DIY Christmas: Copper & Concrete

Friday, 19 December 2014

For the past two weeks I've been getting stuck into some Christmas crafts and I don't think I've EVER been this excited for Christmas! It may have a little something to do with the fact that I'll be coming back to Manchester soon but this little Christmas project that I've set myself has really put me in the festive mood!

My first crazy idea was to create concrete ornaments, which I have to say went better than I thought. Having never worked with concrete before, I literally had no idea how they were going to turn out, so it was all a bit 'trial and error', as is anything that you make right? I thought that by using cookie cutters, I would have the perfect sturdy mould. I made sure to pop the shapes out when they were still wet (but had become solid), otherwise there is no way of getting them out once the concrete has fully set. I decorated some with copper leaf and although they are too heavy to hang, I am so happy with the finished result; the grey of the concrete paired with the metallic copper sheen, creates the perfect contrast. With all of these cookie cutters knocking around, this lead to my next quick fix. Just by adding some string, they were transformed into stunning decorations for the tree. Accompanied with copper baubles, the tree is minimalistic with just a little hint of Christmas.

And of course Ted offered his assistance . . .

My next decorative feature was inspired by a similar, summery piece that I've recently seen on Instagram. Just by tying a fir branch to a lengthy piece of string I was able to create a hanging decoration in literally 5 minutes. I wove branches and twigs into the 'fir frame' once it had become level, and it was all about filling the gaps. A very quick, easy and effective way to make use of any left overs from wreath making, strays from the tree or just an excuse to bring nature inside.

With my recent 'Winter Pink' obsession, I also wanted to experiment with gift wrapping. I lightly brush-stroked thick brown paper with pink gouache, as well as adding copper leaf in an abstract way (one little prezzy even got both treatments!). I have to say I'm not the most patient person in the world, so I think my 'hand-made' approach is a bit haphazard but still, I like the coming together of pink and bronze colour, but with a brown base - tying it all back to that naturalistic theme.

[All photography by Emily Nicholson, Dursk]

As we usually decorate with the same hand me down decorations each year, I had so much fun experimenting with new Christmas ideas and creating something a little different. I hope everyone has a lovely Christmas and New year and I would love to hear if anyone else has had a go at making decorations with concrete?

 Merry Christmas and here's to 2015!

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