Home Authors Posts by Dunelm

Dunelm

253 POSTS 0 COMMENTS

Easy Homemade Christmas Crafts

Christmas really brings the crafty creativity out of people and we see so many inspiring homemade decorations online at this time of year – but honestly, finding the time to tackle your own can seem impossible. We love the handmade effect and attention to detail it shows, but we wanted to achieve that look the easy way! Follow our four quick, easy and surprisingly fun how-tos and pretend you’ve spent hours and hours hand-crafting your wares!

Make your own Christmas pot pourri

  1. Slice oranges and apples
  2. Layer in baking tray
  3. Preheat the oven to 120
  4. Bake for 1hr
  5. Add cloves, cinnamon and star anise
  6. Add pine cones for an extra festive touch
  7. Layer in a mason jar
  8. Tie with festive ribbon

Make your own marble effect mugs

  1. Fill a container with ¾ cold water
  2. Add nail varnish to the water
  3. Swirl with a skewer
  4. Dip the bottom of a mug into the water solution
  5. Leave to dry upside down on a piece of kitchen paper

Make your beautifully wrapped presents even more beautiful

  1. Wrap the present in your chosen wrapping paper
  2. Cut and tie ribbon
  3. Glue cinnamon sticks to the paper
  4. Snip garland springs and glue to the paper
  5. Add a final touch like leftover dried oranges
  6. Voila!

Make your own cute Christmas decorations

  1. Draw the shape of your decoration on a piece of paper and cut these out to use as a template
  2. Glue a wooden bead to a pine cone
  3. Glue the feet to the pine cone
  4. Sew together the sides of the hat
  5. Glue the hat, scarf and gloves to the pine cone body
  6. Draw a face on the face of the decoration

Easy right? Give our easy homemade Christmas touches a go and share the photos of your success on Instagram using #MyDunelm, or if you can’t find the time to craft them yourself, snap some stylish pics of our gorgeous Christmas decorations instead 😉

The 30 Hosting Tips Your Guests Want You To Know

Recently we conducted a survey and found out there are 30 ways to show you’re at the top of your hosting game, from curating the perfect playlist to sharing the WiFi password.

While there will always be variations depending on the people you’re welcoming in, this study of 2000 adults has produced a pretty definitive list of how the modern guest would like to be welcomed and cared for during their visit.

It was no surprise that Christmas is the most common time of year for hosting, followed by birthdays, family catch-ups and a big Sunday roast. We all love to visit our family and friends, but being responsible for everyone else’s enjoyment can put a lot of pressure on the hosts.

Etiquette expert Jo Bryant said: “Long gone are the days of starched tablecloths and fussy three-course menus, but we still can feel pressure make everything perfect. Instead, aim to do less – and do it better.”

A third of us find hosting a meal at Christmas more stressful than hosting any other occasion, with a whopping 72% claiming the pressure for it to be ‘perfect’ was the main reason. One in five of us also start to plan the meal more than two months in advance to make sure the details and timings are right.

Jo added: “At Christmas, don’t be a martyr and try to run everything single-handedly. It can be helpful to give individuals specific jobs upfront, so everyone feels involved and you don’t feel overwhelmed.”

While one in four adults believe they’re an ‘excellent’ host, one in five adults describe themselves as lacking confidence, and a third worry they don’t have the space in their home according to the OnePoll research.

Dunelm commissioned the study to learn more about modern-day trends in home entertaining, and it seems like lots of us are moving away from formalities. We’re much less likely to call it a dinner party when we’re inviting friends over for a meal, and one in four people think it’s perfectly fine to order takeaway instead of cooking.

A fifth of hosts think the rise of social media (particularly people posting on Instagram) means they need to make more of an effort on presentation. We’re also more likely to plan themed music playlists and choose informal dining options, such as sharing plates over serving traditional three course menus.

Jo Bryant added: “Have the confidence to decide you’re skipping starters or let your guests bring pudding – and pay attention to the more thoughtful details that show you’ve made an effort, like stocking up on a drink you know is a guest’s favourite or using fresh flowers to make the table feel extra special.

“Consider inviting one or two close friends to come over early, and pop the music on in good time, so when the other guests arrive the atmosphere will already feel like a party.”

Our Dunelm expert also added:

“It might feel like there’s a thousand things to consider when hosting in your home, but don’t let it stress you out – and don’t be put off if you don’t have a huge space to entertain.

“Our customers look to us for inspiration for their homes to fit around their lives – with a coffee table that can convert to a dining table and seating with secret storage, you might find you have more room than you think.”

Without further ado, here are the 30 things our survey revealed as guest favourites…

30 ways to be the host with the most

  1. Keep the conversation flowing
  2. Offer guests a drink soon after they arrive
  3. Make sure guests don’t have to wait too long before food is served
  4. Have a clean and tidy home
  5. Don’t make a fuss if anything gets broken or spilled
  6. Have a great selection of drinks – from soft drinks to beers, wines and spirits
  7. Ensure all guest have a comfortable place to sit
  8. Offer to take people’s coats
  9. Have options for all dietary requirements
  10. Present food nicely – whether they’ve cooked it from scratch or ‘cheated’
  11. Spend more time with guests than in the kitchen
  12. Defuse any awkwardness or questionable things said by guests
  13. Sit the right people next to each other to create good conversation
  14. Remember your guests’ dietary preferences
  15. Top up guests’ drinks before they even need to ask
  16. Serve courses on time
  17. Plan games and activities – but not forcing them on guests
  18. Have the perfect playlist for the occasion
  19. Know what wine accompanies each course perfectly
  20. Let other people bring things (salads, puddings) to share the load
  21. Have a stocked drinks trolley
  22. Give guests the WiFi password
  23. Have the right glassware for all types of drinks such as tumblers for spirits and flutes for champagne
  24. Guess (or remember) everyone’s drink without asking
  25. Keep kids’ toys tidied out of sight
  26. Use special serving plates for the occasion
  27. Cook with unusual or creative menu ingredients
  28. Decorate their home in such a way as to create talking points for guests
  29. Personalise your name settings
  30. Book a babysitter or entertainment for kids

We can’t help you navigate awkward conversations, but we can help you set your table and pick out a new dinnerware set, along with all your storage, seating and comfort needs. Don’t forget to tag #MyDunelm in your Instagram photos if you’re using some festive Dunelm pieces while hosting.

 

Slow Cooker Christmas Pudding Recipe

Rich and fruity, zesty, gently spiced with a sprinkling of spirit (if you’re that way inclined), the flavours of the classic Christmas pudding really sum up the season. You’re probably already either a lover or hater of Christmas pud, but you really shouldn’t judge them on those supermarket versions – or even your gran’s version. What’s great about Christmas pudding recipes is that they can be made to suit your taste, by adding or subtracting the fruits, peel and nuts you like or dislike. As long as don’t cut out too much fruit (they add moisture) and you end up with about the same volume of tasty bits to add in, you should be fine.

Once you’re over the ingredient hurdle, you might be put off by the long steaming process required to cook your cake through. In the past this has meant filling a big pan on the hob and keeping an eye on it simmering for hours on end, but since we’ve discovered we can use a slow cooker to steam our pudding, we’re ready to tackle this traditional treat.

Our ingredients are just a guide, so feel free to make substitutions to suit your family’s taste.

Ingredients

  • 270g dried fruit of your choice (raisins, sultanas, currents, chopped dates etc)
  • 30g citrus peel (or candied peel)
  • 150g grated apple
  • 80 ml brandy, rum, whisky, amaretto or apple juice
  • 75 g soft butter or suet
  • 75 g soft dark brown sugar
  • 100 g self raising flour
  • 60g breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 tbsp honey or golden syrup

You will need

  • A large mixing bowl
  • A 1.5 pint pudding basin
  • Sieve or flour sifter
  • Hand whisk
  • Greaseproof paper
  • Foil
  • A slow cooker large enough to accommodate the pudding basin with lid fully closed

Instructions

  1. Place your dried fruits in a bowl and pour over the spirit of your choice or apple juice to keep it teetotal. If possible (and you remember), try to give them a few days to soak – anything up to a week. They should have absorbed all of the liquid and be nice and juicy. If you don’t have time, pop a cover on and microwave them for a few seconds until they’ve absorbed everything.
  2. Use a hand whisk to beat the butter and sugar together, then add the eggs and honey and beat it some more.
  3. Add the contents of the dried fruit bowl, including any residual liquid, and the grated apple. Sift the flour and spices into the bowl, and sprinkle in the breadcrumbs, then mix it all up.
  4. Take a 1.5 pint pudding basin and use some softened butter to grease every inside surface.
  5. Scoop the pudding mixture from the mixing bowl into the pudding basin, level out the top, and cover with a piece of greaseproof paper. The greaseproof paper needs to be butter on the side that’s facing down.
  6. Take a square of foil and fold a pleat into the centre, about an inch wide, then cover the basin with it.
  7. Use a piece of string to tie everything into place under the rim of the basin. You don’t want any water to get into the pudding so make sure the string is tight.
  8. Carefully place the basin into the slow cooker, and add boiling water until the basin is only 1-2 inches above the surface.
  9. Use the lid to close the slow cooker and cook on a low setting for 8 hours – no checking required!
  10. Once it’s cooked, take it out of the slow cooker and leave it to cool. Once it’s at room temperature, replace the greaseproof paper, foil and string with a fresh batch, and store it somewhere cool until it’s ready to be eaten.
  11. When the big day comes, place the basin in the slow cooker and pour in boiling water as before, and cook on low for 4 hours to reheat it before serving.

Missing some cooking essentials? Shop everything you need > 

Create The Perfect Christmas Eve Box

Increasingly popular for those with younger families, Christmas Eve boxes are becoming everyone’s favourite new tradition. They’re a way to bring some of that Christmas Day magic forward with small gifts and snuggly items that will hopefully take the edge off of the kids’ hunger for gifts while also helping them get cosy and calm before bedtime.

All you need to begin a Christmas eve box, is… a box!

Any box will do, but we love the idea of getting crafty and creating something completely personalised, and reusable boxes mean you’ll be ready to go next year too. Personalisation can mean lots of things, like picking colours and characters that they like, adding stickers, name plates or initials. Anything that will let the recipient know the surprises inside are just for them!

But which box?

The idea is for the contents to be a nice, wholesome taster for Christmas day, not a gift-fest, so don’t worry about getting anything too large. Try reusing a shoe box or invest in a something more sturdy and long-lasting like a thick card box or crate.

How should you decorate it?

If you’re going down the recycled box route, use the cheeriest wrapping paper you can find to cover the outside of the box and line the inside. If you’ve got a plain box that doesn’t need covering, but does need some personality, find some pretty letter stickers, or even an initial bauble that can be glued to the outside.

What goes inside?

Christmas Eve boxes work best when they’re centred around creating a tranquil evening, and anything that will make Christmas Eve a cosy, family-oriented celebration in its own right. Lots of people choose to gift new pyjamas and snuggly socks, small soft toys, a new book to read together, colouring books, hot chocolate with all the trimmings, new slippers and letters from Santa also make excellent box bits.

Why are they so great?

The reason they’ve become so popular is likely due to the fact they take the emphasis away from what can be quite a chaotic time of year, and focuses on the quality time we all crave with our loved ones. It turns out one simple box of goodies can give us a whole lot of wholesome activities!

If you like the look of our Cool Yule Christmas Eve box, you can find it here, and lots of gift ideas here.

Create Their Dream Hamper

Hampers used to be restricted to food and drink, but the best things about them is that you have full control over what goes in to them! Food hampers continue to be a great Christmas gift (we’ll never say no to a nibble) but we’re loving the trend of turning any interest into hamper material. A hamper is a great way to present a group of smaller gifts into one appealing concept, and they make a real splash from a visual perspective. People love foraging around to find what’s inside!

Pre-packed hampers exist, but where’s the fun in that? We love piecing together the perfect combination to suit our family and friends, whether they love entertaining or taking their time in the tub.

Hamper Ideas for Him

We’ve created the ultimate ‘a bit of everything’ hamper for men, combining practical gifts like a screwdriver (in a novelty case for fun), DIY plane kit to keep them busy, and slipper socks to keep them warm and comfy. We’ve also added a soap on a rope, which looks like a practical gift but is secretly pampering, and a chalkboard mug that he can write his drink requests on. Chocolates are a given for most gifts, so don’t forget to throw in something sweet too – some cheeky liqueurs will go down a treat.

Hamper Ideas for Her

For the ladies our lives that like to pamper themselves, we’re using a bath rack instead of a traditional hamper to make the packaging part of the gift. Pretty clever if you ask us 😉

Again we’re gathering a bit of everything that would make a bath (or shower) more of a treat, and while we’re including the essentials like nice smelling soap and exfoliating gloves, we’re also thinking about ambience and adding a candle, and some Prosecco truffles to snaffle while they soak.

Thank You Hamper Ideas

If you’re staying at someone else’s home, it’s always nice to give them a thank you gift, and a hamper of shareable items is the perfect way to show your appreciation. We’ve chosen some sweet nibbly bits like gourmet popcorn, fancy shortbread and Baileys truffles (because in chocolate form even the drivers can enjoy a few), and a fun music quiz to get toes tapping and perk everyone up during the post-dinner slump.

There are infinite options available to you when it comes to gift hampers, and we’ve made it easy to start with our Christmas Gifts and Hamper Kits.

(P.S. We also have some pre-filled hamper options if you’re short on time.)

Quick Tips for Hosting Christmas Guests

Chances are, Santa Claus isn’t the only one dropping in this Christmas, and hopefully just like Mr Claus, their visits will be scheduled so you can make some preparations. Whether it’s family or friends, we’re sure they’ll be grateful that you’re offering them an overnight stay, but as it’s the season of giving, why not give them a pleasant surprise with a few thoughtful touches to make them feel pampered.

Here’s how to be the host with the most:

Add festive touches

You’ve probably sorted the main areas of your home long before your guests arrive, but don’t neglect your guest room. A few decorations here and there will make sure they’re surrounded by festive cheer.

Add extra cushions to their bed, as they’re great for letting your guest reach the comfort level they want. Festive colours or designs will help bring the decorations together nicely.

Light a gorgeous scented candle ahead of their arrival so the scent has time to fill the room. It’ll give a great first impression.

Put together a welcome tray

Even when guests are told to help themselves, it can still be a bit awkward tip-toeing to the kitchen in the middle of the night. Think ahead and leave your guests a carafe of water and glasses in their room will ensure they stay hydrated without any hassle.

You could even decorate the tray with personalised baubles. They don’t need to be anything extravagant and you won’t need any calligraphy skills – our DIY kits are really quick and easy to use.

Make cute gestures

Use a chalk pen to write a welcome message on a mirror in the room, something as simple as welcoming them by name, wishing them a nice stay or sharing your WiFi password without them needing to ask will show you’ve made a special effort to make their stay pleasant. It’s also simple to remove if you have something difference staying soon after!

Bathroom essentials

This one is particularly effective if your guests are staying for more than one night. Being able to relax with a nice soak in the tub, no responsibilities and all the luxuries of home will take you to new heights of hosting.

Like the welcome tray in their room, create a relaxation station that’s just for guest use. Provide calming bath salts, a loofah and swap your bar of soap for a soap dispenser, and keep a supply of bathroom essentials like cotton wool balls and buds in plain sight to anticipate any needs they might have.

Chocolate Yule Log Recipe

Christmas pudding is undeniably traditional, but it can be a controversial pudding choice. To avoid any dessert drama we’re taking inspiration from the Fuller family in our Christmas adverts and creating the crowd-pleasing choc-heaven of the Yule Log.

The rolling can be fiddly, but just remember that any little cracks or imperfections will be hidden under a cloak of darkness… also known as ganache. A recipe of 3 parts, a chocolate ganache or whipped cream centre is wrapped in a light chocolate sponge, rolled, and topped with a blanket of rich ganache and a light sprinkling of icing sugar.

Ingredients

For the sponge

  • 4 large free-range eggs
  • 100g/3½oz caster sugar
  • 65g/2½oz self-raising flour
  • 40g/1½oz cocoa powder

For the chocolate ganache topping

  • 300ml/½ pint double cream
  • 300g dark chocolate, in small pieces

For the filling

  • 600ml/1 pint double cream
  • 300g dark chocolate, in small pieces

If you don’t fancy double chocolate, a simple whipped cream filling works too. You’ll need 300ml/½ pint of double cream to fill your sponge.

Plus icing sugar to decorate

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas mark 6.
  2. Lightly grease a 33x23cm/13x9in Swiss roll tin, or line with baking paper. Make sure to grease the corners, or make sure the baking parchment is pressed into the edges and corners.
  3. Now we’re going to make the chocolate sponge. Whisk the eggs and sugar in a large bowl until the contents is combined, frothy and pale in colour – use a stand mixer or electric hand whisk, and it’ll be much easier.
  4. Sift the cocoa powder and flour into the bowl, then use a spatula and fold the dry ingredients in while being careful not to knock the air out of the eggs.
  5. Pour the sponge mixture into the tin, using your spatula to spread in evenly across the pan and into edges and corners.
  6. Place in the centre of your pre-heated oven for 8-10 minutes. It should be risen and firm to the touch, and should have shrunk away from the edges (which will help remove it from the tin).
  7. Cut a piece of baking paper that is larger than the tin, and place it on a clear work surface. Give it a generous dusting of icing sugar to stop the sponge from sticking to the surface, and carefully turn out the sponge from the tin onto the baking paper. Remove the bottom layer of baking paper if you used it.
  8. On one of the longer edges, take a sharp knife and score a line approximately 1 inch (2.5cm) from the edge of the sponge. Starting at this edge, take the paper and roll gently but as tightly as you can. Roll the paper and sponge as one, so the paper sits inside the spiral. Once it’s completely rolled, turn the roll over so it’s resting on the outside edge. Leave it to cool fully.
  9. To make the ganache topping, gently heat the double cream in a pan until it’s warm but not too hot to touch. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until it’s completely melted, then leave to cool down to roughly room temperature before transferring to the fridge.
  10. Now, the filling. This recipe can be made with a whipped cream filling or a ganache filling if you’d like an extra chocolate hit. To make a ganache filled yule log, follow the ganache steps above, using 2 parts cream to dark chocolate. For a cream filling, whip 300ml of double cream until it’s thick and spreadable. Use a piping bag or spatula to spread the filling over the inside of the sponge.
  11. Carefully unroll your sponge roll and remove the paper. The whipped cream (or ganache) evenly across the top of the unrolled sponge, and roll it back up. The sponge should hold its shape easily and the filling should help the layers stick together.
  12. Remove your ganache from the fridge. It needs to be thick and firm enough to pipe in long thick lines to create the beginning of the bark effect. Use a star piping nozzle to give your long lines of piping some texture, or use a fork to bring the bark to life. You can also spread the ganache over the cake using a palette knife and go over it with a fork. Don’t forget to cover the ends of your yule log, and sprinkle with some icing sugar to finish it off.

How to Hang Large Mirrors and Frames

It’s time we come clean – we are obsessed with large mirrors. Adding a large reflective surface to your home is a simple and stylish way to give your decor an instant lift, lightening up dark rooms, making a small space seem bigger and deflecting attention from any awkward gaps on your wall.

If you’re wondering if a large mirror could work for you, the answer is… probably. There are lots of options to choose from, so you should find something that fits your wall, your style and your budget quite easily.

Now for the hanging. Mirrors tend to be on the heavier side so a second set of hands is always helpful, but the part that can sometimes be tricky is getting the screws or nails level for hanging. You can use these rules to hang large pieces of wall art and picture frames too.

You will need:

  • Electric drill
  • Screws appropriate for the wall type
  • Wall plugs to match screw size
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Masking tape
  • Spirit level

How to hang your mirror or frame:

Before you begin – Remember, only use hanging kit fixed to the back of the product and not wire or a string to support the mirror or frame.

  1. Unroll a piece of masking tape to make a template of the width between the fittings, or use a measuring tape and pencil to make a note of the width.
  2. Once you’ve decided where you want to hang your mirror or frame, it’s time to mark the fitting placements on the wall. Use a spirit level to get your hanging points straight. If you’re hanging your mirror of frame in a central location it’s best to get someone else to give you a hand (or second pair of eyes) to make sure everything is in the right position.
  3. Before you start drilling, use a stud detector to ensure there are no pipes or electrical wires in the way. If you’re not certain, consult a qualified tradesman.
  4. Hold the wall plug up to the drill bit, and use a piece of tape to mark the length of the plug on the bit. You’ll need to drill slightly deeper than the length of the plug. Check the  visual guide below for some help in choosing the right plug for your wall type.
  5. Using the recommended drill bit to match the wall plug and hole size, drill horizontally. Don’t force the drill or enlarge the hole, otherwise the wall plugs won’t give the snug fit you need.
  6. When you push the wall plug into the hole it should be a tight fit but you should still be able to push it in using your finger. The aim is for the top of the plug to be level with the wall, which might require a light tap with a hammer.
  7. The wall plug is now ready for you to add a screw.
  8. Repeat with the second hanging point if needed.
  9. Hang your mirror or frame!

Your brand new wall candy should be sitting perfectly and won’t need any more fittings to keep it stable, but you can use a spirit level to check it’s definitely hanging straight.

Now you’re all done, but to keep your mirror or larger artworks hanging happily, we recommend you:

a) Check the fittings and fixings now and then to make sure they haven’t loosened
b) Try not to let hard or pointed objects make contact with the glass
c) Keep hot and cold items away from the glass (a quick change in temperature can cause damage)
d) Keep mirrors crystal clear with a soft damp cloth, and canvases and wall art looking good with a dry cloth or duster.

And that’s that! Congratulations, you have successfully hung your mirror, frame or piece of art on the wall. We bet it looks great and we’d love to see the proof, so remember to share any photos of your stylish new decor on Instagram using the hashtag #MyDunelm.

A Cosy Bonfire Night In

If you’re not bothered about the whizz-bang of bonfire night, can’t leave the pets alone, or you want to make your bonfire night more cosy and comfortable before, during and after the fireworks display, you’ll love what we have planned.

Start off with homemade toffee apples

Why buy them when you can have all the sticky fun of making them? Follow our toffee apple advice below and enjoy in the glow of the bonfire.

You will need:

    • 7-8 apples
    • 400g caster sugar
    • 4 tbsp golden syrup
    • 1 tsp vinegar
    • 100ml water
    • A large bowl
    • A saucepan
    • A sugar thermometer (optional but helpful)
    • Baking paper
    • Wooden skewers or lolly sticks

How to make toffee apples:

  1. The first step is to remove the waxy coating on the apples so that your toffee will stick. To do this, submerge the apples in a large bowl of boiling water.
  2. Dry them off well, remove any stalks, and carefully push a lolly stick into the end of each apple.
  3. Place the apples stick-up on a piece of baking paper, and place it near your hob to make dipping easier.
  4. Pour the sugar and water into a pan on a medium heat, and cook until all of the sugar has dissolved.
  5. Stir in the vinegar and golden syrup.
  6. Place the sugar thermometer in the pan and let the mixture boil until it reaches 150C, or test a little bit of the mixture by dropping a little bit into a bowl of cold water. If it hardens instantly, it’s ready for the apples.
  7. Taking one apple at a time, dip and twist them in the toffee until they have a nice coating all over. Let the excess drip away before placing on the baking paper to set. If the toffee starts getting too thick to dip in, heat it up again until it’s gooey.
  8. If you want something extra, have a shallow bowl of sprinkles, chocolate or chopped nuts ready to dip the toffee apples in before placing them on the paper to set.

They should keep the family happy while they’re standing in the cold, but once you’re all indoors again you’ll want to warm up as soon as possible – and here’s where a well thought out hallway will work wonders.

Keep a collection of blankets and throws near the door so everyone can grab a warming layer on their way through (or nip in the door to wrap up if it’s chilly during the fireworks).Clear your coat hooks so everyone can lose their outer layers asap, make space for shoes to be placed, and hang a thermal curtain over your door so once you’re in you can draw it across to keep your home cosy.

Don’t forget a doormat to protect your floors from muddy footprints. Then it’s onward to the kitchen to get warmed up from within!

Create a hot chocolate customisation station

Special occasions call for indulgent treats, and outdoor events call for hot drinks – so naturally we have concluded that an extra special helping of hot chocolate is the perfect combination for bonfire night.

If you’re having people over, it’s far easier to let them help themselves to drinks, so we recommend making up a batch of your finest hot choc and keeping it in your slow cooker so it’s always ready to warm hands and tantalise taste buds.

Everyone likes theirs a little different, so why not clear some space for small bowls of toppings, whipped cream and flavoured syrups so that each person gets to enjoy their cup of hot chocolate just the way they like it.

How to make hot chocolate in a slow cooker

You will need:

  • 1 litre of milk
  • 300ml double cream or evaporated milk
  • 200g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 100g milk chocolate, broken into pieces
  • Whipped cream to serve
  • Toppings of your choice

Method:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in the slow cooker.
  2. Cover with the lid and cook on low for 2 hours, whisking gently half way through.
  3. After 2 hours, give it another whisk, and it’s ready to start serving.
  4. If you’re not ready yet, allow to simmer on the low setting while stirring occasionally until you’re ready to serve.

Once you’ve poured, dolloped and sprinkled your way to hot chocolate heaven, you have our permission to take the rest of the evening off. Get settled on the sofa with your squishiest cushions and snuggest blanket and enjoy some quality time with the family to round off the evening.

DIY Boo-tiful Bat Bunting

If you’re looking for some simple make-at-home decorations that you can reuse every year, you’ve found them! Our cute bat bunting will make a great addition to your home’s Halloween look whether you’re aiming for just a hint of a haunting or a grand gothic makeover.

How to make bat bunting

You will need:

  • Black felt (50p/sheet or £5 a roll)
  • Ribbon (£1.50/roll)
  • Hot glue gun/needle and thread

Time taken: 1 hour

Cost: £3 (for 15 bats)

Method:

  1. Print out our template or draw your own. Glue them to some card to make drawing around them easier.
  2. Trace around the templates onto the felt using a white or silver gel pen or some tailors chalk and cut them out. Alternatively, use some sticky tape on the back of the templates to hold it to the felt while you cut. We got 5 bats from one piece of black felt.
  3. Tie a loop at the end of your ribbon and leave about 20cm before gluing your first bat. If you don’t have a glue gun, they can also be stitched to the ribbon. Continue gluing (or sewing) your bats along the ribbon until you are happy with the length or have used all of your bats! Cut your ribbon and tie another loop at the end. Make sure to leave another 20cm between the last bat and your loop.
  4. Hang your bunting and be spooky!

If you don’t fancy having bats as your bunting why not try ghosts or pumpkins. All 3 designs are available on our template.

Stock up on your spooky sewing supplies here >