10 Simple DIY Christmas Decorations Made From Nature!

FRIDAY friends, FRIDAY! And this weekend is going to be a cosy one - I can feel it! Not only did we have our first little flurry of snow in Malmö today (it didn't settle, but still...), the first Sunday of Advent is a hop, skip and a jump away which means we can start to decorate our homes for Christmas - OK, we all know I've already started but now it's official! This year I'm planning on making my own decorations. But there's a catch. I'm time poor and well.... I'm not super great at DIY. Also, it's still early in the game and I kind of like to start with subtle decorations - and then gradually build up to the big day. Sound familiar but on board? I've scoured the web for the prettiest, most simple Scandinavian DIY Christmas decorations I could find. Here are ten of my favourites - and they're all made from nature and super quick and easy to make! Ready to deck the halls with boughs of.... pinecones, fir tree branches and dried orange garlands?! Let's dive in!

1. These pretty fir tree stars / snowflakes look so pretty in the window. Use a little thread or thin wire to bind them together to form a star, add a little ribbon and they're ready to hang!

Beth Kirby
2. Sometimes it needn't be more complicated than a few sprigs from a fir tree and an old rope (beautiful rustic barn door optional!).

Bjørn Johan Stenersen
3. Little fir tree branches tied together with gardening twine - hang vertically or across wall to bring a wintery feel and a sweet smell of pine to your home!

4. I have pinecones all around my home at this time of the year - but I don't have any strung together as Christmas decorations. Time to get on the case, don't you think?

Weekday Carnival

5. A branch in a vase - why complicate things? (OK, you could throw in a candle and an ornament or two too).

Kelly Brown
6. Orang garlands are surprisingly easy to make, smell divine and if they look as pretty as the one in this picture, I'm all in! There's a great tutorial here

7. Got a few dried orange slices left over? Use them for pretty Christmas tree ornaments like A Clean Bee.

Louise Roe Copenhagen
8. I think I might have shared this one before, but hey, it's so pretty and so timely with the first Sunday of advent coming up that I couldn't resist including. A tray, 4 block candles and a load of cinnamon sticks, mini pinecones and eucalyptus branches is all that's needed!

9. Moving one step on from number 2 - this fir tree branch has been spruced (sorry!) up with a garland of wooden stars (source similar here*) for a subtle, festive display.

The Merry Thought
10. This one is kind of like number 3 (OK, very alike!) - but slightly more formal arrangement and I like the way it's been hung. Pine needles at the ready... here's the tutorial.

I hope you found some of these ideas inspiring and it's given you a little inspiration for the weekend!

There's load more Christmas DIY, decorating and home tour inspiration in this archive! And here's the link to the Swedish Christmas snöblomma DIY again (in case you missed it!).

I'm so looking forward to a toasty few days here in Southern Sweden and rumour has it that the sun might come out for the first time in weeks.

Have a cosy weekend friends!


*This post contains one or two affiliate links which means if you click on an item and buy it, I might earn a very small amount of money - perhaps enough for a pepparkaka ginger snap biscuit with my tea!

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Simple Easter Table DIY: Bunny Ear Napkins

If you're looking to do something a little extra this Easter but don't have much time - these bunny ear napkins are so easy to make and look super cute on the table!

- Square napkin (any material - even paper works!)
- An egg (you may like to opt for different colours for each place setting). 
- String or ribbon
- Scissors (for cutting string)
- Baby's breath or other pretty flowers (optional!)


And that's it! Five minutes and you'll have an entire table of bunnies!

Here are mine in action on our Easter table.

Wishing you a lovely Easter break!

PS I'll be back here early next week. 

PS Don't forget to enter the spring give-away to win a TRIWA watch!

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Is Embroidery the New Avocado Toast?!

In my Lagom book I talk about the importance of swapping screen time for analogue activities such as reading, writing a diary and handiwork before bedtime in order to feel more relaxed, doze off quicker and enjoy an improved quality of sleep. So you can imagine how excited I was to see embroidery popping up more in the social media sphere! Pinterest, Instagram (6 million hits!), blogs, DIY magazines, you name it. For those of you shuddering as you cast your mind back to a cold classroom with pricked fingers - fear not, we're talking embroidery with a modern twist and a Swedish start-up has you covered! Founded by Sofia Magnusson, The Folklore Company combines the digital world with old school cross stitch embroidery, meaning that anyone who hasn't done a cross-stitch since primary school can still enjoy the mindful activity and create something wall-worthy too! How fab is that?!

When Marielle at The Folklore Company first approached me I was quick to notice you can buy ready made embroidery patterns too - the 'busy' person in me was incredibly tempted! But then I realised I'd be missing out on the whole relaxation side  plus I'd never find out if embroidery truly was the new avocado toast! I fired off a mail with my concerns and was assured: "it’s really not hard to embroider your own, it’s a little time consuming but a very soothing activity, which is made even more cozy with a cup of tea."

Being a Brit, she had me at the tea. Here's how I got on:

1.  Selecting the pattern. The Design Editor offers a large variety of patterns ranging from more traditional flowers and lace to swallows, hearts and even unicorns! I went for the The Malta pattern - which is one of their best sellers since it's a relative simple pattern (best not to run before I crawl!). 

2.  Selecting the colour: I opted for the pewter grey thread, which I'm really pleased with. On the home run I exchanged one of the birds for a pink thread which I found at home. I think it added a nice little twist do you?!
3. Adding your text, favourite quote or poem: (remember the longer it is the more hours it will take, but then again, the task is not meant to be rushed and March is one looong month!). 
4. Choosing the text style: I chose the Primus Script as I kind of wanted the juxtaposition of the modern quote with the traditional lettering.
5. Ordering the kit: The embroidery kit contains everything you need to get started right away including a needle, fabric, yarn and pattern but I kind of got carried away and ordered the pretty peacock scissors (was tempted with the Eiffel tower ones too), a wooden embroidery hoop, and a thimble!

6. The process: I was so grateful for the very straight forward instructions and the embroidery was truly therapeutic (it's a perfect activity for a long journey, wiling away a few hours at the weekend or simply kicking back in the evenings!).

Once finished I placed the fabric in a black frame and hung it on my bedroom wall! I have to say, I'm so happy with the result!

Keen to make your own? All the information you need to get started is right here
- and the fab team are offering you 15% discount with the code: 15%SCANDINAVIAN up until 31st March. You The Folklore Team girls rock!

Don't forget to share a picture of your masterpiece using the hashtag #folklorecompany, we'd love to see it!

Thank you to the fab girls at The Folklore Company for setting me on the embroidery path and sponsoring this post - I'm already wondering what pattern to create next. Something for my daughter's room perhaps?! Watch this space!

Photography credits: 1 (montage) & 2 courtesy of The Folklore Company / 3, 4 & 5: Niki Brantmark - My Scandinavian Home.

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A Norwegian Bedroom Gets a Budget Make-over

Welcome to the second post in the before and after mini make-over series in association with Builders Bay (a builder's little black book for all things needed to renovate your home). In the first we looked at the fabulous transformation of a Miami penthouse (I'm still dreaming, are you?!).  But of course not all renovations need to be on this scale, sometimes you simply want to pep up a room without investing too much time and money, right? So today, I thought we'd go a little closer to home: and take a look at the beautiful bedroom of  blogger, photographer and visual storyteller Katerina Dima in Oslo, Norway. Katerina was looking to add warmth to a fresh white room and allow the history of the 1850 building to sing - all on a shoe string budget. I caught up with her to get the low down!

Who lives in your home?
Me (Katerina Dima), my husband and our cat Milo (who is largely undocumented on my social media because she sleeps and rests in the most ridiculous and unflattering positions. If I was running a comedy instagram account I think she would be a total hit.

Sounds to me like he could be a #CatsofInstagram star?! The  interiors you show in your blog are simply stunning, do you work in the world of interior design?
I am a trained architect with a masters in renovation and restoration, although now I work full time as a freelance photographer / visual storyteller for brands in association with my blog Only Deco Love and instagram

Ah, what great skills - do you find that you're constantly updating your home as a result?
We are renting but have carte blanche on any renovations. This was the reason I was allowed to completely change the look of the bedroom and skirting boards plus paint the windows.

I see you have great bones to work with?
If I am not mistaken, the building was built around 1850. It's a really funny story, one of the most convenient things is a small and remarkably beautiful storage room right by our stairs (our apartment is the only one on the floor), and I thought, I was really lucky to have it. It turns out that in the 19th century these buildings had no toilet (our floor was made up of many smaller apartments) and the 'storage under the stairs' was the common bathroom. There's no evidence now this was a bathroom but I have the most elegant storage ever - I really shoot in it but it is super cold!

What were you looking to achieve with your bedroom renovation?
When we moved in, the owner had painted the entire apartment white. It is a beautiful old apartment with ceiling rosettes, very high ceilings, big windows and original floors that were painted grey - and I guess white made perfect sense as a neutral palette. However, no matter how I tried to style the bedroom specifically, it always felt unfinished. Really tall ceilings can have that effect. I didn't want to overwhelm it with furniture and decorations in order to impart some life into it, I prefer my living space minimal and clean, yet welcoming and warm. The solutions was to create layers with paint and skirting boards.

How did you envisage the paint to make a difference to the space?
The layers of paint would provide interesting transitions that would fit the old apartment and define the space between the floors and ceiling, but without making it too heavy.

How did you choose the colour?
I knew I needed to offset the grey-blue floors with beige, this way the resulting tone would be warm (blue hues give cooler results and I'm not a fan of cold hues in the bedroom). I am a big fan of the Jotun Lady beige palette, especially the darker colours.

What other renovations did you need to carry out to create your vision?
I installed new skirting boards.  

Did you have any challenges with these?
I knew I would have to do everything on my own (with my husbands help), or else it would be too expensive, and our budget was in fact our biggest challenge. Buying the big pieces for the new skirting boards/panels I needed was not an option after all due to the enormous price, so instead we opted for DIY. In Oslo we don't have the equipment to create our own panels (another obstacle), and this is where the idea came to me to buy simple small and relatively cheap skirting boards, and create the panels I wanted by means of an illusion. I  added the small boards 30cm above the previous one, nailed them to the wall and painted the old skirting boards on the floor the new board and the wall in between the same color . This creates the illusion of a single but quite bigger panel which gives the room an added desired layer while it brings a palatial feel, exactly the result I wanted! And honestly you can barely tell even when looking at it up and close. We painted 5 times over and over again so the wall looked exactly like the wooden boards, and that was the only difficulty. We used a saw to cut the boards in the length we needed and a plastic guide that we found in the same hardware store in order to cut the corners of the boards in a 45 degree angle. 

FYI - you can source different size skirting boards on Builders Bay here

 It looks beautiful! So calm! What colours did you use? 
I painted the skirting boards and the windows the same colour (Space 10678 from Jotun Lady in Supreme Finish Matt for wood panels) to give a sense of community, but also because darker windows appeal a lot to me lately. I painted the walls in a light beige / grey colour (Sommersne 1928 Jotun lady, super mat). The colour is described as not quite grey, it was exactly what i was looking for. I debated whether to paint the whole space the same colour along with windows and skirting boards but decided against it. I wanted to add layers and introduce interesting transitions. This is also why I didn't paint the wall all the way up to the ceiling, leaving a ribbon on the top in the previous color that matched the ceiling (white).

I love the effect of not painting the walls all the way up to the ceiling, can you tell us more?
Because the ceilings are so high I wanted to create layers so there would be interesting transitions making the room feel warmer.  I decided to create a bottom layer with the panels/skirting boards, a middle layer with the wall painted in a different colour, and finally an upper layer that stayed the same colour as the ceiling. This way there would be a natural transition from the white ceiling to the wall as there is no decorative ribbon, making the design feel deliberate rather than incidental.

 How long did the renovation take?
The whole room took us two days from start to finish after we had decided on the plan ( the boards took us about two hours to cut and nail to the wall, then filled any holes with a special white glue that gives a smooth finish ), and this was mostly waiting for the paint to dry. The costs were very minimal, and I feel if we did it, anyone can!

How would you describe the final look?
The style is very minimal and combines early century with contemporary Scandinavian accents. The building was built in the Neo classic era with modernist yet romanticism architectural influences, I wanted to keep the feel of it but also bring it into this century. I think the colours helped me achieve that, but also the details I chose to use in the form of art and furnishings.

And finally, do you have any tips for anyone looking to do the same?
If you want to lightly renovate a room on a budget, painting and creating “faux” panels is a great way (if it matches your spaces original architecture), and it can completely transform a room beyond your imagination. Come up with a plan and create a moodboard to help you out, but I would say my key learning  to be able to adapt your plan on the go while trying not to stray too far away from it. Also if I learned anything from this is that these things are much easier than they look , you will be surprised by how much you can achieve on your own and in a short time! So go for it :)

What a beautiful space. I love how the clean, calm look allows the period features of the building to stand out, how about you?

In case you're curious about any of Katerina's carefully curated pieces - here's a quick guide:

Get The Look

1. April 02 Poster
2. Skagerak - Georg Desk
3. Skagerak - Edge Pot
4. Mobil 100 pendant - Monika Mulder 2016
5. Spade Stool Black
6. Snowball Floor Lamp
7. Skagerak - Reflect Wall Hooks
8. FRAMA Adam Stools

Thank you so much for sharing your renovation with us Katerina!

You can follow all of Katerina's latest projects over on her beautiful blog Only Deco Love and instagram

Have a lovely day!

CREDITS: Photography and Styling: Katerina Dima / Only Deco Love


 * All words are my own, and I only ever work with brands and services I feel are of interest to my readers. Thank you for supporting the businesses that make My Scandinavian Home possible.

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My home: garden updates with Ryobi One+ System

What does your outdoor space look like? We have a small but cosy backyard, which after a little work has become our very own outdoor oasis. It still requires a little TLC here and there - for example last weekend we sanded down the table and made a new plant box out of an old discarded palette (link to tutorial below!). It's amazing what you can do with an old palette and Ryobi tools! For those of you not familiar with the company, Ryobi specialises in cordless tools, specifically the ONE+ System with which you can power over 50 tools with the same battery, which is super convenient (and they're sooo easy to use). The day turned out to be really therepeutic (who would have thought DIY could be so mindful?!) - and most importantly had so much fun! Oh and now we have a beautiful table and plant box too! Hope you like it! #feelingempowered.

1. The sanding

2. Our new plant box made from a disused palette (using a jigsaw and drill). 

Photography: Niki & Per Brantmark / My Scandinavian Home

You can see a great tutorial on how to make a similar plant box here

For now we've loaded the box with pretty heather (I love the autumn colours) but come spring, we'll be starting the new vegetable patch (inspired by the The Rurbanite)- wish us luck!

A quick guide to where other things are from: the garden table, chairs and candle holder are from ILVAplates and cutlery from Nordal, blanket from The Beach House.

Have a lovely day!

This post was sponsored by Ryobi. However, all words are my own and I only ever work with brands I love and trust and feel you will to. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who help me to create fresh and exciting content here on My Scandinavian Home!....And thank you Ryobi for my amazing new power tools!

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My big Easter DIY egg edit

Do you have any Easter holiday traditions? Every year the girls and I come to London to spend it with my parents (P stays behind in Sweden to get our boat ready for the season, which is actually one of the highlights of his year - men?!). Besides the annual Easter egg hunt (we like the trail at Ham House), the girls and I also love to decorate the home with handmade pieces. This year we're taking inspiration from these fab eggs (and a bunny napkin for the easter table - how cute is that?!)....

Will you be making any of these?! 

Just in case, here's how:

1 and 2: Love the cute bunny ear tiaras by Zwo:ste
3: Girl.Inspired made these fab eggs with gold glitter.
4, 5: The talented Elisabeth Heier describes how to make these pretty gold eggs here. And pretty eggs with feathers.
5: I'm loving these glam 'pendant' eggs by Lene Bjerre
6: These delicate flowers in egg shells are so simple yet so pretty.
6: This year's 'marble' effect eggs by Nina Holst
7:  Find out how to make these bunny napkins here.

Other Easter holiday links I love:

Easter DIY ideas from Sweden (that 'black egg' table decoration). 

Beautiful linen for your Easter table (buy similar here - or how about this linen one with ruffles - I know?!) 

Free printable Star Wars Easter Bunny Boxes.

Easter carrot cake, and the most delicious looking maple dijon roasted carrots

Veggie Easter 'nest' recipe.

Have an eggcellent (eh hem) day.....Back tomorrow with one of my usual home tours!

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