Santa’s Grotto : Static and Animated Christmas Decoration and Features

November 18th, 2009 - 

Depending upon the scale of your Santa’s Grotto, you may have the need to install Christmas Decorations and Features. These Christmas Features can be static or animated and my use lighting effects and/or sound too.

More and more static and animated Christmas Features can be found in garden centres, high street shops and online, including auction sites. The prices typically start high when a new feature is released to the market, the price typically falling on subsequent sales seasons. Don’t forget to buy decorations, features and lighting for next years Santa’s Grotto. As Christmas gets nearer and afterwards, the prices often topple as the retailers try to clear the stock.

  • Bargain Animated Features [opens in new window]
  • Bargain Christmas Lighting [opens in new window]
  • When looking to decorate Santa’s Lounge, you may need a fireplace, mirror, Arm Chair, Christmas tree and other room décor – don’t forget to check out what may be available in the charity and clearance shops.

    When decorating floor areas and roofs to give a snow covered effect, consider using rolls of wadding, this is a cotton-wool like product, supplied on wide rolls.

    Depending upon the location of your Santa’s Grotto, in relation to height restrictions, indoor location etc, you may even consider having a smoke machine located to give a smoking chimney.

  • Smoke Machines [opens in new window]
  • Rotating Christmas Trees – this is much easier if the tree is unlit, perhaps consider decorating the tree with shiny, reflective and mirror finish decorations, then illuminate the tree with one or more spotlights, maybe coloured, plain or both.
    You could have a number of trees of differing sizes, maybe spinning in different directions and speeds.
    A simple turntable can be made from wooden sheets, a few casters and a bolt in the center. Various methods can be used to rotate the turntable, barbecue spit motors are great if you can find them, probably cheap too out of season. Other ideas include rechargeable screwdrivers and drills, although not typically rated for constant use.

  • Motors [opens in new window]
  • Casters and Hardware [opens in new window]
  • SpotLight Supplies [opens in new window]
  • Animating non-animated features – with a little work and imagination, many non-animated features can be given life. I’ve already mentioned a few sources of animation, others include salvaging motors and gearboxes from old toys. Another great source is oscillating fans – simply remove the protective cage and fan, put a protective cap over the exposed spindle and use the side to side motion to drive props and features. Some simple leverage will animate heads, limbs etc, strings and pulleys can be used to create rise and fall animation.
    Oscillating fans

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