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It’s that time of year where we find ourselves rummaging around in the attic for those treasured Christmas decorations, pulling numerous boxes from their shelves and trying to remember whether we kept the tinsel from last year’s tree. As the world tries to adapt to a more sustainable way of life, we’ve been thinking about how we can make our own Christmases more environmentally-friendly. So, we caught up with Tash, our Head Gardener, who suggests upcycling old decorations as a great place to start…
Using the garden as inspiration, make your tablescape the ultimate festive spectacle of natural beauty. To give you an idea, I have put together a step-by-step guide to help you create a version of our own sustainable Christmas tablescape:
When you have wowed your guests with the finished winter tablescape, simply pull it apart and place the dried materials either on the compost or laid out in the garden. Store the other materials away, ready for your next tablescape.
This one’s a tad more sentimental. Using old family jewellery to embellish the pampas trees, give your sustainable decorations that extra personal touch…
The Christmas bauble was first invented in Germany in the late 1840s. To begin with, baubles were bought by wealthier individuals as they were hand-crafted and made from glass, but it wasn’t long before plastic versions were created to allow for low-cost manufacturing and affordability for everyone. Unfortunately, baubles have now become freely disposable and head straight to landfill when thrown out, but that can easily be avoided with a simple bit of upcycling…
To prepare the baubles:
Now for the fun part…
To decorate the baubles:
The key is to be willing to experiment and have fun. You could paint your baubles with a brush stroke effect or use a dabbing technique. I used masking tape on some to achieve crisp lines. I also found using chalkboard paint quite fun – after I had prepared the baubles, my children really enjoyed using chalk pens to decorate their own baubles, as they’re not the patient kind to wait for paint to dry!
Old book pages and leftover wrapping paper is a great way to add a different texture and visual effect. You could use the paper to create a band around the bauble or to cover it entirely. If you have a printer to hand, perhaps print your favourite wildlife onto the old book pages, giving a more bespoke, vintage look.
This is also a perfect excuse to raid the craft box. I trawled through mine and found fabrics, bronze leaves, pearls, ribbons and buttons, just to name a few things. (A side note on glitter – if you wish to add some sparkle, try to make an effort to buy a biodegradable alternative, keeping the planet in mind!)
To create the metal flower decorations (as seen on the pictured baubles):
I hope you have fun possibly thinking of ways to upcycle any festive items you have at home through the seasons. Upcycling isn’t just for Christmas, it’s for a reason!
Love, Tash x
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If you’ve spent time at The Grove, you’ll know that we love individual design, unique artwork and quirky features. Ever since we first opened the doors in 2003, the hotel has been brimming with unusual features – from a six-metre-tall giraffe in the Walled Garden, to Perspex tables filled with feathers.
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