Our Best Christmas Baking Ideas + 10% Voucher

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Snowman Cupcakes

This is such a simple idea but a really fun way of decorating your cupcakes! Turn them into happy snowmen with the judicial use of icing sugar, white chocolate, or coconut. Or even all three if you’re feeling ambitious.

You can make the eyes and mouth using cloves (not coals!). There is much debate just how to create the nose, with strong opinions on whether a bit of real carrot is appropriate on a cupcake.

Whatever you choose they’re loads of fun to decorate and really Christmassy too. [via confectioneiress]




Gorgeous Biscuits Snowman & Rudolf Cookie Cutters

Baking biscuits is a lot easier than you think it’s going to be. That’s what we always tell ourselves, and to be fair the tasty ones always outnumber the slightly frazzled ones by a good margin.

This year we have some delightful Christmas Cookie Cutters which come in at just £4.00 for Santa and his reindeer – you can make the entire family of reindeers if you like. Reindeer fact: they can see in the dark much better than we can, because of their ability to detect light at very short wavelengths.




Snowman Cupcakes

Right, this one’s a bit more ambitious but just shows what you can do with a bit of imagination – biscuits that look like Christmas puddings!

You’ll need some standard ginger biscuits and some melted white chocolate to create that authentic brandy butter look. If you’re really good at decorating (everyone on the Internet seems to be better than we are) try some decorations.

The pièce de résistance is the holly and berry addition, which you can achieve using coloured icing sugar. Alternatively just eat, they’re delicious. [via jayscatering]




Gingerbread House Kit Gingerbread cutters

On to something a little easier – the Gingerbread House. If you’ve never made one, it’s so much fun you’ll be reluctant to eat it, and this kit makes it really simple.

You get all the cutters you’ll need, instructions and recipe for getting the whole thing to work together. We know how things always look better in the picture but honestly this is so much more fun than just setting light to a Christmas pudding.

You can pick up the Gingerbread House Kit for just £7.50.




Ginger-Rudolf-Man

We love it when people come up with new ideas, and here’s a couple of brilliant ones. On the left we have a standard Gingerbread Man turned into Rudolf simply by spinning him upside down. His arms become ears and his legs the antlers. Now you can get twice as much from your gingerbread man cutter!

Grape and Raspberry SticksOn the right, a fabulous idea for something a little bit unusual. If you’re American you’ll immediately recognise The Grinch, one of Dr Seuss’s creations and arch nemesis of all things Christmassy. If you’re British, you’re probably just wondering why Santa has gone green, but it is the inevitable consequence of getting stuck in the chimney.

Still, the clever use of some marshmallow, grapes and raspberries creates and instant Santa-on-a-Stick! As a bonus, they’re extremely delicious.




Giant Gingerbread Christmas Baking Set

We hope we’ve given you a little bit of inspiration to try out some baking this holiday. We’ve got a whole section at Party Ark devoted to Christmas Baking and we’re pretty confident you’ll find something to make winter in the kitchen really memorable this year.

Please stay tuned for Part Two of our Christmas Baking tips and ideas in a few days time! And if you have any suggestions, we’d absolutely love to hear from you.


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Our Top Eleven Christmas Crafts & Activities for 2013

Reindeer Hair
Super Seasonal Haristyle!
We think this is a smashing idea for a very seasonal display of Christmas fun!Obviously you need hair long enough to make into a bun, and once you’ve done that a couple of pipe-cleaners can easily be fashioned into antlers.You’ll need a pom-pom for the nose and you can make your own eyes – the key here is to glue each to a hairclip and then they’ll stay in firmly. And hey-presto! Amaze your friends with the hairstyle everyone’s calling the Rudolf. [via simpleasthat]
 
 Peg Dolly Nativity Scene Craft Kit
Peg Dolly Nativity Scene Craft Kit
We’re always on the lookout for creative craft ideas, and this one is one of our very favourite. The Peg Dolly kit comes with seven wooden dolls to make your Nativity scene – Mary, Joseph, three Wise Men, an Angel and a Shepherd. You also get the shapes to make  cradle, and a sheep and donkey. The kit comes with all the felt shapes you’ll need to create the Nativity, with full instructions, so all it needs from is a little bit of time and some glue! It’s something that we’re sure will become a centre of the family’s Christmas decorations. [Peg Dolly Nativity Scene Craft Kit £14.95]
Loo Roll Carol Singers
Loo Roll Carol Singers
Are these not the most adorable carol singers you’ve ever seen? We will admit they take a little more effort than the loo-roll Reindeers, but neither are they as tricky as they look. The key is to finding old socks your children have grown out of. They’re going to be the hats. Once that’s sorted out, the rest is easy – a little bit of straw to tie the top of the socks sets them off beautifully, and you can really go to town on their faces and song sheets. (This is our favourite loo-roll craft project of 2013!)
 
Christmas Fayre Four-Piece Baking Set
Christmas Fayre Four-Piece Baking Set
Absolutely nothing beats a bit of baking with children, so why not give them they’re very own bowl and spoon to make them really feel at home in the kitchen this winter? This kit comes with a high-quality (and very sturdy) mixing bowl, a Christmas-themed silicone-headed spatula, plus two cutters in the shape of a Christmas Tree and a Star. You’ll have Christmassy biscuits or gingerbread in no time, all served by a very proud new cook! [Christmas Fayre Four-Piece Baking Set £9.99]
 
Loo Roll Reindeers
Loo Roll Reindeers
We’ll stick with Reindeers in this parade of Christmas craft ideas with this lovely, simple idea for making your own team to pull Santa’s sleigh. You’ll need a couple of left-over cardboard loo-paper rolls, and some twigs. A little bit of dexterous twig-breaking and you have before you your very own little Reindeer. Go crazy and create a little forest clearing for them with some bits of pine twig – and if you’re really feeling ambitious why not do Santa’s entire team! [via mollymoo]
 
Christmas Colouring In
Christmas Colouring In
Keeping little hands busy over Christmas is a lot easier with these wonderful Christmas Colour-In Tablecloths that we have this year. They’re almost a full metre square, and packed with wonderfully detailed drawings. They fold up easily too so it can make a repeat appearance on Boxing Day. Children love to chat about their ideas as they colour in, so if you have friend or family round you can make a real occasion of it. [Colour-In Christmas Tablecloths £4.99]
 
Plastic Cup Snowman
Plastic Cup Snowman
Now this chap is for the more adventurous, but we couldn’t leave him out! Perfect for nurseries or schools or anywhere that has disposable plastic cups, a bit of imaginative glueing (and a lot of patience) can transform the humble into the sublime. If you’re really up to making him, you surely don’t need any more advice on how to deck him out with a carrot nose and top hat – but the really good news is that he’s very nearly weightless!
 
Make your own Christmas Crackers Kit
Make your own Christmas Crackers Kit
We do love Christmas Crackers, and in our bid to encourage as much creativity as possible we’ve sourced this splendid Make Your Own Christmas Crackers kit, The kit comes with everything you need to make ten crackers, including the snappers, the silly joke, the ribbon and crepe paper, name stickers and tissue-paper hats. With the addition of something truly personal inside you can turn the humble cracker  into something truly memorable. [Make Your Own Christmas Cracker Kit £15.00]
 
Footprint Robin
Footprint Robin
Hand Stencil Reindeer
Hand Stencil Reindeer
Here’s a couple of really good ideas for some rainy-day artwork. First up is the perennially-delightful Footprint Robin, who (as you can see) combines the best of getting your foot covered in brown paint, with some simple skills with a bright red marker pen. As children get older, suddenly these things get a lot more precious. Second up is yet another Reindeer idea – you could either do a a hand-print in the style of the Robin above, or you can trace round and cut-0ut on some brown paper. Once again it’s pipe-cleaners to the rescue for those all-important antlers, while the eyes can be drawn on, or you can take a short-cut with some stick-on googlies.
 
Rudolf Paper Chains
Rudolf Christmas Paper Chains
We’ve also got Rudolf on the mind in store – this year we’ve found this splendid Rudolf Paper Chain design, with a really attractive Rudolf on one side, and a a bold red snowflake design on the other. Paper Chains are a really good way of quickly making a real impact in your house, and they’re fun to put together too. Did you know – Rudolf’s only been around since 1939, and was almost called Rollo. His bright red nose was associated with being a bit tipsy, and initially the publishers rejected the whole idea. Ten years after his first appearance, the famous eponymous song went to number one. [Rudolf Paper Chains £3.99]
 
Paper Plate Snowman
Paper Plate Snowman
Because we sell party supplies, we do tend to have a lot of paper plates lying around, and what better use than for a Splendid Snowman scene? Really this is a good excuse to use up all the bit and pieces that have accumulated at the back of the craft cupboard through the year – pom-poms, ribbon, stickers – everything can be put together to make the snowman as decorated as possible. But – don’t forget to glue your plates down to some paper before you start, or everything will fall to bits when you pick him up! We used a couple of twigs from the garden for arms, just like the real thing.
 
If you’ve got this far, you’ll be delighted to know that Party Ark this year has it’s biggest ever collection of Stocking FillersChristmas Decorations and all round general Christmas Party fun for the festive season. Thanks for stopping by!