beaten egg. Cook in the oven for 20-30 mins or until golden brown.


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Sausage and veg rolls PREP/cook TIME 1 hour 20 MINS MAKES 12 Large OR 24 small ROLLS Ingredients Q 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil Q ½ large brown onion, diced Q 1 garlic clove, crushed Q ¼ red pepper, seeded and diced Q 1 small courgette, diced Q 1 small carrot, diced Q ½ tsp ground fennel, toasted Q 200g tinned chickpeas, drained and mashed Q 2 thyme sprigs, leaves stripped Q 1 small handful parsley, leaves and stems chopped Q 1 tsp salt Q 250g minced pork, beef or veggie sauage ‘meat’ Q 500g ready-made puff pastry Q 1 egg, beaten Method In a wide, heavy-based frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium–low heat and cook the onion, garlic, pepper, courgette and carrot, stirring often, until all the vegetables are soft, even mushy. Continue to cook until the mixture is reduced by half and quite dry, roughly 20 mins. Stir through the fennel, chickpeas, thyme, parsley and salt. Leave to cool. When ready to assemble, mix the vegetable mixture with the minced pork, beef or veggie sausage ‘meat’ in a large bowl. Roll out the pastry so it’s not too thick, then slice the edges so it’s a square or rectangle. Spoon the filling in a continuous line down the length of the pastry, about 5cm in from the left-hand side, and smoosh them together with your fingertips to make one long sausage shape. Leave a 10cm space and make another line of filling, and so on, until there’s no more filling left. Cut a line halfway between each line of filling. Using a pastry brush, paint the right-hand exposed pastry of each line with water and roll up each sausage roll, pressing the pastry gently to seal. Cut the sausage rolls to your preferred size, and chill until ready to cook. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas Mark 6. Line a baking tray with baking paper and lay the rolls on top. Brush with a pastry brush dipped in beaten egg, then bake until puffed and golden brown (roughly 25 mins). Leave to cool slightly, then serve.


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Salmon, sweet potato and broccoli bites PREP/cook TIME 1 hour MAKES 20 SMALL BITES Ingredients Q 200g sweet potato, diced into 3cm cubes Q 70g broccoli, chopped into small florets Q 320g salmon Q 1 garlic clove, chopped Q Zest of ¼ lemon Q 1 tbsp dill, chopped Q 1 egg, beaten Q 1–2 heaped tbsps rice flour Q 1 tsp salt Q 2 tbsps mild-flavoured oil (such as peanut) Q Lemon wedges, to serve Q Tartare or tomato sauce, to serve Method Put the sweet potato in a small saucepan and cover with well-salted water. Bring to the boil over high heat and cook for 20–25 mins until tender. Drain and cool, then cover until needed. Fill the same saucepan with well-salted water, bring to the boil and add the broccoli. Cook until tender, then drain under cold water. In a food processor, pulse the sweet potato, broccoli, salmon, garlic, lemon zest, dill, egg, 1 tbsp of the rice flour and the salt until combined. If the mixture still seems a bit wet, add more rice flour. Chill, covered, until ready to use. Before you roll out the patties, have a small bowl of water ready for dipping your hands in. Scoop out tbsps of the salmon mixture and, using wet hands, form into balls about the size of a golf ball, then flatten into patties. When all the mixture has been rolled, warm a little oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Pan-fry the patties in batches, adding more oil as necessary, for 2 mins each side or until golden brown and cooked through. Drain on paper towels and serve with lemon wedges and tartare or tomato sauce.


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There’s a reason parsnips always make it to the table for the Christmas dinner – they’re at their peak! Roast them in maple syrup for a super sweet finish.

Food News

What’s on our plates, in our kitchens and filling our shopping trolleys this Christmas

Quick fix Fill your stockings (or your tummy) with Buttermilk’s festive fudges. Available in Mince Pie, Cranberry and Orange and Irish Cream flavours for £2.50 each, or an assorted gift box for £9.99 from

Best buy The Christmas blends from Oteas (£4.95 for 12, will have you feeling festive sooner than you can say ‘santa’.

Fresh find Heck’s limited edition Christmas Baubles make for a fun and crazy-tasty addition to your turkey dinner. They come in three fab flavours, and cost £2.99 at Morrisons.

Sweet festive treats ‘Tis the season to indulge in all your foodie favourites – specifically those

sugary-somethings. Enter Elise Strachan and her fab new book: Sweet! Celebrations (Murdoch Books, £20). Famed for her flavoursome cupcakes, Elise has created a bunch of festive bake recipes for us to whip up and wow guests with, including a Christmas tree surprise cake, (mostly) edible snow globes and stuffed stocking cookies. And the fun doesn’t stop there – there’s recipes for every kind of celebration, but they’re so tasty, any excuse will do...

Tried and tasted... Cranberry sauce

Chef’s cheat

8 10

7 10

5 10

Sweet and smooth with a punchy port flavour

Thin, sharp sauce with whole berries and a hint of cinnamon

Thick consistency with a fruity, jam-like flavour

99p per 200g, Lidl

£3 per 400g, M&S

82p per 200g, Morrisons

Create your very own cranberry sauce using just three(!) ingredients. Q Combine 100g light muscovado sugar and 100ml orange juice (fresh or from a carton, both work) in a pan, and bring to the boil. Q Stir in 250g fresh or frozen cranberries, and let simmer until tender but still holding their shape (roughly five minutes for frozen cranberries, 8-10 for fresh). Q Leave to cool, then store in the fridge. Eat within a week.


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New Baby Range! find us here! Project


ECOZONE Single Page AD Your Home Magazine 11.08.2016 Final Artwork

Artwork made at 100%, Press ready PDF Final dimensions 142 x 215 mm Type Area 132 x 192 mm 3mm bleed (not on bottom edge) Artwork in CMYK

Some like it hot B

Treat guests to a cheese board with a twist this Christmas

ake a selection of fabulous cheeses that are irresistible when served warm and let

everyone dive in with their choice of accompaniment. For a feast to remember, try roasted garlic on toasted ciabatta, broccoli florets and grissini wrapped in Black Forest ham. Before baking, bring the cheese to room temperature and preheat oven to 190ยบC/375ยบF/Gas Mark 5.

Camembert with sun dried tomatoes and rosemary

Food & styling Kate Harding Photography Lizzie Orme

Remove all packaging and place the Camembert back in the base box. Top with sun dried tomatoes and rosemary and drizzle with a little oil from the sun dried tomatoes. Tie string around the box to help hold it together while cooking and wrap the base in foil. Bake for 10-15 minutes until soft in the centre.

Golden Cenarth Remove all packaging and place the cheese back in its box. Wrap the base of the box in greaseproof paper and place on a baking tray in the centre of the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes until melted in the centre and crisp on the outside. 118

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Top Tip

Experiment with different items for dipping – pieces of toasted garlic bread, cooked baby potatoes and roasted artichoke hearts all work very well.

Cheese: Camembert de Normandie £6.25; Morangie Brie £4.95; Golden Cenarth £7.25, all Paxton & Whitfield. Pemble cartouche platter, £24; natural linen runner, £28, both Rowen & Wren. Mauviel 7cm copper saute pan, £30.53 each, Amazon. Grey felt coasters, £6.50 for set of four, Red Lilly. Purple terracotta little baker, £2, by Jules China at

Cheddar and cider fondues Pour 150ml cider into a non-stick saucepan and bring to a simmer, next add 200g grated mature Cheddar cheese that has been tossed in a little cornflour and 100g of sliced Taleggio cheese – stir until melted and smooth. Finally stir in a teaspoon of wholegrain mustard and serve immediately.

Brie with garlic mushrooms Remove all packaging and carefully slice the rind off the top of the Brie, then place in an oven-proof dish. Gently fry two cloves of finely chopped garlic in butter, add mushrooms and cook until golden. Spoon the mushrooms over the prepared Brie and bake for 10 minutes until nicely melted.

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Liven up your


Food styling Laura Webb Photos Lizzie Orme

Fed up with your usual leftover fare? Then turn them into something new

Make a change to‌ smoked salmon

Smoked salmon dip


Q 100g smoked salmon Q 200g cream cheese Q 100g Greek yogurt Q 1 tbsp creamed horseradish Q Juice of 1 lemon Q Toasted pitta breads and olives, to serve

Use a food processor or stick blender to 1spoon whiz all of the ingredients together, then into a serving bowl. Serve with the

toasted pitta and olives. Quick and delicious.


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Make a change to‌ turkey curry

Moroccan tagine


Q Olive oil Q 1 onion, diced Q 1 garlic clove, finely-chopped Q 1 aubergine Q 2 tbsp honey Q 2-3 tsp harissa paste Q 150g dates, pitted and halved Q 1 can plum tomatoes, drained and roughly-chopped Q Hot chicken stock Q 1 can chickpeas, drained Q 450g cooked turkey Q Couscous, to serve Q Pomegranate seeds, to serve

Heat the oil in a large pan, then 1Gently add the onion, garlic and aubergine. cook until softened, but

not coloured. Add the honey, harissa paste, dates and tomatoes. Add enough hot chicken stock to cover everything and simmer for about 20 minutes to reduce. Add the chickpeas and cooked turkey, and heat for about 10 minutes until the turkey is piping hot. Serve with couscous and a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds.


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Make a change to… cold ham

Potato and ham rosti


the potato and parsnip, 2MixGrate pat dry, and put in a large bowl. in the onion, thyme, seasoning

and the cooked ham to combine. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4. Q 400g waxy-potatoes, peeled Q 200g In an oven-proof pan, heat the parsnips, peeled and halved Q 1 large oil and butter over a mediumonion, thinly-sliced Q 1 tsp dried thyme low heat, then tip the rosti mixture Q Salt and ground black pepper Q 300g into the pan, pressing it down to cooked ham, shredded Q 1 tbsp olive compact it. Cook for about 20 oil Q Knob of butter Q 4 eggs Q Fresh minutes until golden underneath. parsley, to serve Take off of the heat and place the pan in the oven to finish off Par-boil the potatoes and parsnips the rosti for about 20 minutes. for 2 minutes, then drain and leave Meanwhile, fry or poach the to cool. If you can, keep them in the eggs, and serve with a wedge of fridge for a couple of hours – it will the rosti, and a scattering of parsley. help to make them easier to grate.


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Make a change to… mince pies

Christmas crumble

the fruit, half of the butter and 2cookPlace the soft sugar into a pan, and gently for 15 minutes until the fruit is

starting to soften. With cold fingertips, rub together the rest of the butter and the flour to make the crumble. Then mix in the oats and demerara sugar. Tip the fruit mixture into an oven-proof dish and spoon the mincemeat over the top. Top with the crumble mixture and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until golden. Serve with custard or brandy cream. So tasty!



Q 4 large apples Q 4 large pears Q 225g unsalted butter Q 100g dark brown soft sugar Q 100g plain flour Q 100g oats Q 100g demerara sugar Q 120g mincemeat


the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/ 1 Preheat Gas Mark 4.

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f you’re looking for windows that’ll stand the test of time, while bringing you low maintenance style, nothing is as sturdy as steel. It’s 100% recyclable and no other window material comes close for life cycle. Crittall’s new HomelightPlus enhanced steel windows are manufactured in the UK and offer complete protection against rust and corrosion. To prevent chilly draughts and costly heat loss, all doors and opening Crittall windows feature a built-in weather-stripping. Its even slimmer frame and sightlines present a light, delicate feel inside and out, creating a welcome sense of airiness and space. This modern steel window features high performance double glazing that retains heat during cold winters, and controls conditions during the summer, while generally reducing noise levels – what’s not to love?

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Where to shop Your little black book of where to buy everything you’ve seen in this issue


Aldi Amara Amazon Arla Asda Aspen & Brown AtNo67 BeadsJar Big Green Smile Blooming Felt Bloomingville Boomf Boots Bostik Buttermilk Caroline Gardner Cath Kidston Clothkits Craftmill


Dartington Crystal Debbie Bliss Home Debenhams Decorator’s Notebook Dobbies Dotcomgiftshop Dunelm Dylon Eclect Design Etsy Flying Tiger Copenhagen


George Home Ginger Ray Granite Transformations Heck Hobbycraft Homebase Homecrafts Direct HomeSense Hotel Chocolat House Doctor House of Fraser Ikea India May Home Interflora


Jane Means John Lewis Josy Rose Lakeland Lidl


M&Co M&S Marquis & Dawe Matalan MiaFleur Morrisons Murdoch Books Natalie Lea Owen Neviti New Look Next Nina Campbell Not Just Jugs Notonthehighstreet Nutscene Oliver Bonas Orla Kiely Oteas

Talking Tables Tesco The Contemporary Home The Essentials Company The Felt Fairy The Fragrance Shop The Range TK Maxx Twinings



Panduro Paperchase Paxton & Whitfield Pinkster Gin Pipii PlastiKote Poundland Printer + Tailor Quadrille RE Red Lilly Rockett St George Rowen & Wren Royal Mail Rust-Oleum Ryman



Waitrose Wild & Wolf Wilko Windsor Craft Wowzr Wyevale Garden Centres Yankee Candle Yellow Octopus


Sainsbury’s Sass & Belle Sisters Guild Specialist Crafts St Eval Candle Company StickyTiger Stone Gift Swan Christmas 2016 129

Picture perfect Flowers photo frame, £5, Cath Kidston

Stylish stationery Pocket notebooks, £5, Caroline Gardner

Superstars Star cluster decoration, £4.99, HomeSense

Festive feathers Hanging decorative feathers, £2.95, MiaFleur

Stocking fillers UNDER £5

Gifting on a budget? We’ve got you covered with these fab finds for less than a fiver Sweet tooth Scrumple nutty chocolate truffles, £5, Waitrose

Drink up! Santa drinks jar with straw, £1.99, Dobbies Go bananas Fruit stickers, £4, Sisters Guild

Strawberries and cream Eton mess candle, £4, Tesco

Bundle of laughs Christmas jokes, £3.50, Talking Tables

Treat feet Star socks, £5, M&S

All that glitters Glitter succulents, £4 each, Paperchase

Happy hands Hello hand cream, £4.95, Wild & Wolf

Twit twoo Owl lip gloss, £3.95, Dotcomgiftshop

Feature Charlotte Page

What a dish! Jewellery dishes, £5 each, Sass & Belle


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09/09/2016 13:00


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