MAKE presents Claire’s Christmas Crafty Club

3 Dec

This year MAKE is as giddy as a kid whom still thinks Father Christmas is real! I guess there are lots of reason’s for this, its not only MAKE’s FIRST ever Christmas, but it is my first Christmas with my husband. I also get two Christmas’s as I’m also visiting family and friends in the UK next week and get to stuff my face with UK goodness before coming home and spending my first Christmas with my family here in Amsterdam. Plus there is SNOW everywhere, how can anyone not feel Christmassy when its so romantic outside.

PLUS next week MAKE is holding a Christmas Work Shop.  And to get those already booked for Claire’s Christmas Crafty Clubinto the spirit, I wanted to send out some inspiration, if you are not joining us, shame, (there are still 4 x places) but to those feeling crafty and as festive and as excited about Christmas as me, this is also for you!!

Setting the Scene


What is Christmas without some great Christmas Songs! But not just any old Christmas songs, these have been found with vigour and love. Myself and my husband LOVE records and we love hunting through Vinyl and we found some real golden oldies, with a vintage retro twist. This is what we will be listening to when the needle drops next week:

Lou Rawls – Merry Christmas HO HO HO!

Jim Reeves – Songs of Christmas

Bing Crosby – White Christmas

What about a good ol’ sing song hey! Well cannot promise anything, but we are hoping maybe a lovely female musician will join us next week and sing some Xmas songs for us too!


The smells and tastes of Christmas also fill homes around the world, its comforting, and it’s food you get only once every year, so it makes it special! My favourite for a quick home back, smells and tastes gorgeous, plus you can always pop them in the oven quickly to re-heat if you have any drop in guests….is  Mince Pies!! Yum

Quick and Easy Recipe!

Star topped mince pies – Nigella Lawson


  • 240g/8oz plain flour
  • 60g/2oz vegetable shortening
  • 60g/2oz cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 orange, juice only
  • pinch salt
  • 350g/12oz Christmas mincemeat
  • icing sugar, for dusting
  • You will need a miniature tart tray, each indent 4.5cm/1¾in diameter, a 5.5cm/2¼in round fluted biscuit cutter and a 4cm/1½in star-shaped pastry cutter.

Preparation method

  1. Sift the flour into a shallow freezer-proof bowl, then add small mounds of vegetable shortening.
  2. Add the butter, shake to cover it, then place into the freezer to chill for 20 minutes. (This will make the pastry tender and flaky.)
  3. Mix the orange juice and salt in a separate bowl. Cover and leave in the fridge to chill.
  4. After the 20 minutes, empty the chilled flour and shortening mixture into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to make porridge-like crumbs.
  5. Gradually add the chilled salted orange juice, pulsing until the mixture is just coming together as a dough. Stop just before it comes together (even if some orange juice is left). If all the juice is used up before the dough has begun to come together, add some iced water.
  6. Turn the mixture out onto a clean, floured work surface and, using your hands, knead the mixture to form a dough.
  7. Divide and shape into three equal-sized discs (you’ll need to make the mince pies in three separate batches of 12, unless you’ve got enough tart tins to make all 36 pies at once).
  8. Wrap each disc in cling film and place into the fridge to rest for 20 minutes.
  9. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
  10. Remove a pastry disc from the fridge and roll out on a floured work surface thinly, but so that it will be sturdy enough to support the dense mincemeat filling.
  11. Using a fluted pastry cutter, cut out 12 circles a little wider than the moulds in the tart tins. Press the circles gently into the moulds.
  12. Place a teaspoon of mincemeat into each pastry case.
  13. Reroll any remaining dough to a similar thickness, then using a star-shaped cutter, cut out 12 stars and place each lightly onto the mincemeat filling.
  14. Transfer to the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the pastry is golden-brown. Keep an eye on them as they don’t take very long to cook.
  15. Remove from the oven, prising out the little pies straight away and placing onto a wire rack to cool. Allow the empty tray to cool down before repeating the steps from step 10. Repeat until you have made 36 mince pies.
  16. Dust the mince pies with icing sugar and serve.

For those not in the UK, if you cannot be bothered to make your own mincemeat, all good British Stores, will supply this around Christmas.


I think the Girls that will be joining the crafty work shop will indeed be looking forward to a festive drink. So MAKE will be making some home made spiced Mulled Wine. Let the creative juices flow……


An easy mulled wine recipe for the festive season, brimming with Christmassy aromatic citrus spice.


Preparation method

  1. Put the wine in a saucepan with the orange, sugar, bayleaf and the spices.
  2. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Taste to see if you want the wine sweeter, and add more sugar to taste.
  3. Off the heat, stir in the sloe or damson gin if you are using it.
  4. Strain into heatproof glasses and serve at once.


Christmas is about having fun, so as host I will be wearing some kind of Great or BAD Christmas Knitwear to help get you all in the spirit. For those that would like to join me, search for those retro Christmas jumpers, or just some great winter knit wear can be fun too.

WOW that is some Knit Wear!!


I have a thing for pom poms at the moment, and I think they are kinda retro in a kitsch modern way and there is so many things you can do with them for Christmas. Depending on the colour they can look like multi coloured snow balls, you can use them for hanging as wall decorations, tree hangings, adding to your home made Christmas stockings, Christmas cards, Chritmas presents and table decorations. And they are so easy to make and you can make them as small or as large as you want to. And you can even buy ready made felt ones in the shop!

And Materials for making pom poms can be anything, traditional wool ones are great, but you can also use string, ribbon, and old strips of material. So its a great way to use up old clothes, scraps of material and ribbon that you may have lying around.

ALTERNATIVE Christmas Decorations

I love a bit of tinsel and you cannot go wrong with fairy lights. But there are a lot of cheap crafty ways you can decorate your house at Christmas with a bit of creativity and it is fun! Here are some ideas.

Make your own Christmas bunting with Christmas fabric or old Christmas wrapping paper!

Letter tree hangings, made out of biscuits! YUM!

Everyone loves a good ol’ sprayed pine cone at Christmas, make your own cone Christmas tree forest table decoration!


We ll love them young or old, believer or none believer, we all hope to have our stocking’s filled at Christmas, ooh er! And what better way to encourage it than making your own home made Christmas Stocking to hang. This will be BIG at Crafty Club, and MAKE plans to have traditional and none traditional. Think ROCK STAR boots, Cowboy Boots, Ladies glamourous shoe, or even one for your pet dog! I know my dog Mr Parker International Dog Of Mystery will be expecting a stocking!

So get crafty and MAKE your Christmas decorations, its fun adn unique and you can always use them again next year.

Anyone in Amsterdam that is still interested in Crafty Club next week please email me

Or if you are interested in any other Creative Workshops maybe MAKE can help and inspire you.

Girls, see you next week!


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