Monday, 15 December 2014

Christmas Craft - Santa's Grotto

As a child I loved making shoebox theatres and scenes. I loved Arts & Crafts at school, and was happiest cutting up endless bits of paper - especially if they were special wavy bladed scissors!!

As time has passed I stopped drawing and creating, preferring instead to create things that I could also eat! But when I was asked to take part in Mobile Mini Christmas Bloggers challenge, my craft antennae was raised!

First to Pinterest where I quickly spent a few extra long lunch hours *ahem* looking for grotto ideas - this is what I came up with

Follow Carrie's board Grotto Ideas on Pinterest.

Lots of snow, wood and a warm, cosy cabin for Santa to sit in. Knowing that a Storage container would naturally be dark meant that I would need to think about lighting. I instantly know that I would choose blue lighting, to mimic that Wintery evening light.

Using a plan with the dimensions of a typical storage container, the next stage was to show the man points of my Grotto theme. After a quick trip to Hobbycraft to stock up on supplies this was what I came up with.


But it didn't really show the ideas I had - I wanted to try to bring them more to life. Luckily, I work in a building that has boxes - lots of them! Finding the prefect sized box meant I could set to work, building my own miniature Santa's Grotto.

First, the walls, roof and floor were covered in felt.

Then I made the cabin out of cardboard and used foraged twigs to build up the side wall to mimic a log cabin. My cosy fireplace scene was stuck to the back of the cabin and the roof was covered with white felt.

Next I built on the woodland, outdoors theme by building my banks on "snow" using filling and making "trees" from real conifer trees.

Finally I added little touches, such as seating for Santa and any little visitors, a big Christmas tree and presents leading the way to his cabin.


And as my final surprise and flourish - the lighting...

Using scissors I punched 50 holes into the lid of my grotto box and then a LED light into each one. (This method is not recommended - I cut my finger straight away!!) This gave exactly the effect that I wanted. 

My grotto is complete! If I had more time, I would live to have made little signs and lanterns to light the footpath to the cabin. I would also make the cabin completely out of wood - unfortunately time and family commitments meant I couldn't quite do everything I wanted, but we'll be keeping our Christmas box scene all over the holiday season.

This would be a really good Christmas holiday project for a family to do  - any sized box can be used, a shoebox is always a good starting project.

I'm entering my Grotto into Mobile Mini's Christmas competition, along with other Interior Design, Craft and Lifestyle bloggers - wish me luck!

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