Blogmas Day 5: Who needs a Christmas tree?

I really want a Christmas tree this year. Like really, really bad. But my bank balance won’t allow it. And even if we opt for a small artificial tree, that’s still money we could – and let’s face it, should – be spending on the wedding or the honeymoon or the fund for our future life together.

So I’ve slowly but surely – and rather reluctantly – come to terms with the fact that we are not getting a tree this year and that this winter, festive tradition will have to be reserved for our first Christmas as husband and wife.

So until next year, I’ll have to make do without one. And today, I’ve done just that. I’ve made do, who needs a Christmas tree? When you can have some battery operated fairy lights, some cardboard bunting and a sprig or two of recycled tinsel!

I may have used a little splash of money, but considerably less of a tidal wave than I would have spent had I had to buy a proper sized Christmas tree and all the trimmings. And let’s face it, the trimmings are the best bit! I simply wouldn’t be able to hold back.

So let me show you, in true Blue Peter style, what I made earlier.

At the weekend, I popped into Poundland, a shop where everything is a mere pound. This year, they’ve gone all out and have quite the plethora of Christmas trinkets and decorations. You know, the sort of tat, that every good household should acquire over the years.

Wilkinson is also a fantastic and reasonably priced place to find Christmassy things to deck out your halls. Below is a little flat lay of some of the items I picked up in both of these shops.

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Let’s start with the baubles, which I’m a little bit in love with. Now, brace yourself because a bargain bomb is about to go off. These glass baubles (glass, not plastic) were a mere £1 a box, thank you Poundland! Now, yes, they are glass. But they are the thinnest glass imaginable and one of my red ones was broken when I opened the box which made me deeply sad. But despite all this I was still very impressed with them and can’t believe that for two tiny pounds I got 18 baubles.

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The baubles are speckled and catch the light beautifully and they come complete with pre cut gold strings so you can hang them on your tree or garland or off of your ear lobes if you so desire.

Or from the worlds tiniest tree.

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I bought this tree for Oli, years ago now, because he had no decorations in his house and it made me sad. So I bought this tree and I made decorations for it out of FIMO clay. This year, however I opted for a slightly different, more mature look and style. I bought the mains operated white fairy lights from Poundland and some gold beading from Wilkinson’s (5 metres for 75p) which I cut to size and wrapped in and out of the branches. I popped about six of my new baubles onto the tree along with some FIMO candy canes that I made when I originally gave Oli this tree.

I’m pretty chuffed with it to be honest and I love the red and gold look of it. I also made the star out of a cookie cutter and some yellow FIMO modelling clay, covered in glitter.

Because our Christmas tree is so small, that it doesn’t really count as a tree, I wanted to work on a garland to put on the mantelpiece. I just didn’t want it to cost a fortune. But when I was digging out the decorations from last year, I found a long, bushy string of green, natural looking tinsel. It was perfect.

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I folded it in half and twisted it so that it was all entwined together, so it looked bushier and more full. I found two plastic gold bells in the wardrobe too and used them to hang off either end of the garland, attached via chunky safety pins to keep the garland together.

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I wove the multi-coloured lights I had on our mini tree last year (from Poundland) into the garland and also studded the garland with some pretend glittery red berries, wound in with wire. These berries were a steal from Wilkinson’s, I got about 50 wired berries for £1; they’d be perfect for wreaths as well or for popping on top of fancy Christmas wrapping paper.

To attach my garland I used sellotape, discreetly. Not terribly glamorous but effective nonetheless.

The hearts underneath the garland, have actually been up all year round, but they were a little project that I handmade a few years ago, using Christmas material and hessian string.

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Above my garland, I have the word NOEL. These brown, wooden, distressed and snowy topped letters were from Poundland once again. All four letter for one tiny pound, how amazing is that! This year (because Starbucks red cups are so pretty this December, last year they were awful) I’ve made a point of collecting my Starbucks Christmas cups. They make really cute tea light holders and light up beautifully with a flickering flame inside. On a side note, I don’t advocate anyone doing this, it’s probably not my smartest idea as the cups are probably very flammable, seeing as they’re made as paper and all. But they do look pretty.

In between my Starbucks cups, is a delicious Christmasy scented candle which my Mum bought for me from Lidl. It smells like Christmas in a jar. Yum!

All in all my garland cost me less than a pound to make.

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Our friends, who got married last April, have lent us a lot of stuff for our own wedding next year. Including this bunting, featured above. It’s a ‘create your own’ bunting and comes with lots of letter for you to spell out your own words. I hope they don’t mind me using the bunting to spell out ‘Merry Christmas’ over the festive period.

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Speaking of things for the wedding, I borrowed one of our jars that we’re planning to use for our sweet table. I love this chunky glass cookie jar (£1.50 from ASDA) and it looks great with another thing we’ve borrowed for the wedding, from our friends – two sets of battery operated fairy lights. I also popped in the left over baubles that I couldn’t use, on account of the fact that our tree is microscopic, along with a ‘Merry Christmas’ Ornament that I found amongst last years stuff.

The lantern, is a new purchase. I went to a Garden Centre yesterday, in an effort to make myself feel more festive, again. I told you, Garden centres are where all the festive feelings are at. And I stumbled across this beauty. I wanted another lantern – in fact I’d seen some in Waitrose that were all £15 plus – to accompany our bigger lantern, but they were all quite pricey. But this battery operated one – not something I would normally go for – was only £5. So I bought it, no questions asked. It’s an all year-long investment and it’s brilliant.

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So there you have it, my festive creation on a shoe string, who needs a Christmas tree eh?

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