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Every day brings us a little closer to Christmas

One of the joys of Christmas is the anticipation as the big day creeps ever closer. Advent calendars have been helping us to count the days since the 19th century and in recent years designs have become more elaborate than ever. One type of advent calendar which has become a firm favourite is the homemade type, gifted from friends and family or created to capture the magic of Christmas year after year thanks to their reusable nature.

 Here the craft experts at Stars for Europe share two beautiful floral ideas that you can easily make at home.

Natural wall hanging

With its fir tree shape and cut poinsettia sprigs, this idea forms a beautiful, festive wall display in an on-trend boho style. Fabric bags bring pops of colour in contrast with the surrounding earthy colours and trending blush tones.

You will need: four birch twigs of different lengths, parcel string, 24 gift bags or material to sew 24 bags (cloth 12 x 38 cm per bag, pins, sewing thread, sewing machine), poinsettias, test tubes or miniature glass vases, paper for the labels and scissors.

How it’s done: tie the four branches evenly with string to form a square. At the top, there must be enough string left over so that you can hang the advent calendar later. Fill the 24 bags, write their labels, tie them with twine and attach to the branches. Fix the glass vases to the frame with string and hang. Fill the vases with water and insert cut poinsettias.

One by one ‘til Christmas eve

If you’re lucky, you might find an advent board in the shops – with 24 hooks and corresponding numbers. But you can also easily make it yourself.

You will need: to create this look you will need 24 small wrapped gifts, 24 hooks, baubles, branches/twigs, ribbon or twine, plus mini vases with cut poinsettia, to create this charming country-style advent calendar.

How it’s done: If you haven’t been able to get hold of an advent board, then creating your own could not be simpler. Simply position your 24 hooks on the board, and number each with paint or felt numbers of your choosing. Take each wrapped gift and tie ribbon or twin around it to make a perfect package. Make sure you create hoop with your ribbon or twine to attach each gift to a hook. Once in position, add the vases and fill with stunning poinsettia blooms, and branches or twigs for a truly rustic yet enticing design.

Florists’ tips of the trade

With enough water, cut poinsettias stay fresh for up to two weeks. For best results, first immerse the stems in hot water (60°C) for a few seconds immediately after cutting, then put them in cold water.