Spending some downtime handmaking beautiful minimal Christmas ornaments just might be the low key activity we all need. With Christmas around the corner, our work slowing down for the year, it’s about time we took a little digital break too. Why making some Christmas decorations felt like the perfect end of year festive activity.
INSPIRATION CAN COME FROM ANYWHERE
Now, I am going to start by pointing out that this really was never intended to be a blog post. When I looked back at the photos I’d snapped at this workshop I decided I wanted to share them. I’d felt so inspired and got so much out of this little workshop that I wanted to share with you. Wait, I better backtrack! What is all this?
I was invited last week to Stackwood for a Christmas workshop with Pottery Barn and Westelm. I didn’t know what to expect but thought I could do with a nice morning break and to see what came of it. Plus, I’d yet to visit Stackwood– a space I had seen pop up on Instagram a number of times. It’s off the grid in the suburbs around Fremantle, boasts a coffee shop, plant shop and is home to a bunch of local creatives who have studios there.
MAKING BEAUTIFUL MINIMAL CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS
When we arrived, we met Simone, the owner of Winterwares, a ceramics studio nestled peacefully in the studios. Boasting natural light and the most beautiful Christmas candle scent. Instantly feeling more peaceful and calm, stepping into her studio made me inspired and excited for getting creative.
In a world focused on outcomes, Mindful Making Workshops are more about the process. The Winterwares studio has been created to be a calm and creative space, where you can experience the benefits of working with your hands.
Simone offers ceramics workshops year round, and I can definitely tell you it was fun and relaxing. I’d not played around with clay since high school and instantly fell back in love with it. The smell, the texture, shaping something by hand or with tools, it was so nice to put my phone away and chat while making something and not have a care in the world. There is a lot to be said about crafting something. It focuses your mind. I almost instantly fall into that familiar meditative state that I either get doing my daily meditations or when I draw or paint. Not thinking about stats, emails or to-do lists, the tasks all fall away.
The bonus, of course, being that at the end we all had beautiful minimal ornaments ready to go into the kiln and be collected later. My tree is already laden with white porcelain Christmas ornaments that are actually quite similar to these, but it will be nice to have some personal ones. I’ll have to share an update on my Instagram stories when I see the finished ornaments!
IDEAS FOR MAKING YOUR OWN ORNAMENTS
Art supply stores have different types of clay, so you can make something like this at home. If you can’t get to a similar workshop, you can always do a quick google search and find a kiln in your area that will fire your pieces for you for a low rate. It only takes a quick search on Pinterest for more minimal Christmas ornament ideas but some of my favourites are below. What would you make?
- Collect branches to decorate with. Try pine, silvery gum, Berzillia, babies breath, Grevillea, Australian natives, etc… Even a little dried out, branches make for beautiful table decorations or can be added to other ornaments, tied from lines of string, along the mantlepiece… the list goes on. Plus I love that you can just snap a little branch here or there without spending a lot! Just make sure no one is watching! hehe
- Make strings of white pom-poms or wooden beads.
- Collect pine cones and add them as ornaments to a tree with a bit of gold ribbon or place in a bowl or big glass vase. (We did this as kids, but we painted them and added glitter. I still remember making them!)
- Wrap presents with brown paper and a white ribbon then handstamp or write names and messages on the paper.
- Bake orange slices and hang as ornaments on the tree.
- Create strings of hand-cut cardboard Christmas trees or stars or snowflakes.
- Tie sticks of cinnamon with ribbon and a name card to put on the table as place settings.
- Line the table with a neutral linen table runner and or some napkins.
A LOW FUSS CHRISTMAS GRAZING TABLE
Our workshop finished up with a beautiful grazing table, glass of champagne and a cheeky bowl of organic ice cream from Kuld Creamery. I’ve been in a few times to both their Mount Lawley and Fremantle shops and it is always delicious. This time we were trying a classic chocolate and Christmas flavours Spiked Egg Nog and Laming Tim. So good!
A grazing table is such a nice idea for a Christmas party event too. No need to cook, just arrange some tasty cheeses, fresh berries and cold meats for people to serve up themselves. My kind of low fuss affair! Are you catering this Christmas? What is on your list? I’m opting to make a salad, nice and easy!
I honestly got so much out of getting a little bit crafty making these Christmas ornaments, it was such a nice way to unwind! Now I am already thinking ahead for next year! Let me know in the comments if you make your own ornaments or how you like to decorate! Are you all about colour? Or more minimal neutrals like me? Let me know!