Victorian Christmas Wall Decoration
A Victorian Christmas Wall Decoration may be just what you need to put the finishing touch to your holiday decorated room. Floor space at Christmas is at a premium. Besides the Christmas tree, which takes up valuable floor space, many of us have other items using floor space as well. Pots of poinsettias are often grouped together sitting on the hearth or large figures of Santa and Mrs. Claus or Nutcrackers may stand watch over your beautiful room. Often times, although there may be lots of Christmas “stuff” around, the walls are often neglected. Except for a picture here and there, many of us don’t know how to fill up wall space in a holiday fashion. The following craft will resolve that problem.
A Wall Mounted Christmas Cornucopia
A vacant space on the wall of any room may well be filled with a gigantic cornucopia. Two card-board or buckram shapes should be cut out, one two inches wider but not higher than the other, which is intended to be flat against the wall and is therefore not decorated. The original instruction, published in 1893, suggested the larger horn should be covered with Japanese leather-paper. You may wish to substitute the Japanese leather-paper with some leather looking wallpaper scraps or leather looking scrap-booking paper. The two shapes are then seamed together by strong glue all round – except, of course, along the top.
Click on picture to see more detail.
In the horn may be put a large bunch of papas-grass, peacock’s feathers, bulrushes, and dried oats; but for the Christmas holidays, a small branch of fir is ideal. To keep this firm and upright, the horn will probably have to be filled with tissue paper or shavings, vigorously pushed in round the stem of the branch. All the leaves and twigs much be cut away on the side next to the wall, or there will only be space for a very small short branch.
Little ornaments may be hung on until it is really a miniature Christmas tree. The decorations should include such trifles as walnuts, not gilded all over, but enameled in white and very pale colors, with a little gilt put along the furrows of the shells; two or three artificial cherries, currants, and tiny flowers; a china fairy or doll hanging from an elastic; spangles, tinsel ornaments, and flags and streamers or many colored ribbons. From the extreme top should gleam out a little light.
In 1893, electricity was not widely used. Candles were still often used for illumination for both decorations as well as for lighting in the house. The original instructions stated: A taper does not last an evening; but a French night-light, or wick floating in a hanging glass of oil and water, can be used night after night, and, if properly managed, is absolutely safe.
Today, of course, miniature lights would look well on this decoration. If the cornucopia is near a wall outlet, electrical mini-lights would work well, although a cord would be seen. Better yet, battery operated mini-lights could be used. These can also easily be found. The part holding the batteries can be hidden out of sight inside the cornucopia. If a star or other illuminated shape is wanted for the top of this Christmas wall decoration, covers for mini-lights can be found almost anywhere mini-light strands are sold.
Besides being a uniquely Victorian Christmas wall decoration, it can be used all year round by simply removing the fir and Christmas trimmings and inserting dried flowers, stems, etc. in their place.
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