handmade christmas 2017

Unwrapping ornaments in soft, crumpled paper that my mother wrapped and unwrapped one million times, treasures that never lose their magic, the ceremony of their yearly appearance, that is most of the reason to Christmas the tree.

And I love it, my dear norfolk pine, all festooned and twinkling.

handmade christmas

moon tree topper

I skipped the tree last year. Got too busy, got the flu, and it didn’t happen. It almost didn’t happen this year. The big crash in October left a wake of disruption and chaos that is still not over. But as soon as I got the boxes down and saw familiar things peeking from that tissue (Christmas tissue is not like other tissue, something special happens to it) I felt inspired to do it.

handmade wrapping paper

Wrapping paper was next on my Christmas list. I decided to make my own and be super simple about it. I’m splattering plain newsprint paper (I always have a huge roll around for packing and shipping) with red paint. I’m also using plain brown paper and twine, red hemp and baker’s twine and a little green tissue left over from last year.

handmade wrapping

I like it. It’s simple and sweet and I spent zero dollars. I love an elegant economy and there will be more on that in the new year.

Merry and Happy to you,


  1. Ann, finding you blog has been such a gift this year! Inspires me endlessly. This January I’m giving myself permission to make sweet things from your patterns – for me. I’ve been busy making my own things for our shop, so those intentions have slipped away.
    My husband and I are excited at this great suggestion here – next year we’re taking the brown paper we have rolls of for framing, etc and splattering it with red paint and glitter and wrapping presents it it. Yes!
    Happy rest of your year and may 2018 bring you magical and wonderful happenings. –Mary Jo

  2. Thank you, Ann, for sharing your wonderful, cozy Christmas stuff with us. I totally agree about the tissue paper. I have some that’s been so handled, it’s so soft it’s powdery. And precious. Brown paper packages tied up with string…..doesn’t get much better than that!

    Holiday happiness! Let’s make new stuff in 2018!

  3. I love my Norfolk Island Pine, too. Before I moved to Oregon I had one that was almost 5 feet tall in it’s stand, but I couldn’t fit it in the car and my furniture was going to be stored for at east a month so I gave it to a friend. But I bought another when I got settled, just a baby, but it’s growing. The year I just put some twisty, antique-glittered icicles on it and it looks happy. Next year when it’s a bit bigger I’ll start adding the sea shells I used to put on the tree I had before. I gold leafed them and it was quite striking. And I know what you mean about the tissue wrapped ornaments. It takes something that fragile to wrap up happy memories. I always enjoy your insights, Ann. Thank you for sharing. And Merry Christmas and your followers.

  4. Sharyn Adams

    I find a person’s Christmas tree decor to be a reflection of the decorator. And yours is soft, gentle and delicate. I can image you curled up in a chair, happy stillness stitching away at something tiny and being happy as a clam. Quiet and gentleness are reflections of the holidays for me. I wish you a holiday filled with all the people and things that you love. May 2018 bring you joy and peace.
    Also hope to see you in June

    Love, Sharyn

  5. Your tree is delightful. Merry Christmas to you and yours and may you have a happy new year.

  6. Merry Christmas, Ann! Loving your moon-topped tree and paint splattered paper. Thank you for another beautiful year of sweet inspiration.

  7. Your tree and festooned fabric look lovely. I’m all for reusing/recycling/repurposing, especially since min and my husband’s ill-health has dramatically reduced our income, so I love your Christmas wrappings!

    Thank you for another year of fascinating blog posts and I’m looking forward to seeing more in 2018.

    I hope you have a merry Christmas and a fabulous 2018

  8. Brown paper packages tied up with string; this is all one needs for the magic to begin!

    Merry Christmas, Ann!



  9. Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year. Thank you for being so sharing about your artful life.

  10. I love your tree and the wrapping paper. Thank you Ann for sharing your wonderful creative life.
    Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year to you.

  11. Thank you, Ann, for your wonderful creativity on these pages you share with us! Your thoughts & ‘doings’ are so inspiring & lovely. May you have a warm holiday season filled with friends & family spilling into your newly minted home. Wishing you all the best!

  12. I love your tree Ann. I am planning on making your small sail boat pattern from your tutorial as the ornaments for the grandchildren next year. It has been a long tradition of giving ornaments as gifts to each child every year.When they leave the nest they have a box of their own Christmas treasures to decorate their trees.
    This year we had a smaller tree than usual and I wasn’t able to put on all the ornaments. It was hard to choose as they all have special memories from the past. Thanks for continually inspiring me with your delightful creations. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  13. Maureen Willetts

    Thank you for everything this year, love the tree and agree about unwrapping from the much used tissue all the special little decorations.
    A very happy Christmas from us all here I n the UK.

  14. Suzanne Lee

    I’ve spent my quiet Christmas time making your wonderful mushrooms! I’ve so enjoyed it and hope you might soon make a songbird pattern, at least the basic shape. Love your blog and patterns as I always seem to have everything on hand to make them. I how to post pics soon for you. Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

  15. Judith Ballard

    Thank you, Ann, for your inspiration over the year. It’s always a joy when your emails pop up. May 2018 be good to you!

  16. adorable every thing you wright and make.so deep and simple.thank you for sharing.Best wishes.

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