At the intersection of inspiration and exhaustion lies the belief that all things are possible, where we forget our own limitations. I saw a beautiful, do-it-yourself Christmas decoration several weeks ago on Sweet Cabane‘s Instagram feed and forgot for a moment that I enjoy DIY and crafty things only in theory and in other people’s Instagram feeds, because the reality is a f-ing mess.
But, like all capable women, I took on the challenge. It’s not too late to whip this up and add it to your holiday decor, too. So far, everyone who’s seen it in person has loved it.
In anticipation of a week’s worth of meals that will inevitably consist of tryptophan-laden courses, recipes that call for two pounds of butter, hors d’oeuvres, and Brie topped with fig cabernet wine jelly, it’s imperative to get some fresh air and exercise. Head out into the woods and do double duty by finding suitable sticks for the project. Enlist the help of any willing body.
You’ll need 8-9 medium to long(ish) sticks, approximately two centimeters in diameter.
Pro tip: Some helpers will be more willing than others to part with their sticks. (I said DROP IT!)
Lay out the branches on the floor and decide where to place them, top to bottom. Begin cutting the sticks in lengths to mimic the shape of a pine tree.
This is where the reality of my DIY deficiency came crashing back. I spent five minutes whipping branches around, swearing about the dirt and twigs and bark everywhere, and generally questioning the sanity of anyone who willingly makes their own things like a pioneer instead of going to a store and buying it like any other self-respecting woman who has no time for this shit.
Use the brains given to you and make promises to your partner for unlimited sexual favours if they’re good at DIY — or can just tie a knot — and they’re willing to take over the project. Christmas is stressful enough without losing it over a few branches and fairy lights.
Pretend you can’t hear him or her when they call in the favour.
Next, sit back and offer instructions and helpful tips, because the key to a successful DIY is recognizing one’s strengths.
Use one, continuous length of twine, beginning at the bottom of one side of the tree and working your way up and to the other side of the tree, to connect all the pieces of wood. Tie off each stick using a clove hitch knot.
Arrange 2-3 strands of battery-powered, micro, LED lights on copper wire, around the sticks and rope. Keep it loose. This DIY is rustic and not meant to be set with military precision, which is what appealed to me in the first place. I simply lost track of that when the real work began.
But don’t be afraid. After watching a more patient person than me at work, I realized it’s a simple project that takes very little time and the result is beautiful.
Now go pour yourself a congratulatory drink, or make do on your promises. Merry Christmas.