This is Part III of my Victorian Christmas article series. Enjoy!
The first Christmas card was designed in 1843. It was a simple illustration with a seasonal greeting. The first cards were expensive, but by the late Victorian period Christmas cards became more affordable, creating a tradition and an industry that continues to this day.
Marbling was a popular form of decoration in Victorian times, and can often be found on the inside of book covers. It's an easy but effective technique, and we've used it to make some colourful wrapping paper for your Christmas presents.
The Christmas cracker was invented in Victorian Britain by a sweet shop owner called Thomas Smith. Wanting to take advantage of the increase in confectionary sales at Christmas and inspired by a sweet he saw on a trip to Paris – a bon-bon wrapped in tissue paper with both ends twisted - he came up with the cracker.
Victorians loved the aesthetic of paper flowers as decorations. There are hundreds of articles from the magazines of the time showing how to make different types of flowers. Most were highly elaborate designs, but we've found a simple rose flower for your first go.
Victorians were very particular about their settings for dinner tables, especially at Christmas time. Some of the descriptions include water fountains, lakes and elaborate stands filled with flowers and fruit. Since a lake might be a bit ambitious, why not make some Victorian-style table mats to brighten up your dinner setting?
Part I of this article series - Victorian Christmas: Decorations
Part II of this article series - Victorian Christmas: Gifts
Part IV of this article series - Victorian Christmas: Food and Drink
Part V of this article series - Victorian Christmas: Games and Activities