Why not turn old light bulbs into baubles? I bought these vintage light bulbs a while ago at a car boot sale. I had no particular use in mind, they just looked rather beautiful to me. Then whilst working on the floral bauble decorations, it occurred to me that they were similar – so why not try the bulbs as baubles? It’s a little bit bonkers but I like it. I simply used thin wire, wrapped and tied around the base, to create a loop to hang them from. The metal ring is a wreath frame used in floral displays, usually packed with moss or oasis; I love the simple bare bones of the exposed wire though.
Some of the wire is wound round with a strip of Liberty print fabric (a similar idea to the covered coat hanger project in The Homemade Home), the rest left bare. For a little extra I added old chandelier droplets too. You can often pick these up loose at flea markets and boot sales. I kept the colours muted and used a scrap of fabric I already had and the bulbs hang in the centre as an alternative Christmas decoration.
My friend Uli Schade, who took all of these photos, made the lebkuchen below to an old family recipe that she learned as a child. They’re a traditional German Christmas treat, a bit like gingerbread and make great edible decorations for your tree if they’re made with the recipe that bakes them hard rather than soft. You can buy similar baked decorations all over Northern Europe and they’re often decorated with brightly coloured icing (think of the gingerbread house in Hansel and Gretel) though here Uli used edible gold leaf as a stylish alternative.
The lebkuchen are hung with strips of paper cut from old, unwanted books and hang on a ring made from some evergreen Jasmine that I cut from my front garden wall.
Uli bought this sweet little hand-carved wooden bird from a Christmas fair in Germany. It’s attached to a wooden clothes peg and the bird nods up and down when you squeeze the peg – utterly charming.
A few more decoration ideas to add a quirky, homemade flavour this Christmas.
Sania Pell is a freelance interior stylist, creative director and consultant based in London. She is a Contributing Stylist at Elle Decoration magazine, with whom she has worked for over 18 years, and is known for bringing a unique aspect to photographic shoots for national publications, leading international brands and retailers as well as style consultancy for top architecture practices and property development companies. She is the author of best-selling book The Homemade Home and The Homemade Home for Children. A trained, former textile designer, Sania is also involved in many multi-disciplinary creative projects.
To enquire about commissioning Sania for commercial or editorial projects, please use the contact form.