News & Politics

Cool Creative Christmas at the Danish Embassy

After months of hard work, Danish and Washington art students show off their gorgeous—and eco-friendly—Christmas decorations at the Danish ambassador’s home.

(Left to right): Design students Caryn Cramer, Breeze Giannasio, Louise Havndrup, Brittany Watson, and Tiersdag Kjøller at the unveiling of their Cool Creative Christmas decorations. Photograph by Chris Svetlik.

 >> Click here for photos of the decorations

To call the paper flowers and cutout snowflakes currently adorning the walls of the Danish ambassador’s home “arts and crafts kicked up a notch” would be a gross injustice. Yes, they’re all handmade, and yes, some of them include coffee filters, Balducci’s napkins, and hundreds of old issues of Financial Times. But we guarantee you won’t be able to tell.

That’s the beauty behind Cool Creative Christmas, this year’s environmentally friendly rendition of the Danish Embassy’s annual Christmas-decoration viewing party. In association with Danish Design School students Tirsdag Kjøller and Louise Havndrup, the Corcoran College of Art & Design’s Brittany Watson, Caryn Cramer, and Breeze Giannasio have been toiling since early August to design and construct their elegant holiday decorations. As a nod to this year’s United Nation’s Climate Change Conference—December 7 through 18 in Copenhagen—the artists worked to showcase an authentically Danish aesthetic using only sustainable materials. Weeks of weaving, cutting, and crafting resulted in a frosty forest filled with papier-mâché animals and meticulously sculpted rose bushes, all inspired by the classic fairy tale The Snow Queen, written by Hans Christian Andersen, Denmark’s most beloved author.

The ambassador’s home is closed to the public, but we have pictures and in-depth explanations of the ornamentation. Take a personal tour of Cool Creative Christmas by clicking the slideshow link above.  

Sarah is the Editor-in-Chief of Washingtonian Bride & Groom, and writes about weddings, fashion, and shopping. Her work has also appeared in Refinery29, Bethesda Magazine, and Washington City Paper, among others. She is a Georgetown University graduate, lives in Columbia Heights, and you can find her on Instagram at @washbridegroom and @sarahzlot.