In preparation for Christmas this year, we have decorated our windows with whimsical silhouettes of a winter wonderland.
When do you begin preparations for the winter holiday season? My son maintains the opinion that it can never be too early to start, and his enthusiasm is contagious. True, when he asked to set up the Christmas tree in September, I managed to distract him. But now that it’s November, it seems like the right time to start decorating our house and inviting the spirits of holiday over.
So we did.
If you walked past our house this week, you’d glimpse a scene from a magical winter world that is getting ready for Christmas. Flying deer and busy elves, snow and stars and presents galore! All cut out of plain paper, and rather minimalist during the day, but charmingly illuminated by candles at night.
The pictures were created by my friend Tetiana. She is a talented artist, living in Norway, amidst the cold mountains overlooking the sea, with her husband and a little daughter. We started chatting a while back and decided to try working on creative projects together, and it was a lot of fun! She drew all the magical creatures, and here we cut them and stuck them to our windows. In a strange way, it makes them even more perfect than if we had created them by ourselves. Every time I look at my window, I think about the happy creative collaboration I had.
When I asked Tetiana to share some of her inspirations with me she reminded me of a tale we read as children – about a legend of a deer who would stomp its foot and throw gems around. According to the story, that’s the origin of the precious stones we mine. That deer appears in the scene with his antlers decked out in gems, and all of the other elements come from similar stories associated with Christmas from around the world.
If you’d like to create a winter wonderland in your window, you can make your own design or download our designs here – available in two colours (black and white) and two different scales (for bigger and smaller windows).
Tips and tricks
- Depending on your own preferences, there are many different ways you can use the designs. Cut them with scissors and a craft knife the traditional way; cut them with a silhouette machine; or print them on transparent vinyl to avoid cutting altogether.
- If you cut the silhouettes out of paper, use cardstock. The bit of condensation that may accumulate on the windows won’t readily wrinkle it, though really wet windows should be avoided
- You can make the silhouettes from any colour of paper. Insert the paper of your choice into the printer, choose the white designs and print. The printer will just outline the silhouettes and surround them with a light grid, to keep things from getting confusing.
- For gluing, use a craft glue stick – it will come off the windows with a quick wash after you take the decorations down. This is the method I have tried. You can also try contact paper.
- Mix and match the designs any way you like and any way that fits your windows!
Of course, the kids will love to help you arrange the designs on the windows. Anselm certainly did. He took special care of the moons, telling me a story about the little moon that lived in the house and the big moon that was the little moon’s father and shone in the sky. He decided not to glue the little moon onto the window because he didn’t quite want to part with it.
Older kids can also cut the designs, and kids of any age can colour them! That was Anselm’s suggestion, so I cut him a few extra silhouettes, and he immediately plopped himself down to colour them. He is going to glue the coloured silhouettes onto the windows in his room.
Our Winter Wonderland
This far, we decorated our front door and living room window with the silhouettes. Our front door has eight separate panes, so we used scaled-down versions of the designs for filling them. A string of light around the windows, and this is how our porch looks.
The other window was big, so we used bigger silhouettes and had a jolly good time choosing what goes where. The Christmas tree is in the centre, and the magical creatures are gathering around. Candles illuminate the scene. As always, use real candles with caution, especially with children, and go for LED candles to be safe.
We’ll be very happy if you share the photos of your windows with us. Tag us @adventureinabox with your pictures on social media!