GO foraging for resources for Christmas decorations


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Christmas is here

Christmas is getting ever closer and many houses have already got their decorations up. Twinkling lights adorn trees that stand majestically in window fronts and delightful wreaths hang proudly on doors. Houses and gardens display a range of Christmas-related artefacts. One of the highlights of Christmas is the decorations that brighten up what can be dark, cold time of year. For us, however, this activity has been quite limited. No longer having a house to decorate has meant that we’ve had to think creatively. The girls, particularly Ella, were keen to get started and wanted to add some sparkle to the Autoquest 180 home.

Living in a motorhome means that we are limited in space and therefore can’t carry around a box of decorations ready for Christmas. So instead of heading up into the loft to collect the traditional box of decorations that have been gathering dust in the last 12 months, we decided that we would opt for natural decorations that we could collect from the great outdoors and create ourselves then put back once we’d finished with them. It is easy to opt for the wide selection of Christmas decorations that are on offer in shops but there is something more satisfying if you make them yourself. So we wandered into nearby woods and collected a selection of sticks and branches with which we were planning to make a couple of different decorations with.

What we did

Christmas Tree ornaments

mini christmas decorations
snowman

In order to make discs of wood that we could decorate, we cut a section of wood down from a tree. We used a coppicing technique which involves cutting a tree down to a stump on which multiple new shoots will grow; this is a sustainable method that encourages and manages growth. The section we chose had a diameter of about 8cm. When we returned, I sawed the section of wood into small thin discs.
The girls then got artistic, writing letters and drawing Christmasy images onto the discs. to hang them up, we drilled small holes into the top and attached string (biodegradable). Some were simply stuck on the walls with bluetac. We also experimented with gluing some of the discs, painting them white and turning them into snowmen.

Mini Christmas Trees

chirstmas tree

We also made miniature Christmas trees out of different lengths of twigs and branches that we had collected, starting with the smallest at the top. We experimented with two ways of doing these. Firstly, we glued the sticks onto one larger one and decorated it with a festive red ribbon (which will be removed when we return our decorations to nature!). The other method involved some knots and lashings. After creating a triangular base by lashing three sticks together, we then lashed on each of the smaller sticks in turn.

So after some healthy fresh air collecting sticks and a bit a creative sparkle, we now have our own selection of home-made decorations for our motorhome. They won’t be put in a box and stored away after Christmas but returned to the outdoors. In the meantime we can proudly say we made our decorations. It’s easier than you think….why not have a go?

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