the end of November

wall hanging christmas tree

With the end of November in sight, is it too early to mention (in barely a whisper) Christmas? Have you already started to plan?

I freely admit that I have a bit of a “bah humbug” attitude to Christmas until about the 21st December. Hitting the shortest day seems reason for celebration and suddenly I enter the festive spirit and a Christmas tree is dragged in from the field, holly and ivy are cut down and brought inside while the decorations are hauled down from the topmost shelf and put up around the house. This enthusiasm lasts until New Year’s Day when I need a clean start to the year and all the decorations are taken down.

But this year, in an act of unprecedented forward planning on a very grey and wet weekend (hence the rather dismal photos) and buoyed by the success of the hanging tree we made for displaying baubles in the Barley Barn,  I made a twiggy Christmas tree to hang up in December onto which I could attach a decoration each day, rather like an Advent calendar.

Should you want to make one too, they’re very easy.

make a twiggy christmas tree

Cut your twigs into graduated lengths.

make a twig christmas tree

Rather than faff around measuring everything, I made a guide using duplo and laid the branches out.

make a hanging christmas tree

Take a length of twine almost 5 times as long as your intended tree. At the halfway mark, attach the string to a curtain ring. and sellotape the ring onto the duplo block to keep it in place at the top of the tree. Now just tie your branches together. As you can see, I used a rubber and pieces of card to wedge the smallest branches so that they didn’t move about. The string needs to be taut if you want the tree to hang straight. I’m no expert on knots, so I used what I think could be a clove hitch, which allowed me to jiggle the branches up or down a little when it was finished to make sure they were straightish.

rope ladder christmas tree

Hang the tree by the curtain ring and decide if you want to trim off the strings from the bottom or dangle something on them. Maybe you have a large bead or decoration you could hang from the centre of the bottom branch to make a trunk.

wigh christmas trees with lightsadd a star and string up some lights

a christmas tree from twigs

attach some decorations




I was so pleased with my twiggy tree that I took it out to the barn to show off to Ruth. Big mistake. She sold it. So now my dilemma is, do I make another twiggy Christmas tree …


christmas decorations


… or shall I just pin up a decoration each day?

Or maybe I’ll just wait until the twenty-first of December until I adorn the walls.

32 thoughts on “the end of November

  1. Emily Grace says:

    Anne, you have just solved my Christmas tree dilemma!…and created a new one – shall I make a twig tree or pin up an ornament per day?

    Either way, I am officially not trying to find a space in my tiny cottage for the Christmas tree this year. Thank you very much!

    By the way, my rhubarb is almost wilty enough to mulch and ignore for the winter. 🙂 Thanks again for that tutorial. 🙂



  2. Julie says:

    Anne, this is so lovely, love the creativity here. I have a very large family and birthdays falling on Christmas day, I need to be on my game at this time of year and really organised otherwise its goes pear shaped. I’ve just sent this to my daughter I know she will love your idea too.


    • Anne Wheaton says:

      The trouble is that the sticks I used were some old bits of willow I used for my sweet peas and I have none left and really don’t want to use my good hazel ones. Everything around here is too wet to use at the moment. The lights are battery operated but the box has long gone. I suspect they came from an enormous DIY shed somewhere.


  3. Wolves in London says:

    Oooh, that is very beautiful! Absolutely love it… Reminds me I must dig out the advent calendar I made last year before the weekend. Hmmm, now what box is it in?!

    I am the opposite way to you: crazy keen and Christmassy, usually around the middle of November, and then all bah humbug by the time it actually rolls round. Your way sounds so much more sensible!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial says:

    She sold it? Good for her. 🙂 And can I just say how impressed I am that you STILL have Duplo lying around, given the ages of your children? I love the twiggy tree (I thought you’d made it with cinnamon sticks at first), but I do think I like the pinned decorations even better! 🙂


    • Anne Wheaton says:

      I have all sorts of things lying around! I like the idea of making a mini tree with cinnamon sticks and bunches of herbs. Maybe I could hang teaspoons from it for a bit of sparkle. Oooh good inspiration Celia.


  5. Jane says:

    I love the tree, and especially the nifty use of Duplo! As my friend just said, that has to go down as one of those “borderline genius life hacks” that you always find on Pinterest, heheh (it’s not a ‘hack’ you idiots, it’s just a Good Idea!!).

    Liked by 1 person

  6. e / dig in hobart says:

    no wonder it sold, so personal and gorgeous!
    now that i’m all grown up, i’m not over-the-top about christmas, but i did put my silver tinsel up earlier than usual this year, to cheer me up and to enjoy it twinkling away in our evening sunlight.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sarah says:

    Go on make another! I am very lucky as I have a Resident Lego Expert in my house (the Littlest Fig). Am sure he would love to help me make one 🙂


  8. Christina says:

    This is such a great idea Anne. I have red bauble fairy lights that would just be perfect for a twig tree. Should have kept the Duplo, now I’ll have to make do with little lego. x


  9. theclevercarrot says:

    Lego Duplo- you are speaking my language! We have so much of those things I could probably build a twiggy village 😉 This is such a wonderful and creative holiday craft- no wonder it got sold!


  10. nancy @ Plus Ate Six says:

    Anne it’s lovely – maybe you should start in November next year and make one a day for the shop?! That would definitely contribute to any sense of bah-humbug. I put fairy lights around a red bamboo ladder this year – thinking it’s a keeper.


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