Watercolour Christmas – quick tricks and finishing touches

On the doorstep of Christmas I decided to share with you a few quick tricks and clever cheats that will trick your guests into believing you are the hostess with the mostess although you did it all in 5 minutes before they arrived.

Gorgeous garland two ways

These balls of fun are great to pick up a color scheme and draped over a chandelier they emphasize vertical lines. In doing so they extend the table and gives a much more well rounded and balanced picture.

GARLANDl1

String your garland on stair railings like we did to also extend the color palette from the table to the surrounding decor. It adds a element of festivity to the setting.

GARLAND2

Christmas tree

Having a reclaimed Christmas tree is simply lovely. You can ‘plant’ a branch like this ‘garingboom’ and give it a white wash effect with a light coat of paint. It won’t last forever but will be beautiful for a few years. This tree has such a lovely South African flavor!

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Remember to consider all elements like the pot you ‘plant’ the branch in. Cover it with fabric and tie it loosely with string. It ties the look together beautifully without a nasty plastic pot sticking out.

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Starry starry drink

This is one of my fail proof tricks for welcome drinks. Simply drop a piece of chocolate (I love using Lindt but the star shape fits the festive season better) in a glass of champagne and serve to arriving guests. The bubbles will stick to the chocolate and it gets everyone in the mood for a lovely time.

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You don’t have to use sparking wine. I have also done this trick with normal Appletizer and it worked like a charm.

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Wishes

Thank you so much for supporting our blog this year. We hope we have inspired you to try new things at home to truly make your home your own.

Have a fantastic festive season spent with loved ones and travel safe!

Margaux_XMAS

Happy Styling,

margaux

Nolene_Van_Staden

Watercolour Christmas – nail polish mug DIY

I’ve seen a few examples of this nail polish mug DIY technique on the internet and was so intrigued that I’ve decided to try it for myself. The results were simply stunning! Who would have thought that nail polish can achieve this lovely watercolour look? And it’s pretty simple to do as well!

You will need:

Ceramic mugs and bowls

Selection of nail polish (not the quick drying type)

Water and container for dipping

Toothpicks

Paper towel

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Preparation station

Add water to a flat container. Use a disposable container as you won’t be able to use it again after this exercise. Add a few drops of nail polish to the water and break up the colour dots by dragging a toothpick through it to form a pattern.

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Dunk it

Now simply dip your ceramic bowl into the water and give it a twirl so that the nail polish sticks to the surface. It is amazing what happens to the nail polish when it hits the water. It creates a thin plastic-like film around the colour areas. I found it fascinating.

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Mugged

Repeat this process with any old ceramics you have in the house. It’s lots of fun and makes pretty and inexpensive stocking fillers.

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High and dry

Leave them to dry overnight on a piece of paper towel.

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Wrapped up

Wrap them in tissue paper and boxes combined with nice ribbon. It will be very cute if you add a tag that tells the recipient that this item was hand-made by you. People seem to appreciate that more!

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Please note: The crockery is not going to be food-safe, so don’t use this technique to decorate the inside of a plate or bowl that intend to eat out of. Make sure that you use CPG (ceramics / porcelain / glass) podge (the baking kind) over your designs to ensure their durability. And it’s best to wash by hand and avoid using them in the microwave.

Happy styling,

margaux

Nolene_Van_Staden

Watercolour Christmas – fresh festive flowers

Every Christmas, my Mother asked me to set the table and create a bit of a centerpiece. And every year, she promptly took my centerpiece off the table just as the guests sat down so that she could put the salads on the table! It’s been a big point of debate in my household for years so I’ve decided to make a centerpiece for our watercolour Christmas table that is unobtrusive but still fresh and lovely.

Contrasting colour

I’ve chosen yellow tulips for our Christmas table to contrast the medley of blues. I have also found myself working with yellow tulips on shoots a lot this year so it’s right up there with my favourites!

CENTER_PIECE1

All sorts

I placed them in inexpensive glass tumblers and ceramic bowls to create a difference in height without being too ‘in your face”. I also dotted little gift boxes in between the flowers – it’s an airy collection of random things that makes a beautiful grouping.

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Keep it on the down low

I love simple uncomplicated styling like this gorgeous ceramic bowl combined with a few yellow blooms in a shallow pool of water. It’s the perfect accent for a coffee table as well.

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No one puts Baby in the corner

Add a splash of colour to an otherwise bland corner to show your attention to detail. These unexpected touches always make the most impact.

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What a dish

Remember to add final touches to all of the places where guests will go in your home. The kitchen is one of those spaces that, try as you may, you just can’t keep them out! So add a few blooms next to your sink to keep the colour thread of your theme throughout the house.

The bathroom is another room that always requires a fresh element like this. A lovely new trend is using fragrant foliage like penny-gum in the bathroom. The smell is not overbearing and very natural.

CENTER_PIECE3

And, I did all of this with one bunch of yellow tulips!

Happy styling,

margaux

Nolene_Van_Staden

Watercolour Christmas – painted napkins DIY

To fit the painted tablecloth done earlier this week, it was just fitting to show you a few a painted napkins DIY that will fit the theme beautifully and complete your table linen for Christmas.

You will need:

Fabric paint – blue, turquoise and yellow

Eight fabric squares cut to 40 x 40 cm and edges off with and over-locker

Applicator sponge

Container and water

Medium size paint brush

napkins1

Step 1:

Wet a strip of the fabric with your applicator sponge. This will help the paint to spread so that it creates a watercolour effect.

napkins2

Step 2

Now add paint to the wet strip. We started at the bottom of the napkin with blue, followed by turquoise above and ended it off with yellow.

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Step 3

To break the monotony of the solid stripes I painted crisscross stripes with a dry brush to extend the yellow at the top of the napkin.

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Step 4

I hung the napkins on our washing line and it was a huge mistake! Note to self: never do that again as the wet paint came off on the line and I had to wash it all down. Rather peg them to a piece of string suspended 2 chairs.

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Left overs

For a bit of variation, I decided to have two of them a bit more subtle than the painted napkins. I pressed the fabric down on the newspaper that I used underneath while painting the other napkins, and it made a beautiful print onto the fabric. It’s a bit of a frottage effect and I love it!

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All done

These napkins add the perfect colour splash to our watercolour Christmas table. They are fun and versatile and placed on top of the plates, they create a gorgeous display of colour.

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I hope you try your hand at these! They are lots of fun to make and you can experiment with different designs and colours to your heart’s content!

Now, you may have noticed my amazing copper-dipped cutlery. It’s a short and sweet 1 minute wonder!

MAIN_cuttlery

I bought this plastic cutlery set on sale and wanted to use it on our watercolour Christmas table. The only problem: because they are transparent, they would get totally lost when placed on my very colourful napkins! So I decided to dip the beautifully detailed handles in copper craft paint.

And the effect was very interesting!

Here’s what you’ll need for this super easy painted cutlery DIY:

Plastic cutlery

Copper craft paint (or any metallic craft paint of your choice)

Paper towel

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One step wonder

I love doing one step DIY’s. Life is too short! Simply dip your handle in the copper paint and wipe the excess with the paper towel. It gives it a lovely distressed feel and the right amount of colour without taking away the transparency.

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Expect the unexpected

So the most interesting thing is that the craft paint made these stunning watery patterns on the sections that I wiped almost clean of the paint. It sticks beautifully to the plastic but I won’t bargain on it surviving the first wash. You can always dip it in another colour for your next soiree.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed these fun and easy-to-do projects – now, go and try it yourself over the festive season!

Happy styling,

margaux

Nolene_Van_Staden


Watercolour Christmas – painted tablecloth DIY

This year we have made our Christmas shoot a big production: we created a watercolour table setting that we think fits the South African weather and way we celebrate the season best.

We will be sharing seven DIY projects all showcased in this lovely setting and of course some clever styling ideas and quick tricks over the next few weeks building up to Christmas Day.

First off, we start with our watercolour painted tablecloth DIY done with a lot of trail and error – but in the end, it’s a true show stopper!

You will need:

Fabric cut to size and the edges finished off

Fabric paint in blue and turquoise

Applicator sponge

Empty container and water

Brush

Sponge

Step 1:

I started by creating dry brush strokes in a crisscross fashion in the middle of the tablecloth. I used blue and turquoise fabric paint to keep within the color palette for our watercolour Christmas this year. I used these two colours as my primary tones throughout all of the projects that you’ll see over the next few weeks.

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Step 2:

I wanted the strokes to blend more so I used a normal sponge and vigorously rubbed out the paint stripes with water so it would flow better.

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Step 3:

Just for fun, I diluted a little of the blue fabric paint with water and splattered it in and round the painted area on the tablecloth for visual interest. Very expressive!

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Step 4

Now carry the fabric out and hang to dry – but be careful! My tablecloth was still very wet and I dripped paint all over the floor on the way out which I had to mop up. The drip lines on the fabric look awesome though, so all is well that ends well!

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Step 5:

I ironed the tablecloth just to make double sure that the colours won’t fade over time. Alternatively, you could use fabric podge to cover the colour which will make it easy to clean with a simple wipe. Most good craft shops stock a range of them.

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And there she is! I love the subtle brush strokes down the middle and the watery outline that fits our theme beautifully . It’s a fun and less formal look that is perfect for a beach or pool side Christmas.

Happy styling,

margaux

Nolene_Van_Staden

Watercolour tablescapes

We are confident that our watercolour theme for this festive season fits the South African climate best: it’s light and summery and will be perfect for a beach or poolside Christmas.

As I’m researching ideas for the Homeology Christmas table we will reveal as our grand finale for the year, I thought I should share a few lovely watercolour tablescapes I found while snooping around on the internet.

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stylemepretty.com ehow.com

Singing the blues

I love the artistic flair of these table linens. It’s a simple paired down setting with a lot of punch. Remember to echo the color in other areas like the beautiful chandelier of flowers suspended above the table on the left and then dotted on the center of the table again.

TABLE_MOOD2

camillestyles.com weddingchicks.com

Colour soaked

Watercolour on linen works best as a ombré effect. It’s a simple technique of letting the fabric soak up the colour so it goes from dark to light. You can play with multiple colours or keep it simple with only one like the two examples here.

TABLE_MOOD3

stylemepretty.com storyboardwedding.com

Back drop

If you are planning an outdoor table setting consider using a backdrop to pull your theme together. This colourful one on the left creates an energetic and festive feel to the setting. Combining crayon and watercolor creates a resist technique and looks great on stationary.

TABLE_MOOD4

styleunveiled.com

As pretty as a picture

This soft watery palette is fresh and inviting. I love the watercolour stains on the table cloth and the center piece that is lifted to different levels with perspex blocks. This transparent element is echoed in the glassware and ghost chairs to create an airy feel. The soft pastel coloured flowers tie the look together beautifully.

TABLE_MOOD5

ohhappyday.com thesweetescape.com

Have some fun

Details should add some fun to your setting so look at using paper fans that have been colour-dipped in watered down paint for the watercolour effect. Try the same effect for your menu items like these heart shaped cookies with their watercolour icing.

Happy styling!

margaux

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