Friday, 28 November 2014

Advent stars...

As advent is almost upon us, and the count down to Christmas begins, most people start decorating their homes for the holidays, to set the mood for the festive season.
Here in the UK people decorate their Christmas tree early in December, but in Norway the tree traditionally doesn't go up until the 23rd, "Little Christmas eve" advent decorations are a bit different....and it's all about bringing light into the winter's all about the STAR!!

Everyone hangs lit up stars in their windows, as a symbol of light...a beacon to guide you home in the dark!

So today I wanted to share some images I've found on the www. of typical Scandinavian Advent stars. They are so decorative, in a simplistic and modern way...

Image by Anna Malin of Helt Enkelt

Photo by Cathrine Aarsland via trettien

Image from Bodie and Fou

Image from Fleur and Stitch

Image from Elisabeth Heier
Image via

Image from Tine K home

If you like the look of these Scandinavian Advent stars, you can find similar ones at Bodie and Fou , IKEA and Clas Ohlson....Or you can pop back here next week when I am sharing 2 different DIY Paper star tutorials....

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Paper kirigami gem advent calendar...


Every year I make Little Miss Moo an advent calendar....something a bit different, and this year is no exception. Taking inspiration from my post here , this years calendar is made up of little kirigami paper gems filled up with little toys and treats.
See last years advent calendar here.

These paper gems are lovely...and would also look nice strung up and hung as decorations on your Christmas tree!

If you are wondering what Kirigami is, it is basically like origami, but with the shape templates cut out before folding and gluing together...

"The word “origami” is a Japanese word for paper folding using a square sheet of paper with no cutting and no glue. To do traditional “origami” you’re only allowed to fold.The japanese word “kirigami” can be used for any paper craft where you cut shapes and/or glue the pieces together"

I found the templates for the paper gems at 
mini-eco, where the lovely and very talented Kate generously shares her paper craft ideas and tutorials...if you, like me, love origami and other paper crafts, I highly recommend that you check her out!!

You can find the 5 different shaped templates I've used for my advent calendar on her site here.

You can choose from small or large shapes, I've chosen the large, so that I could fill them up with daily treats for Little Miss Moo during advent! (But why not get the small templates while you are there, to make some decorations for your Christmas tree...)

Just download the PDF's, save to your computer and print on good quality paper (color of your choice)


A ruler
Pen or pencil
Glue or double sided tape

Here's a few pointers on making your paper gems:

1.Using a ruler and a sharp pencil/pen, draw over all the lines that need to be folded before cutting the templates out. This will make the folding easier!
(Also, for some reason , some of the dotted lines on the templates, that indicate where to fold the paper, doesn't show up when printed, so do this next to the images of the templates on your computer to make sure you draw up every line that needs to be folded)

2. Cut out each template

3. Fold. Make sure that the printed side of the paper faces inwards..

4. Glue the tabs to assemble the paper gems. I used small strips of double sided tape instead of glue, as it is less messy...especially as I wanted to fill mine, as it can be a bit fiddly to assemble the gems!

I placed small pieces of double sided tape where the tabs would meet the shape of the gems, then peeled off the backing to stick together bit by bit...


I used colored embroidery thread to string a numbered luggage tag on each of the gems, for each day of advent.

5.Before you finish assembling each gem, tape a piece of thread on the inside of the gem, tie a knot to secure, then thread the cotton through the top of each gem...

6.Fill with treats and sweets...

7. I got these plain white luggage tags , then Used my stencil from tiger to draw on a number for each day... As my luggage tags was a bit big, I trimmed them down later.


I attached a numbered tag to each paper gem...24 in all!

If you find, like I did, that your paper gems are opening up a bit when filled, simply secure with a bit of clear tape

Now, you have made your advent calendar, you can display the gems as you like....maybe hang them from a branch/piece of dowel or on the Christmas tree....or dot them around your home for a fun game of "find the number"....

I used a big glass jar:

I placed all the filled paper gems inside, along with some battery powered fairy lights for a bit of twinkle...

...and simply let the numbered luggage tags hang out from the top of the glass jar..

I made sure I placed the higher numbers at the bottom, and that the strings didn't get tangled.

It'll be fun to see Little Miss Moo "fish" out her daily treat during advent, as we count down the days till Christmas..

Monday, 24 November 2014


How time flies...On Sunday coming, it is the first Sunday of advent!

 In many countries, including Norway, it is traditional that each of the 4 Sunday's leading up till Christmas is marked by lighting a candle..

In every home in Norway you will find a four armed "Advent stake" (candelabra) for this purpose, and the lighting of each candle is accompanied by verses of the advent song , and is a wonderful ritual to get that glow of anticipation into children's eyes...

So today I am sharing a very easy DIY Advent candelabra/wreath that will only take you half an hour to make:

You can purchase a long piece of wooden dowel and the copper equal tee's from any good hardware shop.
Cut the dowel to length with a hack saw.

Assemble the wooden dowels and the copper equal tee's as shown above...

Use the glue gun to attach the dowels into the equal tee's.

Keep gluing and assembling your candelabra together...

Then  pop in some candles, and join in the Scandinavian tradition of lighting one every Sunday leading up till Christmas...

I have to admit: Getting thin enough candles to fit in the copper tee's was more of a struggle than I imagined it to be (I know they exist, but....) So I ended up tapering mine down at the bottom using a lighter...

I also bought some Eucalyptus twigs from our local florist, as I think they not only look lovely just plonked in a vase, but also as they have that wonderful scent that sets you in mind of Christmas,,,

I will be back before the end of the week with this years DIY advent calendar,
so stay tuned!!