Imagine what this time of year is like for your back garden. All through the spring, summer and autumn months you have lovingly tended to it, tidied it and bestowed it with your presences, In return it has provided a safe, peaceful environment in which your children can play freely.
But now the cold dark nights are drawing in, you close your curtains as soon as you return home, and your back garden is well and truly out of sight and out of mind.
If that wasn’t painful enough, you then erect a tree, an OUTDOOR thing, INSIDE the house, and decorate it lavishly with lights, baubles and tinsel.
What is a garden to think?
Happily, Wicken Toys are here with some top tips for getting your outside space into the festive spirit without causing any further damage to your bank balance (beyond what buying up half of the toy shop has anyway).
1. Santa Pots Paint a flower pot bright red, wrap one length of black electrical tape around the middle, then use a silver pen to make the buckle. You have a santa pot.
2. DIY Signs Want a cute little sign asking Santa to ‘Stop Here’ or pointing the way to the stockings waiting to be filled? Make one for yourself. You’ll need a stick of bamboo, or similar supporting pole, a scrap of wood (take care to sand down the edges) and some outdoor paint. No need to stop at helpful signs. Feel free to knock up a faux snowman or realistic Santa face to go alongside them.
3. Paper Mache Models Do you know how easy it is to make giant 3D models from paper mache? Pretty easy. And I should know. I’ve made a 6ft killer whale and two 5ft sharks.
Cut out the shape of the creature / person you want to create from a piece of cardboard. OK, so it’s looking pretty flat to begin with, but we’ll work on that. To create the 3D shape, scrunch up balls of newspaper and tape (with masking tape) down onto the cardboard. To build the skin layer, soak strips of newspaper in watered down PVA glue (about 50:50) and drape over the scrunched paper. Leave to dry. It should feel pretty solid once the glue’s set. Next you want to create the outer later. You can do this either by repeating the last step with coloured tissue paper, or use white paper and paint to the chosen colour.
Finally when everything feels dry and solid, apply a layer of waterproof varnish. This creation isn’t going to survive a hurricane, blizzard or flooding, but in a sheltered spot of the garden it should at least see out December.
4. Just Add Baubles Use plant / wire ties instead of string and you should be able to secure your baubles to any plant in need of a festive makeover. Try to choose one in a more sheltered position, and steer clear of tinsel and ribbon which will quickly go soggy.
5. Outdoor Christmas Tree There’s no reason why Christmas trees must live indoors. Invest in a tree with a root ball, plant it in your garden and you can watch it grow from one Christmas to the next.
For more Christmas-inspired posts, follow the Wicken Toys blog.