19th December 1999
By Laila Nasry
Come Christmas time and boring shop windows, drab homes and tall greying buildings come alive with Christmas cheer-stars and spangles, gleaming Christmas trees and bold eye-catching wreaths. Practically every available space is turned into a winter wonderland. Surprisingly, it takes just a bit of straw, a bottle of glue, a dab of paint, some imagination...and the transformation begins. Here are a few easy do-it yourself decorations from decor experts Joan Forbes and Rochelle Tillekeratne that you can turn out at home. So go ahead, try and capture that magical look yourself.
Wreaths could be made with twigs, rigifoam, coloured paper or tree roots
If with twigs:
1. Get a circular wire mesh.
2. Place the twigs in a circular pattern and fasten them onto the wire mesh with wire.
3. Repeat until the mesh is covered with twigs.
4. Hand paint or spray paint the twigs in the colour of your choice.
If you are the unconventional type and want to go in for a new shape how about the Christmas star?
1.Take thin bamboo sticks and make the shape of a star with the help of wire.
2. Take pieces of roots of trees and wire around the bamboo sticks, till they are covered.
3. Either hand paint or spray paint the roots or leave on the natural colour.
(Tip: By binding long bits of straw or twigs together with wire you can make an arch.)
Decorations for the wreath
Both Joan Forbes and Rochelle Tillekeratne revealed that the colours this season are the millennium metallic silver and blue. But if you are the traditional type, stick with the red and green for they'll never be out of fashion.
1. Get a block of foam. (available at any florist shop) If not get a 'kehelbada' or water hyacinth.
2. Prick in pine cones, dried rose leaves, twigs, dried ferns, greenery, poinsettia etc. This is left to your imagination and creativity. So have a ball! It is important to note that if painting (either spray paint or hand paint), first paint and then fasten it on to the foam.
3. Next fix the decorated foam with multibond onto the twig wreath or star.
Wreaths could be made to suit the pantry by decorating them in the same manner with spices and herbs. Not only do these look good but they also exude a wonderful fragrance.
An arch can be decorated the same way, by sticking the accessories on the straw or twigs.
An eye-catching table centre is a 'must have' on the Christmas table. It should be in keeping with the colour scheme of the table settings.
1. Gather barks of the cinnamon tree, peel off the cinammon and dry it well.
2. Cut into foot long sticks and paint them.
3. Tie the sticks together with wire and cover the wire by tying it with a fancy ribbon or a piece of net.
4. The decoration to be stuck with multibond on top of the tied barks is done in the same way (with the use of foam) as the decor for the wreaths.
This could be made to the shape of a Christmas tree or a ball and could be placed on a mantlepiece or used as a table centre
If x'mas tree:
1. Cut a piece of cardboard in a shape or a circle and make a cone out of it.
2. Stuff the inside of the cone with foam to make it sturdy.
3. Take cypress leaves, dry them well and dye them dark green.
4. Paste the leaves from the tip of the cone facing downwards with the help of gum.
5. Fix a stick on to the foam to hold up the tree.
6. Fix the other end of the stick into a pot with foam inside.
If a ball:
1. Buy a foam ball from any florist shop.
2. Stick dried green cypres on the ball and cover its entire surface.
3. With the aid of a stick fasten the ball onto a foam pot.
Decorations for Topiary.
This is entirely upto you. You can decorate it with tiny handmade bows, spangles, dust it with stars or other Christmas accessories. For the pantry, spices and herbs could be stuck onto it with gum. Note it is important to cover the part of the stick that is exposed.
Christmas Flower (Poinsettia)
This could be made with material, gold lame or brown paper.
1. Cut out around 8 to 12 petals (depends on the size of the flower) in small medium and large sizes. (If material, starch the cloth first)
2. Paste a wire behind the petals to make them strong.
3. Make the centre out of rigifoam balls or buy a readymade centre.
4. Tool the petals together from the smallest to the largest.
5. Fasten the petals with florist's tape and open out the flower.
(Tip: By spray painting white material you can make coloured flowers.)
1. Cut a rectangular piece of coloured paper.
2. Paste a piece of bristol board running down the middle on the back of the paper to make it strong.
3. Leave a space and paste two more strips of bristol board on the the two edges of the coloured paper.
4. Place a wooden bon-bon mould on the coloured paper and wrap it around tightly.
5. Stick the end with multibond. Tie two ribbons to the two gaps in the paper where there is no bristol board and slip out the mould.
6. Decorate the bon-bon as you please.
(Tip: if you don't have a bon-bon mould you can use a s-lon pipe, the end of a toilet paper roll or any round object)
All the raw materials are our general day-to-day throw away stuff and do not cost much. So, start experimenting and you'll soon discover that it's amazing what you can do at such a low cost. All the best with the decorating and Merry Christmas!
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