Alternative Halloween Decor & DIYs

Who says halloween has to be scary? We love any excuse to decorate and throw a party so here's a few of our favourite alternative (and creative) Halloween Decor DIY's!  🎃

1. DIY Pumpkins
Carving a pumpkin is not for everyone, why not try decorating your pumpkin to fit with your interiors! Add some glitter or confetti or try your hand at decoupage - anything goes. 

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2. Candles
Create an eerie gothic vibe by gathering lots of candles, these vintage-style candlesticks are great! Have a look in your local flea market or grab any old candlestick and some spray paint to create the aged look.

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3. Day Of The Dead
Bring some colour to halloween with Mexican inspired Day of the Dead themed decor (it's a great excuse for buying colourful flowers and cacti!). 

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 Follow us on Pinterest for more interior inspiration!  

Autumnal Activities

  Autumn is one of our favourite times of the year, think cozy jumpers, chai lattes, crisp orange leaves on the ground. Whilst the temperature may have dropped theres still plenty of things to do! We've put together a list of autumnal activities everyone can enjoy.
1. Visit Sheffield Park, East Sussex 
Famous for its autumnal colour, Sheffield Park is a beautiful place for a walk amongst nature. Treat yourself to a cream tea in the cafe afterwards to warm up. 
2. Go apple picking
Getting your fruit and veg from a local pick your own farm is much more fun (and eco friendly) that the supermarket! Many farms even need help collecting fallen fruits from the ground and will let you keep it for free! Why not turn your picking into toffee apples or make a comforting apple pie.  
3. Light a bonfire 
The shorter days and cooler nights are perfect for hosting your own bonfire (outdoor space required!). Invite some friends over, make a tub of hot apple cider (this recipe is one of our favourites) and crack out the sparklers. 
4. Host a pumpkin carving competition 
With Halloween just around the corner, what better time to practice your pumpkin carving skills! You could even turn it into a friendly(!) competition. 

5. Take a trip to the theatre! 
The biggest broadway musical of the decade is finally arriving in London.  Hamilton, a hip-hop musical about Alexander Hamilton is already sold out for the initial dates, but look out for ticket lotteries in November! The show runs from November 21st - June 30th 2018 at Victoria Palace Theatre, St James's Park London. 
For more inspiration autumnal or otherwise, follow us on Pinterest

Behind the Scenes: Eco-friendly Materials

As you may have guessed, here at Maria Allen we are committed to ensuring that the materials we use to make our products are as sustainable and tread as lightly on the planet as possible!
We use UK suppliers wherever possible and products such as our sterling silver cufflinks are made from mostly recycled silver. We are proud of our amazing supply of reclaimed British wood from the surrounding area which we use in all our round bezel cufflinks and keyrings. We also use FSC certified cherry, walnut and alder wood for our brooches, necklaces, earrings, coasters and luggage tags. This guarantees the wood is sustainably sourced and harvested according to FSC guidelines meaning it's a lot better for the environment and helps to combat deforestation. The whole team shares the company's environmental values, contributing to our green business by recycling paperwork and packaging to repurposing materials and minimising wasteful samples - every little helps.
Take a look at the journey from wood supplier to keyring below!

Visiting our local wood supplier in Sussex. 

The team laser-cutting our beautiful designs.

After laser-cutting the wooden discs are assembled by hand.

Here's the finished product!