Rachel’s Top Christmas Picks

Staff member Rachel has been working at The Craft Collective for over a year and is enjoying her second Christmas at the shop. She has been looking through the  amazing products we have in stock and selecting some of her top picks for a very special handmade Christmas this year. Why not see what she is recommending this year.

For Her

Enamelled silver necklace – Sinead’s Silver Design £70

Rachel says: I love this enamelled necklace by Sinead, the blues of the enamelled glass on the silver disc reminds me of the sea

For Him

Mucky Mens Soap – Sapooni £5

Rachel Says: Living with a product grooming lover these are really excellent quality gifts and they smell amazing.

Stocking Filler

Gemstone Earrings and Rings – Absolutely Wired from £4

Rachel Says: These gorgeous gemstone pieces of jewellery are beautiful, affordable and great to mix and match.


For the Home

Wooden Cheese Wedges – GT Woodshop £30

Rachel Says; GT Woodshop work is is beautiful, natural and wonderfully made. Fab to serve Christmas party food on,  a  really niece piece.

Art Work

Redruth Railway – Lucky Everett £50

Rachel Says: I love Lucky’s style, capturing Redruth at its most beautiful


Glass Tree on driftwood – Glass by the Sea £7

Rachel Says; I love a freestanding decoration at Christmas, I can put these in front of fairy lights or candles to add an extra sparkle

Christmas Cards

Glass Cards – Handmade by Moi £4.50

Rachel Says: These beautiful cards by Moi double as a card and then as a gift, as you can remove the glass decoration and hang it on the tree.


Top tips for getting ready for Christmas!

Yes, It might still be October, but as the penultimate pay day before Christmas approaches for many of us it is time to start making some plans.

For me we are hoping for a brilliant family Christmas so there is a lot to prepare for.



Sleeping arrangements

Wet day activities

Dry day activities

So I thought I would share some of my top tips for being prepared for Christmas.

Keep it simple

Every year I see food blogs and tv shows showing me how to spend 4 hours making beautiful breads and cakes that look divine, and takes ages and cost money. So my motto is keep it simple with food. I buy my Christmas cake from a  local bakery, I get amazing artisan bread from Baker Toms, (they do stollen too!!!) I order my turkey from the Butchers and my pigs in blankets and my boxing day ham! And my veg box form the farmers market just outside the village. It’s brilliant, its quick and it’s simple.

Shop Local


This is a biggie, shopping local this year is going to be even more important as so many products may end up in short supply, stuck at customs or costing more money than before. Shops like The Craft Collective support over 60 different local artists and makers and have a huge variety of amazing products in store. From stunning silver jewellery and gorgeous ceramics, artisan soaps and candles, and much much more that you just wouldn’t find in a traditional shop, it’s more than worth  visit. Not only are you supporting a high street business and the 60 micro businesses inside but your keeping your carbon footprint low as the products are UK created so the supply chain is short and better for the environment.

A trip to the woods

Take a visit to Tehidy Woods, Portreath, Cornwall over the festive period and enjoy an immersive wonderland walk through the woodlands as the performers of the Rogue Theatre perform around you. Ending in the tent with old man winter, a hot chocolate and a wonderful magical play.

Tickets aren’t yet on sale but keep your eyes on their website for full details. It really is one not to miss.

We took our nephew niece and friends kids last year and it was a great way to spend some festive time together and we loved it just as much as the kids did.

Remember to wear your wellies, coats, scarves and gloves as it gets a little chilli.

Craft day

Plan in a fabulous craft day for the whole family. Book a session at a local pottery Painting cafe like starglazers in Falmouth. Where you can even order a paint at home kit!

So here’s to hoping you all have a super 2021 Christmas and remember! . Keep it simple and shop local!

Making A Christmas Wreath

Author Make With Annie

Its that time of year, tomorrow is the first of December and in my house that is the day that all the christmas decorations are put up and I can’t wait.
I’ve been and bought the new sparkly hanging things that my mother would never let me have up in the house, I have made bunting, and the tree is out of the attic, so all that was left was to make the wreath for my door.
This christmas I live in an apartment, which means that the only people who get to see my wreath are my, my other half, and the neighbours. Oh and any guests that might come round too…  but who cares that I no longer have a street facing front door to decorate, you can decorate your bedroom door if thats all that you have. Its the wonder of christmas and all the decoration that comes with it, so follow my advice below and have a go.

You will need


  • A rattan or willow ring (or 5 willow stalks if you want to make your own)
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Plastic berries with wire attached
  • Greenery – Holly, Ivy, Bay leaves, conifer
  • Garden twine

Step 1 – The Ring


What are you going to make your ring from? Or what are you going to buy that is a ring to form your wreath? You can buy polestirine rings (although not the best for this- unless you want to make a pom pom wreath), or rattan rings from Hobbycraft or other such shops. I have even seen simple versions in the local poundshop so its always worth popping in there.
I have made my own from willow, and was lucky enough to find it at a local National Trust house, but you can buy it online from a number of different places. Failing that you can forage for bendy stalks in local woodland!
If you buy your willow as stalks you may need to soak it as it will have hardened and to make the wreath ring you need bendy stalks. Once you have your stalks ready you need to start by taking one stalk and turning it into a ring. You can use garden twine to secure.
Then take your next stalk and wrap it around and in and out to create layers to your ring. You should do this with each other willow stalks, always starting at a different point to try and make sure that your ring is evenly thick.
Once your ring is complete secure down any loose ends with garden twine, to ensure that your family and friends don’t get poked in the eye when they visit you.
Here is a Channel 4 handy guide to soaking your willow.

Step 2 – Greenery

It doesn’t matter what greenery you decide to use on your wreath. Traditionally it is Holly and Ivy but unless you really can use anything you want to. I went into my local flower shop this morning and they had conifer and other types of green that they use to embellish their bouquets of flowers, they cost 60p and stalk and in total i spent £3.
Cut down your greenery to make sure that you have some lovely long lengths that you can wrap and twist around your ring.
As you wrap the greenery around the ring ensure that you tuck in any loose ends or secure it with garden twine. Keep wrapping until you have a nice coverage over your wreath. This is where your creativity can be used and you get to decide what you want.
Once your happy with your greenery just make sure that you have tucked in all ends.

Step 3 – Decoration

I have used cinnamon sticks and plastic berries on my wreaths, but you can use any thing you wish. Pinecones look wonderful, or little snowy logs, basically anything you want. Again be creative and make your wreath personal to you.
No matter what you decide to decorate your wreath with you will most likely need to use garden twine to secure it. This also means that you can reuse the items when your greenery starts to droop and you have to change it.
Now your wreath is complete. Its so easy to make yourself and looks wonderful on your door. Or even just as decoration in your home.
For extra special christmassy scent you can use rosemary or lavender to give your neighbours a treat as they walk by your door.
Merry Christmas.

Make with Annie

Upload pictures of your wreaths to the Make with Annie Facebook page

The Eden Project Winter Wonderland

This year we were invited to the launch of The Eden Project Winter Wonderland. Being very new to Cornwall, I had yet to visit the project, and from all I had heard my expectations were high. So I borrowed my niece and nephew and we set off to see what we might find.
And what we found more than met my expectations.
The Rainforest bio-domes were lit in a beautiful wintery blue, and as we made our way down the steps to we caught a glimpse of the ice rink with its glistening chandelier and the ever changing colours of the lighting warming the icy room.
We picked up a tasty hot chocolate and the children had waffles with chocolate sauce and cinnamon mini doughnuts. And then Ice skating commenced.
It was the first time the kids had ever been ice skating so we were a little dubious as to how well this would go down, but with the help of Poppy and Poldark the Penguins they were loving it. The fear of falling that comes with being an adult was no where to be seen and replaced with the joy of this amazing slippery fun game. The room was large with lots of seats, for those of us who are coordinately challenged and don’t feel like jumping onto the ice, and you can wrap yourself up in one of the many warm blankets placed around the room for spectators.


The Ice Rink Ballroom at The Eden Project

Soon it was time to go and get warmed up, so we left (somewhat reluctantly) the icing ballroom and made our way across the park towards the Rainforest bio-domes.
We decided, as we knew it would be warm inside, that we would hang up our coats, a very handing tip there! But as we did we began to get hints of what was to come as we watched people leaving the Enchanted Rainforest with what looked like snow on their heads and shoes. Our excitement could no longer be contained, and we headed towards the entrance.
As we reached the doors a message began to come through on the large tv screens, a message from the Future, a future where Christmas is no longer celebrated!! The man sending the message is called the Professor and he and a team of Ark-ivists have come to us from the future to try and save the future of Christmas.
As you make your way inside the rainforest you are greeted by the time travellers who invite you to take part in games and tasks to try and discover the meaning of christmas and the smells of christmas. It is our job to show them what christmas is all about.
With snow falling amongst the tropical palm leaves and christmas songs being sung all around the search for the meaning of christmas is wonderful and intoxicating for those young and older! I don’t want to give away too much, as I think that somethings are just best left as a surprise. But as we wandered around the Enchanted Rainforest not knowing what we would find around the next corner it was magical.

The kids enjoying the snow inside the Enchanted Rainforest

Time travel, Christmas games, Christmas smells, Snow, it was certainly the actors from the Cornish Theatre Company Wildworks who put so much effort into their performances to make all who were there believe that they really were from the future. So constant in their parts that not once did they slip into modern life and all the children truly believed that these time travellers did not know what a balloon was or what the smell of christmas might be.
The final stop on our Winter Wonderland evening was the visit to meet Father Christmas. I knew that the children would be excited about this, but what I didn’t expect was that I would enjoy it just as much as they did. Inside Father Christmas’s tent you will find yourself transported into his Grotto. With books on the shelves, beds for the elves, maps of the world and trains that take your message to the big man himself and finally an open fire to keep us all warm. Each adult and child was greeted with warm smiles from the Elves and a seat to sit down and watch the performance. The children were all given a small little envelope package and instructed that they must keep tight hold of this and give it to Father Christmas when he asked for it.
There were stories and singing and wonderful explanations of how does Father Christmas deliver tricky sized gifts, or what if there are dogs there, or how does he drive his sleigh with so many obstacles in the way. It truly is a magical experience that children and their grown ups will love.

Father Christmas meeting children in his grotto

Booking for meetings Father Christmas is strongly advised as this magical experience is understandably very popular.
Overall I think that I enjoyed my evening at The Eden Projects Winter Wonderland just as much as the children and it truly did get me in the Christmas sprit.

All Winterwonderland performances are from 4pm and the cost is included in your Eden Project admission ticket. But please check The Eden Project website for full details on the times and prices;