Collect things! Cones, conkers, shells, leaves, shells, sea glass, pebbles. You might not yet know how or when you’re going to use them, and they might sit in your home for years before coming into their own, but in the meantime you can always keep them in a bowl on your coffee table.



Guest soaps

Buy some squared off shape soaps. I got mine from good old Marks and Spencers – the Magnolia and Lily of the Valley ones smell delicious. Assemble some pretty gift wrap and ribbon. Wrap, and leave in a bowl to brighten up your guest room or put on top of folded guest towels on the bed for next time someone stays. I do realise that it’s utterly ridiculous to wrap up pieces of soap but hey, everyone likes a little surprise!

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Photo collage

Remember way back when you used to put multiple photos in a frame on your wall? Guess what? – it’s back in, as decreed by the Nomad Thief’s Mum, who did this one the other day, having decided she was fed up with having individual frames displaying all of us everywhere. The key as I understand it is not to be too OCD about it (not easy if you’re a fusspot fanny like me, I would probably make it into an endless project) – just sort your hard copy photos into eras or groups of people, and literally hack them up and stick them down and frame. We get a bit precious about which photos we display in our homes these days I think, and this somehow, made of reject photos that didn’t make it into the photo albums back then, has real soul.


Lavender bags

Assemble some net, some ribbon and some lavender. Cut net into circles, gather lavender in centre and tie up with ribbon. Voila! Apparently they deter moths. And even if they don’t, they look and smell nice – just pop a few in your drawers.

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Covered hangers

This is actually quite easy to do, if a little fiddly and time-consuming. Am afraid I forgot to take step by step pictures to illustrate. Get some wooden hangers. Assemble some old tights or any old fabric you don’t need and wind it round the hanger to pad it a bit. Stitch (by hand is fine, I did a plain running stitch) a sort of oblong of material around the covered hanger. You can then add any further ribbons etc as you wish.

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