Plastic Bag Christmas Wreath

Posted on November 23, 2017 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (0)

When I was little, we used to make these plastic wreaths out of green plastic trash bags that we sold at Christmas to family and friends to raise money for school outings. They are still fun(and oh so easy) to make if you have plastic bags you would like to recycle. The complete wreath will last forever (unless someone pinches as happened to me a couple of time when I decorated the garage doors with them!!).

Of course I wouldn't dream of going and buying plastic bags for this project (I recycle, remember?). Instead I used four clear plastic dry cleaning bags that I scrounged from the neighbours and friends and a wire coat hanger stretched into a circle form.

As I said, these wreaths are really simple to make and you can even get your own kids to help out. The following are instructions for making the wreath out of clear dry cleaning bags, but you can use whatever plastic bags (e.g., bread or produce bags??) you have on had. You'll just have to adjust how many bags you will need.

What you need: 3 to 4 plastic dry cleaning bags (if you have to use plastic bread bags, you will need about 20 to 30 bags), one wire coat hanger and scissors

How to do it: NOTE: You may get a lot of static when cutting the plastic strips so work somewhere you don't want to find bits of plastic when you're done.

  1. First, bend the wire coat hanger into a circle (doesn't have to be perfect) and set aside.
  2. Next, cut the plastic bags into strips 1/2″ wide and about 5-6″ long. Don't worry about getting the strips perfect - the wreath actually looks better when the strips aren't perfectly cut.
  3. When you've cut out all the strips, take a one and tie it around the wire circle.
  4. Keep doing this with all the strips until the wreath is fully covered.
  5. Fluff the finished wreath up a bit to add volume.

For added sparkle, I pulled a copper wire scouring pad apart and decorated my wreath with it. I made the star garland using empty cereal boxes and glued these to more of the copper wire.

That's it.

Christmas Wreaths - More Ideas

Posted on November 6, 2016 at 3:15 PM Comments comments (0)

There are tons of ideas for making your own holiday wreath this Christmas. The trick to making one more personal is to add your own touches with material and decorations you've already got on hand. Not all of the wreaths that I'm posting here come with how-tos or a tutorial but it's easy enough to find instructions online for almost any kind of wreath you imagine. 

Backyard Twiggy Wreath

Are you pruning your backyard bushes? Don't toss those prunings. Instead turn them into a twiggy wreath that you can keep up even after Christmas. Pam over at Design Fanatic provides a full tutorial. You can always add a few holiday decorations or ornaments for Christmas and then remove after. 

For instructions, click here.

Donna's Twiggy Wreath

This is another twiggy version from Austrialian whiz chef, Donna Hay. No longer on offer but should be easy enough to make.

Paper Feather Wrath

You can easily make a wreath out of whatever paper you've got on hand! Lucy over at Craftberry Bush shows you how to make this wreath and you can use up any paper you have on hand.

Instructions here.

Wreath of Leaves

You can purchase this magnolia leaf wreath over at Painted Fox Home or you can replicate it with felt leaves instead. 

Cheaper too.

Dolly Peg Wreath

I recently sold my vintage clothes (dolly) peg collection and the lady who bought it made this mirror frame for her laundry room using those pegs. You'll need a few dozen dolly pegs and an embroidery hoop for this one. 

My Own Plastic Bag Wreath

Did you ever make these at grade school? We did and it appears kids still do. This wreath takes a bit of time to cut up all of the plastic strips but the results are pretty nice. Perfect for a long lasting outdoor wreath and it does last forever. Perfect for hanging outside.

For the link to the instructions for my plastic bag wreath, click here

Christmas Wreaths - Traditional Real and Faux

Posted on November 1, 2016 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (0)

I get the distinct impression a few of you are impatient for Christmas ideas and wreaths are at the top of the list. I spotted a few winners online and hope you enjoy them. I'm smitten by the one above but could not find attribution or instructions for it. I believe it is cedar (??) and oh, so gorgeous. I have tried to find wreaths that come with instructions and/or tutorials as well as lots of photos to inspire even novices to try making their own.

Tradtional Balsam Fir and Pine Wreath

I found this traditional balsam fir and pine wreath over at Fynes Designs. Virginia, the owner of this blog, has a really good tutorial for making a traditional balsam fir and pine wreath and also provides ideas for decorating your creations.

For her how-tos, click here.

If you don't have all the tools you need for making a similar wreath, do what I always do - substitute! If I don't have a wire wreath base (and I never do), I use wire coat hangers. To attach the materials to the base, I don't go out and buy floral wire - I save and use those pesky wire closures you get with store-bought baked goods and veggies - very bad for the environment. Before using, I remove the paper or plastic covering these and there they are - free wire fasteners!

No wire coat hangers? No problem - use wooden embroidery or quilt hoops instead. Kim Purvis, behind the blog, Made in a Day, shows you how to wire up a quilt hoop but the same instructions work for an embroidery hoop.

No embroidery or quilt hoops? Raid your kid's toys and haul out that no longer used hoola hoop. You can make a spectacular wreath with this. No instructions for this wreath idea but the instructions for the quilt hoop will work here as well.

Look, you don't need to spend money on wreath materials, instead head for your local farmer's market and find the guy that sells holiday trees. Often, to make the trees more attractive and symmetrical, bottom and side branches are cut off. Ask if you help the seller out by removing these for him/her. They'll probably be happy for you to do just that. And look, no cost to you.

Get the idea?

Traditional Faux Wreath

If you have an artificial wreath on hand perhaps from last year, why not spruce it up with this idea from our lady Martha? This was featured in her Martha Living magazine (Dec. 14/Jan. 15 edition). First remove whatever decorations there are on your original wreath and substitute with decorations you have on hand or raid the kids' toy box again. Little cars or trucks or popular toy figuires would loo fabulous.

Add a bit of quilt batting and you're done. Get the kids to help out since this is probably their wreath anyway! Here are Martha's instructions.

Traditional Pine Cone Wreaths

Pine cone wreaths are very popular and last a long time. Often the cones are free for the taking in local parks or woods. Felicia Kramer over at her blog has very clear instructions for making your own pine cone wreath.

Click here for her tutorial.

For a second version, I really liked this one that was featured on the Sunset magazine blog. I found the photo via My Home Ideas but the instructions are here

Tomorrow, non-traditional wreaths!

Tutorial - Workshop Wreath Making DIY

Posted on September 28, 2016 at 9:10 AM Comments comments (0)

My Halloween workshops all went well and, if I can find the time, I will try to squeeze another one in before Halloween even though right now my mind is focusing on Christmas workshops.

Meanwhile, for those of you who couldn't come to my workshops and want to know how we did what we did, I will be posting DIYs so you can create your own versions of these Halloween decor ideas, if you're so inclined.

Halloween Wreath How To

Up first is the Halloween wreath we made. Because time was limited, we couldn't create a large wreath so I limited my materials to a paper plate as the backing for the paperback book pages.

First you will need to cut out the centre of the paper plate, then set the it aside for now. Next make the 'leaves' of the wreath.

The paperback pages were folded as shown above - sort of an S-shape and the stapled at the bottom. Make a whole pile (it's really quick) of these and then start creating the wreath.

Next, staple each of the folded page leaves to the paper plate in rows. 

When you get to the last row, tuck the edge of the 'leaves' under as shown above and then staple in place. Then decorate with anything you've got that's disgusting and weird. I cut out a few old crows, insects and snakes and also later added a cheesecloth spider's web.

Easy, no? And very quick. If you want to make a larger version, you will need to cut out a circle from cardboard. Just ensure that the doughnut formed is at least 2 inches around the sides.