Create Your Own | Christmas Table

Cox-Cox-Xmas-Table-Blue-ToneChristmas is everyone’s favourite time of year, and one of few special days where the whole family can get together.

Dining is at the centre of most festive occasions and we think your Christmas table should be extra special, follow our helpful guide to preparing an easy and impressive festive look >

1) Start with the basics

You don’t want to spend Christmas morning digging out mismatched plates for dinner, and there’s no need for fancy dinnerware that only gets used once a  year- but good quality, simple pieces make all the difference. Keep a headcount of everyone that’s coming to visit over the Christmas period and make sure you have enough unchipped, matching plates and glasses to cover all eventualities. Our Casa Dinnerware set and array of handy glassware means we have everything you need to be prepared for any occasion.

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2) Create a centerpiece

You can instantly transform a table for the festive season with a tabletop centerpiece. Add a bit of personality with our fill-it-yourself Glass Christmas Tree Jar, or soften the lighting with our Three House Tea Light Lanterns or Rusty Tea Light Lantern. If you are short of space, our Standing Deer or Small Fawn makes a sweet addition, or for those with extra room our small Frosted Light Up Tree really sets the festive scene.

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3) Name Places

Add the personal touch to your Christmas table with D.I.Y name place holders. Our Snowy Pine Cones look great popped on a plate with a piece of paper tucked inside them; an easy way to get a bit creative and set your festive table.

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4) Finishing Touches

Whether it’s the Christmas crackers, super soft napkins or decorative finishes, your Christmas table should exude festivity. Dust with Decorative Snow, scatter with our Mini Snowy Pine Cones or add a modern finishing with our miniature Black Rattan Stars.

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Decorate With | Six DIY Glass Baubles

Our set of six, high quality glass baubles each come with a hidden, handy 1cm hole that allows you to fill and decorate however you wish. Need a bit of inspiration? We’re here to help!

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We searched Pinterest for inspirational images to transform our simple baubles into festive displays. Sit on the mantelpiece, hang from the tree or hook together for an over the table centerpiece that is completely unique to you and your home.

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Look 1 > Natural

Get back to nature with your festive decorations by filling with sprigs of holly and winter berries from your garden, or a handful of our Pine Cone Table Scatters and some evergreen moss. We love these so much we think they could be left up all year round!

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Look 2 > Bright

Add a touch of brightness and sparkle to your Christmas with these three clever D-I-Y ideas. Fill with festive confetti, colourful sequins or make your own origami that unfolds in the bauble- we think these Christmas Trees and stars really stand out.

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Look 3 > Painted

Our DIY baubles are great for filling with festive delights, but they are also the perfect blank canvas for dip-dying, staining and painting for Christmas and all year round. We particularly love the lightly glass stained look- take a look here for DIY directions.

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Look 4 > Christmas Scene

We love festive traditions and think these baubles filled with miniature brush trees and decorative snow really set the scene- they would look great as name place holders at the Christmas table or hung together for a festive centerpiece.

Six DIY Glass Baubles X-6GLSBAUBWe’d love to see your photos of any DIY Cox & Cox products, share them with us via Twitter, Instagram or by emailing photos@coxandcox.co.uk.

*images found on pinterest.com

 

Decorate With | Birch Noel Letters

Enjoy 25% off and add a touch of cool Scandinavian style to our Birch Noel Letters with our easy DIY ideas >

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What you need 

>  1 x Birch Noel Letters (use code DIY for 25% off!*)
>  1 x White Paint and brush- we used radiator enamel for high gloss finish
>  Masking tape
>  Tape measure
>  Pencil
>  Stack of newspaper

What to do  

> Measure each letter and draw a line across the half way pointIMG_0180

> Cover the top half of each letter with masking tape, ensure it is completely covered and the bottom line of tape is straight

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> Ensure work surface is completely covered by old newspaper before painted to avoid over spray

> Paint each letter and apply a second coat once dry before leaving overnight

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> Carefully peel tape of each letter (some loose birch may also peel away)

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> Use hooks on reverse to hang along wall or prop on mantelpiece or shelving

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We’d love to see your photos of any DIY Cox & Cox products, share them with us via Twitter, Instagram or by emailing photos@coxandcox.co.uk

 

* Code NOEL is for 25% off our Birch Noel Letters only. Valid until Midnight Friday 5th December 2014

Christmas Baking | Cranberry Mince Pies

December officially kick-starts the festive season, so we are celebrating with homemade mince pies! This year we’ve added a contemporary twist, take a look at our recipe for Cranberry Mince Pies >

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Pastry >
> 250g plain flour
> 25g icing sugar
> 125g unsalted butter
> 1 orange zest
> 1 medium egg, lightly beaten
> 1-3 tsp ice cold water

Filing >
> large desert apple
> zest and juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange
> 100g suet
> 240g raisins
> 110g diced dried apricots
> 175g soft dark brown sugar
> 50 flaked almonds
> 1 1/2 tsp ground allspice
> 1 tsp ground cinnamon
> 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
> 50ml brandy
> 50ml dark rum
> 150g dried cranberries

To finish >
> 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tsp water
> Icing sugar

METHOD

Make the mincemeat >
> Peel and grate apple into big bowl
> Add zest and juice of lemon and orange, followed by suet, raisins, apricots, sugar, almonds, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, brandy and dark rum
> Stir together well before covering and chilling for 30 minutes

Make the pastry >
> Add flour, icing sugar, butter and orange zest into food processor and blitz into fine crumbs
> Whilst motor is running, add egg until mixture forms clumps
> Press together into a ball and add ice-cold water if necessary
> Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth
> Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes

Make the pies >
> Turn mincemeat into a bowl and stir in cranberries
> Pre-heat over to 180 degrees/ gas mark 4
> Roll pastry onto lightly floured surface until 3mm thick and use a 8cm cutter to make 24 cases
> Press pastry into 2 non-stick cupcake tins and fill with 2 teaspoons of mincemeat
> Re-roll pastry and cut out 24 stars to add to top of each pie
>  Brush tops with egg wash and bake in oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown
> Once cooked, leave to cool before dusting with icing sugar and enjoying!

Mince tarts 006Images found on Pinterest

Recipe from Red Online

Decorate With | Glass Christmas Tree Jar

Glass Christmas Tree Jar X-LRGTREE alt 3 (2)Love our Glass Christmas Tree Jar but need some inspiration on how to style it for Christmas? We’ve come up with some of our favourite looks for creating an impressive festive display…
unnamed (19)Create a simple bold statement by filling the bottom of your jar with our Decorative Snow and add a cluster of Snowy Pine Cones and some fresh holly. A natural look decorative for only £10.00!

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We love our Christmas Cake Decorations and think they would make a great traditional Christmas scene displayed in our tree jars. Fill the bottom with our decorative faux snow and add cotton wool balls before placing these sweet decorations on the snowy scene.

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Our favourite festive scene can be easily re-created using our faux snow, twelve Mini Snowy Christmas Trees and beautiful Small Fawn.  To add extra Christmas sparkle, finish the look with our Snowflake Naked Wire Lights.

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We’d love to see photos of your styled Glass Christmas Tree Jar, share them with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or send an email to photos@coxandcox.co.uk

Cox & Cox December Musts

Must Do

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This year we are being organised and stepping our Christmas Wrapping up a notch. Make your loved one’s feel extra special by personalising their presents.

We’re using the plain side of our midwinter wrap, a spool of natural raffia and our snowy pine cones for a natural festive feel, but we also love Red Magazine’s clever Christmas Wrap videos.

must visit

 

warner-bros-studio-tourA magical day out for the whole family. In the run up to Christmas and the New Year, Hogwarts at the Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour will be transforming into a Winter Wonderland. The impressive model of Hogwarts will be covered in a dusting of snow, the great hall will be filled with marvelous festive food and Diagon Alley will be buried under the snowfall. Find out more here.

Must Make

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For all those who love Christmas but aren’t a fan of the desert, our Graphic Designer Jemma has shared her favourite festive pudding. Women & Home magazine’s Sticky Fig & Walnut Pudding is rich, warm and works really well topped with Butterscotch sauce or cool vanilla bean ice cream. Take a look at the recipe here.

Must Watch

 

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Rumored to be aired on Christmas Day (though the schedule hasn’t yet been confirmed), Dame Judi Dench and Dustin Hoffman star as Mrs Silver and Mr Hoppy in a television-film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s novel Esio Trot. Also staring big names like James Corden, Esio Trot has been directed by the film maker behind Notting Hill and Love Actually, and is set to be one of the best things on the box this Christmas! Find out more here.

Festive Style | Christmas Trees

With less than one month until our favourite day of the year, we are preparing to put up the centrepiece this weekend!

One of the hardest parts of decorating your home for Christmas is deciding on the tree, do you go for real or faux? over the top or paired back? traditional or modern? Well we’ve worked to create a solution to suit all your needs, whether you want a big winter wonderland or a laid back look.

Short of space? Create your own Christmas scene in a jar

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If you’re short of space or decided against a big tree this year, creating a festive scene in our Glass Christmas Tree Jars is easy, impressive and doesn’t take up too much space.

Inspired by old-fashioned snowglobes, but on a much bigger scale, having a wonderful festive display tidied away into a jar creates magic even in smaller spaces. We love a traditional White Christmas theme with our decorative snow and Mini Snowy Christmas Trees, or a scandi theme full of snowy pine cones.

Create an impressive outdoor display

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We’re not talking about the tacky decorations that light up your whole house-front, but an impressive display that you’ll want to leave up all year round. Our Light Tree Tower is easy to assemble (just follow this easy guide) and is guaranteed to make a big impression on your friends and family. Or if you are looking for something a bit more low-key, why not try some outdoor lights around your gate or wrapped in a tree?

Go traditional-ish with a realistic faux tree

Fabulous-Fir-Christmas-Tree-X-FABTREE-NEWObviously there’s nothing better than the real thing, but when the needles are scattered all over the house and it’s looking a bit worse for wear, you’ll wish you’d gone with a faux tree. Our buying team have searched high and low to find a faux tree that rivals the rest, and with it’s blue-green needles reminiscent of a real mountain fir, they’ve found the best.

Create two key Christmas looks with our fir tree >

Click here to find out how to make the most out of our fabulous fir tree.

Add a festive touch to your Scandi-style

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If you are looking for a more laid-back look to suit your scandi style, then ditch the traditional evergreen tree and go for a woodland inspired, no-fuss Frosted Light Up Tree. Dusted with faux snow and shining lights, they create a contemporary display, or teamed with an array of our natural festive accessories, it’s easy to transform your home into a festive scandi-wonderland.

Low Key / D.I.Y Style

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If a big Christmas display isn’t really your thing, you’re away for the holiday’s or looking for a smaller display for kitchen or hallway, our low-key DIY tree is an easy way to make a festive scene.

Use our stylish Zinc Florist Vase, a bunch of evergreen which can be easily brought from a florist or taken straight from your garden, and our Small Red Baubles to re-create our traditional-inspired display. Or create your very own DIY design using a house plant, vase or take a look at Red Magazines clever DIY ribbon tree .

Behind The Scenes | Pirate Print Duvet Set

Did you see our blog post all about how our Ballerina Print Duvet Sets were made? Well you loved it so much we thought we’d give you an insight into how our Pirate Duvet Set is made (including real* pirate!) >

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We raided a renown London film and theatre costume department for our super-authentic, swashbuckling pirate and found a suitably bearded model to play the part!

3_Bob_the_Parrot 4_Placing_on_pillowNo pirate would be complete without his first mate… this devilishly handsome parrot made a brilliant model for our pillowcase. Once all the shots had been taken we made our very own little pirate’s den for the finishing photo!

Take a look at our cleverly made Duvet Sets here.

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Cox & Cox November Musts

Must Watch

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Don’t worry if you missed Disney’s Maleficent in the cinema, this Summer’s dark fairytale take on Sleeping Beauty is now available on DVD. A great Disney classic that all the family will enjoy regardless of their age, we will be sat around snug in the warmth to watch this in November.

 

Must Read

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The suggestions for November’s must-read book have been pouring in and we’ve got a pile on our desks to keep us busy until 2015! A few favourites include ‘Cross Stitch’ by Diana Gabladon, ‘We are all Completely Besides Ourselves’ by Karen Joy Fowler and ‘The Snow Child’ by Eowyn Ivey.

But our favourite has to be Alison Blackwell’s suggestion- Us by David Nicholls.

Must Eat

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A Bonfire night take on a Winter classic- The Londoner’s inventive and very tasty recipe of Blackberry & Toffee Apple Crumble has been a big hit in the office. Easy to make for the whole family, simply take a traditional Apple & Blackberry Crumble recipe (we all have a our favourites) and add ribbons of homemade caramel to make this classic recipe extra- special.

Must Do

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Christmas is getting closer and our favourite Christmas event opens it’s doors at 5pm on 21st November.  Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland is filled with everything that embodies Christmas- food and drink, ice skating and shopping and the impressive observer wheel. Visit early to get into the Christmas spirit and avoid the queues!

 

What to do with your extra hour >

The clocks go back tonight and we can’t wait for an extra hour tomorrow! There are so many of ways to make the most of the extra time, here are a few of our favourites…

Lie In

Make the most of it and enjoy a long Sunday lie in. It’s dark and cold and an hour’s guilt free lie in is something we all deserve, so grab a comfy quilt and snuggle up > http://ow.ly/Da5PF

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Get Cooking 

Autumn is all about comfort food; ditch the salads and swap for soups, pies and traditional recipes. We love Jamie Oliver’s comfort food recipes; Turkey and Sweet Leek Pie and Toad In The Hole.

Go to town and cook a warming winter pie or traditional toad in the hole. We love Jamie Oliver’s comfort food recipes.

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Get Outdoors

It may be getting cooler, but as long as it’s not pouring in rain then a crisp morning walk is a great way to enjoy Autumn in full swing. And our favourite part? Warming up when we get home!

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Breakfast in Bed

When was the last time you stayed in bed to read the Sunday papers and enjoy breakfast? Well you’ve got a whole guilt-free hour to do so. Our breakfast of choice is a classic Eggs Benedict but BBC Good Food have create a tasty selection of different breakfast ideas to start the day > http://ow.ly/DaDM1

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