It’s that time of year again… Christmas is finally upon us!
Everyone’s getting into the spirit, watching their favourite festive films and stuffing their faces with mince pies and lots and lots of chocolate.
Some people have already got all of their decorations up, but how about trying something different this year?
In the spirit of Christmas, we’ve decided to make our own guide to turning your garage space into the ultimate Christmas Grotto.
Clear Some Space
The first step to transforming your garage space into the magical Christmas cave you’re aiming for is to make sure the room is tidy.
To make the most out of this project, you’re going to need as much space as you can get. In order to achieve that free garage space, you might need to get a little creative with storage. Where you can, try and move any items that are movable somewhere else, such as the attic or the shed if you have one.
If you have cupboards screwed to the wall or things that you are unable to move from the garage, there’s no need to worry. You can cover any cupboards or equipment with some cloth or curtains, but we’ll get more into this shortly.
For the majority of projects done in the garage, we usually suggest having a clean up and sorting everything out before undertaking anything. If you’re stuck on the best ways to organise your space, then check out our helpful tips here.
Laying The Foundations
So once we’ve got the garage clear and ready to decorate, it’s time to start with the base of the Grotto.
It’s a wise idea to start with the floor.
For the flooring of your magical Grotto, you’re going to want something soft to give it the warm, festive feel. Now we understand that most garages aren’t going to have carpet flooring, but this doesn’t mean that you need to rip up your floors to get your Grotto.
You can achieve the perfect festive flooring by simply laying down either a very large rug or multiple smaller rugs. You could even just buy a roll of coloured carpet and place it over your current flooring.
Colour wise, you have a couple of options.
If you’re going for Santa’s Workshop, something like a red carpet will give the garage a warm, homely feel. If you wanted to go for something different, you could try going for the North Pole look. To achieve this, white carpet is the right choice. If you really wanted to make it feel authentic, you should cover the floor with some artificial snow. Artificial snow is super cheap and really adds to the experience.
Setting The Scene
Now that we’ve covered the floor, let’s take a look at the walls.
When it comes to transforming the walls of your Grotto, it really depends on the kind of look that you’re going for. For Santa’s Workshop, an idea would be to hang some wood design shower curtains on the walls. Now this may sound like a silly idea, but bear with us.
You can find a range of different wood design shower curtains online and this is the easiest way to achieve the cabin look without having to use actual wood. Plus in the right lighting, no one will be able to tell the difference!
To achieve the North Pole look, you have two options; either a snowy, icy daytime or a star filled night sky.
For the daytime look, you’re going to want to cover the walls in a lot of white. You could follow a similar idea with hanging winter themed curtains up, or you could try some plain white curtains. For the nighttime look, hanging up black curtains or fabric will do the job nicely. You could even hang a moon from the ceiling.
If you’re going for the frosty aesthetic, you could consider hanging snowflakes from the ceiling and sticking them to the walls. Snowflake decorations are cheap and easy to come by, or alternatively you could make your own using paper and a pair of scissors.
Enhancing The Experience
We’ve covered the floor and the walls are now done, so let’s move on to the fun stuff.
As far as lighting is concerned, you have a couple of different options. Using Christmas lights to brighten up the room would fit well in Santa’s Workshop, with lots of reds, greens and blues.
To light up your own personal North Pole, fairy lights are probably your best bet. When used right, they can really add to the atmosphere and help add some warmth into the chilly landscape. For the nighttime look, star shaped lights will be your new best friend. They are the easiest way to achieve the nighttime sky indoors and aren’t exactly harsh on the wallet.
Hanging lights in the Grotto is an effective but inexpensive way of enhancing the Christmas experience and making it look that much better. You can pick up any variation of Christmas lights from places such as Argos and B&Q for not much at all.
If you really wanted to create a warm and homely feel, you could try adding some candles into the mix. But if you’re going to do so, make sure the candles are not left unattended, especially around any young children.
Time To Decorate
You’ve finally established the base and the stage is set. It’s time for us to add in the decorations.
One of the quintessential items in a Christmas Grotto is the chair of Saint Nick himself. But before you go reaching into your pocket to splash out on a full sized Santa’s Throne, let’s try and work with what you’ve already got.
You might already have a chair that could fit the bill, so don’t worry about spending too much on anything brand new. Using a seat cover or some red and green fabric can transform your everyday chair into a seat that is worthy of Father Christmas. Alternatively, even a Christmas themed pillow can be a nice addition, as long as the chair is comfy!
Now let’s talk about the big one.
As far as decorating goes, the Christmas tree is always the best part and if you don’t agree, you’re lying. Now we’re sure that you don’t need any help putting up and decorating your tree, but it would be wise to try and theme it to go with the theme of your Grotto.
For example, the North Pole would nicely welcome a white Christmas tree instead of the usual green. Make use of lots of red and green baubles if you are decorating a normal tree to go nicely with the carpet. Oh, and don’t forget to go crazy on the tinsel. You can never have too much tinsel.
For the rest of the room, go wild.
Large candy canes, cut out reindeers and Christmas stockings will all look great in your Grotto. A post box to the North Pole would also make a nice touch. Decorate the room however you see fit, just make it festive. You can pick up Christmas decorations for pretty cheap from a variety of places, but you’re sure to have at least some lying around the house.
One more thing, make sure to have lots of presents on hand.
Adding The Finishing Touches
Your Grotto is now very close to completion, but it’s time to add those finishing touches.
As we mentioned before, artificial snow is a very touch in making it feel authentic. You could also go one further and use scented sprays to make it smell like Christmas, with smells such as pine and cinnamon.
Last but not least, you need to have a good Christmas playlist. There’s nothing that sets the Christmas mood more than festive music, and it’s time to start blasting the classics.
If you’ve followed our guide, you should theoretically have your own personal Winter Wonderland in your garage.
Having your very own Christmas Grotto can be a fantastic and refreshing way of getting you and your family into the Christmas spirit. It can also be a way to free up valuable living room space where the tree would usually sit.
Let us know if these tips helped and send us pictures if you manage to pull it off. One more thing, we apologise for the amount of hoovering that will need to be done after Christmas is over.