Friday, 19 December 2014

Top 5 Christmas Activities for Kids

The Christmas holidays are a special time of the year where relaxing and spending quality time with our children are top of the agenda. But in-between all the present opening and the visiting relatives, how do keep our kids entertained and stop them becoming bored? The answer is simple; baking and crafts!

Not only do these 2 simple and inexpensive activities provides hours of fun, they also engage children’s brains and help them develop essential cognitive and practical skills, which they can use for the rest of their lives.

Listed below (in no particular order) are 5 of our favourite baking and craft-related activities, perfect for passing the time over the Christmas holidays.

1. Bake a Gingerbread House

Creating your own gingerbread house is not only fun, but promotes team-work too. Just like building a table or wardrobe, one person will have to hold bits in place while another glues with icing! A decent gingerbread house can take a good few hours to create, making it the perfect way to spend an evening or afternoon.

Check out the BBC’s best rated gingerbread house recipe

And here’s a picture of the World’s Largest Gingerbread House, built in 2013 in Texas. Apparently it contains a mere 35,823,400 calories…

gingerbread house

2. Have a Homemade Christmas Bowling Contest

Got any old water bottles lying around? Then make good use of them and create your very own snowman bowling contest! All you’ll need is 6 bottles, some felt tip markers, a sock, black and white paint, a tennis ball and a couple of other bits. Kids will have as much fun making the skittles as they will when actually bowling.

Head over to Sprout Online for full details

homemade christmas bowling contest

3. Create Your Own Jewellery

The beauty of making your own jewellery is that whatever kids create, they can give to friends and relatives as gifts! Plus, creating jewellery encourages a child’s creative side and helps develop shape and colour co-ordination skills.

Buying your own jewellery set is a good idea as they usually contain everything your need to get started, including jewels, beads, string and more.

create your own jewellery

4. Host a Cake Pop Party

The cake pop is a relatively new idea that is growing in popularity here in the UK. Essentially, a cake pop is a round piece of cake covered in a chocolate on a stick, much like a lollipop. They not only taste delicious, but are super fun to decorate too!

A good idea is to pre-bake a batch of cake pops, and then let the kids and their friends decorate them with some Christmas-themed ingredients?

Check out this cake pop recipe from BBC Food

cake pops

5. Make Paper Christmas Decorations

It may be the cheapest and simplest addition to the list, but creating paper Christmas decorations is a wonderful activity that all the family can enjoy. With some scissors and handful of different coloured paper, you can create Christmas trees, stars, hearts and more. If you’re really adventurous, you could even create horses and tealight holders!

Check out this page for a huge range of ideas for paper Christmas decorations

paper christmas decorations

Find our more about online shopping with Studio: Personalised Gifts | Christmas | Wedding | Competitions

Monday, 8 December 2014

Christmas Kitchen: Recipes and Gadgets

Christmas Day is one of the few occasions in the year when we can eat what we like and as much as we like without feeling guilty or being judged. We eat turkey until we hate it, plough through countless tins of Quality Street, and always have one too many glasses of our favourite tipple.

But while everybody devours their feast, there’s always one person not enjoying themselves quite as much as everybody else…the host. If that’s you this year, then you’re probably going to need our help to make creating the perfect Christmas Dinner that bit less stressful.

Below, we’ve put together a collection of our best and most useful Christmas cooking appliances, plus a few of favourite Christmas recipes that we’ve come across this year. Enjoy!

Team Buffet Host – Save £10
Instead of dishing out food onto individual plates, let people serve themselves. It creates less hassle for you and lets each guest choose a portion to suit their appetite. Plus, the hotplate keeps food warm so you don’t have to worry about serving it straight away.

EGL 2-Tier Electric Steamer – 70% Off
The benefits of steaming vegetables are well known. Not only does it retain more vital nutrients and vitamins, but it locks in moisture and ensures the vegetables stay bright and colourful, helping you create a more exciting looking plate of food.

Plus, the steamer reduces the amount of pans you have to use, which cuts down on the washing up!

Set of 2 Oven to Table Dishes – 60% Off
You can say goodbye to awkwardly removing food from the oven with on oven glove or tea towel with this Set of 2 Oven to Table Dishes.

With their silicone bases and removable silicone grips, they can be removed safely and easily from the oven, and grip firmly to whatever surface you lay them on. Perfect for serving delicious roast potatoes!

Make Your Table Sparkle…
Make sure your table looks as good as your food with our fabulous selection of festive table decorations. Whether you’re searching for tablecloths, centrepieces, crackers or wine glasses, you’re sure to find exactly what you need at 24studio.

Our Top 3 Christmas Recipes

Jamie’s Mulled Wine - “Christmas in a glass”

  • 2 clementines
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 whole nutmeg, for grating
  • 1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 bottles Chianti or other Italian red wine
Peel large sections of peel from your clementines, lemon and lime using a speed peeler. Put the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the pieces of peel and squeeze in the clementine juice. Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and about 10 to 12 gratings of nutmeg. Throw in your halved vanilla pod and stir in just enough red wine to cover the sugar.

Let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the red wine and then bring to the boil. Keep on a rolling boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until you've got a beautiful thick syrup. The reason I'm doing this first is to create a wonderful flavour base by really getting the sugar and spices to infuse and blend well with the wine. It's important to make a syrup base first because it needs to be quite hot, and if you do this with both bottles of wine in there you'll burn off the alcohol.

When your syrup is ready, turn the heat down to low and add your star anise and the rest of the wine. Gently heat the wine and after around 5 minutes, when it's warm and delicious, ladle it into glasses and serve.

186 calories per serving. Taken from

Mary Berry’s Classic Christmas Cake – “The longer you leave it, the better it will taste!”

  • 175g (6oz) raisins
  • 350g (12oz) glace cherries, rinsed, thoroughly dried and quartered
  • 500g (1lb 2oz) currants
  • 350g (12oz) sultanas
  • 150ml (¼ pint) sherry, plus extra for feeding
  • Finely grated zest of 2 oranges
  • 250g (9oz) butter, softened
  • 250g (9oz) light muscovado sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. black treacle
  • 75g (3oz) blanched almonds, chopped
  • 75g (3oz) self-raising flour
  • 175g (6oz) plain flour
  • 1½ tsp mixed spice
  • About 3 tbsp. apricot jam, sieved and warmed
  • Icing sugar
  • 675g shop-bought almond paste
  • Packet royal icing mix to cover 23cm/9in cake

Put all the dried fruit in a container, pour over the sherry and stir in the orange zest. Cover with a lid, and leave to soak for 3 days, stirring daily. Grease and line a 23cm (9in) deep round tin with a double layer of greased greaseproof paper. Preheat the oven to 140ºC/Fan 120ºC/Gas Mark 1.

Measure the butter, sugar, eggs, treacle and almonds into a very large bowl and beat well. Add the flours and mixed spice and mix thoroughly until blended. Stir in the soaked fruit. Spoon into the prepared cake tin and level the surface.

Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 4-4½ hours or until the cake feels firm to the touch and is a rich golden brown. Check after 2 hours, and, if the cake is a perfect colour, cover with foil. A skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the tin.

When cool, pierce the cake at intervals with a fine skewer and feed with a little extra sherry. Wrap the completely cold cake in a double layer of greaseproof paper and again in foil and store in a cool place for up to 3 months, feeding at intervals with more sherry. (Don't remove the lining paper when storing as this helps to keep the cake moist.)

Decorate with almond paste and royal icing.

To prepare the Christmas cake ahead: Prepare the fruit and soak in sherry 3 days ahead - this is essential to plump up and flavour the fruit. Make the cake and wrap as in stage 4. Store in a cool place for up to 3 months, following stage 4. You could also freeze the cake before decorating, for up to 3 months; defrost at room temperature.

Taken from:

The Best Turkey In The World – “With flavoured butter for that bit of extra love”

  • 6.5-kg turkey
  • 2-4 clementines
  • Rosemary, bay or thyme sprigs
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 3 onions, peeled
  • 2 celery sticks
For the butter:
  • 1 x 250g pack of butter
  • 75g dried cranberries, really finely chopped
  • Few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • 4 fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves picked
  • Few sprigs of fresh sage, leaves picked
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Clementine
This year I'm using a flavoured butter to give a bit of extra love to my turkey, and this is a job you can do the day before. Put your butter into a bowl and add the chopped cranberries. Chop, sweep and run your knife through the herb leaves until really finely chopped then add to the butter with a pinch of salt and pepper, and the finely grated zest of your clementine. Mix so the butter softens and everything is combined. Divide the butter roughly in half.

Get your turkey and use a spoon to work your way between the skin and the meat. Start at the side of the cavity just above the leg and work gently up towards the breastbone and towards the back so you create a large cavity. Pick up half of your butter and push it into the cavity you've created. Use your hands to push it through the skin right to the back so it coats the breast meat as evenly as possible. Do the same on the other side then rub any leftover butter all over the outside of the bird to use it up. If you've got any herb stalks left over, put them in the cavity of the turkey for added flavour as it cooks.

Cover the turkey in cling film and keep in the fridge until you need it.
Take your turkey out of the fridge a few hours before you are ready to put it in the oven so it has time to come up to room temperature. That flavoured butter will already be under the skin so you'll only need a few tweaks to finish it off. Halve 2 to 4 clementines and pop them in the cavity with a few more sprigs of fresh herbs like rosemary, bay and thyme. The fruit will steam and flavour the birds in a really lovely way. Take a sprig of fresh rosemary, pull off the leaves at the bottom then spear that through the loose skin around the cavity to hold it together and keep it from shrinking back as the turkey cooks.

Open up the neck cavity and pack as much stuffing as possible in there, then carefully pull the skin back over the cavity, tuck it under the bird and pop it in the roasting tray. If you've already made your gravy like I've done, you won't need a vegetable trivet, if not, do that now by roughly chopping 2 or 3 carrots, 3 peeled onions and 2 celery sticks. Preheat your oven to full whack and get the turkey in the roasting tray. As soon as it goes in the oven, immediately turn the heat down to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.

As a rough guide, you want to cook the turkey for about 35 to 40 minutes per kilogram, so a 7kg turkey will want about 4 to 4½ hours in the oven. But there are so many variables such as the sort of oven you have and the quality of your bird. Check on your turkey every 30 minutes or so and keep it from drying out by basting it with the lovely juices from the bottom of the pan. After 3½ hours, remove the foil so the skin gets golden and crispy. If you are at all worried just stick a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the breast. When the internal temperature has reached 65ºC for a good quality bird, and about 82ºC for a cheaper bird, it's ready to come out.

Carefully put a metal skewer in the cavity and use it to lift the bird and angle it over the roasting tray so all of the juices from the cavity run out. Move the turkey to a platter then cover it with a double layer of tinfoil and 2 tea towels to keep it warm while it rests for at least 30 minutes.

Taken from:

Find our more about online shopping with Studio: Personalised Gifts | Christmas | Wedding | Competitions

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Christmas Games - For the Home and the Workplace

Christmas is all about having fun, letting your hair down and being happy. So whether you’re at home with the family or at work with your colleagues, make the most of the festive season by playing a game or two! Just make sure you get permission from your boss first…

Here are some of 24studio’s favourite Christmas games:

Secret Santa
A Christmas classic that we’ve all taken part in at some point. Everybody draws a name from a hat and buys a gift for their selected person, usually for the value of £5 or £10. The gift is left anonymous, creating the ‘secret’ element.

But why not put a bit of a spin on it? A good idea is to put each person’s year of birth next to their name. When somebody pulls a name out of the hat, they have to buy that person a gift relating to that year!

We have a great choice of Secret Santa gifts available in our range of Online Exclusives

secret santa

The Santa Hat Game
This one’s great for the office. Everybody is given a Santa hat to wear, and one person is designated as the leader. The leader chooses when to remove their hat, and when they do, everybody else in the room must follow them. The last person with their hat still on is the loser! Punish them by making them dance or sing a Christmas song.

Find Your Christmas Carol
If you’re looking for a game with a bit of embarrassment involved, then this is the one for you. Start by getting together an even number of players. Then, take an equal number of slips of paper and write the names of popular Christmas carols or songs on them. Note, there should be 2 slips for each carol or song. Put the slips in a hat.

Everybody draws a slip from the hat and must start humming their carol. The aim of the game is to identify the person humming the same tune as you! When you find them, you must both shout Merry Christmas! The winners are the first pair to identify each other.

Christmas Guess Who
Another office favourite. Everybody brings in a photo of themselves as a baby or toddler (preferably in a Christmas environment) and sticks it to a wall or hangs it from a string. Number the photos, then get every person to write down on a piece of paper who they think each photo is. The person to get the most correct, wins!

Rudolph’s Antlers
Start by blowing up a load of balloons. Then, give each player a pair of tights. The aim of the game is for each player to fill up both legs of their tights with balloons, and then wear the tights on their head like a pair of reindeer antlers. The first person to do so, wins! The last person to do it is the loser. Make sure you punish them with a Christmas-based forfeit!

Name the Song
If you know any music lovers at home or at work, then this is the game for them. People get into teams of no more than 4, then the game ‘host’ plays the introduction to a selection of songs. The teams must then guess the songs. The team to get the most correct, wins! It might be a good idea to use Christmas songs to creative a festive vibe.

For our full range of Christmas items, including trees, lights and cards, just head over to the Christmas section at 24studio.
Find our more about online shopping with Studio: Personalised Gifts | Christmas | Wedding | Competitions

Monday, 1 December 2014

18 Days of Christmas Deals

Make the countdown to Christmas even more exciting with 24studio’s 18 Days of Christmas Deals!

Every day, from the 1st of December to the 18th of December, we’ll be offering you a daily dose of delightful deals. Each day will have a theme, which could be anything from top branded toys to famous fragrances. Obviously, we won’t be telling on what day each theme is set to appear, as that would ruin the surprise!

Just keep checking the 24studio homepage to ensure you don’t miss out on a festive bargain. You could even sign up to our emails, that way you get our daily deals and more sent straight to your inbox.

Here’s a little taster of what to expect…

Under £10 Stocking Fillers

Looking for the perfect Secret Santa gift? Or maybe just a few extra treats to fill up the little one’s stockings? Then this is the day you need to look out for. From novelty gifts to beauty sets, there’s something for everyone.

Christmas Decs!

If you’re not satisfied with your current decorations, and you want your home to look a bit more like Santa’s Grotto, then why not grab yourself some extra lights or a new tree? You could even take advantage of our incredible discounts and plan ahead for next year.

Spring Book Preview

Need a little break for the Christmas madness? Our brand new Spring Book can be previewed as part of our 18 Days of Christmas deals, that way you can plan ahead for 2015. You’ll discover stylish ideas for sprucing up the home, seasonal clothing for all the family, garden furniture and much more.

Famous Fragrances

Treat that special someone to one of their favourite scents this Christmas. We’ve got a huge choice of famous brands on offer, including Davidoff, Jean Paul Gaultier, FCUK and more.

Top Branded Toys

Our selection of discounted toys will help make Christmas 2014 magical for your little ones. We’re offering toys from all the year’s hottest crazes, including Disney Frozen, Hello Kitty and Batman. Plus, many toys can be personalised for that extra special touch.

Kitchen Accessories

Whether you need a bit of extra help preparing the Christmas dinner, or if you’re simply looking to kit out your kitchen, our range of discounted kitchen appliances will not disappoint. Multi cookers, wine glasses and pan sets are just a small handful of the fantastic products on offer.

Shop the 18 days of Christmas Deals Today

Find our more about online shopping with Studio: Personalised Gifts | Christmas | Wedding | Competitions

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

What is Black Friday?

Up until 2010, Black Friday was a phenomenon only observed in the US and Canada. It always falls on the day after Thanksgiving, and over the last 10 years, it has always been the busiest shopping day of the year in North America. Stores, both online and on the high-street, offer huge discounts and promotions to make the most of the occasion. For many, it is recognised as the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping period.

Over the last 4 or 5 years, Black Friday has seen a huge surge in popularity in other areas of the world, such as Australia, the UK and other European countries. Why? Some people argue it’s due to the growth of American-owned companies across the world, while others point toward the steady spread of Americanised culture. Whatever the reason, Black Friday 2014 is set to be the biggest shopping day in UK history.

The Origins of Black Friday

The first use of the term can be traced back to 1960s Philadelphia, when Police officers referred to the day after Thanksgiving as Black Friday because of the mayhem than ensued as shoppers attacked the high street to start their Christmas shopping.

The rest of the US quickly caught on to this term, and Black Friday’s popularity has grown ever since. The day is now a public holiday across most parts of the US, showing just what an important day it has become for the American retail industry.

In financial sectors, many professionals claim that Black Friday is called such as it’s the first day of the year that many companies stop making a loss (in the red), and start turning a profit (in the black).

Cyber Monday

Making its first appearance in 2005, Cyber Monday is a much more recent phenomenon than Black Friday. And unlike Black Friday, it focuses solely on online sales, as opposed to both online and high-street shopping.

Cyber Monday always falls on the first Monday after Thanksgiving. Market analysts observed that this particular day always saw a huge spike in online sales as people returned to work after the Thanksgiving holiday period. From this research, the term Cyber Monday was coined and its popularity has grown since, particularly in the last 2 years. It is the biggest online shopping day of the year for many countries, including the UK.

Cyber Monday

Black Friday/Cyber Monday at 24studio

Look out for some jaw-dropping deals at, starting on Friday the 28th of November running through to Monday the 1st of December. You’ll discover huge discounts on a wide range of products, from console bundles and tablets to Christmas lines and top-branded clothing. Make sure you don’t miss out!


Find our more about online shopping with Studio: Personalised Gifts | Christmas | Wedding | Competitions

Friday, 21 November 2014

Christmas is Coming!

Christmas is just around the corner, and there are some great savings to be had in our Christmas Shop, with great savings too!

Take a look at some of our favourites, priced from only £3.01:

LED Spiral Tree Inflatable Penguin Advent Calendar 45cm LED Santa Belt Bauble Wall Light

Bushy Glitter Tree Reindeer Head Blanket Tree & Gifts Silhouette

Neon Spiral Tree Build Your Own Snowman Personalised Arrow Stocking

Personalised Gift Doormat LED Flying Reindeer and Sleigh

Shop our entire Christmas Range today, and make this Christmas one to remember for you and your family.

Find our more about online shopping with Studio: Personalised Gifts | Christmas | Wedding | Competitions

Friday, 14 November 2014

24studio Movember Competition

It's Movember! It's the time of year when A Mo Bro takes action by changing their appearance through the growth of a new a moustache for the 30 days of November to change the face of men’s health and to help raise funds for The Prostate Cancer Charity (TPCC), the UK’s leading prostate cancer charity.

AND now that we're at the halfway point in Movember its time to show us your Mo' for the chance to win mo-themed goodies.

What do you need to do to win?
If you ever needed a reason to take a selfie, this is the enter our competition all you need to do is share a photo of your (or your loved ones) mo-gress (thats moustache progress to you and i)

- FOLLOW and tag @24studio on your Instagram post
- OR follow and tag @24studio on your twitter post.
- Use the hashtag #Movember in your post.
- If you're entering on our Facebook page all you need to do is comment on our Movember post with a pic of your Mo! Simply head over to to enter.

And you could win this tash-tastic Wahl Shave & Trim Set and The Gentleman's Guide To Beard And Moustache Management book


May the best Mo Win!

- Competition closes on the 27th November AT 12pm (so that you can receive your prize in time to remove (or style) your Mo on the 1st December.

See below for full terms and conditions:

The free prize draw is open to all UK residents aged 18 years or over, except employees of the promoters, its families, its agents and persons connected with the promotion.

Only one entry per person will be accepted.

If you're a Mo Sista or a child who can’t grow a real mo why not stick on a tache and post a selfie! After all, stick on taches are brilliant and they look hilarious on kids – and every entry, Tweet or photo raises awareness for the Movember cause – and don’t forget to donate too!


Find our more about online shopping with Studio: Personalised Gifts | Christmas | Wedding | Competitions

Monday, 10 November 2014

Salt Dough Christmas Decorations

Looking for ways to have a crafty Christmas? Why not have a go at making your own Salt Dough Christmas Decorations:

Ingredients needed:
Salt Dough Christmas Decorations

200ml water
10oz plain flour
10oz salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil

Mix it all the ingredients together then when you're ready roll the mixture out, cut into shapes with cookie/biscuit cutters, my personal favourites being Snowmen, Gingerbread Men and Bell shaped cookie cutters,

Place on a baking tray, make sure you have made a hole in the top of the decoration for the ribbon to go through afterwards, a cocktail stick is a good thing to use. (make sure you make the hole big enough as when you bake the dough the mixture will grow slightly)

A personal favourite of mine is to add a sprinkle of cinnamon to the mix before baking to make the decorations smell nice and Christmassy (don’t use too much though)

Bake in an oven at approx 180C for 20 minutes, then paint and/or varnish or add glitter to make your own unique decoration.

Perfect for giving as a gift, or if the kids have helped you, keeping for sentimental reasons, they can even be re-used for years to come.

If you are truly inspired by all things Christmas then take a look at where you will find a wide range of Christmas gifts, trees, cards, wrap and decorations almost all year round as well as Craft material and Craft kits.

Find our more about online shopping with Studio: Personalised Gifts | Christmas | Wedding | Competitions

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Choosing a Christmas Tree

Many people see the Christmas tree as the most important of all their Christmas decorations, and I can see why, as they do tend to be the biggest decoration in the house (and the decoration you put all the Christmas presents under).

Most people have a distinct style of Christmas Tree, often favouring the same sort of style year after year, although there are some people who change their Christmas Tree year after year following the different trends. Do you remember a few years ago when one of the high street stores featured upside down Christmas Trees in their shop windows? The country went mad for them! At 24studio we have a great range of Christmas Trees available to choose from, many of which cater for small or limited spaces. We've detailed our range of space saving and alternative Christmas Trees in our Christmas Trees for Small Spaces post.

A lot of people still love the tradition of having a real tree. Real Christmas Trees fill your home with a nostalgic seasonal aroma! They are also renewable, recyclable and while they’re growing they provide habitats for wildlife and absorb carbon dioxide and other gases. Real trees don't need to be packed away when the decorations are taken down either!

Choosing a real Christmas tree can be a daunting task if you don’t know what you are looking for, as some real trees apparently don’t shed needles, while others do, so if you've got a pet its best to try and find one that retains its needles. Here's a useful article on Choosing a Christmas tree if you need help and advice, or if you're looking for a tree you can re-use year after year take a look at our Christmas Tree buying guide for some handy shopping tips.

Shop from our Christmas range today. We stock a vast range of artificial, LED, traditional, pre-lit Christmas and space saving Trees.

Find our more about online shopping with Studio: Personalised Gifts | Christmas | Wedding | Competitions

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Bonfire Night Recipes

The season is well and truly upon us, and Bonfire night is just around the corner, and whether you'll be celebrating this weekend, on the 5th or the following weekend (as there seems to be lots of different bonfires on lots of different nights - ooh how many could we go to...) it's the perfect excuse to get creative in the kitchen with your favourite Bonfire night recipes.

Here's one of my all time favourite recipes, its a Black Treacle Parkin recipe make with oats, and is probably classed as 'Lancastrian parkin', it's from one of my mums circa. 1970's school cookery books (thanks for the recipe mum), and it's what my mum makes every November.


Parkin Recipe


  • 170g plain flour
  • 3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons mixed spice
  • 340g medium oatmeal (or porridge oats)
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 455g black treacle (tins come at a weight of 454g, but overlooking the last gram is acceptable)
  • 115g butter
  • 140ml milk
  • 30g soft brown sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4.
  2. Prepare a 25cm/10 inch cake tin (this needs to be oiled and fully lined with greaseproof paper).
  3. Sift the flour and spices into a large bowl.
  4. Stir in the oatmeal (or porridge oats) and the bicarbonate of soda.
  5. In a saucepan over a low heat, melt together the treacle, butter, milk and sugar. Stir occasionally until the butter and treacle are melted, and the sugar dissolved.
  6. Immediately pour the warm, dark mixture into the dry ingredients and beat thoroughly.
  7. Pour into your prepared tin, spreading mixture to fill tin evenly.
  8. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, or until firm.
  9. Leave to cool in tin, then cut into squares.

N.B.You’ll need good willpower with parkin. It’s essential that you allow it to rest and don’t eat it straightaway. A week is about the length of time recommended to let it mature into proper sticky heaven.

Cinder Toffee

Cinder Toffee

Cinder Toffee is perfect for Bonfire parties, and here's how to make it:


  • 100g golden syrup
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 40g butter
  • 2 tbsp water
  • ½ tsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda


  1. Line a 15cm tin with baking parchment. Put the sugar, syrup, butter and water into a large heavy-based pan and set over a medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved then turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Cook, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 138°C/280°F then remove the pan from the heat.
  2. Taking care, add the vinegar and bicarbonate of soda to the pan – the mixture will bubble up and rise. 
  3. Pour into the lined tin and leave for 15-20 minutes to set
  4. Using a sharp knife, score into squares. When completely set, break along the scored lines and store in an airtight tin.

N.B. If you don't have a confectionery or sugar thermometer, you can test the mixture by dropping a small amount into cold water; if it is ready, it will become a hard toffee ball.

Bonfire Toffee

Bonfire Toffee

No Bonfire night would be complete without Bonfire Toffee! This jaw-breaking treacle toffee dates back hundreds of years and is really easy to make, but must be approached with caution; as the toffee gets very, very hot as it is boiled.


  • 75g/3oz golden syrup
  • 75g/3oz black treacle
  • 150g/6oz light soft brown sugar
  • 75g/3oz butter
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar


  1. Line a 15 x 20cm/6 x 8in baking tray with non-stick baking parchment.
  2. Measure all the ingredients into a deep, heavy-based saucepan.
  3. Place over a medium heat and stir occasionally until the butter is melted and the sugar has dissolved.
  4. When the mixture is smooth and well-combined, increase the heat and bring the mixture to a fast boil. When the mixture reaches 140C/285F, pour carefully into the lined tray.
  5. If you want even pieces, wait until the toffee is cool enough to handle, but elastic enough so that a finger pressed in the top leaves a slight indent (about 15-20 minutes depending on the room temperature).
  6. Partially cut the toffee into even pieces with an oiled knife. When it has cooled completely, break along these lines. Alternatively let the toffee cool completely, then break into shards with a toffee hammer or rolling pin.
  7. Store in an airtight container, with individual layers of toffee separated by baking parchment.

N.B. If left exposed to humidity, the toffee will soften and stick together.


Find our more about online shopping with Studio: Personalised Gifts | Christmas | Wedding | Competitions

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

24Studio Pumpkin Carving Contest

It's October, the clocks have gone back, winter is finally upon us, what comes next you ask...? Halloween of course, and to celebrate all things Halloween we're hosting a Pumpkin carving contest.

What do you need to do to win?
Simply design it, carve it and display it on either our twitter page or facebook page (or both).

- FOLLOW and tag @24studio on your twitter post
- Use the hashtag #halloween in your post.
- OR If you're entering on our Facebook page all you need to do is comment on our Pumpkin post with a pic of your carvings! Simply head over to Monsteroos Tackle Plush by Gund

Monsteroos Tackle Plush by Gund
May the best Pumpkin win!

- Competition closes on the 3rd November At 12pm

See below for full terms and conditions:

The free prize draw is open to all UK residents aged 18 years or over, except employees of the promoters, its families, its agents and persons connected with the promotion.

Only one entry per person will be accepted.


Find our more about online shopping with Studio: Personalised Gifts | Christmas | Wedding | Competitions

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

How To Carve A Pumpkin

In anticipation for our next fabulous competition, which incidentally starts tomorrow (so watch this space) we've put together this handy 'how to' guide of how to carve a pumpkin... (can you see where our competition might be heading..? :-)

Here's how to carve a pumpkin

1. Choose a large pumpkin and use a sharp serrated knife to cut off the crown, approximately 2 inches from the stem and save for later. Always cut away from you in case the knife slips.

2. Using a large serving spoon, hollow out the pumpkin using a spoon, scooping out the seeds and fibres and then remove some of the flesh and either set all the bits to one side in case you want to try your hand at baking a pumpkin pie or making pumpkin soup later. If not simply throw it away.

3. With a marker pen, draw your outline on the pumpkin. Use either small serrated knife to cut out your design or use pumpkin carving tools if you’ve designed something more intricate.

4. Pop a tea light inside the pumpkin and light it and replace the crown. Or to add a new dimension to a simply style why not put multi coloured Christmas lights inside.

Looking of inspiration or simply want to see some extreme pumpkin carving... watch two divers compete in an underwater pumpkin carve off in the Sealife Centre in London.

Wondering what to do with the leftovers of your carving creation? Put them to good use with one of these pumpkin recipes courtesy

Find our more about online shopping with Studio: Personalised Gifts | Christmas | Wedding | Competitions