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Shop Small: Christmas decorations and preparations

Monday, 23 November 2020

 With Christmas fast approaching, I thought the next instalment in Julia scrolls through small businesses on etsy should be the festive season! More gift ideas are still to come, but with seeing many people on my Instagram this weekend put up their Christmas tree I thought it was best to find new decorations and ways to prepare for Christmas 2020. Obviously I’ve already covered home décor gift ideas, that does not  With many tree decorations and eco-friendly alternatives to Christmas staples I was spoilt for choice, thought I think I have made a good selection in my own humble opinion.

 Disclaimer: All photos and prices are taken from the sellers at the time of posting.


Felt Highland cow hanging decoration

With an array of felt hanging decorations, both Christmas and otherwise Feltsogood is my first pick for this list. Specifically I have gone non-traditional of sorts with a highland cow, though I think there should be a place on every tree for a tiny highland cow. The highland cow is adorable in any setting, and by having a tiny decoration of it you avoid the cost of owning an actual highland cow. Though, if you don’t follow any highland cow farm accounts on Instagram I recommend it. They provide much needed positivity on any feed. The thing I really love about this decoration though is that Especially since if you really like, it’s décor that would be welcome after Christmas too so you have a small bovine companion all year round!

 



Reindeer food

 

This one is most definitely aimed towards those who have families and younger children, possibly even a staple if you do. Growing up I would put out a mince pie for Santa and a carrot for the Reindeer, more recently I have seen reindeer food on sale in shops though. Normally the food contains many different components, including glitter. Now I’m not buying into the complete war on glitter I’ve seen in recent months since we all know that as much as we can do our own parts for global warming, it’s the big companies who ultimately need to change their ways. Glitter is still a microplastic issue though so it’s great to see alternatives like this to reindeer food I’ve seen on sale in the past. This reindeer food is ideal to leave out if you’re averse to carrots for some reason this feed is biodegradable and can just be left out for the birds when the reindeer are finished with it. It’s a must purchase for any household with little ones, especially when it comes with such an adorable poem on the back of the packaging!



 

Eco Elephant decorations

The second tree decoration on my list, but the only similarity it has with the first is in whimsy! The elephant eco decoration, once again adds a touch of fun to any Christmas tree, looking like an animal on a mission nestled between the branches. The crown ensures the animal will be reigning over your Christmases for many years to come, especially with the durable design of the whole decoration. The elephant is made from an old toy, designed to withstand even the most chaotic games of a child. I remember this style of toy living for ages in the wet play and sand box of my primary school, meaning this robust decoration can survive a Christmas tree if it can withstand playtime with 5 year olds.

 


Reusable Christmas Crackers

The Christmas cracker, the biggest staple on any Christmas table in almost every household. (Well besides roast potatoes.) The humble Christmas Cracker is a lot of fun, every hat either too big or too small for the average person since apparently there is no in-between with the paper accessories. Sadly, as much fun as they are it is estimated that over 40 million crackers end up in the waste on Christmas day meaning it is probably about time we found better alternatives that can last a little longer. Coming flatpack, the crackers are easy to assemble and the snaps can also be bought from the store meaning you have wouldn’t even need to buy new crackers next year! The other great thing about these crackers is that you buy your own gifts meaning you could personalise each cracker to whoever is coming to Christmas.

 


Christmas Snowman wrapping paper set


It was only last year that I actually found out most wrapping paper is not recyclable, in the UK we actually throw away 5 million tonnes a year. Obviously it is not all thrown out at Christmas, but the festive period doesn’t exactly help the issue. In recent years I have switched over to using brown paper for wrapping, however if you are after something a little less drab then I really recommend this set. The snowmen have lost their noses and as the wrapper, it is your job to try and find them! An adorable print suitable for wrapping both children’s and adult’s presents, the print adding a sense of whimsy that would be welcome under any tree, then after Christmas simply just recycle the paper which is far less harmful to the environment than most shop bought printed wrapping papers.

 


Reusable present bags

Another option to avoid waste this Christmas is to buy reusable gift bags, and with many of these on sale you’d find yourself spoilt for choice. The subtlety of the red and green print of the bags from SunflowerbyStella makes them almost suitable for occasions besides the festive season! What’s more, another thing I love about this style of gift bag is they are not only reusable as present bags, but the receiver could also use them as a travel wash bag or just general storage! Versatile and brilliant to reuse, these bags have a life longer than the regular cardboard bags making them a must to any Christmas preparations for those wishing to be more environmentally conscious this Christmas! 

 

This is just a few picks from etsy that I came across, though I really did struggle to narrow down my list since there are so many fantastic Christmas crafts for sale on the site! I recommend just having a browse and seeing all the other fantastic listings available on independent shops across the site, it’s just that personal touch every Christmas needs.   

 

 

Shop Small: Home Decor Gifts

Friday, 13 November 2020

 

It’s so easy to get lost on Etsy, within minutes of browsing through Etsy Homeware I am aching to transform an entire property. It’s the haven of all things you’d find on pinterest, giving you all the tools needed to create the cosy cottagecore world you’ve dreamt of. Whatever your style and personal preference, I’m sure you’d find it on etsy somewhere. I’ve decided to collate what I think could be the perfect Christmas gifts, or objects that can just begin the next lockdown activity of redecorating your entire house.

 Disclaimer: All prices are from the shops at the time of posting. All photos are taken directly from shop socials or actual product listings.

Sewmanynudess- £20 embroidery



An Instagram I recently came across that shows the beauty in the body and how we can use art to boost confidence and body positivity. The creations are beautiful, each stitch tells a story of the person they depict, working to empower anyone and demonstrate the beauty of the body. Each work is commissioned and a one off for the order, meaning at £20 you can own a bespoke one of a kind piece of art. Sew Many Nudes is about celebrating the body and building confidence so you don’t even need to be nude for the work, just wanting a stunning piece of embroidery from AmyLeigh.


AlienArtistries

At the start of the year, before Covid and lockdowns, or in other words a lifetime ago, I went to the Peddlar market in Sheffield. There we came across Kate’s stall showcasing an array of her hand-painted space creations. From wall hangings to jewellery dishes, I struggled to just pick one item from her shop with how detailed and colourful every piece is, so I’ve cheated a little and chosen two. The seashell jewellery dish is a perfectly unique piece that would look at home on any vanity, the star map a classic design for any avid astronomer! What’s more, it’s made from an upcycled shell too so a great eco purchase. Aurora Borealis painting too is a quirky find with its canvas being a repurposed tree stump, giving a certain rustic quality to the gorgeous piece. With so much more to offer than these two pieces, I urge you to have a look at Kate’s work since it is the perfect gift for any space lover.

 Aurora Borealis- £22
Jewellery dish- £17





Upcycled Beer can-dle

The perfect gift for any beer lover, male or female. When I cam across this listing on etsy, I thought it was a fantastic use of old beer cans especially since I know Brewdog is a favourite of many people. Using entirely vegan products, this is also the perfect candle for anyone wanting to buy not only local, but eco-friendly this year since the production of every candle is zero-waste. From using recycled packaging to obviously repurposing the can, Graham’s shop really embodies the reuse of the reduce, reuse, recycle mantra.

Brewdog candle- £8.99

 


Little wooden house with washing line

 

Okay, I am obsessed with this tiny house and will just say I think it’s one of the best things I have ever seen on etsy. Made from recycled materials, you can be reassured the rustic piece has a humble home, making any cottagecore dream décor of yours a reality. The added touch of the washing line made from nails and recycled fabric really makes this product in my opinion, especially to brighten the neutral tones in the rest of the piece. This is a great gift for the new homeowner especially, but one I would say many wouldn’t be sad to see under the tree.

House with a washing line-£12

 


Naturally dried flowers in miniature glass bottles

These delightful little bottles are a gift suitable for any occasion, not just Christmas. The flowers are perfect as a little decorative touch to your home, but the colours of the flowers have soothing tones in times of comfort. The simple design is an elegant piece that looks beautiful on display in any room, and made to order you can be sure this is the perfect thoughtful gift.

 Naturally dried floral trio-£10