Martha Moments: make your own Christmas decorations

We come across some very clever people when we do shop visits, and this week was no exception.

Over at Nom de Plume, co owner Pippa was busy putting up her home made Christmas star balls as window dressing. “They take about five minutes to make and are really easy, although one customer did come in and think we’d hung our dog up in the window (see Biba in her basket below, she does look a bit fluffy-ball like).

Pippa made these star balls by placing five layers of ordinary tissue paper together (A4 size is fine) and folding them up as if making a fan -concertina like. Secure the folded paper in the centre with string, cut the two ends into an angle (like you might do a ribbon to stop it fraying). Then fan the two sections open and gently pull each layer of paper up into a ball shape. Sounds complex but have a go, it’s easy and you will impress everyone with your Martha Stewert skills. You can then secure string (Pippa used nylon wire, which is almost transparent) around the centre tie and hang ’em around the house. Add a few silver baubles like Pippa for an extra Christmasy feel.

Then over at the Yellow Door press day in July (Mary Portas’s agency), our mate Hayley Mills created these eco friendly Christmas decorations from old books and bits of plank.

For the little Christmas trees, she used varying sized circles of cut out book paper (newspaper will work too but it’s a bit thin) to stick onto one of those spiky sticks you see used in offices to keep receipts and lose bits of paper on. I’m sure they have a technical name but you know what I mean. Use cookie cutter rings to cut the different circle sizes.The book Christmas trees are made from old books opened up at the spine and pages cut with a scalpel and fanned out to resemble a tree.  I also love her book-pile Christmas trees,

You can screw a cupboard knob at the top of the tree to hang presents/more baubles on. You could paint them green but they look great a bit rough & ready.

Check out Hayley’s blog for a few more ideas on a recycled Christmas. And don’t forget you could always do the Harrods fluffy ribbon bow we talked about back in July. Enjoy!


  • I love the opportunity for a Martha moment. The fluffy balls are perfect for the dining room. The tree in a book could make a wonderful Christmas card for that special someone. By buying the book in a charity shop you’ve given to charity too. GG

  • Amanda says:

    Excellent idea GG! A sort of Christmas double giving whammy! Ax

  • Pippa NOM de PLUME says:

    :0) After Christmas you don’t have to spend hours packing the decorations away…you just stick them in the recycling !

    The star balls look great in bright colours too. A cheap and cheerful girls bedroom decoration perhaps!

    x Pippa x

  • That last photo is what my desk looks like all year round!

  • Jane says:

    And mine Alyson might have to make it look like I did it on purpose ! Jx

  • Amanda says:

    We might have to give ‘creative book piling’ a new, funky name then….A

  • Rachel says:

    These ideas are so cute and clever. You guys always find the best stuff!

  • Amanda says:

    Oh thanks Rachel! We aim to please….Ax

  • steffi says:

    My sister had these exact same “pom-poms” at her wedding in September – they looked incredible all floaty in white and palest lilac. Gorgeous!

  • Amanda says:

    I have just made lots out of gold tissue paper, they are marvellous! Cut a long, sharp angle on the edges for best results, and elastic bands work in the middle to hold the fan together….Ax

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