Kirstie's Handmade Christmas 2017 with The Crafty Gentleman

Kirstie's Handmade Christmas 2017 with The Crafty Gentleman Kirstie's Handmade Christmas 2017 with The Crafty Gentleman Kirstie's Handmade Christmas 2017 with The Crafty Gentleman Kirstie's Handmade Christmas 2017 with The Crafty GentlemanKirstie's Handmade Christmas 2017 with The Crafty GentlemanKirstie's Handmade Christmas 2017 with The Crafty Gentleman

Last night, I made my television debut! I appeared alongside the crafting legend that is Kirstie Allsopp, on her Channel 4 show Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas… exciting, right?! I’ve had to keep the details a secret for the past month, but now that the show has aired I can finally share a bit more about the day.

The filming took place on a crisp November day, in the spectacular surrounds of Blair Castle in Perthshire, Scotland. I was up bright and early to make my morning flight to Edinburgh. After disembarking at the airport, I met up with some of the other guys taking part in the show; Zoe from Love from Hetty and Dave, Chloe from Cotton Clara and Brooke from Lark & Fable. We had a quick coffee break, then jumped into our mini bus for the road trip up north to the Castle.

We arrived at Blair Castle at midday, and grabbed a bite to eat with some of the Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas Channel 4 film crew (they were an awesome bunch). After this, we were lead to the Christmas tree room… and got our first glimpse at the trees we were going to be decorating! There was much ooh-ing and aah-ing, as you’d expect. :)

Kirstie's Handmade Christmas 2017 Channel 4

It wasn’t long before we were then mic’d up and about to start filming… ahh! I kind of remember feeling a little nervous, but my main emotion was just pure excitement, mixed with a dash of disbelief. Am I really here, filming for a TV show that I’ve admired for years?! Just to throw in a bit more surreality, Kirstie Allsopp herself then casually walked in to say hi! I’m SO glad to say that she was just as wacky, fun and awesome in real life. We all had a good chat with her offscreen – she told us about the gingerbread making room, which was apparently stress central! – then she was whisked off by the production crew to do some filming elsewhere.

Kirstie's Handmade Christmas 2017 with The Crafty Gentleman Kirstie's Handmade Christmas 2017 with The Crafty Gentleman

Which meant… it was time for our filming to begin!

After carefully unpacking our decorations (I can’t even explain how glad I was that my super delicate tree topper made it there in one piece), the competition began! We were given a couple of hours to decorate our tree from scratch, using only the handmade decorations we’d brought from home. The crazy thing is that we only had confirmation that we were going on the show approximately 2 weeks before the film date – which meant the weeks leading to the day were an absolute whirlwind of last minute crafting, planning and packing! There were a few times when I honestly didn’t think I would finish my decorations in time. But thankfully, it all came to fruition in the end – not least of all, thanks to the helping hands of a few awesome friends. :)

I was really happy with the theme I went with. I decided on a multilayered tree in traditional festive colours, by combining three of my favourite craft techniques into a mixed-media creation. The white layer was origami and paper-folding; the red layer was lino printed; and the green layer was sewing and felt work. I arranged the layers in a downward spiral, reminiscent of a helter-skelter. What do you think?

Kirstie's Handmade Christmas 2017 with The Crafty Gentleman Kirstie's Handmade Christmas 2017 with The Crafty Gentleman Kirstie's Handmade Christmas 2017 with The Crafty Gentleman Kirstie's Handmade Christmas 2017 with The Crafty Gentleman Kirstie's Handmade Christmas 2017 with The Crafty Gentleman Kirstie's Handmade Christmas 2017 with The Crafty Gentleman

It goes without saying that competitors’ trees were simply astounding – Zoe’s insane leather craft skills, Brooke’s Nordic/boho vibes, and Chloe’s pastel wonderland. It was so inspiring to spend a day decorating with such talented crafters! We even got the chance to have a peek at the other competitions. OMG they were amazing.

Kirstie's Handmade Christmas 2017 with The Crafty Gentleman Kirstie's Handmade Christmas 2017 with The Crafty Gentleman Kirstie's Handmade Christmas 2017 with The Crafty Gentleman Kirstie's Handmade Christmas 2017 with The Crafty Gentleman

Right, I’m not going to tell you any more about the show (including who won!); you’ll have to watch it yourself to see all the rest. :) You can catch Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas 2017 online now – I featured in series 3, episode 1.

If you have seen the show, then let me know what you think! Happy watching guys. :) – Mike.

Written by Mike
Mike is the owner and founder of The Crafty Gentleman, a website aimed at encouraging men into the world of crafts. He loves nothing more than an afternoon spent crafting, with a cup of tea and some good tunes in the background.

    4 Comments

  1. Claireabellemakes December 19, 2016 at 9:18 pm Reply

    Well done Mike! You did so well, loved your tree. I think you’re a natural on the telly too :)

    • Mike December 20, 2016 at 4:51 pm Reply

      Ahhh thanks Claire!! :)

  2. Debbie Reid December 11, 2016 at 12:27 am Reply

    I did see it, and thought you were wonderful! I was really blown away by everyone’s effort, and I think being a ‘crafter’ I can really appreciate how much yous must have worked your butts off. I loved your idea of the traditional colours and layers, it’s really makes me want to do a home crafted tree next year. (And made me realise I should start now haha!) You must to be super proud of what you’ve achieved! :D
    Strangely enough, Iona who was helping Kirstie with the dog coat is one of my best friends girlfriends and she’d kept it a surprise! It’s such a small world.

    • Mike December 11, 2016 at 6:43 pm Reply

      Thank you so much!! I’m really glad you enjoyed the show :) We definitely did work our butts off to get the decorations made in time… it was a mad fortnight leading up to the show, that’s for sure! And what an odd coincidence that you knew someone else on the same episode!

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