Every year, my sister and I purchase a themed set of decorations to wrap our Christmas presents. We are known in our family for really stepping up the wrapping game! Last year we had glitter star stickers, with a beautiful pink ribbon, set against gleaming metallic silver paper. This year we have more time to create our decorations and Emily Dawe’s Paper Christmas book is the perfect inspiration. Full of step by step instructions, there are templates at the back which means easy making. Emily has put together 16 projects to make your own labels, bunting, Christmas trees and advent calendars. The best bit is that you can use these ideas all year round.
When I was growing up we always had a craft area in the house. Sometimes it was just a section of a bookshelf and later an entire room! Having craft bits and pieces on hand is so normal for me that I have a three tier Ikea trolley full in my current flat. It contains wood spoon blanks for carving, acrylic and water colour paints and my entire candle making collection. So.many.essential.oils! It is not unusual for me to spend hours on a craft activity, lost in the mindfulness and happiness of creating.
I used black and white stock card, self adhesive glitter papers, fancy Christmas twine and my favourite purchase, eco glitter! Emily has suggested colour ways in the book but feel free to go with your creation. It is straight forward following the instructions provided, as every step has a picture showing you what to do. This is my kind of crafting. It takes the work out of understanding someone’s instructions when there are pictures! The crafting then becomes family friendly as children can make alongside you.
I’ve often seen templates that require a size increase but I hadn’t done that before. Turns out it is quite easy to find the enlarge function on a photo copier! I recommend copying each page twice. Just in case you make a mistake cutting, or if you have a big group working on your decorating project no fighting over templates!
I loved making the feather labels and they were so easy to cut out. They would make a great family project with little ones. Feathers don’t have to have perfect sides! I arranged the five feather templates on the A5 black card and was able to put them in a way that minimised any waste. The bunting is really cute and instead of hanging it up I used it to wrap the presents. If you had a few helpers, creating strings and strings of bunting would look stunning around your tree. A lovely alternative to tinsel, adding a handmade element to your festive décor.
Emily is such a lovely human being and you all know I enjoy supporting small business entrepreneurs. We recently caught up and I asked her three questions about Paper Christmas…
Jessica – What did you enjoy the most about the book making process?
Emily – I know that sounds like a cop out, but I loved the whole process! From the very beginning, I loved researching different projects, trends, and styles. Then the making process, which always takes much longer than you think, as there’s a lot of trial and error, but getting to the finished result is always so rewarding! Then I was in my element photographing the book, as a stylist who absolutely loves Christmas, I really enjoyed creating little festive scenarios and flat lays, using my own hands where possible and using my friend Emmeline as my model!
Jessica – That’s sounds so fun, I’d love to be a hand model! Did you approach the publisher or vice versa?
Emily – It was a case of being in the right place at the right time! I was working at Woman’s Weekly at the time, as the Home & Craft Editor, we were working with Roz and Judy from The Woolly Felters on a feature for the magazine about how to needlefelt. Amazing and magical process if you haven’t tried it! During our lunch, we got onto chatting about my hopes and goals for the future, one of which was to have a craftbook published. Roz then announced she was one of the Commissioning Editors at Search Press books, and asked me to chat through my ideas! She then pitched my idea with a few prototypes, and it was given a big thumbs up! That was June 2016, so it’s not been a speedy process!
Jessica – Wow I didn’t realise it would take so long. Patience testing! What do you hope people get from the book and crafting?
Emily – I knew I wanted a diverse combination of projects in the book, which would appeal to an array of people, the styles they have in their home, and their skill level. So if your thing is Scandi minimalism then my folded book angels or white feather garland would suit you. Likewise, if you want something to make with the kids, my mini bunting, gift tags, party hats or even marbled wrapping paper would be ideal, made using shaving foam! I chose to make the paper wreath from traditional colours, but I hope people just see this as a starting point and adapt the design to suit their decor – white and gold, or neon pink for example.
In a nutshell, I just wanted to create a fun, contemporary, on-trendcrafting book that would appeal to lots of people, no matter their style, skill level or how much time they have. Crafting is such a simple pleasure, a time to be mindful, get back to basics with glue and glitter – it’s so nostalgic! Technology has changed the way we communicate, some people rarely pick up a pen these days, which is so sad. So it’s really special to actually do something creative withyour hands, forcing you to put your phones away and enjoy some well earned’you time’….saying that, I will forgive you if you want to take a picture of the end result or a crafty flat lay though…oh, and if you want to post it on social media, please tag me @editbyemily and use the hashtag #paperchristmas….it’s good to share, and I’d love more people to hear about my first book!
Jessica – Thank you so much! I know I enjoyed making everything with some Smooth FM on in the background and a hot chocolate. I was so relaxed afterwards!
Happy Crafting lovelies! For more information about Emily’s book, her creative workshops and sign up to her mailing list head to her website. You can find her on instagram here. Emily is also going to be on Kristie’s Handmade Christmas, lucky duck! Remember whilst the book is Christmas themed, lots of the templates can be used throughout the year! PF xo
Emily and Search Press kindly gifted me Paper Christmas but I was under no obligation to post and all words are my own.