Thursday, 18 December 2014

Homemade Christmas Trees

Hi everyone, the weather has been a bit yucky recently so I've been staying inside having great fun decorating our Christmas tree.  We followed the Vialii team's advice on buying real Christmas trees and got a family friendly Fraser Fir tree.
I've made some really cool Christmas trees out of twigs and I helped Mummy bake some yummy Christmas cookies to hang on our tree.  I thought you might like to have a go too. 

My homemade Christmas trees

Here's what to do.

Twig Trees

You'll need:
  • Twigs from your garden or park (ones with similar diameter to pencils are ideal)
  • Cardboard (old cereal packets work well)
  • Glue and glue spreaders
  • Needle and thread

What to do:
  • Place the twigs on a baking tray in oven at 200°C for 30min to dry them out.
  • Cut out a Christmas tree shape from the cardboard.

I needed to make the twigs a bit smaller

  • Break the twigs into shorter lengths that fit your cardboard outline.
  • Spread glue on the cardboard.

I love using glue to make things sticky!

  • Press the twigs onto the glue and allow to dry.
  • Once dry ask an adult to use the needle and thread to add a tie to the top of tree.
Thank you to Stow and Tell you for the idea

How cool is my tree?

Edible Trees

Mummy always bakes cookies to hang on our tree.  This year I was able to help pick the shapes we'd use for our cookies and I helped decorate them. Mummy likes to use this recipe from Nigella Lawson as she says there is just enough spice to stop me eating all the decorations off the tree!

You'll need
  • 300 grams plain flour (plus more for dusting) 
  • pinch of salt 
  • teaspoon baking powder 
  • teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves 
  • teaspoons freshly ground  black pepper 
  • 100 grams soft  butter 
  • 100 grams soft dark brown sugar 
  • large eggs (beaten) 
  • tablespoons runny honey
  • icing sugar and decorations

What to do:
  • Line 2 baking sheets with greaseproof paper and preheat the oven to 170°C.
  • Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves and pepper in a food processor and, with the motor on, add the butter and sugar, then, slowly, the beaten eggs and runny honey, though don’t use all of this liquid if the pastry has come together before it’s used up.
  • Form 2 fat discs and put one, covered in clingfilm in the fridge while you get started on the other.
  • Then dust a work surface with flour, roll out the disc, also floured, to about 5mm / ¼ inch and cut out your Christmas decorations with cutters of your choice.
  • Re-roll and cut out some more, setting aside the residue from this first disc, well covered, while you get on with rolling out the second. When you’ve got both sets of leftover clumps of dough, roll out and cut out again, and keep doing so till all the dough’s used up.
  • Now take a small icing nozzle and use the pointy end to cut out a hole just below the top of each biscuit (through which ribbon can later be threaded).
  • Arrange the pastry shapes on the lined baking sheets and cook for about 20 minutes: it’s hard to see when they’re cooked, but you can feel; if the underside is no longer doughy, they’re ready. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.
  • Make up the icing sugar with a little bit of water or fruit juice beating it until it’s smooth and thick.
  • Ice the cold decorations, using a teaspoon (the tip for dripping the icing on, the back for smoothing), and scatter sparkles or sprinkles as you like. 
  • When the icing is set, thread ribbon through the holes and hang on your tree.

Can I please eat a big tree and little tree and a holly leave and a .....

Living Bauble

My homemade trees are not the only plant themed decorations on the Vialii team's Christmas trees this year.  Have a look at how lovely this seasonal terrarium bauble is.  It has an Epiphyte  plant inside it.  Did you know these plants don't have roots in the ground, they just breathe air like us- how cool is that?!

Our air plant decoration

I hope I've given you some ideas for fun Christmas decorations.  Let me know how you get on making twig or cookie trees.

Merry Christmas!

Big hugs,

Euan x

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