Stave off the post-Christmas blues with handmade winter decorations

Decorations don't just have to be for Christmas.

Well, that's it - Christmas is over for another year. Just one night of festivities left to go and then we're back to the usual routine. We hope you had a good one and enjoyed plenty of special moments with the family - did you get any Heyland & Whittle goodies?

This can be a peculiar time for many people, especially those who feel an acute sense of deflation after all the fun of the festive season. And the majority of us no doubt aren't looking forward to taking down the Christmas decorations, something that makes the house look completely bare.

So, it got us to thinking - why not swap your Santas and angels for some non-Christmassy yet still uplifting decor after January 5th? It's the ideal way of staving off the blues because it not only makes the house look jolly again, but it also gives you a new hobby for the dark evenings if you make the items yourself.

Below, we've come up with a few themes that are suitably wintry and plenty of ideas for handmade crafts that you can do alone or with kids and grandchildren.

Frosty white scenes

Winter certainly doesn't end at the start of January in this country - in fact, we often get the worst of our weather during this month and February. Therefore, anything frosty-looking and glittery will fit in perfectly well.

Try making glittery icicle garlands from cones of paper and white wool, as well as your own snow globes. These are easy to do using old jars and cake decorations - try polar bears, penguins and deer instead of Christmassy scenes inside.

You can also make your own vases and ornaments by collecting old wine bottles and painting them thickly in white or silver paint, then tying blue ribbon around the necks.

Don't forget to make the most of the crisp whiteness of our candles in a glass either - you can make candlescapes by putting ornaments like silver birds and deer in between them, or just place them individually for a brightening effect around the room.

Decorations don't just have to be for Christmas.

Au naturel

We love to use natural items for decor here at H&W, so take the opportunity to dress warmly and go out for some fresh air to collect them. Pine cones are always a winner, as they can be threaded with string and decorated with buttons for a cute but non-Christmassy feel.

You can also collect long twigs from woodland floors to make heart-shaped wreaths, items to spray-paint for vases and foliage that can be adhered to circular pieces of wire to create hanging decorations for the windows - this will stop them looking too bare when the fairy lights have gone.

And if there isn't really anywhere for you to forage for foliage, you can always make the most of seasonal flowers from the local florist. Blooms like chrysanthemums, lilies and Michaelmas daisies are really cheery and can be poked into polystyrene circles to construct bespoke decorations.

Country rustic

The Nordic-style, country rustic look is really popular in interior design magazines right now and it's ideal for embracing in January because it's so cosy.

Although a lot of red and white is typically involved, you can take steps to prevent anything too Santa-like by going for shapes like circles, hearts and stars. Just get hold of some felt and cut out lots of these icons to make garlands to string along the mantelpiece or banister rails.

If you can knit, try making some little bands to go around the bottoms of vases, as well as further shapes for garlands - and you can't go wrong with woolly pom-poms. These should take you straight back to your childhood and are easy to make using cardboard circle templates and a ball of colourful yarn. You can even do them while you're watching TV of an evening and then hang the finished items anywhere you wish.

Don't get the post-Christmas blues this year - stave them off with some crafts. Who knows; you could even find yourself a new hobby to continue well into 2015.