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With Christmas just around the corner, we have started decoration production in the mansion. Considering this year’s theme is 1940s (a time of thriftiness and ‘make do and mend’), we are hand-making a lot of our decorations which means that we had to start early to get them done in time.  We started making at the end of August, and made enough decorations for the 11 sensational trees in the mansion.

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Creating paper baubles

As well as the overall 1940s theme throughout the house, each room will have its own more personal theme.  In the Drawing Room the decorations will be inspired by music.  For this tree we made a large treble clef as a tree topper and will decorate the tree with baubles made out of sheet music.  On top of that we have been making metres upon metres of paper chains which we plan on hanging from the ceiling to make it look like a canopy of music.

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Papier-mâché tree topper and baubles

The theme for our largest tree in the Picture Gallery is inspired by a girl from Hiroshima called Sadako Sasaki who was affected by the atom bomb dropped on the city at the end of the Second World War.  She heard the ancient Japanese legend that if she made 1,000 origami cranes then she would be able to have a wish.  Unfortunately, she died before her 1,000 were completed, but her classmates continued making them in her memory.  We have spent the past few months making as many paper cranes as we could to decorate our tree which will represent peace and those whose lives were affected by the Second World War.

 

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A box of origami cranes

The Inner Library will have the theme of books.  We have acquired some books which cannot be sold from our Second Hand Bookshop, cut out the pages, and turned them into decorations.  This meant that we had different shades of paper on the tree, which really helped to add an interesting effect.  The main decorations for this tree were the lattice baubles which we made by stapling paper together in various shapes.  It was very simple to make and looks really beautiful on the tree.

 

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Some of our library bauble prototypes

Other tree themes in the house this year contain our dried flower tree (which our flower team have been drying in preparation), a crystal chandelier theme for the Boudoir, and a 1940s tea party for the Dining Room.

 

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A collection of some of the dried flowers

 

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Converting a watering can into a tea pot for our Dining Room tree topper

The Mansion reopens on Saturday 2nd December for visitors and the last day of opening will be Sunday 23rd December, so make sure you come along and see all the beautiful festive decorations.  Please see our website for details:

 

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/attingham-park

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/attingham-park/whats-on