Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

Cassiefairy's thrifty little lifestyle blog – DIY crafts, sewing, food & fashion – what more does a girl need??


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Inspirations for a St. Patrick’s Day celebration

St Patrick’s Day is fast approaching on the 17th March and whether or not you have Irish heritage in your family or have a bunch of friends from Ireland, you can still decorate your home with Irish themed decorations and even host a fun St. Paddy’s Day party!

Traditionally, green is associated with St. Patrick’s Day (the saint himself is depicted wearing green!) so get out your green throws, cushions and tablecloths to make your home a little more Irish for the day! The shamrock is also an iconic symbol of any St. Paddy’s celebration, so craft your own shamrock bunting banner or wall-curtain decoration just like the images below. When your home is nicely decorated you can invite your family or friends over for a St. Patrick’s Day celebration and let the festivities commence!

 StPatricksDayGlitterPhotoProps from liagriffith

Fun St Patrick’s Day party props by Lia Griffith

To really get your guests in the party mood, there’s nothing better than adding a little dressing-up fun for children and grown-adults alike. You don’t need to spend a fortune on shop-bought costumes when it’s just as easy to create your own themed fancy dress props! Simply cut out shapes and glue them to straws, chopsticks or even lollipop sticks. Use glitter card and coloured paper which can be bought from the scrapbooking section of any craft shop and cut out your shapes with scissors before taping or gluing to a stick on the back. Let you guests choose their props and have fun snapping photos of your pals wearing their moustaches and leprechaun hats!

shamrock pinata

Tutorial for making a mini St Paddy’s Pinata

You could entertain your guests at your Irish-themed celebration with a shamrock pinata. Fill it with chocolate coins from the ‘pot of gold’ and get your guests to take it in turns to be blindfolded and try to break the pinata with a stick. It’s a classic party game that all your friends and family can join in with and is so easy to make yourself – simply cut shamrock shapes from cardboard and cover with green tissue-paper strands.

To keep your guests hydrated at your party why not serve drinks in bottles with custom-made labels for St. Patrick’s Day such as these lucky Irish tags below? You can use bottles of juice or pop for the younger members of the family so that everyone can be involved in the festivities. Add green paper straws decorated with more shamrocks and you’ve got the party started!

 St_Patricks_Day_Labels from liagriffith

Drinks labels printables by Lia Griffith

I hope that these crafty ideas have given you inspiration for your own Irish themed St. Patrick’s Day decorations and if you have a party celebration perhaps you’ll make use of the printable labels and DIY pinata instructions in the links above to create your own custom-made party decor! Above all, drink responsibly and have fun with all your friends and family!


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Xmas Evolution: The making of the modern Xmas tree

I’m sure that many of us around the UK will be putting up our Christmas decorations this weekend and it got me thinking about the history of our festive traditions. The modern Christmas tree, and the way we decorate it, is the result of over 500 years of evolution. Check-out the timeline below to find out how the modern Christmas tree as we know it, from the real trees of medieval Europe to the artificial Xmas trees of today, came into being…

1400s. The ‘Paradise Tree,’ a fir tree hung with apples, appears in medieval mystery plays held on December 24th. These are to become the forerunners of modern Christmas trees in Europe.

1510. The first decorated ‘Christmas tree’ appears in Riga, Latvia.

1570. German guild members decorate trees with edible Christmas decorations of “apples, nuts, dates, pretzels and paper flowers” for their children.

1700s. Wax candles are first used on Christmas trees in Germany.

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1834. Prince Albert displays a Christmas tree in Windsor castle, creating a Victorian trend for indoor Christmas trees in wealthy homes.

1841. The custom of having indoor Christmas trees becomes widespread in Britain.

1882. Edward H. Johnson creates the first electrically illuminated Christmas tree and popularises the use of electric Christmas lights.

1902. Christmas decorations such as glass balls and small lanterns start to come into use.

1930. The first artificial realistic Christmas trees are produced in the USA. They are made by the Addis brush company, a manufacturer of toilet brushes, and contain realistic bristle brushes.

1947. Norway gifts a Christmas tree to the United Kingdom for its support during WWII. The tree is displayed in Trafalgar square and is now an annual tradition. The tree is decorated with 500 white Christmas Lights.

20th century – Artificial Christmas trees are now widely used due to their low cost and convenience. Around Two thirds of all Christmas trees in the UK are artificial.


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DIY Framed christmas decorations

You may remember that I previously discussed the new trend for framed Christmas messages as part of festive decorations and I have finally given in and recreated this look for myself in my home. There are loads of printable artworks available via Etsy or even given away for free on blogs – just take a quick look on Pinterest and you’ll find something you like. There’s a massive variety of styles, quotes and colours available so there will be something that matches your festive theme. I love the chalkboard look so I’ve used free Christmas printables from lovely interiors blogs The Shabby Creek Cottage and The Cottage Market. I printed these images A4 size and used some old white frames I already had to hang them in.

decorating with christmas art prints

Recently I got a new tool for precisely this job. It’s a Hardwall Takker and it allows me to hang my Christmas frames wherever I want by just winding the handle. I no longer have to get out the drill (or hubby for that matter!) when I want to hang a photo, I was impressed by how easy it was to use the Takker to hang my new festive prints exactly where I wanted them. I was drilling into the chimney breast wall, which is usually really hard to drill into, but with the Hardwall Takker I could easily manually drill into any wall surface, even exterior walls – so my next project is hanging some fairy lights outside! I’ll tell you one other thing I was impressed with – the tool collects all the dust where it is drilling, so I didn’t even have to move my sofa to avoid getting mess all over it because all the plaster dust was contained within the tool and I could tip it straight into the bin.

DIY decorating with christmas art prints using hardwall takker

The Takker came with pins that are pushed into the wall, without any need for plugs or screws and I could hang my pictures straight on them, although the tool set comes with a selection of hooks and hangers. I also got the Takker because I thought it would be a fantastic way of hanging my Christmas decorations in my living room. I wanted to recreate a Buddy The Elf white decorations scene so I needed to tack up strands of decorations, garlands and paper chains, and this tool made it super-easy to do so! Here’s how my festive DIY session turned out – I’m really happy with it :)

DIY festive decorating with christmas art prints using hardwall takker


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My vintage caravan ~ DIY pom-pom decorations

I’m planning a red and pink theme for my birthday celebration and have shared my ideas on the blog via this moodboard. One of the decoration idea that I was keen to replicate was hanging pom-poms, but I wanted something more permanent thank tissue paper, so I decided to use tulle to create fluffy pom-poms that can be used for this party and may possibly continue to decorate the caravan afterwards.

DIY pink tulle pompom decorations for party or christmas step by step

I used the standard pom-pom-making technique of using two pieces of cardboard together and threading the tulle through and wrapping it round until it was thick – similar to making wool pom-poms, which I remember doing as a child. Draw around a plate that is similar to the size you’d like your finished pom-pom to be and cut out 2 circles. Cut smaller circles in the centre of each and make a cut from the outside into the centre so that you can easily slip the cardboard discs off the pom-poms later. You don’t need to cut thin strands of tulle – it usually comes on 140cm width roll, so cut approx 25cm, so that you have a piece of tulle 140cm x 25cm and gather it up to wind it through the centre and around the rings. You’ll need to repeat this process with a second piece, so each pom-pom will use approx half a metre of tulle.

DIY pink tulle pompom decorations for party or christmas tutorial

I then cut through the tulle layers in between the middle of the cardboard rings and slipped a ribbon down between the cardboard and secured with a knot to keep the centre of the tulle pom-pom in place. I then took the cardboard hoops out and used the length of ribbon to attach the pom-poms to the roof of the caravan and around my window. I made 7 pom-poms and it took me less than an hour whilst watching TV so although I thought it would be a difficult task at first, it turned out to be fairy straightforward and now I’ll be able to make pom-poms for any occasion! I will probably be re-using the red pom-poms for my christmas decorations and add a few white ones too. Let me know how you get on if you have a go at making these easy pom-poms yourself :)

DIY pink tulle pompom decorations for party or christmas

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Show your festive flair – tips for creating the perfect Christmas tree

Christmas is a time of wonderful light displays: outdoor Xmas decorations adorn public spaces, and beautiful sprays of Christmas tree lights glow softly through netted curtains in residential streets. For some of us decorating the Christmas tree is an agonising experience; endless tangles of Christmas lights from years past, broken shards of Christmas decorations lurking in dusty boxes, and that smug neighbour next door with the oh-so-perfect tree mocking you gleefully through the living room window. Never fear, the simple tips below will help you to construct the perfect Christmas tree and make you the envy of all your neighbours.

Choosing your Christmas tree

Christmas trees vary in shape and size; you want a symmetrical tree with full, even branches. Buying an artificial Christmas tree will guarantee a regular shape – however be sure to bend the branches to cover any large spaces on show. I also add in green tinsel to fill the spaces around the ‘trunk’ so that the tree looks more realistic.

 cassies pics 235

One of my previous christmas tree ‘theme’s – red, white and blue

Placing your Christmas tree lights

Select smaller bulbs to properly accentuate your tree. When placing Christmas tree lights, start from the base of the tree and work your way upwards. The Christmas lights should be wound around every major branch; up to the tip of the tree and back down to the bottom, and slightly pushed into the branches to hide the cords. Buying an artificial tree with built in lights can save you time and effort.

Hanging decorations

Christmas tree lights should always be placed first, as a tree looks better when lit from the inside. Before placing any other decorations; add your Christmas tree topper. Putting this up first will stop other decorations falling off. Christmas decorations look best when you work with a common colour or styling theme. Space out your larger decorations first and then work down to medium and small decorations. Evenly spaced Christmas decorations will create a perfect-looking symmetrical tree.

Get your Christmas tree sparkling with artificial trees, Christmas decorations and Christmas tree lights from GardenXL.