A Crafty Christmas - My Experience as a Contestant on Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas

A Crafty Christmas - My Experience as a Contestant on Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas

Miss Shelly on telly! Did you see me on Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas back in December 2022? I appeared as a contestant in the handmade wreath competition.


Miss Shelly Designs  with Kirstie Allsopp on Kirstie's Handmade Christmas


The whole experience on the show - Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas was a bit of a whirlwind. I applied to be a contestant on the popular Christmas craft show in September 2022 and in October I travelled to Christmas HQ in Devon where Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas was being filmed at Kirstie Allsopp's house.


Kirstie Allsopp's house in Devon where Kirstie's Handmade Christmas is filmed


How did it all happen? How do you apply to be a contestant on Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas?

I applied to be on Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas by filling out their online application form. I was then contacted for an interview to discuss the possibility of me being a contestant in the handmade Christmas wreath competition. 

I sent the producers a sketch of my intended Christmas wreath. I went with a gingerbread theme for my Christmas wreath. I started Miss Shelly Designs 10 years ago last year. The very first decoration I created was a gingerbread man, so it felt only fitting that the Christmas wreath I would make for Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas would be Gingerbread man themed.


Gingerbread family wreath design for Kirstie's Handmade Christmas


My main aim with the wreath was to create something cute, unique, well made and a luxury wreath that you could keep as a keepsake. 


My gingerbread Christmas wreath featured a gingerbread family, handmade from felt - as I make my handmade personalised Christmas decorations.


Handmade gingerbread Christmas decoration by Miss Shelly Designs


For the actual Christmas wreath, I used an embroidery hoop which I then covered in handmade knitted cords. I made handmade knitted cords by using a knitting mill.

Gingerbread Family Christmas wreath created for Kirstie's Handmade Christmas using knitting cords made on a knitting mill


Knitting machines (Actually called knitting mills) are great for crafts. I use the knitted cords featured on Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas as scarves for my Christmas tree decorations. 


Handmade monkey Christmas decoration by Miss Shelly Designs


On Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas, I used the knitted cords to weave around the hoop. I also created a knitted bow which I placed on the top of the Christmas wreath.


How long did I have to create my gingerbread family Christmas wreath?


I have previously watched the popular Christmas craft show and assumed some items could be made at home but that isn't the case - EVERYTHING has to be made on the day of filming. We had 4 hours to create the wreaths, including the demo with Kirstie, so time was precious.



Materials used for the gingerbread family wreath on Kirstie's Handmade Christmas


How did I make my handmade Christmas wreath?


  • I needed 5 metres of the knitted cords to cover my embroidery hoop. 
  • I wrapped & weaved the cords around the hoop.
  • I hand drew all the gingerbread shapes onto felt and then cut by hand. I used a template and an air-erasable pen to make my shapes.
  • I hand-embroidered their mouths and added their eyes.
  • I hand-stitched the door and added a trim to the front of the gingerbread house.
  • I hand-stitched the gingerbread men and the house using a blanket stitch.
  • I made tiny bow ties for the gingerbread men and hand-stitched on their button details.
  • I added a bit of sparkle to my gingerbread wreath by creating some gold glitter stars. I used glitter felt, cut the shapes out and then stitched them together on a sewing machine.
  • The final part of the process was assembling everything. I hand stitched the decorations to the knitted wreath and added the stars.


Did I enjoy my time on the show?


It was an amazing opportunity to appear on Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas and meet the Queen of crafts Kirstie Allsopp! The whole experience is a bit of a blur now. I was nervous at the time but the crew and Kirstie Allsopp were great. The other contestants Rachel from Chanix Millinery, Ellie from Gable Studios and Liberty from Sweet Liberty Belle were lovely too!

Contestants for the handmade wreath competition on Kirstie's Handmade Christmas


The support from friends, family and people who follow me on Instagram and Facebook was incredible! I want to take this opportunity to thank you all.


Am I selling the Christmas wreath that appeared on Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas?


I am! I am now making and selling my gingerbread man wreath. As you have just read, these wreaths are VERY special and take me at least 4 hours to create. They are brilliant keepsakes though and you can tell everyone that your wreath appeared on the show!


Miss Shelly Designs and her gingerbread man family Christmas wreath on Kirstie's Handmade Christmas


If you would like to order the wreath that appeared on Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas then please click HERE.

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Well done Shelley, it made fascinating viewing esp as I’m a friend of Anne’s


You looked so calm and together throughout the programme. I don’t know how you did it. It must have been so nerve wracking! Congratulations.


Brilliant experience and extremely brave of you. We are all very proud of you xx


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