Activities: Make Your Own Victorian Ivy Ribbons
Victorians used greenery from the countryside and gardens to decorate their homes at Christmas. Ivy Ribbons are a very Victorian take on room decorations that emphasised making nature into a perfect, ordered form.
This activity uses sharp tools. Children should be supervised.
We used calico material and dyed it green, but you can any material for this, even newspaper. Cut or rip the material into the desired length strips, they should be slightly less wide than the ivy leaves.
You will need a large pile of ivy leaves. Carefully pick off the individual leaves and put to one side.
Thread a needle with green cotton. Take an ivy leaf, place it on the material. Starting from the back, make a stitch in the ivy leaf and material. Take the next leaf and lay it so it slightly overlaps the previous leaf, and stitch down.
Continue down the length of material, until it is completely covered with ivy. If you want to make longer ivy ribbons, simply sew another piece of material to the end and continue placing the ivy leaves in the same pattern.
The Ivy Ribbons can be used as room decorations or wrapped around the branches of your Christmas tree.
National Archives: Victorian Britain
History in Focus: The Victorian Era
Victoria and Albert Museum
The Victorian Web
British Library: Online Exhibition: Victorian Britain
Pollock's Toy Museum
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