How to Turn Your Shed into a Christmas Grotto
If you have a garden shed, some energetic children and a little bit of free time, then you have all the ingredients you need to create a magical extravaganza this Christmas – by making your very own Santa’s Grotto.

It’s simple to do. Some Christmas lights, tinsel and a seat for Father Christmas are the basic components of a Christmas Grotto.  It will be great fun for the children to help you decorate Santa’s seat and come up with ideas about how to arrange things. The only hard work involved is giving your shed a good tidy up – and you’ve been meaning to do that for ages anyway.

Why you should turn your shed into a Christmas Grotto

Making a Grotto is a great way of having fun with young children who still have an infectious enthusiasm about Christmas. Everyone can get involved in decorating the Grotto to make it an enticing place for Santa Claus to pop by.

When he does show up, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that doing something different for Christmas turned it into the best one ever. There’s an added advantage if members of your family are coming over – it gives the children another place to hang out.

How to build your own Christmas Grotto

The first step is to clear out your shed. You’ll need to make sure that it’s a safe place for youngsters, so store your tools and garden equipment elsewhere for the time being. Also, check the surfaces for any rough edges or stray nails that might injure little hands.

Once you’ve got a clear space, then it’s time to plan out the Grotto. Figure out where Father Christmas is going to sit, where he can put his sack of presents and where the children can sit while they listen. Then it’s time to decorate.

Decoration ideas

Christmas lights

You can have strings of lights around the shed, both inside and outside. Battery-powered fairy lights can be wrapped around Santa’s chair. If you’re using powered lights then it’s a good idea to have a residual current device (RCD) to protect against electric shocks, and make sure they are out of reach of the children. Candles or tea lights are another option, perhaps in the garden showing the way to the Grotto.Find our range of solar lights here.

Tinsel and baubles 

Hang these from Santa’s chair, the door, the windows, or anywhere the children decide. You can also put up Christmas arts and crafts, like pictures of nativity scenes or any decorations made at school. Spray-on snow can also be very effective on window panes.

Christmas trees and holly

A fir tree pot plant can be decorated as a Christmas tree. Poinsettias are always Christmassy, while wreaths and garlands made from green trimmings and holly can all be hung around the windows.

Cushions, throws and rugs

You’ll want the Grotto to be warm and welcoming, so make somewhere appealing for the children to sit on like a red throw and some cushions. If you have a draught excluder that can also be useful, and it would probably be a good idea to put a heater in the shed, although again make sure you have an RCD.

Time for some Christmas cheer

The final step is to invite Santa Claus. If for some reason he can’t make a personal appearance before the night of Christmas Eve, then you may need a volunteer – don’t forget to give them some tips on dealing with a small group of excited children. In addition to asking each of them in turn if they’ve been good, and giving them a present, your Santa may want to tell them a story or two, perhaps using a seasonal picture book or some props like a carrot for the reindeer.

Not all of these things are essential but the more effort you put in, the more rewarding your Grotto will be. If you’re inspired to give it a go, remember that you just need somewhere that is safe, warm and Christmassy to create a Grotto that will stick in your children’s memories forever. For more ideas about sheds and what you can do with them, click the link to check out our selection of sheds.

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