Hours Of Fun Craft Countdown To Christmas. Make Your Cork Reindeer – 1 Day To Go!

Hours of Fun are counting down the days until Christmas by sharing a different Christmas activity each day.  Starting on the 13th December with the last post being published on Christmas Eve.

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me………A super cute cork Christmas reindeer!

Make your own Cork Reindeer.

Glitter pipe cleaners catch the light
Glitter pipe cleaners catch the light. Made by Chris

As it is Christmas Eve I wanted to pick a Christmas activity that was lots of fun and doesn’t require lots of equipment and tools.   Make your own Cork Reindeer is lots of fun and fantastic for the kids and adults to get involved in.    I learnt about these delights when my friend sent me a picture, saying look what we have made in work today.  I thought they were fantastic and looked a lot of fun to make so I placed my order for corks (although you could open a bottle of wine for the occasion!) and decided I would put a little kit together to take with us on our Christmas visiting.  We are going to get our nieces and nephews involved in some cork reindeer making and take enough supplies for the adults can make one too as I am pretty sure they will want a go!

To make 1 cork reindeer you will need

What you will need
What you will need

1 x cork

2 x pipe cleaners

1 x small pompom (or you can use tissue paper or tinsel)

2 x googly eyes (or you can draw them on with a pen)

Glue

Scissors

I have always had a pretty decent craft kit however since having a stock room in our spare room I am lucky enough to have easy access to lots of supplies.  I had everything I needed already in, although I had to head to the stock room for some pipe cleaners and my friend got my corks from Wilkinsons at a bargain price.  If you don’t have one of the items listed above see what alternatives you can find about the house.

To make a cork reindeer

Cut the pipe cleaner you are going to use for the Reindeer’s legs in half.  The wrap each pipe cleaner around the cork, twisting at the bottom to secure to make the legs.  Shape the pipe cleaners to help it stand up.  Wrap your other pipe cleaner around the front of the cork, twisting at the top to secure.  You can then shape your pipe cleaner into the Reindeer’s antlers.  Glue the google eyes in place and stick on the nose – hey presto you have made a cork reindeer.

You will need it to dry for a while to make sure the eyes and nose stay in place.  Then stand it on the fire-place or tie some string around it and hang it from your free.  It you use glitter pipe cleaners they will twinkle in the Christmas tree lights.

Hours Of Fun Craft Countdown To Christmas. Make your own wreath – 2 Days To Go!

Hours of Fun are counting down the days until Christmas by sharing a different Christmas activity each day.  Starting on the 13th December with the last post being published on Christmas Eve.

On the 11th day of Christmas my true love gave to me………A beautifully decorated Christmas wreath!

Make your own Christmas Wreath.

Last year we decided to make our own wreath to add to the decorations around our house, so I headed out to buy some plain wreaths that were ready for decoration.  It is another Christmas craft that is super fun to make and you can be imaginative and creative as you wish, using all sorts of different things such as ribbons, fabrics, lights, embellishments, twigs, berries, pine cones…..Have a route through your Christmas box and craft box and talk a walk round your garden or head out for a winter walk and see what you find.

You can buy wreaths of different sizes and shapes, made from all sorts of materials such as grapevine, wicker, plastic, polystyrene and you can make your own.  You can buy ready made wreaths from craft shops including Hours of Fun! garden centres, local high street shops and maybe even at your local supermarket.  You need to choose the right wreath for your design and need.

We have an artificial one on our kitchen door decorated with bows, presents, flowers, pine cones and a set of star lights and it looks fantastic.  We also have some 4″ round grapevine wreaths, left plain that we use as candle holders and one we have made into a Christmas tree decoration.  The mini wreaths can be decorated and attached together to create a garland or unique decoration and the larger ones can make beautiful festive centre pieces and provide a fantastic greeting if placed on the front door.  In American Christmas movies they often have massive, decorated wreaths in offices and homes as a centre piece to a room.

You can use glue, thread and jewellery wire or garden wire to attach things to your wreath, make sure you don’t leave anything sticking out the front of the wreath and if using glue allow it to dry before hanging your wreath up.  You can buy hangers made for your door or use a nail, just make sure it is secure and isn’t going to fall on someones head!

Go for it!  Head to your garden and see what you can find, then clear a space and get crafting with your wreath and create the perfect addition to you Christmas decorations.  Pop down to see your local Christmas tree shop as they often will give you a bag full of tree cuttings for free.

Hours Of Fun Craft Countdown To Christmas. Make your own wreath – 2 Days To Go!

Hours of Fun are counting down the days until Christmas by sharing a different Christmas activity each day.  Starting on the 13th December with the last post being published on Christmas Eve.

On the 11th day of Christmas my true love gave to me………A beautifully decorated Christmas wreath!

Make your own Christmas Wreath.

Last year we decided to make our own wreath to add to the decorations around our house, so I headed out to buy some plain wreaths that were ready for decoration.  It is another Christmas craft that is super fun to make and you can be imaginative and creative as you wish, using all sorts of different things such as ribbons, fabrics, lights, embellishments, twigs, berries, pine cones…..Have a route through your Christmas box and craft box and talk a walk round your garden or head out for a winter walk and see what you find.

You can buy wreaths of different sizes and shapes, made from all sorts of materials such as grapevine, wicker, plastic, polystyrene and you can make your own.  You can buy ready made wreaths from craft shops including Hours of Fun, garden centres, local high street shops and maybe even at your local supermarket.  You need to choose the right wreath for your design and need.

We have an artificial one on our kitchen door decorated with bows, presents, flowers, pine cones and a set of star lights and it looks fantastic.  We also have some 4″ round grapevine wreaths, left plain that we use as candle holders and one we have made into a Christmas tree decoration.  The mini wreaths can be decorated and attached together to create a garland or unique decoration and the larger ones can make beautiful festive centre pieces and provide a fantastic greeting if placed on the front door.  In American Christmas movies they often have massive, decorated wreaths in offices and homes as a centre piece to a room.

You can use glue, thread and jewellery wire or garden wire to attach things to your wreath, make sure you don’t leave anything sticking out the front of the wreath and if using glue allow it to dry before hanging your wreath up.  You can buy hangers made for your door or use a nail, just make sure it is secure and isn’t going to fall on someones head!

Go for it!  Head to your garden and see what you can find, then clear a space and get crafting with your wreath and create the perfect addition to you Christmas decorations.  Pop down to see your local Christmas tree shop as they often will give you a bag full of tree cuttings for free.

Hours Of Fun Craft Countdown To Christmas. Make Your Own tree skirt – 3 Days To Go!

Hours of Fun are counting down the days until Christmas by sharing a different Christmas activity each day.  Starting on the 13th December with the last post being published on Christmas Eve.

On the 10th day of Christmas my true love gave to me………A beautiful handmade Christmas Tree Skirt!

Make your own Tree Skirt

For the last 4 years we have talked about needing a Christmas tree skirt for our Christmas tree, we feel it would be the finishing touch to our tree and look gorgeous covering the tree trunk and stand.  Last year I made a mini tree skirt for the little tree we have in the dinning room but the main tree is still waiting!  However this year we have made a start and it will be finished before the end of the festive season, it may just be after Christmas Day!

I have chosen not to provide full instructions and design – mainly because we are yet to make ours, but also because you are free to choose your own design and can even chose different ways to make the main section.  I have therefore providing ideas and suggestions to get you started and there is picture in the gallery showing how to make a tree skirt.  They are super easy and can be as detailed or simple as you wish.  The most important part of making a tree skirt is to pick your material and ensure you have enough of it.

To make the skirt

For the small tree we cut out a circle approx. 45cm in diameter and the large skirt is approx. 1oocm in diameter.

You can use any type of material, although we recommend using something with a bit of weight to it, so it holds its shape.  If you go for quite thin and flimsy material it is likely to sag around the tree.  We have used fleece for both of ours and for the large skirt we have done 2 layers as I plan to sew on decorations and I therefore wanted to back the fleece to hide any stitching etc.  For the backing layer I have chosen red upholstery material which is thicker and heavier.

For cutting out a neat circle I used a technique I have learnt from cake baking, when lining a round cake tin with grease proof paper.  Draw the circle onto a piece of paper, then fold it in half, half again, then half again.  Cut along the line you can see on this section, then when you open it up you will see your circle.  To cut out a circle from your material, use your paper template.  You need to ensure you cut a circle from the centre, this is where the tree trunk and stand will go.  I used my paper template, folded it back up and cut it into a smaller circle, I then laid this on my material and cut round it.  You then need to cut once through your material from the centre in a straight line to create an opening.

Decoration time!

You can decorate you skirt using material, gems, felt, cotton wool, beads, embroidered patterns, sequins and much much more.  Have a route through your sewing box and christmas box to see what you can find.

For the small tree skirt we used my Sizzix Big Shot Machine to cut out snowmen, Christmas tree, stocking and snowflakes out of sparkly organza white material and machine sewed them on.  For the large tree skirt I am not quite decided!  I can’t decide is I want a centre piece at the front with minimal decoration around the skirt or for a full on Christmas scene all the way round!  I think I may try some quilting to create a Christmas scene, building up the layers and using other materials such as felt and fleece to create depth and texture, however this will require some time and new skills so we will see…..!

There are photos below of the tree skirts so far and other decoration techniques used on Stockings that would look fantastic on a tree skirt too, however if you want to be inspired further then simply pop ‘Christmas tree skirts’ in to google and check out the images it brings up.

To ensure your tree skirt stays in place put some sort of fastenings  on the edge of the material where it meet.  I used velcro and it can be sewn or stuck in place.

Hours Of Fun Craft Countdown To Christmas. Make Your Own Stocking – 4 Days To Go!

Hours of Fun are counting down the days until Christmas by sharing a different Christmas activity each day.  Starting on the 13th December with the last post being published on Christmas Eve.

On the 9th day of Christmas my true love gave to me………A homemade Christmas Stocking!

Make your own Stocking

Everyone loves to have a stocking for Christmas.  You can hang is from the fireplace as a decoration or put it at the end of the bed for Santa to fill on Christmas Eve.  You can buy all different types from lots of different places however you can also make your own and personalise it and they are pretty simple to make.

We have made stockings for presents that we fill for each other with little stocking filler gifts and we have also made smaller ones we hang as decorations in the lounge to add to the Santa’s grotto look we go for!

First thing you need to decide is how big you want your stocking.  For this example we will do the same size stocking as the larger ones you can see in the pictures.  These are big enough to put little gifts in, however you can follow these instructions and make a stocking the size of your choice.

Stocking size in this example – 40cm long, 15cm diameter across the top opening with a toe approx. 20cm in length.

We advise you read through all the instructions before starting to make your stocking.

You will need

Material – Fleece or felt is perfect for this project

White trim – fleece, fur etc.

Needle and thread (sewing machine optional)

Scissors

Pins

Pencil and Ruler

Large sheet of plain paper / grease proof paper

Coloured material for decorations

Embellishments for decoration 

Piece of ribbon approx. 7cm long

How to make your stocking

Step 1 – Draw out the shape of your stocking onto the paper using a pencil and ruler.  Remember what ever size you draw the stocking, it will reduce by approx. 2 cm when sewing it together for the hem.    

The stockings we made would therefore be approx. 32cm long, 17cm wide at the top and 22cm long in the toe.  You can decide on the shape of the stocking giving it a curly toe, straight toe, equal width all the way down or allowing it to get slightly narrower nearer the foot.

Step 2 –  Cut out the stocking drawn on paper and pin it to your large piece of material.  Make sure you position it so you can cut 2 stocking shapes out.  Also make sure your pieces will fit together if the material you are using has a right side and wrong side.

Step 3 – Cut out 2 stockings using your paper template, then remove your paper template.

Step 4 – Decorate your stocking.  We cut out shapes in coloured and printed Christmas material and made a Snowman and Christmas tree.  You can then sew or glue the pieces in place.  

Things to think about – are you going to have a front and back?  If gluing the pieces in place make sure you leave it to dry.  When positioning them make sure you leave enough room along the sides to allow you to sew the stocking together.

Step 5 – Cut out the white trim for the top opening of your stocking.  In this example you would need a piece of white material 32cm long and 14cm wide. 

Step 6 – Pin your stocking together ready for sewing.  Firstly place your stocking pieces on a flat surface right sides together and pin the long side of the stocking.  Open up the 2 attached pieces and place your white trim in place for the top of the stocking.  We folded the white trim over the top of the stocking so it provided a trim both inside and outside to give a neater finish.

Step 7 – Decide where you wish for the ribbon to go which will be used to hang the stocking and pin in place.

Step 8 –  Sew the white trim in place, sewing all along the bottom line of the trim all the way round the top of the stocking.  Make sure you sew through the white material and stocking material.

Step 8 – Making sure the stocking is inside out, pin the other sides of the stocking together and sew all the way around, ensuring you sew through all the trim and ribbon making it secure.

Step 9 –  Turn the stocking the right way round and if needed give it an iron to flatten it out.

Step 10 – Hang in place and fill with presents.

 

If you have any problems or questions about making a stocking please get in touch and we will help in anyway we can.

Happy Christmas crafting!

Hours Of Fun Craft Countdown To Christmas. Make Your Own Stocking – 4 Days To Go!

Hours of Fun are counting down the days until Christmas by sharing a different Christmas activity each day.  Starting on the 13th December with the last post being published on Christmas Eve.

On the 9th day of Christmas my true love gave to me………A homemade Christmas Stocking!

Make your own Stocking

Everyone loves to have a stocking for Christmas.  You can hang is from the fireplace as a decoration or put it at the end of the bed for Santa to fill on Christmas Eve.  You can buy all different types from lots of different places however you can also make your own and personalise it and they are pretty simple to make.

We have made stockings for presents that we fill for each other with little stocking filler gifts and we have also made smaller ones we hang as decorations in the lounge to add to the Santa’s grotto look we go for!

First thing you need to decide is how big you want your stocking.  For this example we will do the same size stocking as the larger ones you can see in the pictures.  These are big enough to put little gifts in, however you can follow these instructions and make a stocking the size of your choice.

Stocking size in this example – 40cm long, 15cm diameter across the top opening with a toe approx. 20cm in length.

We advise you read through all the instructions before starting to make your stocking.

You will need

Material – Fleece or felt is perfect for this project

White trim – fleece, fur etc.

Needle and thread (sewing machine optional)

Scissors

Pins

Pencil and Ruler

Large sheet of plain paper / grease proof paper

Coloured material for decorations

Embellishments for decoration 

Piece of ribbon approx. 7cm long

How to make your stocking

Step 1 – Draw out the shape of your stocking onto the paper using a pencil and ruler.  Remember what ever size you draw the stocking, it will reduce by approx. 2 cm when sewing it together for the hem.    

The stockings we made would therefore be approx. 32cm long, 17cm wide at the top and 22cm long in the toe.  You can decide on the shape of the stocking giving it a curly toe, straight toe, equal width all the way down or allowing it to get slightly narrower nearer the foot.

Step 2 –  Cut out the stocking drawn on paper and pin it to your large piece of material.  Make sure you position it so you can cut 2 stocking shapes out.  Also make sure your pieces will fit together if the material you are using has a right side and wrong side.

Step 3 – Cut out 2 stockings using your paper template, then remove your paper template.

Step 4 – Decorate your stocking.  We cut out shapes in coloured and printed Christmas material and made a Snowman and Christmas tree.  You can then sew or glue the pieces in place.  

Things to think about – are you going to have a front and back?  If gluing the pieces in place make sure you leave it to dry.  When positioning them make sure you leave enough room along the sides to allow you to sew the stocking together.

Step 5 – Cut out the white trim for the top opening of your stocking.  In this example you would need a piece of white material 32cm long and 14cm wide. 

Step 6 – Pin your stocking together ready for sewing.  Firstly place your stocking pieces on a flat surface right sides together and pin the long side of the stocking.  Open up the 2 attached pieces and place your white trim in place for the top of the stocking.  We folded the white trim over the top of the stocking so it provided a trim both inside and outside to give a neater finish.

Step 7 – Decide where you wish for the ribbon to go which will be used to hang the stocking and pin in place.

Step 8 –  Sew the white trim in place, sewing all along the bottom line of the trim all the way round the top of the stocking.  Make sure you sew through the white material and stocking material.

Step 8 – Making sure the stocking is inside out, pin the other sides of the stocking together and sew all the way around, ensuring you sew through all the trim and ribbon making it secure.

Step 9 –  Turn the stocking the right way round and if needed give it an iron to flatten it out.

Step 10 – Hang in place and fill with presents.

 

If you have any problems or questions about making a stocking please get in touch and we will help in anyway we can.

Happy Christmas crafting!

Hours Of Fun Craft Countdown To Christmas. Make your own Shortbread – 5 Days To Go!

Hours of Fun are counting down the days until Christmas by sharing a different Christmas activity each day.  Starting on the 13th December with the last post being published on Christmas Eve.

On the 8th day of Christmas my true love gave to me………A basket of homemade Shortbread!

Make your own Shortbread

My husband has recently discovered he can make amazing shortbread – another reason he makes a fab husband!!  He has been mastering the technique and can now produce a batch of evenly baked, delicious in taste, Shortbread rounds.

You can make Shortbread without rice flour, however we have found that a recipe with rice flour listed makes an improved shortbread.

Ingredients – make approx 15

150g unsalted butter cut into small pieces

100g caster sugar

180g plain flour

55g rice flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

pinch of salt

How to make the Shortbread

oven temperature – 170 degrees C

  1. Grease two baking sheets
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until combined
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt and add to the mixture
  4. Mix well with a spoon
  5. Using your hands bring the mixture together to form a dough
  6. Roll out the dough between two sheets of grease proof paper until approx. 7mm 

The grease proof paper helps it roll without sticking, Kev then uses a smoothing tool to finish it off.

  1. Using your round cutter, cut out circles.  Decorate them using smaller cutters, cocktail stick anything you have to hand and get creative!  Then place them on the greased tins approx. 2cm apart
  2. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes
  3. Leave to cool for a few minutes on the tray then cover them in caster sugar
  4. Eat them!

Christmas baking makes fantastic gifts for people.  We are putting together bags of goodies for people this year, last year we did Christmas cakes and mince pies.  It makes a fab little extra gift for people, it helps to keep the costs down and most importantly it is handmade with love by us for all our friends and family and nothing can beat that 🙂

Back to Mince pies for an update!

2 days ago we explored making your own mince pies and mincemeat.  Since then we have made more mince pies using different techniques and I wanted to share them with you.  Apologies it is not shortbread but its more Christmas baking to get you inspired!

Hours Of Fun Craft Countdown To Christmas – Make your own Santa hat. 6 Days To Go!

Hours of Fun are counting down the days until Christmas by sharing a different Christmas activity each day.  Starting on the 13th December with the last post being published on Christmas Eve.

On the 7th day of Christmas my true love gave to me………A handmade Bright red Santa hat!

Make your own Santa hat.

A couple of years ago I made Kev a Santa Hat made from red fleece with a white fluffy trim and a white fluffy ball for the end.  This Christmas the hat has disappeared so we needed a new ones making and what better day to make Santa hats than Christmas Day part 1!

It took us about 2 hours to make three Santa hats, using red fleece, white fluffy trim and a wool pompom for the end.  We had a large pompom and a small pompom already made and used the pompom set (available at Hours of Fun!) for making the third pompom.

Please ensure you read through all the instructions before starting. 

How to make a Santa Hat

You will need:-

Pencil and Ruler

Scissors

Red Fleece  approx.1  metre square

White fluffy material approx. 1 metre x 20cm

Needle & Thread (Sewing machine optional)

Wool and pompom template or ready-made pompom

Any embellishments you require – bells, sequins, printed Christmas designs

PDF version of Santa hat guidance sheet

Step 1 – Check the size of your hat

Measure around your head and add 4 centimeters, then divide by 2. 

e.g. head measurement = 60cm + 4cm = 64cm / 2 = 32cm

As a rough guide for a children’s hat 34cm for an adult’s hat 36cm

Step 2 – draw the hat on the fleece/material

Using a ruler and a piece of chalk/pencil draw a line to the length measured in step 1. Do this on the reverse side of the material.  Then draw 2 more lines to create a triangle.  The taller your triangle, the longer your hat tail will be.  See the diagram.    Step 3 – Cut out your triangles

Cut out the triangle.  Use this as the template for a second triangle then cut this out so you have 2 triangles the same size.  You can also use a piece of paper to draw out the triangle then place on the material to cut out the shape.

Step 4 – Sewing

Lay the 2 triangles, right sides together and either by hand or using a sewing machine, sew the 2 triangles together along each side.  Sew approx. 1cm in from the edge

Step 5 – Cut out the trim for the hat

Decide how deep you want the trim to be, we did it 5cm.  Cut out 1 piece of white material the full length of the hat.  The trim is made in 1 piece to wrap all the way round the hat.  In this example the size cut was 64cm x 5cm

Step 6 – Sewing

Position the white material around the hat and pin in place,  leaving approx. 1cm to be turned in along the bottom edge.  Turn the hat inside out and sew the white trim in place along the bottom and the top and across the join, see diagram for guidance. 

If you need to make a pompom why not treat yourself to the pompom tool available at Hours of Fun.  They are fun and easy to make.  You just need wool and a pompom template.

Step 7 – attaching the pompom

Once you have a completed pompom you will need to sew it to the top of your hat.  Using a needle and thread securely sew it to the top of the hat.  If you can, add a long piece of wool to your pompom by wrapping it round the pompom and tying it in a knot so it is hidden.    You can then feed this through the top of your hat and secure it on the inside.

Step 8 – embellish and decorate as desired

If you want to add anything else to your hat now is the time.  You can sew bells on to it, sew sequins or anything else you have designed.

Step 9 – Wear with Christmas spirit.

Wear your Christmas hat with pride!

We would love to see any pictures you may have of hats you have made or if you use these instructions.  We would also love to hear from you if you spot any errors or mistakes in these insructions so we can amend them and make sure we provide people with accurate steps in making a santa hat.

Hours Of Fun Craft Countdown To Christmas – Christmas cards. 7 Days To Go!

Hours of Fun are counting down the days until Christmas by sharing a different Christmas activity each day.  Starting on the 13th December with the last post being published on Christmas Eve.

On the 6th day of Christmas my true love gave to me………A handmade Christmas card!

Make your own Christmas cards

Making Christmas cards is one of my favourite things to do for Christmas, although I often leave it a little late in starting them, it then becomes a race against the Post Office posting dates to make sure they get to people in time!!  I set a reminder this year at the start of November to get going on them, but it seems I ignored it!  I need to come up with a more effective reminder system for next Christmas!

You can have a lot of fun making Christmas cards and you don’t need to be an expert artist or crafter, you just need some glue, scissors, old Christmas cards, card blanks and some coloured paper or card and off you go!

You can recycle your old Christmas cards and make some fantastic new ones.  Cut out the pictures on the front, you can also cut out the verse or greeting printed inside the card and use this on your  new card creations.  Layering a card up is a simple technique that produces a fantastic finish.  Using sticky pads for this works really well to give it depth.  You can cut out a shape a little smaller than your card in coloured or Christmas printed paper, then using your recycled card topper build up a picture. 

One thing I have learnt recently is that some of the layered cards can become too thick to send as a normal letter and you will have to pay the extra to send it as a large letter.  It is worth baring this in mind when you are sticking them together.

My favourite purchase last year was a pad of Christmas printed paper.  I have used it for loads of things and it has been cut up and stuck on lots of cards.  Printed paper brings a stylish look to any card, and you can layer it up with a pieces of plain coloured paper or card to produce an effective design. 

I have used rather a lot of felt shapes for this year’s cards.  I have a little felt obsession and can cut through felt using my Big Shot cutting machine and am slowly building up a fab Christmas cutter and embossing selection to use with the machine.  With the combination of Christmas printer paper, a simple purple heart can be made into a feature on a Christmas card.

This year I have also had a lot of fun making Christmas characters with pipe cleaner and then attaching them onto cards using a needle and thread.    You can make snowmen, reindeer, Father Christmas and anything else Christmassy.  If you then cut out a piece of card or paper slightly smaller than your card blank, attached the pipe cleaner figure on to this sheet using a needle and thread, don’t forget to stick the ends of the thread down with some sticky tape.  Once attached you can then stick your pre-cut card/paper onto you card blank and der der!!  You have hidden your sewing leaving a neat finish and have made a super fun card to give someone.

I love receiving hand made cards and always keep them as I have a box upstairs that I put all hand made cards into.    Each year the number we receive seems to be increasing too which I love even more.  Apologies to those of you who will be receiving a Christmas card from us as there is a chance you will see it here before you receive it!!

Hours Of Fun Craft Countdown To Christmas – Mince pies. 8 Days To Go!

Hours of Fun are counting down the days until Christmas by sharing a different Christmas activity each day.  Starting on the 13th December with the last post being published on Christmas Eve.

On the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me………Some scrummy home made mince pies!

Make your own Mincemeat and Mince Pies

Last Christmas we decided it was time to make our own mincemeat.  We love making mince pies and Kev now makes the pastry so it seemed only right that we should make the mincemeat.  It was set as a January task.  Late on in November I decided I should really start buying the odd jar or two ready for Christmas baking, only to get home and remember about the jars we had put away 10 months ago!  I love it when that happen.

I used Delia’s recipe for mincemeat, click here to visit her site for the recipe.

You can have a lot of fun making mince pies as they are simple and if you don’t want to make it all at home you can buy ready to roll shortcrust pastry usually found in the freezer or fridge sections and jars of mincemeat ready to use.    You can make them different sizes by using different muffin tins and decorate them in all different ways.  You can do lids in the shape of a star or other shapes so you can see some of the mincemeat through the gaps or do full lids and decorate them with shapes using small Christmas cutters.

To make mince pies, roll out your pastry to a thickness of 3mm.   Grease your tin.  Using cutters to match the size of your tin cut out circles and place them as the pie bases. Cut out your lids – match your cutter to the size you are making.  Spoon mincemeat on top of each pie base, brush the edge of the pastry with a little milk/egg mixture and place your lids over the top, sealing them around the edges using your finger.

Bake them in an oven for 15-20 minutes, keeping a close eye on them to ensure they don’t brown too much.  Let them cool then sprinkle with icing sugar and eat!