COLLECTION_ DIY’s for the holidays

With the holidays approaching rapidly, a little Christmas inspiration is in order! As some of you may know, I’m always spending the holidays in Portugal, which means that a Christmas tree seems like too much of a hassle.  However, that doesn’t mean I don’t like to get my home into the holidays spirit!  In this blogpost I’ve collected all kinds of inspiration, from gift wrapping ideas to alternative Christmas trees and from DIY ornaments to festive decoration ideas.  Have fun and if you do try one of these, don’t hesitate to send me the result in a DM!  I’d love to see what you come up with…

  1. Furoshiki is the Japanese art of wrapping a gift in a reusable material, such as a linnen napkin, or leftover cloth which can be used again and again.  It’s a no waste approach to gift wrapping that looks good and feels good too!  Learn how to do it here.
  2. Can’t find the kind of ornaments that you’re looking for? Then why not make them yourself!  Molly from Almost Makes Perfect explains how to make these hand ornaments yourself here.
  3.  This yarn and eucalyptus wall hanging by Poppytalks  looks (and smells!) especially great during the holiday season, but you can definitely keep it around a lot longer.   Discover the DIY here.
  4. Not quite ready to dress your home in green and red?  Try this subtle dry flower wreath by Paper & Stitch here.
  5. If you’re in it for the ornaments but not quite for the tree, this image by Sostrene Grene is a good solution.  A bare walls and some washi tape is all you need.
  6. Ana Morais elegantly combined dry flowers, brown craft paper (the most sustainable option when it comes to gift wrapping paper!) and furoshiki to wrap her gifts.  For more images of her excellent gift wrapping skills, look here and don’t forget to swipe.
  7. This wall hanging is the solution for those who don’t have enough space for an actual tree.  Find the DIY by Almost makes Perfect here.
  8. Abi from These Four Walls combined paper decoration and a foraged brand for a minimal and elegant christmas arrangement.  Have a better look  here.
  9. Zwoste used pine as tassles in this cream catcher, making it the perfect addition to a boho home for a subtle nod to the holiday spirit. Read more here.
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With the holidays coming up, I’m sure many of you are still stressing about what gifts to buy.  I’ve collected some of my favorite gifts, all available to order online so you won’t even have to run out the door to get them!  How’s that for relieving your holiday stress!  Once you’ve ordered these beauties, all there’s left to do is wrap them with a pretty paper… Lucky for you, I’ve got some inspiration for that here as well.  Now, get into the holiday mood with these christmas themed blogpost from my archive and go enjoy the holidays!

  1. “Micro-factories: move aside mr. Ford” by John and Masa Kleinhample from Klein agency talks about creative companies that combine traditional crafts with digital communication.  Get it here.
  2.  Rivet necklace in silver by anna + nina, buy it here.
  3.  Scented candle in spiced pumpkin by pommesfrites.  Order it here.
  4.  Handmade macrame wall hanging by Bermudadream, find it here.
  5.  The limited edition “Box of wonders” containing the “Wonders are collectible” book by Animaux Spéciaux’ Jeroen Lemaitre (who you might remember from this blogpost) and an original artwork by the man himself.  Purchase the giftbox here or the book here.
  6.  Kikkerland whiskey glasses and chaise longue whiskey stones to keep your drink cool without the watering disadvantages of normal ice cubes.  Get the glasses here and the stones here.
  7.  Soap hanger from Meraki in bamboo charcoal, sesame scrub or mangosteen, available here.
  8.  Cordon coffee roasts its coffee right here in Antwerp and delivers it at your or your loved one’s doorstep, while supporting my friends’ film project Echangeur at the same time.  Sounds like a win-win!  Get your caffeine fix here.
  9. “Wonderplants” shares the interiors of 20 plant lovers.  Find it here.





christmas cards via au pays des merveilles

Merry Christmas!  After spreading so much Christmas inspiration, I figured it was about time I showed you what I came up with myself this year. Above you see the Christmas cards I sent to my family this year.  I made them with some materials I still had lying around (blank cards, paper and cardboard scraps, alphabet stamps (from Muji), silver dot stickers and white and silver markers).  Really easy and cheap, but I like the result.

gift wrapping via au pays des merveilles

This is what my christmas gifts look like this year.  I used wrapping paper and an envelope from Hema, baker twine, black and white prints of my waterscape photos and labels made with Hema’s embosser (can you tell I’m a fan of the shop?)  I also changed the regular white cord on the envelope for baker twine to make it match the other presents better.

gift wrapping via au pays des merveillesall photos by me

… and a little collage to show you what my presents have looked like in the past.  (You might have seen some of these already on the blog or on the facebook page.)  Anyway, glad to see not only my gift wrapping skills but also my photography skills have improved!

Anyway, to spread even more Christmas cheer and to say thank you for reading this blog, I’m handing out a little present to one of you!  Check back tomorrow to find out more about what and how… now go and enjoy Christmas!

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christmas things that make me smile via au pays des merveilles

This year I’m spending Christmas with my parents and sister in my beloved Portugal, so no traditional christmas this year but we are making new traditions instead.  I’m not sure what to expect just yet, so that’s why I collected a little bit of christmas inspiration to get into the holiday mood… enjoy!

  1. I have to admit, traditional Christmas carols drive me nuts!  So that’s where this alternative christmas playlist comes in handy, with songs by The XX and The Knife among others.  Can’t go wrong with that!
  2. Confetti Ssystem designed this fun alternative for a traditional Christmas tree.
  3. Another alternative christmas tree, made out of bits of nature found outside.
  4. If you don’t have enough room for an actual Christmas tree, these pine branches in vintage cups are a good alternative!  (source unknown)
  5. Amazing Christmas ornaments by Ferm Living that shouldn’t be too hard to make yourself.  My next Christmas tree will definitely have similar ornaments!
  6. Emilie Voirin designed this minimal nativity set, for the design-loving believers out there.  (source)
  7. Quietroom is a British office specializing in brand analysis and worked their magic on the ‘brand’ of Santa.  (source)
  8. Yule Log 2.0 asks artist around the world to redesign the traditional yule log, resulting in an infinite loop of different animated logs.  Pretty cool!

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PRETTY THINGS: gift wrapping

PRETTY THINGS gift wrapping

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If you know me, you know that I love giving presents and I love wrapping them!  So here are my current favorite inspiration shots to help you get all your presents shining on time before Christmas.  Although I have to admit I had a very hard time choosing just eight!  Find more inspiration on my pinterest board, or in my archives.

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au pays des merveillesA beautiful and orginal christmas tree… in my hometown Hasselt!  I’m home since yesterday, so I’m hoping to find some time to check this out before I go back to Lisbon!  (source)



au pays des merveillesAn easy christmas dish, but it’s the reindeer toasts that make me smile in particular!  (source)


au pays des merveillesThe cost of the twelve days of christmas, designed by Kyla Tom.  (source)

au pays des merveillesBeautiful printables, like this cute reindeer with moveable legs and these ugly sweater gift tags.  Find more freebies on my pinterest!

au pays des merveillesAlternative for a christmas tree – cheaper and more environment-friendly!  (source)

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It’s the christmas edition!  I wish you all a very merry christmas and I hope this post gives you that last bit of holiday spirit that you needed. Enjoy!

1.  Gorgeous gift wrapping.  The more sparkle the better!  (source)

2.  Lovely self-made christmas decorations, you can check the DIY here.  (source)

3.  More pretty christmas decorations.  (source)

4.  Marlous’ last minute christmas gift guide, including this yummy hot chocolate in a jar.  (source)

5.  Quirky christmas cards.  (source)

6.  More pretty packaging ideas.  (source)

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