This year is my boyfriend and I’s first year in a flat by ourselves and so, in true girly style, I was excited about our Christmas decorations. Due to space restraints, anything big was definitely out the question. Anything store bought was also off the table.
During a peaceful weekend back at my parents house in the countryside I visited one of my favourite vintage and craft shops, Chesapeake Mill. There I spotted a beautiful little tree made from sticks. I left immediately to gather up some sticks. Pulling on my walking boots and grabbing a bag, I headed out to the fields where I spent my youth picnicking, kissing boys and avoiding homework. After scrambling into ditches, fighting off dogs and repeatedly scratching myself on branches, I returned home – triumphant with a bag of sticks and muddy shoes.
I left the sticks in the airing cupboard overnight to dry them off and the following morning I woke early, excited to start making.
My dad found me Grandad’s old handheld drill, but unfortunately some of the sticks were pretty tough. So, after fruitlessly sweating into the drill for 10 minutes, I had to resort to Dad’s electric drill, much to the annoyance of the neighbours at 8.30am on Sunday morning.
Using a thin wooden pole to thread them onto, I drilled holes through the middle of each stick. Only stopping to pretend I was robot with a drill three times.
Dad helped me saw up a little triangle for the top and he then emerged from the depths of the garage waving a circular slab of MDF with a neat little hole drilled in the middle.
“Do you need a base? I just found this,” he says.
Would you believe it, the hole was the perfect size! I drilled a hole through a wine cork to make a trunk and then popped it onto the base. By 9.30am and I had already made a Christmas tree. Our first Christmas tree. And I hadn’t bought a single thing!
I added some green felt, left over from my art school days, to the base to make it a bit more colourful and my boyfriend and I put it up this weekend. What with it being so small, this event took all of 2 minutes. That includes hanging the 5 small felt hearts that I had sewed as decorations. But hey, it’s quality, not quantity. And I’m damn proud of that little tree.