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Christmas on a budget – upcycled decorations

Across the five day showcase, four pop-up theatres grabbed over 85,000 visitors at Earls Court Exhibition Centre. Cleverly designed as open-air displays, there was no danger of mass queues struggling to fit inside four tents. One of those theatres was the ‘How-to’ theatre, offering thousands of people the chance to learn how to make their own Christmas decorations. It was perfect for those searching for tips on how to do Christmas on a budget.

Daniel Hill (Channel 4’s SuperScrimpers expert) led one of the most straightforward and inventive talks, teaching both myself and the many crowds of people how to create upcycled Christmas gifts.

One of these gifts was a snowman bauble, and to illustrate just how simple it is to make, a volunteer from the audience was called upon to help him out. In case you need a little more persuading and so that you’re as clued up as the rest of us, I’ve outlined the steps below:

1) Get yourself an old lightbulb.

2) Cover the lightbulb in a generous amount of super glue. As the glue will absorb the glitter, it doesn’t matter if you squeeze the bottle that little bit too much.

3) Gently shake a pot of white glitter over the lightbulb until it is fully covered.

4) Wait 15 minutes for the glue to fully absorb the glitter and dry.

5) Squeeze small amounts of the glue onto the lightbulb, covering areas where you want to create your snowman’s face and outfit. You’ll need one blob each for the eyes, one for the nose, five for the smile and three for the snowman’s vertical buttons.

6) Place black beads onto the glue (excluding the area that you’ve selected for the nose).

7) Using a sharp pair of scissors, cut a small triangle out of orange card and stick it over the last remaining blob of glue (just under the snowman’s eyes).

TADAH! You’ve got yourself a budget bauble that wouldn’t look out of place in Ideal Home – albeit with a few John Lewis specials for good measure.

Image Source: John Lewis

The good news is that a big bottle of glitter will only cost you about £1 whilst a glue such as Araldite Rapid Adhesive Glue comes in at £4.29. Amazon stocks the product and there are plenty of low-cost alternatives around online or at your nearest craft shop. Just make sure that the glue works well on glass. The black beads are the cheapest of them all, as 18g of 4mm round black pearl beads will only set you back £0.89 from the online delivery service. You can even raid your child’s art box for a tiny piece of orange card.

Interior designing your own way through Christmas isn’t as hard as you might think! It’s always a pleasure seeing creations come to life, so do feel free to let us know how you get on!

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