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Ideas to decorate Santa's grotto in a bell tent

(9 Posts)
BumblebeeBum Wed 12-Oct-16 07:04:31

I've got to decorate a bell tent as a Santa's grotto for our school Christmas fair.

Am thinking as many fairy lights as we can find, a big chair covered in a red blanket or similar for Santa, a tree with wrapped boxes underneath.

Any ideas on what else to add? And any places to get stuff on the cheap?

user1476140278 Wed 12-Oct-16 09:11:16

I would add tonnes of red and green balloons perhaps..that's cheap but space filling.

Wrap LOADS of boxes to create a couple of big piles either side of Santa.

Tinsel in festoons with bunches of the balloons inbetween.

Maybe like this

But with red and green balloons in the middle.

ChickyDuck Wed 12-Oct-16 09:18:26

Affix loads of white sheets around th walls/roof to make it feel cosy and a bit like an igloo. Maybe get some of those electro fake candle thingies that flicker like a real flame. If you grouped a load together with a pile of twigs around and on top it would be like a little log Fire?

ChickyDuck Wed 12-Oct-16 09:18:59


AmyAmoeba Wed 12-Oct-16 21:40:31

How big is the bell tent?

I think disposable table cloths are your friend here: either the plastic or the papery kind depending on the finish you prefer ( if taking photographs the flash with emphasise the plastic and look tacky in the pictures even if it looks amazing in real life)
Use double sided tape which won't show. You can put fairy lights under the table cloths shining through.

Inside: could you paint a fire place on cardboard? Black rectangle with red bricks around and then get some orange cellophane and more fairy lights set to twinkle for the flames? Fake candles, stocking shapes cut from felt,
A basket of logs and some fire irons as props. chair draped with blanket, some fake fur, and to one side a pile of big books ( school library encyclopaedias) with a globe on top

Small table to the other side with a messy pile of letters, reading glasses left casually on top, half eaten mince pie on a plate.

be careful to stick down securely anything on the floor in case of tripping. You can get rug tape in hardware. A nice rug, maybe a sheepskin would be nice.

I'd imagine that spent from tape and table cloth everything else could be borrowed.

I'll stop now, getting carried away and thinking how you could fashion a sleigh out of one of those big blue boxes they gave in aldi....

WordGetsAround Wed 12-Oct-16 21:42:03

As many fake Christmas trees as you can beg, borrow or steal - looks amazing!

BiddyPop Thu 13-Oct-16 08:53:10

Possibly building on things already said - could yo get a reasonable length of string, tie on strings of tinsel and strings of balloons (best would be red, green and maybe gold), and maybe a couple of large plastic baubles (in the same traditional colours) at intervals along it, and then tie the original string in a circle to hang around the roof of the tent? So the decoration part can be done in advance or outside on the floor and save time and people tripping over each other when putting it up inside. It might be an idea to leave a portion of the support string free as the entrance/exit part.

A half written "naughty/nice" list, draped over a table or arm rest...with a nice feather made to look like a quill (look in the woods for a feather and dip the end in black paint).

As many furry rugs/cushions and red fleeces/blankets (tartan, plaid, plain etc) that you can get to throw over Santa's chair, cover empty boxes etc to make it cosy. (It might be handy to have one over a box of spare presents if you are giving out anything rather than having to restock during the fair? Then again, school fair Santa's are often just there to chat and listen rather than hand out anything, so that may be unnecessary).

Yes to building a cardboard fireplace, even painted cardboard flames would be good but great if you can get some coloured cellophane and a battery operated tealight or 2 to make it shine from behind. If you have a crafty person with access to either cardboard or who might be able to build an mdf fireplace (to use for years to come), that would be great.

Jjacobb Thu 13-Oct-16 09:04:02

We do something similar. Lots of lights, tree and wrapped presents. I hang a dark material over the walls to stop outside light coming in.
We position the tent in front of a door then hang a outdoor winter scene (cheap on e bay) on both sides of walk to tent. Floor is covered in that white fake snow material and lots of cuddly foxes, polar bears and badgers dotted around. It makes a magical walkway to the tent where santa is sitting.
We also knocked up a fireplace, my Fil made it and another mum made some very realistic flames with crepe paper, add a few red and white lights to the flames and it looks great.

ShowMeTheElf Thu 13-Oct-16 09:10:15

Will the tent be outside ?
If so you mustn't have anything touching the inside of the canvas in case it rains.
Foil ribbon curtain at the entrance. Furry throne and tree, piles of presents and twinkly led candles. Maybe something from the central pole out to the edges if you can do it without touching the walls (candy cane coloured maypole ribbons?).

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