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Christmas Crafts: Handmade Baubles and Alternative Wrapping

With Christmas just around the corner, London is alive with the festive spirit. I love the walk home in the evening past houses twinkling in lights and the warm glow of a Christmas tree pride of place in the front window.

There’s something so wonderfully charming about Christmas decorations and every year it’s always a delight to get crafty around the kitchen table. It’s all about creating pieces that are entirely unique, from handcrafted fabric baubles to one-of-a-kind wrapping alternatives.

Wrapping Alternatives

We love seeing all the presents glittering under the tree, garishly bright reindeer encrusted papers, tissue and tinsel, big juicy bows and good old brown paper with twine. When wrapping is done right, it really is an extension of the present. We want to share some extra creative wrapping ideas that will really set your gifts apart for that special someone.

In the Kit Kemp design studio, we always keep old wallpaper off-cuts and samples to use and recycle. This is one of Kit’s own designs called ‘Argentinian’. You can see it brightening up the corridors at Haymarket Hotel. Inspired by an Argentinian donkey rug, the pinks and happy oranges will work very well in contrast to your forest green Christmas tree. We have used a combination of tonal turquoise Clementine Oliver wools to create this ribbon. Have fun with pinking shears or even get out a needle and thread and stitch messages onto the ribbon.

Don’t worry if you don’t have wallpaper lying around, we love brown paper or even old newspapers. Jazz these up with colourful trims! We have used the Kit Kemp for Christopher Farr ‘Pop Art’ braid, turning this average looking present into a piece of treasure! You can also find some lovely trims and ribbons on Etsy. Susan Delise also sources lots of antique braids, once you have used these on the leading edge of your curtains, save the leftover bits and be creative with your wrapping.

Photocopy fabrics and old antique textiles, these wonderful printouts look like the real McCoy. We have used large samples of ‘Peace & Love’, one of our new fabrics for Christopher Farr. By creasing and folding the fabric, you can create an interesting 3D effect which is sure to keep the receiver guessing.

We just love Kit Kemp’s ‘Traveling light’ design for Christopher Farr – you may not have the budget to be squandering it on wrapping but where there is a will there’s a way! Why not paint your own – this way you can play with scale, be more inventive with colour choices and harmonise your presents under the tree. The possibilities are endless!

DIY Baubles

Hand crafted treasure is our forte, and no tree would be the same without all kinds of baubles. Every year we introduce a new decoration to the tree – it could be something old or new, something found by us or given as a gift, but as with anything for the home it’s important to grow your collection with items that have meaning and a story.

Here is our step by step guide to make your own Christmas bauble this year:

What you’ll need

– Polystyrene baubles – these are easily found online, however anything orb like would work a treat. You could even create a sphere from tin foil if you are really stuck!
– Fabric of your choice – the fabric will need to be big enough to cover the whole bauble both ways. We recommend using Kit Kemp’s fabrics…
– Scissors – we have gone with pinking shears
– PVA glue
– Paint brush
– Elastic bands
– Ribbon
– Patience and determination
– Mulled wine and a jovial Christmas song

1. Cut oval pieces from your fabric – each strip will need to cover from the tip of the orb to the bottom. The wider you make these the more area they will cover – for smaller baubles we recommend thinner strips to avoid pointy corners. You will need around 8 strips per orb.

2. Coat the back of the strips in PVA and start applying four strips – one across from the other. Apply the remaining strips to the gaps left.

3. Carefully wind your elastic around the orb to ensure all areas are held down until they are dry.

4. Once dry, remove the bands and check you are happy or whether small areas need tweaking.

5. Just like wrapping a present, tie your ribbon around the bauble and tie with a lovely big bow

Our Ham Yard lobby and library are filled with twinkling lights and gingerbread heaven. These baubles have a lovely Scandinavian feel, with white and red baubles and little decorations made from wooden buttons.

Down the stairs towards the Dive Bar and Croc Bowling Alley, a tall tree towers through the stairwell, dressed in large orange glittery orbs, picking out the lovely fiery tones from the bespoke Rik Rak walling beyond

At our lovely Knightsbridge Hotel, you are greeted by a glow from the fireplace in the Drawing Room and large comfy seating. The tree here has been decorated in gorgeous fuchsia pink and gold baubles, and sat in a wonderfully big wicker basket.

Merry Christmas from Kit Kemp and the design team let’s hope 2021 is a little more sparkly!

We would love to see your creative Christmas crafts so please tag us @kitkempdesignthread – we will repost the most inspired.

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