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So the other day while wandering the dollar store I (again) stopped at the basket area and looked longingly at all the baskets that I felt such a pull to buy but in reality have absolutely no use for.
As I continued along to the “tupperware” (not actually Tupperware), my mind stayed with the baskets and tried to come up with an excuse- oops, I mean reason -to buy a cheapie basket.
And you know what? An amazing thing happened. I did get an idea!
And so I did buy a basket! Finally! I’ve always wanted to!
I also bought a light-up Christmas necklace, white craft paint, and wooden blocks.
I painted all the blocks white (except I got lazy near the end and left the bottoms of each cube unpainted) and built them into an igloo. Good thing Hubby had wood glue or it would have been a terrible mess with the hot glue gun!
Then I lined the bottom of the basket with cotton balls. I didn’t much like the way that looked and I was considering cutting or ripping the cotton balls to make it look less “ball-y” and more fluffy but instead I just put a layer of stuffing on top. Which I got by cutting open a stuffed animal. Don’t judge me!
I went out and cut a few snips off a pine tree (the branch hung over the fence into the sidewalk so I figured it was fair game) and I glued them together to try to make a bushy tree. It kind of worked. Then I wrapped the light-up Christmas necklace around the “tree.” The necklace has a very small controller/battery pack with a button and the lights can blink fast, blink, or be solid.
Then I had to go out again and try to find a figurine to go in the display. I wanted a polar bear. But I would settle for an elk, moose, or (fingers crossed) reindeer but unfortunately I couldn’t find any of those in the look and size I wanted. The closest I came was a baby polar bear by Schleich and I decided it was just too expensive for this otherwise dollar store project. So I found a Santa tree ornament in a second hand store and decided he looked about right. He’s more like Father Christmas than Santa (meaning he’s not fat, I suppose).
So I had my basket all set up. It had a layer of cotton balls (mostly unseen) underneath a layer of white stuffing (pulled from an innocent -but creepy- panda bear with a doll face). I put the lighted tree near the corner and tucked the battery pack between the basket and the “snow”. So it’s pretty easily accessible, but not visible. I put the igloo in another corner, with the doorway facing towards the middle of the basket (partly because the blocks don’t line up very well on the back and I didn’t particularly want anyone to see that!). And then I put Santa outside the front of the igloo. He’s the perfect size to fit the scale. The tree is a little tall. And honestly, I don’t think trees are that common where igloos are situated . . . Especially not blue spruce . . .
Now, after I had finished assembling my beautiful winter wonderland, Hubby gave me a string of mini lights. They were marketed as Halloween lights but the colours are orange, purple, and green. Not that Halloween-y. Not Christmas-y either but it would work fine for my purpose. The string is powered by a rather larger power pack that takes AAA batteries. So I attached the battery pack pretty much out of site on the outside of the basket, hanging from two elastic bands.
Then I ran the lights underneath the cloth lining of the basket. I bunched the orange lights together with a twist-tie and put them under the now-removed igloo. Then I added some snips of red yarn coming out of the “snow” right above the lights. I replaced the igloo on top so that now there’s a homey glow coming from the igloo and if you take a peek through the cracks you’ll see a little “fire.” The remaining lights on the string are just spread out under the “snow” and are mostly invisible.
I’m hoping to somehow incorporate this (or another) Christmas Scene Basket into a Christmas tradition. I’m thinking that every morning there will be something in the basket, such as a candy or small toy. Like an advent calendar. But I’m not sure yet. Doll is too young for me to worry about it this year anyway so I’ll spend the next year mulling it over and see if I come up with an awesome idea for Christmas 2017!
If anyone has done something like this, or is inspired by my post and makes one, I would love to see pictures! I would love to add your picture to my post too, if you’re OK with that!