This year I discovered the world of blogging and the DIY section on Buzzfeed so it was only a matter of time before I started contributing to that world myself. Ideally this post would have been four more detailed posts but the Christmas season is busy! Hope you don’t mind me squishing four projects into one post, I’ve been spending more time crafting than writing.
An expensive year (not enjoying having no landlord to call for broken boilers now we’re owners!) means this Christmas my whole family are receiving lovingly handmade gifts.
And they’re project number one:
The recipe is from my favourite baking book – John Whaite Bakes – I’d really recommend it for anyone. It’s full of simple to follow, amazing tasting, foolproof recipes.
Here’s how they came together (sort of, I don’t have photos from every step):
- Dough made as per John Whaite’s recipe, rolled ready to chop and frozen.
- Sliced into perfect matching rounds ready to bake.
- Oven time!
- Found an orange so sliced it thinly and dried on a very low heat in the oven for the afternoon (those of you in sunnier climbs could probably just leave them somewhere hot).
- Chocolate and glitter on and into the fridge to set.
- Biscuits done!
- Bags from Ebay.
- Gift tags made from old Christmas cards, ribbon and the dried orange slices finish them off.
Project number two is very traditional – homemade mince pies:
1. Bought mince meat. I did look into making it myself but only discovered its best if left to mature for a while too late in the day.
2. Pastry – I used this recipe from the BBC. It says it’s fool-proof and good for using with kids. No rolling, just press into the tray and squidge a small ball flat for a lid.
3. As well as the BBC pastry I had a little left over from turkey pie that needed using up. No need to buy pastry cutters, just see what you’ve got lying around – glasses, jars etc. I used a shot glass for the lid of my mini pies.
4. One lone jam tart for me (I don’t like mince pies!).
5. Baking away in my rubbish oven until they look ready.
6. Dust with icing sugar to serve and you’re done! Nicest served hot with brandy cream.
Project number three – a few decorative trees and stars.
Inspired by this advert:
My version (made from kitten food boxes and pound shop spray paint):
Finally project number four:
Not a project I completely finished but it’s not actually very festive so I can finish it another time.
If you want to make some of your own I followed this tutorial.