We’re really into Christmas! Decorating begins the evening of Thanksgiving, and continues for two or three days. We love ‘oohing and aahing’ as we unpack our treasures. The ornaments we bought our first Christmas are still on the tree, and we try to add a little something each year. (This was necessary when the kids were little. One must replace Ornamental Attrition.)
Last year, we decided to jazz up our lackluster staircase. I should add that this less than impressive staircase is the first thing guests see when entering our home. So, we build a luge run for Santa’s little helpers!
Here’s a picture of our stairway, just so what follows makes sense.
As you see, there’s a wide rail that runs about 2/3 of the way up the stairs. That’s where we decided to put in the elves’ winter play ground. I purchased some white LED Christmas/fairy lights for 50% off at Hobby Lobby. I think they were about $5.00.
LED lights don’t create heat when they run. When I started searching for the lights, I discovered that white lights of all types are sold as warm or cool. This has nothing to do with the temperature of the bulbs. Instead, this refers to the tone of light. So, just be sure to use LED lights and not incandescent to avoid issues.
I began by taping the lights onto the stair rail. Like so…
I used masking tape. The masking tape is unlikely to damage would finishes. (Remember, we tested this last year and had no damage.) We put the lights on pretty heavily this year. Last year, we used a ‘lighter’ hand and discovered that more is better in the finished product. It’s important to space the lights carefully. The first time, it took us a couple of tries to get the sparkles even.
Next, we put down the sled run. It is important to remember that one MUST sing, “Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snoooooooow!” loudly and off-key while doing this step. Such singing is essential to the whole ‘Winter Wonderland-i-ness’ of the project!
I used polyester quilt batting to make the snow. I purchased it at Hobby Lobby with a 50% off coupon. After my coupon, the cost was $9.99. This is the kind and size I used:
This is fairly thin for snow. (I’m sure it is perfectly thick in quilts.) So, I folded my piece to be four layers thick. I used the precise measurement system known as “Hold it Up and See What Works”. Then, I cut away the excess. I also folded the batting, so the rough edges weren’t exposed on the long sides.
Next, we secured the batting with thumb tacks/push pins. Our railing has trim around its base, that we can slide the tacks under without making any holes in the rail or wall. However, take care, so you don’t end up patching pin holes and touching up paint after Christmas!
I bought two small decorative sleds at resale shops last year for $0.50 and $2.00. They were perfect for this project. (I also bought a small set of decorative resale shop skis for the project. However, they didn’t fit my final plan, so they ended up making the wall in the sitting room look snazzy.) My elven friends came by way of the Amazon. 😉 The link for them is here. They are sold in mixed pairs. I got them on sale, but they are currently about $20.00 for each pair.
I attached the elves to the sleds with a judicious mixture of hot glue and bailing twine. I attached the sleds to the snow with hot glue. The one ‘sled-less’ elf has a floral pick’s stick shoved up the back of his jumper to prop him into a sitting position.
Next, we trimmed the stairway with garland and our stockings. The only real disappointment we have in this house is its lack of a fireplace. So, we hang our stockings by the stairs…with…care. It loses something in the translation. But, we like the look when everything is decorated.
I know not a lot people will want to order elves and resale shop for sleds. The cool thing about this is its adaptability. I can see Santa, sleigh, and reindeer sliding down the banister or a toy Polar Express chugging upstairs. Polar bears could even skate on the twinkles. Even for someone in a single level home, this could easily be adapted to a table top or counter/bar area.
I hope at least a few of you will find a way to play in the snow in your homes too!
Do you decorate for Christmas early? Do you use real or fake greenery/trees? Could you Christmas decorations double as a family time capsul? Please, leave me a comment or question if you have the time. I miss talking to y’all!
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