At Nurtured, each year staff contributes little a something to our store tree to make it homey, handmade, and adorable. I can’t tell you how many compliments we get on the ornaments, which are simple, made mainly of natural materials, and easy to make.
The simplest items on our tree are pinecones, gathered from under the trees at my parent’s home in the country, with ribbons or interesting bits of wool hot glued to one end, allowing them to hang. The most popular decoration is one that is used throughout the year at the store, and has become a mobile at my home as well: stuffed bird decorations. Using a free pattern from Spool and complementary fabrics from Anna Maria Horner’s fabric collections, which remain my favourites season after season.
We purchased some felted acorn ornaments last year that are adorable, but I also tried my hand at making my own this year with my 5-year-old daughter. We collected acorns from the backyard and separated the “hats” from the acorn. I needle felted some roving I purchased from Fleece Artist, a local yarn company, and my daughter glued the felted balls to the acorn caps. Easy Peasy!
This year I was introduced by Melissa, a new staff member, to Window Stars made from kite paper, there is an online tutorial here. Kite paper can be difficult to find. Many Waldorf supply companies will sell it, but in a pinch, interesting Japanese or Origami papers world work as well. She also knit extremely adorable tiny mitten ornaments for our tree from a pattern found at yarn.com.
I also embarked on an ambitious project this year to make wool garland for our tree using a knitting tower. I don’t knit, but the repetitive nature of a knitting tower actually kept my hands busy while watching a movie or two with my kids. In a week I had a string long enough to circle half the tree, so this could easily be done before Christmas! I used a variety of scrap wool and simply tied the ends of yarn together when I came to the end of a skein, it makes for a beautifully rustic garland. I have also thought about sewing it into a circular mat after the holidays, we’ll see!
Incredibly cute handmade felt bird ornaments (among many other designs) can be purchased from Gifts Define.
Jessica, a former colleague, made these adorable “12 days of Christmas” treat bags for our tree from scrap fabrics and ribbons, they are adorable and can hold a treat, treasure, or momento inside them. Decorate pre-sewn muslin bags from your local craft store, or purchase your own set from Etsy seller irontimber to have them delivered straight to your door.
The cute little owls are made by Gillian, who manages Nurtured by day and runs Pip Robins by night. She’s happy to make custom owls, just ask her! The nest was made by me, by intertwining floral wire with a variety of yarns, fibres, and papers , shaping it into a coil. It is quite delicate, but sits nicely in the tree branches.
Put it all together and you’ve got yourself: