Today’s contribution to our team design challenge is by Kristen our Algonquin College student. She brought in her love of the Nutcracker to her design.
My Christmas design challenge display is inspired by Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker. Every year for Christmas my ballet school would put on a winter recital, and for the last six years my class danced to the Trépak music (also called the Russian dance), one of the pieces from The Nutcracker. The music is quick, and dancing to it is exhilarating and exhausting, but it’s totally worth all the work when everyone is dancing in sync. Although I’m no longer taking ballet classes because I’m away at school, I still love The Nutcracker and its music, and it doesn’t truly feel like Christmas until I’ve heard the Trépak at least once.
I created my Christmas display in the picture window in my dining room.
The display includes:
- A wooden nutcracker soldier
- A pair of my old pointe shoes
- Decorative storage boxes
- Fabric (in colours that matched my colour scheme)
- Glass candle holders
- Striped battery operated tea lights
- Candy canes
- A glass vase
- Calendar blocks
- Paper Snowflakes (of ballerinas and nutcracker soldiers)
- Fishing line
- Clear tape
Everything I used was found around my house, but it helps that I took ballet for ten years and got to dance on pointe shoes (so I have pointe shoes on hand) and my mom is an avid quilter (so she has a collection of fabrics with different prints and colours that I borrowed).
First I wrapped some of the decorative storage boxes in fabric that went with my colour scheme of blue, red, green, and beige. I stacked them up and placed the Nutcracker Soldier next to them because in the story he is one of the presents. I only wrapped the boxes to cover some of the designs that didn’t fit with the theme, so if you have boxes that would fit with the theme, you don’t need to cover them if you don’t want.
Next, I cut out 5 paper snowflakes with ballerinas and nutcracker soldiers on them. I taped them to clear fishing line and hung them from the top of the window at different levels. You can’t see all 5 snowflakes in the pictures, but there were 3 ballerinas and 2 nutcracker soldiers.
I placed an old pair of my pointe shoes on top of a box that looks like a book, to tie in the ballet aspect of the story. I know not everyone has a pair of pointe shoes lying around, but you don’t necessarily need to include them. If you don’t have pointe shoes, but you really want to include some in the display, you can buy mismatched pointe shoes at some dance supply stores to use for decorating. They’re brand new shoes that don’t have a match, and they’re only a few dollars.
I folded green pieces of fabric that were the size of regular cloth napkins into Christmas trees (there are instructions on YouTube if you search “Christmas Tree napkin fold”) and arranged them around the window sill.
The candy canes are included to incorporate the dances of candy that Clara and the Nutcracker watch while visiting the Land of Sweets. The Russian dancers are traditionally candy canes, as well, so it ties in with my favourite piece of music from the ballet, the Trépak.
I had so much fun creating a display based around The Nutcracker because it carries so many great memories from my years in ballet. Hopefully I’ve presented some ideas that inspire you to create your own Nutcracker themed display, and you have as much fun creating your display as I had creating mine. I hope you have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!