Mum tries to make candles for her family for Christmas – but they end up looking like 'veiny willies'

They're personal, meaningful and show you've made an effort – but as one poor woman learned, they can also go horribly wrong.

The woman revealed her crafting mishap on Mumsnet yesterday, explaining that she'd planned to make her family a hamper of truffles, soaps, bath bombs and scented candles.

But unfortunately, the candles didn't turn out quite as she'd hoped.

She wrote: "We all love Game of Thrones, so I thought it would be cool to make white candles with a blood red centre, and then carve it to look like one of the weirwood trees.

"I made a lot of red, cinnamon scented wax and poured it into moulds made out of bog roll tubes."

It all seemed to be going okay – until she began to decorate them.

She continued: "The results were a bit lumpen, but not awful, but then I started coating the red wax with the white and now they look like a load of big pink veiny willies.

"Do you think I can salvage them? Or should I just give as is and pretend they're meant to be erotic candles? They smell really nice but look horrible."


The poster shared a snap of her handiwork, which caused quite a stir among other Mumsnet users.

Some seemed to think they were a lost cause, with one commenting: "The only salvaging involves melting and remoulding properly. You cannot give someone a wonky veiny c*** candle."

Others joked: "They look like something off an eating trial on I'm A Celeb," and: "They look like big fat spring rolls."


However, there were a few people who reckoned the woman could still use the candles in her hamper.

One reassured her: "They do look a bit strange but I'm sure [your mother-in-law] would appreciate the trouble you've gone to!"

Another message read: "Could you melt them into nice Kilner jars and tie a festive ribbon around the top?"

It's the thought that counts, right?

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Man, 74, set to make £400 by selling vintage 1930s Woolworths Christmas tree – how much are your old decorations worth?

Almost every Christmas since he was born, Steve Rose, 74, has decorated the "tree for life" which his parents bought from the department store in the 1930s.

The tree is only three foot tall and was one of the first mass produced artificial trees in the UK.

The festive centrepiece would have cost around sixpence (£1.14) when his parents bought it but it could sell for up to £420 at auction – almost 370 times its original value.

Hansons Auctioneers reckon it will fetch around £200 to £300 but it could sell for more as the auction house sold a similar one for over £400 to the American Christmas Tree Association last year.

Steve, a retired biology teacher who lives in Syston, inherited the tree alongside the lights and decorations from the 1950s when his parents passed away eight years ago.


As an only child, he has decided to sell the family heirloom because he has no children of his own to pass it on to.

"It was our main family tree for years and I remember my mum putting it up every Christmas," said Steve. "I’ve had it all my life.

"Christmas was not an extravagant affair when I was a child growing up in South Wales.

"In the late 1940s you’d get a Christmas sock and inside it was a tangerine, nuts, some loose change and small presents.

"I think we enjoyed Christmas more back then, because we didn’t have much so we valued what we did have.

"I was given a train set when I was 11 and I only parted with that eight years ago. It was still in mint condition with its original box."

Which vintage Christmas decorations are now worth a mint?

We caught up with Hansons Auctioneers to find out which ones could be the most valuable and what you need to look out for. As it turns out, it's all about age.

These types of decorations would carry a guide price of between £30 to £100 but if the right buyer is in the room then "the sky's the limit".

  • Pre-1960s baubles and lights, particularly with original boxes;
  • Pifco Christmas lights, like Steve Rose’s, from Woolworths, 1950s and earlier;
  • Victorian baubles;
  • Vintage Mickey Mouse, Snow White or general Walt Disney Christmas lights;
  • Vintage Harrods baubles;
  • Unusual Christmas-related items also sell well. The auction previously sold a Victorian novelty Christmas cracker for £340;
  • 1950s Christmas cake decorations could be worth £30-£40;
  • 1950s aluminium Santa mould, would be worth between £20-£40.

Unlike today's artificial trees, it is pretty sparse – but that's because it was made by toilet brush manufacturer, Addis Housewares Company.

The tree is being sold alongside Steve's 1950s Christmas lights and decorations.

He added: "Let’s hope it finds an exciting new home and puts a sparkle into Christmas for generations to come."

The heirlooms are being sold together on December 18 at the Derby-based action house.

Woolworth's may have gone bust back in 2008 but it hasn't stopped customers holding on to the goods they bought years before.

One family's Woolies fairy lights are still shining bright after 48 years of being used to decorate the Christmas tree.

Last year, there were hopes of the high street store making a comeback after the former managing  director Tony Page admitted making a plea to buy back the brand name.

But hopes were dashed after a retail guru branded the attempt as "futile".


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How to make Christmas decorations look expensive

Revealed: How to make Christmas decorations look expensive even if they’re from Primark – and it’s all about ditching red for pink and matching baubles to your wrapping paper

  • EXCLUSIVE: Cindy Fuller, Founder of Designs Direct, has shared her tips 
  • Opting for modern shades such as rose gold and silver looks sophisticated
  • Colour co-cordinating with wrapping paper means you need fewer decorations
  • Scandi minimalism looks chic and you don’t need too many adornments 

If you’ve been lusting after the elegant decor adorning your favourite celebrity home this year but have more of a high street budget, the good news is that there is a way to achieve the A-list look at a fraction of the price. 

Cindy Fuller, Founder of Designs Direct, has shared her tips and tricks for finding high street products that look like they have been sourced from luxury and high-end stores

Speaking exclusively to Femail, she revealed how you can spend as little as £17.50 on the high street and achieve a decadent look that will be the envy of your guests.

By moving away from traditional reds and greens and opting for modern shades such as rose gold and pink teamed with white lights, while always taking a less is more approach, you’ll instantly make your decor look more expensive than it is. 

Here, Cindy reveals her top tips for decking the halls and the best place to buy decorations that nobody will guess are from the high street. 

If you’re looking to create an A-list look with your decor this Christmas, there is a way to make your tree look more expensive with carefully chosen pieces from the high street, according to Cindy Fuller, Founder of Designs Direct

LOOK ONE: VINTAGE VIBES 

Cindy is working on Designs Direct’s new seasonal package which allows you to hand the task over to an expert who will create a look for you with your existing decorations or source new ones. 

But if you’re looking after your own decor this season, a vintage inspired look is a timeless classic that will look expensive, even though it only costs around £50 to achieve. 


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‘Although this looks extravagant and quite heavy on the decorations and accessories, this look is achievable without breaking the bank,’ Cindy explained. 

‘To re-create these cool tones, find silver bows for just £2 at christmasdecorationsoutlet.co.uk. Accompany with a few snowflake tree decorations from John Lewis for £5 and some icy blue baubles from christmasstyle.co.uk, where you can get 30 shatterproof baubles for £11.50. 

‘Don’t forget to accompany your tree with a garland, you can purchase plain from xmasdirect.co.uk and decorate to your taste and budget.’

TOTAL COST: £50 + garland 

The cool tones on this vintage-inspired tree hint at timeless luxury. Use silver bows for £2 at christmasdecorationsoutlet.co.uk, snowflake decorations from John Lewis (£5) and icy blue baubles from christmasstyle.co.uk (30 for £11.50)

LOOK TWO: SCANDI CHIC

Understated Scandi style is very much on-trend at the moment and will give you an edge that hints at pared-back luxury, while a cool colour palette feels very modern. 

‘Its sparse style also has the added benefit of not requiring a huge budget for decorations,’ Cinday said. 

‘All you need is some metallic baubles like this assortment of 50 from Next for £10.00, and some nice wooden decorations – you can get a pack of six for £2.00 from Dunelm Mill. 

‘If you want to pair with a lantern candle holder, budget friendly options much like this one are available at The Range for £10.99.’

TOTAL COST: £26

The great thing about the Scandi look is that it’s pared back and doesn’t require too many decorations. Get the look with metallic baubles from Next (50 for £10), wooden decorations from Dunelm (6 for £2) and a lantern candle holder from The Range (£10.99)

LOOK THREE: PASTEL PALETTE 

Hues of pink scream softness, femininity and comfort, and can look more classy than the harshness of red. 

Better still, colour co-ordination means you need fewer decorations to create a glamorous look.  

‘This is a calm and gentle style that doesn’t need to be overloaded as it’s the colour that’s key,’ Cindy said. 

‘You can find soft pink and rose gold baubles at manomano.co.uk, for only £7.50 for a pack of 24. 

‘Pair with a few splashes of gold from next.co.uk where you’ll find a pack of 50 mixed sized baubles for £10.00. 

‘Don’t forget to co-ordinate your gift wrapping with your decoration just like this, so gifts become an extension of your tree. Ribbon looks luxurious but can be purchased inexpensively from retailers like hobbycraft.co.uk and zazzle.co.uk.’

TOTAL COST: £17.50 

A pastel colour scheme looks elegant and also requires fewer decorations because the colour-co-ordination will draw the eye. Enhance the colour scheme by wrapping your presents in similar tones 

LOOK FOUR: GLITZ AND GOLD 

Christmas is all about sparkle and as long as you keep it understated then you’ll stay on the right side of sophisticated.

‘This golden tree is perfect if you are looking to make your home a bit more glamourous this Christmas,’ Cindy explained. 

‘Using different shades of gold and glitter baubles from dunelm.com andjohnlewis.com for £8 and £20 for 42 will ensure your tree has glitz and glamour. 

‘Add small decorations around your home, like a reindeer from wayfair.co.uk where you can get a set of three for £25.’

TOTAL COST: £53 

Using different shades of gold and glitter baubles from dunelm.com (£8 for 42) andjohnlewis.com (£20 for 42)  

LOOK FIVE: USE WREATHS AND FAIRY LIGHTS 

Fairy lights and wreaths are great additions to your festive décor and spread the magic further in your home. Hang fairy lights around windows, or even in the canopy over your bed to give your room the perfect amount of twinkle and festive feels. 

Primark.com has a wide variety of colours and lengths of fairy lights starting at just £2.50. 

If your countertops are a bit bare, add a wreath, options are available from just £10 from Wilkos to spread the magic further in your home.

TOTAL COST: £12.50 

A wreath on the mantlepiece and fairy lights around the bed will extend the magic around your home and will set you back as little as £12.50

LOOK SIX: ALL OUT GLAMOUR 

For a sophisticated look, extend the decor beyond the tree to the dining table. 

‘Hang baubles from lights or anything else hanging low, and don’t be afraid to mix warm and cool metallic like these blues, silvers and golds,’ Cindy advised.

‘You can find gold lights and decorations much like these from dunelm.com for £10 and £7. Feathers – whatever the price ooze glamour and beautifully finish off festive displays, they can be found for a pretty penny at thefeatherfactory.co.uk.

TOTAL COST: £17 

Hanging baubles from light fittings and layering inexpensive feathers around the dining table will add a sophisticated touch 

 

Cindy Fuller of designsdirect.co.uk continued…

“Our seasonal package is for anyone that is simply time-poor or has no idea of what to buy that will go with the home. So, say for example; you are a full time working mum, your children will need your attention and your in-laws have just decided that they want to descend on you this holiday season. You have to think of the food, the preparation, buy and wrap gifts and keep the house clean and tidy.

The decorations take time to find and pick out. There is always the internet but that also takes up precious time when you could be doing other tasks. You send us photos of your home and the colour scheme you would like. Our designers will also be happy for you to save money and work with what you already have. They will give you a simple form so you can tick the items you want or the decorations you already have rather than writing them all yourselves and they will go to work finding you stylish new decorations or will offer you a solution on how to use your own decorations that will turn your home into a winter wonderland and all within your budget!

Having been an interior designer for many years and helped numerous clients over the festive period, I have found that most people want an alternative look to the customary red and green, while the traditional red and green still has its place, clients are looking for a something a little different. There is so much to choose from, such as blue and silver or pink and rose gold and many, many others. It’s much easier nowadays to find exactly what you’re looking for in the colour palette you desire. It’s all about the clients taste. Personally, I prefer to keep it simple such as opting for white lights rather than coloured ones. It’s easy to get caught up in the festivities and overdo the decorations. My motto during the seasonal holidays is ‘less is definitely more’! If you feel that you have to go full throttle, do and then stand back and take a quarter of it away. It’s a great time of year to be flamboyant but it can still be done with taste and style! I also suggest to my clients if they are looking for decorations for their table, use linen napkins, and miniatures of Christmas items such as mini Christmas baubles, miniature wrapped presents, miniature trees. These items can be put on a piece of ribbon or string and look amazing tied around your beautiful linen or cotton napkins. It’s the little touches that make all the difference. I also suggest if time allows making Christmas crafts with your children. Save your cardboard rolls from toilet paper or paper towels. These are the perfect size for crackers. You can purchase Christmas cracker kits or just the fillings such as hats, toys and jokes. It’s fun and it gets the kids involved.

 

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