You may well recognise designer Sarah Moore as celebrity presenter of BBC 1?s current popular ?Money For Nothing? series, or as winner of the BBC?s ?Great Interior Design Challenge?, or perhaps from her regular column in Country Living Magazine?she is one busy lady! We are lucky enough to count Sarah as a dear friend of Apollo and admire her passion for recycling and her ability to create something truly wonderful out of very little. She?s renowned for her incredible eye and she certainly has the knack when it comes to spotting a gem amongst jumble! Like?Sarah, here at Apollo, with every party and event we work on, big or small, comes?budgets and constraints, requiring us to engage our creative flair and make savvy style choices without sacrificing our exceptional high quality and service.

In the first of this 2 part series, Sarah tells us why Christmas is such a special time of year for her family and shares some of her clever and bespoke Christmas decoration ideas that are sure to add a lasting WOW factor to any Christmas table.

?I love Christmas: I love the traditional elements, the decorations, the food, the suspense, the time spent in preparation and shared with friends and family celebrating. I love everything from the high heels and sparkly dresses to the homespun and handmade.

As soon as the Halloween pumpkins are dispatched to the compost heap and the last firework pops overhead, I feel the excitement of the festive season approaching. As a prolific maker and recycler, I immediately start to look around for potential projects and ideas to weave into our family Christmas to make it unique and to make our house and home more welcoming as friends and relatives visit. There is something so satisfying about creating things. They don?t need to be perfect, they don?t need to look like they have been plucked from a glossy magazine and they don?t need to cost a fortune.”

Sarah?s Stocking Advent Calendar

An advent calendar is essential for the countdown for Christmas. One of my favourite ones is a little row of stockings made from old blanket material. They are super simple to make if you have basic sewing skills and access to a sewing machine. It is a little repetitious but you can create a little family heirloom with a few evenings work. Wool and blanket fabric works well and can be reclaimed from outgrown coats or make good use of any jumpers mysteriously shrunk in the wash.

You will need:

  • Felted wool fabric (wool that doesn?t unravel, like blanket, coat or boiled jumper material)
  • Several meters of ribbon for hanging and trimming
  • 24 plain cotton squares around 3cm x 3cm
  • Sewing machine and thread
  • Card stocking template
  • Chalk and scissors
  • Marker pen or printing numbers and ink


  • Make a template from card and draw around it with chalk onto your fabric.
  • Make one stocking first to make sure that you are happy with the size and shape: you are looking for something around 15cm long so you have a stocking that is just the right size for a few little chocolates or a tiny present.
  • Cut 48 stocking shapes, making sure that you have 24 fronts and 24 backs.
  • Sew the little fabric square on the front of 24 to make a space for the number.
  • Place the stocking right sides together and sew just around the outside. Turn the stocking right way around and sew a little loop of ribbon onto the top to hang.
  • Print or write the numbers 1 to 24 onto the white square. You can add pretty trimmings to the top of the stockings and then hang them on a length of ribbon.

Stuff with little presents and treats to celebrate each advent morning. Interestingly miniature alcoholic bottles also fit into the little socks if your calendar is for an older audience!

Handmade ?vintage? baubles

Charity shops and home stores are bursting with baubles at this time of year. We have collections of vintage glass ones that are added to every year by us and destroyed by Bramble the Labrador, especially the tiny ones.

With vintage fabric being a passion, the Christmas tree always has a few material covered baubles too. Hunt out a few plastic baubles from your local charity shop, paste them with PVA glue and apply little strips of fabric until you have covered the whole ball. PVA dries clear so you can paste over the top of the fabric to create a durable finish. Trim the bauble with cut fabric ruffles or lace to create a pretty alternative to shop bought decorations.

We will be?sharing more of Sarah’s budget-friendly ideas for?decorating your Christmas table in {PART 2} of this series. ?Watch this space for eye-popping colourful?crackers, mini festive table trees and more!

To find out more about Sarah’s latest projects visit