I’ve come over all Kirstie. This year I decided stop trying to buy a lovely Christmas and instead attempt to craft one. And who wouldn't agree that a handmade anything is always lovelier than the poshest version from the shops? Well, we’ll see.
I gave myself plenty of time. The decision was made in October – Christmas was months away.
I turned to the new hero of the crafting world, Kirsty Allsopp. The problem was that some of the things I was expected to copy for my own gifts were a little ambitious. Not because I couldn't do them, you understand, but because they required so many out-of-reach materials. I’m not sure I have a spare £30 to splurge on gold leaf to decorate a couple of pears, and I certainly don’t have acres of woodland from which to forage for evergreen foliage for my wreath.
So, as a city dweller, how was I going to use the materials I found on my doorstep to fashion a Christmas wreath? I look out of my window at the block of flats across the street: popping out to find some festive-looking twigs is rather more difficult when they are buried under a great mound of concrete.
Newspaper seemed the only available option, and so, in a spirit more ‘Blue Peter’ than Middle-Class-Allsopp, I began.
For several weeks it sat, looking a lot like a wire coat-hanger with newspaper wrapped around it. Ahh, festive. Even when I started adding ribbon the boyfriend could only muster, “That will be such a lovely gift for someone who appreciates effort.” Thanks love.
I don’t have an artisan lurking around my house, and heaven forbid I have a full-time job to go to, so I haven’t quite managed to glass-blow my own baubles.
But I have made, painted, varnished and glittered angel tree decorations. There was a disastrous morning when I was multi-tasking – finishing off the glittering whilst simultaneously eating my breakfast – and I got a bit confused, but we’ll gloss over that.
My fabric stuffed robins are a little wonky, but will certainly brighten a friend’s tree.
And the wreath? Well, it came together quite nicely, thank you very much.
“I just couldn’t see its potential”, the fella finally conceded.
However, a final word of warning: making your own Christmas presents will not be a cheap alternative if you manage to get paint all over your coffee table.