Form the reindeer body outline from chicken wire folded double. Put a timber baton to run the length of his body and position it along the underside of its stomach. The front and hind legs will be screwed onto this. The legs are made from pieces of timber about 400x25x25mm and each pair are screwed or nailed together to form an inverted "V" shape over the horizontal baton. Make sure the frame stands up and is secure. Cut lots of foliage (leylandii is ideal) about 300mm long and stuff it into the frame so it is packed tightly. Neatly clip it after it is completely filled. Add a red screwdriver for the nose and a pair of different coloured screwdrivers for eyes. Finally, use prunings from suitable tree branches for antlers. Add the ribbon and bell.
Partridge in a Pear Tree
If you wanted to buy a large specimen tree for the garden, Barcham Trees has a great range (www.barcham.co.uk ). Place it in a prominent position and wrap the container in hessian. You could paint the trunk with diluted white emulsion paint and add faux golden pears plus a partridge (from painted plywood). If you prefer you could make a robin using chicken wire and cloth.
Cut out the snowman shape from hardboard, size to suit. Paint it white and glue on pieces of coal to make a mouth, small carrot for a nose, small wooden door knobs for eyes and larger ones for coat buttons. Add colourful scarf and plywood top/bowler hat.
The ultimate mug tree
Choose an existing, smallish tree in a prominent position. Take a selection of mugs, maybe galvanised, or a mix of brightly coloured ones. Fill with sweets wrapped in cellophane and tie onto branches with brightly coloured ribbon.
Mary in a sitting position is made from doubled-over chicken wire wrapped around a wooden pole with the end stuck into the ground. Weave some willow to form a rustic face, and dress in some remnant of blue cloth with a white tea towel over the head. Joseph (standing) is formed similarly using a pole for support positioned between his legs and fixed into the ground. The crib is made from four pieces of timber and attached to four legs. Add a lantern, and pop a teddy in a shawl into the crib.