How to Get a Real Fir Christmas Tree for Just £5…

Buy a £25 Christmas tree from IKEA before Christmas Eve and you’ll get a £20 shopping voucher to use any time from Monday 5th February to Monday 2nd April 2018.

How to get the pick of the bunch

You’re very lucky to get a 6-foot(ish) Fir Christmas tree for £5 at IKEA, they typically go for £40 in garden centres – but if you want the perfect Christmas, of course you can be choosy…

1. Measure the height of your ceiling

Remember, your real fir Christmas tree will be on a stand and will likely be topped with a decoration – so it needs to stand at least a foot below the ceiling.

2. Check your IKEA Christmas tree is fresh

You have two easy ways to do this. Pull a needle off and bend it in half, if it snaps in half, then you’ve found yourself a fresh tree. Also, fresh cut fir trees have flexible branches – but be careful that it doesn’t snap or spring back and hit you when you’re checking it.

Practical tips for decorating your IKEA Fir Christmas tree

Now for the fun part – there are no hard or fast rules for decking the halls, have it your way, but bear this in mind…

1. Cut 1 inch off the bottom of your tree trunk and get the tree in water quick

2. Position it wisely

Face the bare side towards the wall, keep it out of direct sunlight (which will discolour it) and away from heaters or drafts (which could make it wilt and lose needles quicker).

3. Fairy lights first, tinsel next, then everything else

Turn your lights on when you’re spinning them around your Christmas tree – when they’re lit up, you can see where they need to go and if you have any gapping dark patches.

4. Hang three of the same or similar ornaments in a triangle pattern

Only if you want to make it look balanced and easy on the eye, that is. For a more professional look, decorate your Christmas tree to suit your home and buy your baubles in batches to make your Christmas tree look well-co-ordinated – some of the best decorated Christmas trees follow a colour scheme.

5. Finished? Walk out the room for a few minutes

When you come back in and look at your IKEA Christmas tree with fresh eyes, you can make a few final tweaks – but don’t faff too much, you’ll never stop, and Christmas is stressful enough. It’s perfect enough as it is.

You can’t spend your £20 IKEA shopping voucher in the IKEA restaurant or the IKEA food store. Participating stores only, call IKEA to check offer availability at your local store.

Expert Wrapping Tips for Show-Stopping Christmas Presents

Buying thoughtful Christmas presents was the hard part, now it’s time to have some fun…

There’s an art to wrapping Christmas presents, but you could master it in no time, because some of our favourite bloggers have shared their wisdom – giving you creative tips and tricks for irresistibly good looking gifts. After all, why go to such an effort to find the perfect presents, only to fall at the final hurdle, by sticking underwhelming gifts under your Christmas tree?

It’s also well-worth remembering how to return your gifts to Amazon or to any other retailer, should Santa miss the mark this year.

1. Keep it colour coordinated

“Choose a colour palette or theme, starting with your wrapping paper and build around it buying colour coordinated gift tags, twine, ribbon and garnishes and don’t deviate from it. Choose a separate colour palette or theme for adults and children or by families to help easily identify presents and make things fun. Put clothes and oddly shaped, difficult to wrap items in a gift box before wrapping.”

Read the rest of Emily’s Christmas wrapping tips on her blog, My Petit Canard.

2. Go the extra mile for your fellow grown-ups

“When it comes to wrapping kids presents, I will quite simply just slap some sellotape on, leaving plenty of places for them to rip it open; I don’t think they really care what it looks like and just want to be in there! With adult gifts, I try to make them look a bit prettier. Nice paper, a sparkly gift tag, some shiny ribbon (all coordinating colours, of course); and nice creases in the paper!”

For more of Stacey’s Christmas wrapping tips, read her blog,
Nobody Said It Was Easy.

3. Design your own wrapping paper

“The boys used to love spending the Christmas holidays potato stamping my brown paper. Grab a stencil if you don’t feel artistic and some sparkly gold paint and voila you have stunning bespoke paper and happy children!”

For more Christmas wrapping tips, head to Lucinda’s blog, Bakes, Books and My Boys.

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“There are some beautiful ways to wrap presents if you have the time and the inclination. From homemade wrapping paper with the kids to using simple brown paper and ribbon… We do love making our own pine cone wrapping paper though, and it’s a fun thing to do with the kids. In fact, I even bought a big roll of lining paper to do this again next week with the kids.”

Take advantage of Rachel’s Christmas wrapping advice on Coffee, Cakes and Kids.

4. Or experiment with materials other than paper

“Make the wrapping part of the gift, this is not as crazy as it sounds, I love to use vintage scarves to wrap gifts, they look amazing, and there’s no waste after the gift is unwrapped!  Even if you don’t want to include bows, I think tying a present with ribbon makes it look so much prettier than one without. It also helps the present to stay wrapped up!”

VI Allen offers more Christmas wrapping tips on Dancing In My Wellies.

All images copyright My Petit Canard, published with permission.