Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog – Saving money every day with DIY crafts, sewing projets, low-cost recipes & shppping tips


Wahey! My recycled fabric wreath project is featured in Oxfam newspaper!

I had a lovely surprise this week when I flicked through the winter issue of Oxfam newspaper: my festive wreath project has been featured in the publication! Of course, Oxfam had been in touch earlier this year to ask permission to use my content and, seeing as I’d created it for the Oxfam Fashion blog in the first place, I was happy to oblige.oxfam-newspaper-feature-cassiefairy-felt-wreath-project-diy-christmas-festive-1In fact, I was over the moon! It’s amazing to think that my little thrifty project is being printed in a real newspaper and distributed to Oxfam customers, volunteers and donors all around the country. Wow, I’m so chuffed!oxfam-newspaper-feature-cassiefairy-felt-wreath-project-diy-christmas-festive-3DIY fabric wreath for Christmas - step by step tutorial-10The feature contains step-by-step photos to show readers how to use scrap fabrics and ends of ribbon to make a funky Christmas wreath. I loved creating this project, enjoyed sharing it on my blog and on the Oxfam website, and now I’m absolutely thrilled that it’s been immortalised in print! Woo!oxfam-newspaper-feature-cassiefairy-felt-wreath-project-diy-christmas-festive-1-2You can find this project and all my other blog posts on my Oxfam blogger profile, and while you’re there, have a look around the Oxfam fashion blog and read all the interesting finds and projects that the other volunteer writers have been working on.


Christmas DIY ~ Snowy Mantlepiece Garland

When my hamper of festive craft goodies from Country Baskets arrived last week for the Festive Face-Off craft challenge, I was completely stumped as to what I should make to decorate my home for Christmas. I had all kinds of ideas in my head for festive decorations but I had no clue what my mystery parcel would contain so when I unpacked the ‘ingredients’ I needed a little bit of head scratching time before I launched into my seasonal craft project.DIY christmas decoration mantlepiece garland ideas-11 Continue reading “Christmas DIY ~ Snowy Mantlepiece Garland” »

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Simple guide to creating a festive door hanger

Today I’ve enlisted the help of  Tracy Rowbottom, a top designer at Country Baskets, to share a fabulous festive DIY article on making a door hanger. Not just a wreath, this door hanging is a great way to decorate your entrance for Christmas and it’s a really thrifty option! You can use decorations and candle rings that you already own to create a unique door hanging to welcome guests to your home during December. Here is the step-by-step guide that Tracy had created to help you make your own door decorations this Christmas:

1) Take two small floral candle rings and wire together, back to back.

country baskets door hanging step 1

2) Tie a long piece of rope cord to the top, to create a handle. Make a ribbon band around the centre and tie into a bow on the top to hide your mechanics.

country baskets door hanging step 2

3) Repeat with two large decorative candle rings. Next take one small floral candle ring and tie a rope hanger and bow on top.

4) Cut three pieces of ribbon approx 10cms and secure one to the top of each Christmas decoration with the rope hanger.

country baskets door hanging step 3 and 4

 5) Lay all the components out on the table, starting with the smallest on the bottom, finishing with the largest at the top. Tie firmly with a knot on the top when you are happy with your placements.

country baskets door hanging step 5 and 6

6) Tie a rope loop and make a bow to secure on the loop. To finish tie the bow and rope loop to the top of the hanger and cut off any loose ends.

country baskets door hanging

And here’s a photo of the finished door-hanger! What do you think? Will you have a go at making this for yourself? Please send me your photos if you do! Tweet me @Cassiefairy or leave me a comment below. And check out the Country Baskets website to buy crafting supplies and Christmas decorations to include in your own festive project.



Deck Your Door: DIY snow drift Christmas wreath

I can’t wait any longer. For me, Christmas starts right here. I’m going to be decorating my house next weekend and I don’t care who knows it! I’ve already got a couple of new decorations to add to my Christmas tree and I’m ready to spread tinsel wherever I go. The one thing that has been missing from my festive display for the past couple of years is a decent wreath for my front door and all of the off-the-shelf ones that I see in the shops are not quite right. Don’t get me wrong, they are super-pretty and I’d be happy to have any of them hanging on my door but I’m rather picky about the colours, the size and the adornments and I think I would feel more satisfaction from crafting my own wreath and get exactly the look I was hoping for. When I heard about the ‘Deck Your Door’ challenge I jumped at the chance to put my ideas into action and I started planning my new door decoration immediately. Deck the Door DIY snow ball christmas wreath-12Deck the Door DIY snow ball christmas wreath

For the past couple of years I’ve been decorating the ceiling of my hallway with white fairy lights, paper snowflakes and white baubles to give the impression of falling snow. It’s definitely been inspired by the decorations that Buddy hangs up in the toy store in one of my favourite Christmas films ‘Elf’ and I want to make it look like the walkway into Santa’s grotto. So based on my existing hallway decorations, I thought that I should try to make my own snow-covered wreath as the centrepiece for my Lapland-esque entrance and to give an idea of what’s to come behind the door!

Continue reading “Deck Your Door: DIY snow drift Christmas wreath” »


DIY fabric Christmas wreath & my favourite decorations

Christmas starts here! As soon as bonfire night has finished, that is the start to my festive season. Some may say it’s too soon, but I’ve already had to hold myself back from watching Christmas films and singing carols. Okay, I’ve already done a little bit of Christmas shopping and I did actually watch the a couple of TV Christmas specials on DVD during the half term holiday… And I’ve been buying the ingredients for my Christmas cake (recipe post coming soon!). So even though I’ve tried not to let Christmas take over my life completely, it’s been creeping in and now I can finally let my festive feelings run wild! DIY retro fabric bunting for Christmas - step by step tutorial vintage christmas bunting from dotcomgiftshop

So today I’m kicking off with a quick tutorial for making my own fabric wreath. I actually intended to make this wreath last year so really I’m just 12 months behind rather than ahead. I wanted to create a red and blue fringed wreath to match my new festive ‘Vintage Christmas’ bunting I got from the DotComGiftShop last year. I love the retro pattern and decided to use this design as the basis of a whole red and blue theme for Christmas. I bought the polystyrene ring from a craft shop last year (I think it was The Range or somewhere similar) for around a pound and I’ve decided to wrap this in red, blue and pink strips of fabric to make a matching decoration. DIY fabric wreath for Christmas - step by step tutorial Here’s how to do it yourself: Choose a few pieces of fabric in your favourite festive colours and cut these into long thin strips. The length of these really depends on the thickness of your wreath ring so measure around the circumference and then double this measurement. This will give you enough fabric to wrap around the wreath and knot in place.DIY fabric wreath for Christmas - step by step tutorial-3 DIY fabric wreath for Christmas - step by step tutorial-4 Tie on your fabric strips in alternating or random colours and textures and continue adding the strips all the way round to create a bushy, frilly, full wreath. I used a mixture of red fleece, tulle, blue cotton and the bunting fabric to create my wreath, with the tulle giving it a spiky fullness. DIY fabric wreath for Christmas - step by step tutorial-5 DIY fabric wreath for Christmas - step by step tutorial-6 At the top of the wreath wrap a long piece of ribbon around the top and knot in place to use as a hanging loop. Next tie a second piece of ribbon over the top of this one and knot before tying into a pretty bow to finish off the design. DIY fabric wreath for Christmas - step by step tutorial-10 DIY fabric wreath for Christmas - step by step tutorial-13 I think my homemade wreath will look great with the retro bunting and I’m planning to lay my festive table with red placemats and my favourite collection of baby-blue ‘Grey Dawn’ crockery. I picked up a little deer table decoration from a pound shop last year too and his colours coordinate with the vintage red and blue scheme perfectly so he’ll be the ideal table centrepiece. If you want to recreate the ‘Vintage Christmas’ look for yourself (or even want to go for a different coordinating look, such a Christmas carnival or 50s Christmas), check out the Christmas shop at DotComGiftShop for a whole range of festive designs in everything from biscuit tins to gift wrap. The ‘Vintage Christmas’ doilies and napkins are on my wish list to finish off my festive table for Christmas dinner and I’m definitely in the mood for Christmas now – bring it on! What do you think of my home-made wreath? Will you have a go at making one yourself this year? Please leave me a comment below and I’d love to see your photos if you make one! DIY fabric wreath for Christmas - step by step tutorial-12 DIY fabric wreath for Christmas - step by step tutorial-9


New interiors trend ~ Decorating your home for Autumn

When the leaves begin changing and the pumpkins start arriving in the stores it can only mean one thing: it’s time to start decorating your home for Autumn – or at least that’s the case according to Pinterest ha! It’s certainly a new trend here in the UK to start decorating your home for Autumn in much the same way you’d decorate for Christmas. In America (where they really do Halloween) is more of a regular sight to spot pumpkins on a porch or a burlap wreath on the door. And now this decorating trend has filtered over to Great Britain and pinners are going autumn-crazy! 

This season often means spending more time indoors and more family gatherings, so why not spruce up the table with a autumn inspired tablescape? And your fireplace mantelpiece is another great place to bring the season to life in your home, and you can create a beautiful tribute to Autumn with foliage and candles. These 25 blog posts (mostly US-based but equally helpful in getting the look for less!) will get you well on your way to decorating your house with seasonal decoration.:

Autumn fall decoration for front door from thistlewood farm blog

An autumnal entrance by Thistlewood farms

Make an entrance

You can easily create a welcoming front entrance by dressing it up with rustic finds and hanging a wreath on the door to bring some of those autumnal colours to eye level. With the abundance of harvest pumpkins and gourds available at both farmers markets and supermarket, you can easily add some colour and festivity to the entrance of your house. For added texture and height, complement the pumpkins with hay and corn stalks. Tuck in some fallen leaves to bring all of the colours together and you have a solid start to decorating your entrance.  For more ideas, read these five blogs:

Hang it up

You don’t want all of your Autumn decorations at ground level, so you can make (or buy) an autumn wreath to add to your door. Wreaths not only are a pretty decoration, leading seamlessly into Christmas, they can also help to capture the scents of the season when you add in cinnamon sticks, dried apples and pinecones. To learn how to make a wreaths and other hanging decorations, check out these five blog posts:

Tabletop Ideas

If you have a formal dining room table that you don’t use every day, you can dress it up for the season. A festive table runner adorned with pumpkins, foliage and candles will capture the season, allowing you to bring Autumn right into your home. These five blogs will get you started on creating a harvest-inspired tablescape:

autumn fall pumpkin decorations from confessions of a plate addict

Fabulous fireplaces

Once the nights start cooling off, you may want to gather around the fireplace with your family. The mantel ideas in these five blogs will help you decorate your fireplace. Candle sticks and lanterns can add some height to your mantelpiece arrangement and if money is tight, simply use branches from the garden tucked into a vase you already own.  Be creative and get inspired by these blog posts:

The warmth of candlelight

There’s something warm and inviting about candlelight, and you can find many scented candles that capture the very essence of Autumn to add to your decorations. Whether you are adding a decorative candle element to an existing tablescape or to the mantel, you can try some of the ideas that are covered in these five blog entries. Fill the bottom of a hurricane vase with a few inches of acorns, coffee, field corn or dried beans to create a bed for your candle to sit in. The warmth from the candle will also cause an earthy fragrance to be given off while the candle burns. No matter how you choose to use candles, there’s no doubt that it will add coziness to your home:

Thanks to all the blogs featured above for all their crafty inspiration for Autumn and massive thanks to for their help with creating this article! 🙂

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