This year the Seren team went out specially to find out how you students can decorate for Christmas at a low cost and without creating fire hazards. We even found out how you can make your own decorations to add a personal touch without sacrificing the week’s food bill!
For just 90p you can be the proud, proud owner of one of these delights! They are packaged as one strip of green but the branches do fold out, even if Seren’s editor doubts it! It may look a little spindly and lonely but with the right amount of care (for the right price, of course) you can have your Value tree looking artistic. For an extra 80p spent at Tesco you can get your hands on a packet of small baubles, in a colour of your choice, that won’t test the strength of its weak branches. For a finishing touch, done at the start, we used some snow spray (£1.50 at Tesco) to just give the tree a bit of extra effect. Or, for just £5, Tesco are selling a variety of different coloured trees; we went for a nice classy black but you can also get white, pink and, of course, green. Buy some cheap decorations to put on it, and you could easily have a nice little tree for under a tenner.
No one snowflake is identical so the key thing to remember with this is to just ‘go crazy’. You need a sheet of paper that you’ve cut into a square. Fold it in half, and then in half again before getting the scissors out on it. Once you’ve cut as much as you want just unfold to see your masterpiece. Check out the pictures in which you can see the excitement unfold just as quickly as your snowflake!
1 cup (300g) of fine salt
2 cups (240g) of plain flour
1 cup (240ml/half a pint) of water
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
Makes around 50 ornaments.
Preheat your oven to 130 (the dough needs to cook at a low temperature). Mix the salt and flour in a bowl. Then stir in the water and oil, a little at a time. You shouldn’t need any extra if you measured everything. Knead it until you get smooth, clay-like dough. Next, roll it out to about half a centimetre thick and cut out your shapes! You can use cookie cutters or a shark knife. Poke a hole with a toothpick so you can hang it when you’re done. Arrange your shapes on grease-proof paper and bake for 2 hours. Let them cool completely before painting. Don’t use watery paints or they’ll make your ornaments soft.
For a quick and effective Christmas decoration, simply find some pine cones, spray them tastefully with some snow spray and shove them everywhere!
Be careful! Don’t hang decorations from your smoke alarm, don’t cover them up and using snow spray in your room could very easily set them off, so please do any spraying outside. Try not to leave wires anywhere, take caution with fairy lights and other electrical items and no climbing any Christmas trees! You can buy actual angels for that…