With the relatively mild climate and sunny weather in Toulouse, it’s safe to say I haven’t been feeling the increasingly intense Christmas spirit that I usually do in the UK. The result is that when visiting home for my birthday last weekend, a whole 2 months worth of Christmas build up hit me like a Coca-Cola lorry and got me right in the mood for the UK tradition of constant cold, jam-packed supermarkets and pretending to like brussel sprouts. #LoveEngland
As a result, the first thing I set out to do when I returned to Toulouse was to Christmas-ify our apartment. Living however on a limited year abroad budget meant that I couldn’t really afford to spend masses on Christmas decs, so with the help of the 2 euro shop around the corner from me (I suppose this is Frances equivalent to Poundland), a big cup of tea and the Michael Bublé Christmas album, I spent the evening covered in glitter and actually managed to thriftily decorate the house with Christmas cheer for about 25 euro. Let me show youuu (click the images to enlarge!).
Upon approaching our flat you’ll find some tinsel along the bannister held in place with Blu-tack.
Our Christmas tree of choice is a palm-tree-like house plant that lives in our hallway, we decorated him with 2 euro lights to give a cosy ‘I’m home’ feeling as you enter the hallway. I might attach some baubles to him later on as well to make him extra festive.
Next to our
palm Christmas tree, we also have some paper Christmas trees, made lovingly from Airbus staff magazines (read prior of course). I actually really enjoyed making them as it’s super therapeutic to fold all the pages with Coronation street on in the background and really easy to do. (Find how here).
Our kitchen is the main social hub of the flat so it goes without saying that most of the Christmas cheer has to go here. My house mate beat me too it and made a snowflake masterpiece on the window which is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen, and I hung some pine cones along the mantelpiece.
I must say that I did wing it a little when I was putting this together. I bought the tinsel, baubles and ribbon from the 2euro shop and went foraging like a forest girl near my work for the pine cones. The difficulty is that since the pine cones don’t really have stalks, it’s really hard to attach the ribbon to them, however where there’s a will, there’s a way, and so here they are, suspended on a piece of tinsel kind of how I had envisaged (WIN!). This evening I had to laugh as I found myself watching video tutorials of middle-aged women teaching me how to tie a bows and the like; rest assured they’ve better bow creating skills than I.
More Airbus Christmas trees and handily a bowl of my house mates satsumas to go with the rest of the decor, I’d like to get some cloves and more ribbons to make some Pomander balls with them at some point – best smell ever.
Apologies for the bad quality photo by this is my rooooooom! Tinselfied to the max and ready to part-ay.
I don’t have a lot of space to put things on in my room, so I decided to use my mantelpiece as the Christmas ‘hub’ of the room. On the right side I included yet another Airbus Christmas tree (did I mention how much I enjoyed making those…?), along with a make shift bottle-branch-bauble creation which I sprayed with fake snow, and a little glass filled with baubles and bells and tea lights (yes Mum I swear I’ll be careful with them). For some reason at work one day we also got a free bag of whole walnuts (?!), and so I’ve put them in a little bowl and am trying so hard not to eat them yet.
In the fire-place I had loads of leftover pine cones from the kitchen, so originally I just popped them there until I thought of something to do with them however I think they actually look quite nice there?!
Over to the left side of my room I’ve hung what is simply a coat hanger with pine cones hanging from it. I don’t care what anyone says but I like it, although it did fall down in the middle of the night last night and woke us all up which I KNEW would happen, so I’m going to have to think of a way that isn’t Blu-tack to fix it to the wall. Beneath I’ve put all my lovely birthday cards (thank you all!) as because my birthday is quite close to Christmas, they are almost a usual part of the Christmas decs for me.
Overall considering that we didn’t spend masses I think the apartment looks pretty damn good. To give you an idea this is pretty much all we used:
- Pine cones – free
- Glasses + Bottles – already in the house/free
- Walnuts – free
- Magazines – free
- Paper for snowflakes – free
- Coat hanger – already in the house/free
- Tinsel, lights, ribbon, glitter, snow spray, tea lights – all from the 2euro shop
If you’re looking for inspiration I would definitely point you towards Pinterest, there’s some great bits on there and it gave me a few ideas for decorations on a student budget. It’s really just about having a look around you and working with what you have rather than going out buying lots of things, I think if any time Christmas is the time you can be a bit rustic and quirky, so go with the unobvious! Click the logo below to take a look at my ‘Festivities’ board!
Ciao for now 🙂