I had a couple of days off work recently, and inspired by countless articles in picture-perfect Christmas magazines, I had amassed a whole pile of crafty bits just perfect for creating a home-made Christmas.
Getting into an arty festive mood, I put some Christmas carols on, brewed some cranberry herbal tea, tied my hair up in a scarf, and set to.
After an exhausting afternoon spent weeping into my glitter, here’s what I learned:
- Invisible thread is called invisible thread for a reason.
- Air-drying clay does not dry in 24 hours.
- The cat likes licking air-drying clay (ew).
- Metal star-shaped cookie cutters are painful.
- Potato stamping isn’t half as much fun at 40 as it was at 4.
- Paper folding is not relaxing.
- Cutting card with a craft knife is deadly.
- Too much herbal tea was a mistake.
- The magazines lied.
I don’t give up that easily, so the next afternoon, I put some hard rock music on, made some mulled wine and wrapped my hair tightly with an elastic band (glue guns and hair don’t mix).
First up, the easy one. Slice some oranges, put in oven at a low heat for four hours (‘a delightful aroma will infuse your home with a wondrous Christmas spirit’).
Next, glue-gun some baubles to a distressed wooden frame, in the shape of a Christmas tree ( a simple, yet charming idea).
Finally, make your own candles (‘a bee-yoootiful gift for friends and family’).
My oranges curled up and died, sending out plumes of evil-smelling, acrid smoke, I became more distressed than my baubles and frame and after boiling up wax pellets for the candles, I realised too late that the wicks I had ordered were too short.
All I have to show for my efforts is a string of clay stars. After all the pummeling, rolling out, cutting out, three days of air-drying and chasing the cat away from them, I was determined not to be beaten.
The next day, I went to Poundland (three fold-out stars for a quid), chucked out all my magazine articles, cursed Kirstie Allsopp and Pinterest and flopped on the sofa to watch ‘Elf’ for the eighth time (with some re-heated mulled wine)….