Top tips from Pete

– Plan well ahead – start sketching ideas now, and try to come up with more than one possibility.

– If you’re going for something really ambitious, consider having a backup window ready!

– Always think about the lighting – backlit, front lit, subtle, full beam? Test it out well in advance – use a rear window if you don’t want anyone to get a sneak preview.

(Read more below…)

– Make a frame to house the masterpiece – makes it much easier to work on without being in situ and is easy to put up and take down. Frame can be reused each year.

– Allow room for air to circulate – condensation a problem in most houses. Get a dehumidifier if you tend to get a lot of condensation.

– Get a timer for the lights.

– Test the lighting and have spares ready. There’s nothing like a dash to Wilkos for replacement fairy light bulbs at 15:55 on opening night…

– If inexperienced/lacking confidence, just keep it simple – it’s not a gallery exhibition, it’s about fun, expression, and making people smile.

– If unsure ask to be one of the many number 1s on the opening night to take the pressure off (going for a later date allows more prep time but increases expectation – plus you might need to be doing last minute Christmas shopping etc!).

– However good/experienced you are, accept that yours won’t be the best and won’t be everyone’s favourite. Don’t worry about the number of Likes etc on Facebook – people look at the post about your window on that day and then move on.

– Look at past windows for ideas – don’t worry about adapting or building on ideas used before (it’s Saltaire “Inspired” after all – look at others for inspiration).

– Whilst on display to everyone, your window will be personal to you – make it for you and let others enjoy it.

– You’ll overhear plenty of comments from people who pass your window and have an opinion on it. Most are heartwarming, but some will need to be brushed off – do just that.

– Try to set a day/half a day aside a few weeks before to really get time to work on the window. Make arrangements for childcare etc so you can really focus on it (unless the children are helping, which is great fun).

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