Now that Advent has begun, we know that most of you will either have your Christmas tree and decorations up or be planning to organise the festive decor very soon.
For many people, this is a time of year to get out all the old boxes of baubles and reminisce over the special ones that were purchased to mark a momentous occasion - or perhaps even made by little ones when they were at playschool - so we usually don't like to change those around too much.
The tree and various garlands are also items that tend to go up the same way every December, for good reason. However, why not add a nice twist to your traditional displays this year by complementing them with some handmade items?
You don't have to swap everything over and spend hours slaving away to create something worthy of a shop window, but getting a little bit crafty this weekend could be a lovely way to create a talking point and ensure you've got something unique.
Here are some ideas for handmade ornaments and decorations that you can be getting on with right now.
Fabric chains for the hallway
We've all made paper chains, but how about using strips of fabric in vibrant, Christmassy colours instead? These should be easy to get hold of on the high street, especially with quilting having a bit of a renaissance. You can thread the finished chains through your banister railings or pin them to the hallway ceiling for a Nordic feel.
Pine cone baubles
Go on a quick winter walk and you should be able to collect handfuls of pine cones, which you can then make baubles out of. Dry them thoroughly, then turn them upside down and attach string or twine to their stalks. Add a colourful button and a bow or leaf (real or faux) and you've got super-quick baubles that can be hung from the tree or in your windows.
Felt Christmas shapes
Felt should be very easy to get hold of from your local craft store or even high street stationer and it's perfect for making little Christmas shapes with. Just cut out things like stars, stockings and triangular trees, double them up and sew them together, remembering to leave a little gap for cotton wad stuffing. You don't need to be an expert at sewing either - just a basic blanket stitch in thick wool will do. Pin on a ribbon and use them all around the home.
There are lots of places around the home that always end up not looking very festive in comparison to the main living room with the tree, including the kitchen's breakfast bar, the bathroom and the landing. Rectify this in 2014 by making or buying some card or polystyrene cones to make mini, stand-alone trees. You can decorate them with tiny felt circles cut out and pushed in with pins; colourful random buttons; loops of cotton ribbon - almost anything! They can then be placed anywhere you need a festive feel.
You've probably got a nice holly wreath for your door, but a fun twist on this for indoors is a loop of wire and a pack of inexpensive wooden pegs. It sounds a bit odd, but bear with us! All you need to do is paint the pegs, perhaps in red or green, then make a circle out of the wire - you can use an old coat-hanger if you like. Clip as many pegs as you can fit on the loop, varying the angles so it mimics the irregularity of foliage. When done, just add a few ribbon bows and you've got a quirky decoration that can come our year after year.
There are lots of other ideas, including dried orange circles and pomanders, so why not take this opportunity to get crafty over the coming days? And if you're going to have a festive look, you might as well have a festive scent too - complement your new decor with our Alpine Reed Diffuser to bring to mind bracing walks through frosty pine forests whenever you pass by.