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.

Christmas Recycling - Happy Holiday Wreath

Posted on December 23, 2015 at 10:20 AM Comments comments (0)

A quick trip to my local church charity shop  to find some inspiration and a few last minute ornaments instead scored me a bag full of copper wire scouring pads. Wow, what a find - but once I got home I realized that I had nothing I could use these to clean - all my pots and pans require gentle hand washing and I couldn't possible use them to clean my Pyrex glass baking and serving dishes. So, of course, I made a wreath.  While watching my favourite Scrooge DVD, I unravelled some of the pads - not as simple as I thought but I persevered and had a bundle of copper wire ready for wreath making. Did you know that these are actually knitted together?

I wish all a Happy Christmas and an amazing and eco-friendly New Year.

Christmas Wreaths - Alternative Styles

Posted on October 22, 2015 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Some of you no doubt prefer to find alternative ways to create your own style of wreath so I looked for some non-traditional ones and found a few you might enjoy. No pine or spruce boughs to gather up, not an ornament in sight. Instead these wreaths can be made by items you've got stored away in the garage or in your drawers. Buttons, old paintbrushes, expired tree lights, even old socks. Let these wreath ideas inspire you to use what you've already got.

Button Wreath

The one above was a photo sent to me by a member. It's appears to be made of buttons and knitted strings of wool or jute over a twig wreath form. Nice way to use up some knitting yarn and reuse old buttons.

Expired Christmas Tree Light Wreath

No -  this one won't light up your life, but once the bulbs have long expired, put them to use by gluing them on to a wreath form (or even a cardboard cut into a wreath form) and string it up. this one was created by Brian Patrick Flynn for HGTV.

Paintbrush Wreath

Now this is what I call upcycling! If you've got a bunch of old paintbrushes stuck away in the back of a shelf in the garage or basement, why not bring the used brushes out of the dark to freshen up a garage door or a fence - or even your front door, it you are so inclined. This wreath comes from Anthropologie via Pamela Holderman. The red ribbon is a nice added touch.

Tartan Socks Wreath

I really like this wreath and since I do own a few tartan socks, just might get them out of the sock drawer and onto my front door. Desiree over at The 36th Avenue blog created this one and has a tutorial to show you how to make your own. She goes on to decorate the wreath with black and white embellishments and little plastic trees, but I prefer it simple with no additional decoration required.

Christmas Foraging - Into the Woods We Go ...

Posted on October 18, 2015 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (0)

I was running around this morning finishing up a few errands when it started to snow. I noticed a fellow across the street from me glance up at the sky and stretch his hand out to catch some snowflakes. We looked at each other and both of us grinned in delight. First snow has that effect. It didn't last, of course; after all, it's only mid-October but it will come and, I'm keeping my figures crossed for piles and piles of this white stuff, especially at Christmas. 

One of the nicest memories that I always associate with Christmas is the scent of evergreen. I can't have a live Christmas tree in my flat as fire regulations and the fact that some people, after the holidays, toss their trees over their balconies to the street below, prohibit the real thing. However, I always have at least one real wreath - one I make myself or buy at the farmer's market.

Heading out into the woods is probably not a reality for most of us but if you can, gather up the kids, the family pet (if you have one), a few baskets or boxes, and get foraging. Let the kids decide what they would like to bring home and be sure that you don't harm any trees or other plants - just pick up what you find on the ground. Once you get home, remember to spread out your finds outside for an hour or two so that any residents inside the finds you brought home have time to scurry out and find new homes!

Below are a few ideas for DIY wreaths that I found online. Some of the things you will need to collect are fresh branches such as willow or grapevine, oak leaves, cones, and evergreen clippings. So get out there and forage.

Bambi Wreath / La Couronne de Noel de Bambi

The gals over at Oui Oui Oui Studio created this kid-friendly wreath with holly branches, oak leaves, tea lights and, of course, a little Bambi toy figure and some white balls. You can easily forage and find oak leaves and willow branches which are flexible enough for the kids to shape into a wreath. If you have any spare round (plastic) Christmas tree ornaments (ping pong balls would also work), get the kids to paint these white. The tea lights are battery-powered so this wreath can easily be one for the children's room.

A Foraged Wreath

This wreath is from a photo shoot at The Marion House. It was one of several wreaths made by Sarah Nixon of My Luscious Backyard for a Chatelaine magazine 2014 article. I liked this one in particular for its simplicity. It looks a bit like the Bambi wreath and everything on it can be foraged from the woods, your backyard, or a local nature park. I pick up a lot of stuff along the Rideau Canal which is close to where I live. I often find acorns, pine cones, twigs and even some evergreen boughs along the path. Of course, it's considered illegal to pick this stuff up but let's that be our secret!

A Traditional Wreath

A simple traditional DIY wreath made using spruce clippings. It's from a posting on Once Wed by photography Laura Murray. Under materials she lists a metal wreath form but as I'm encouraging you to forage, collect some fresh thin branches and wire these together instead to use as the base for your wreath (or you could recycle a wire clothes hanger). Using the branches means you can skip the floral tape, too. Just wire the spruce clippings and cones to the branch base. And skip the glue gun. Oh dear, I think I just completely redid the instructions. Oh, well - frugal me.

DIY Seasonal Wreath

My very favourite wreath is from Treasures and Travels. If I had the wall space, this would be up in a flash. It reminds me of one Christmas when my family and I were driving through Pennsylvania when I spotted a huge rusted barb wire wreath on the side of an old red barn. It's sheer size and simplicity blew me away. Ever since then, I have lusted for a similar (somewhat smaller) one for my home. Somethings, I do believe, are better, bigger.

But I digress. For this beautiful wreath you'll need flexible branches or woody vines (grapevines or whatever is growing in your neighbourhood). If you don't have vines covering your home and a neighbour does, what are you waiting for? 

Yummy Saffron and Cinnamon Wreath

Another traditional spruce wreath posted on a foodie blog and it's owner, Linda, at Call Me Cupcake offers you not only this yummy smelling saffron and cinnamon spruce wreath but an lovely edible saffron bun wreath as well. She jumps around a bit from the real wreath to the bun wreath but it's easy to see how she makes both.