It’s pretty straightforward to decorate your house so it looks welcoming and festive without going mad in the artificial environment of the Christmas displays in department stores. Try these suggestions for cheap and cheerful displays.
- Popcorn chains – Follow an air-popped popcorn recipe and thread pieces onto a long red thread. These can be draped over Christmas trees or hung in windows.
- Gingerbread ornaments – Make up a batch of gingerbread dough and cut out using Christmas cutters, making a hole at the top before baking ready for a ribbon to be threaded through later on. You can also ice them with coloured writing icing once they are cooled.
- Paper chains – Cut strips of coloured paper so they are about 15-20cm long. Make a loop of the first one, and glue closed with Pritt stick. Thread a second strip through this, and close the loop with Pritt stick once again. Carry on until the chain is long enough to hang across a room. Several of them can be used for a more elaborate effect. Children often enjoy helping to make these.
- Cinammon sticks – Tie bundles of cinnamon sticks together with ribbon and use to adorn Christmas trees, by securing with craft wire.
- Snow – Using the cheapest cotton wool you can lay your hands on, stretch in the window to create the effect of snow. This also works for cobwebs around Halloween time.
- Snowflakes – This is another good project for children. Cut white or silver paper into squares about 15cmx15cm, and then fold into quarters. Cut an arc around the edge so you get a circle, and then snip out little pieces around the edge and on the folds so that when you open it out you get a snowflake pattern. These look good on the Christmas tree.
- Wreaths – Make a loop of chicken wire, and then tie evergreens and clusters of berries from the garden onto it, until the wire is obscured. You can also use florist’s wire or a hot glue gun to secure things like apples, nuts, oven dried slices of orange, and cinnamon sticks. Spray with hairspray to preserve the wreath (which will need keeping away from fire afterwards). Then add a wide tartan ribbon at the top to make a hanging loop.