Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Day 12: SMB HoliDAYS with Monica

Hello! I want to share a project my friend and I did yesterday – a Christmas wreath. Now, this was our first time attempting it, so it was definitely an experiment! I will share with you along the way things I may do differently next time and ways to make it easier!

You will need:
-A wreath (we used 14” straw wreaths, but next time I will definitely go with foam. They were too messy!)
-Vintage sewing patterns, coffee filters, or tissue paper
-Distress ink
-A circle cutter or template
-Adhesive (glue gun, E6000, Glossy Accents, etc.)
-Ribbon or lace
-A staple gun
-Accents such as ornaments, poinsettias, floral picks, holly berries, pinecones, etc.

The first step is to cut a nice big pile of circles from your sewing patterns or tissue paper. If you’re using coffee filters, this step is done for you! I don’t have a big circle cutter, so I used an old bowl as my template and cut with an exacto knife. This proved more difficult than I realized because the paper is so finicky, and there were a lot of wrinkles in it. It would probably be easier to just layer a bunch and cut with scissors. My circles ended up being about 6”.

Once you have a nice big pile of tissue paper circles, crumple each one up in your hand and ink the wrinkles with distress ink. I used Tim Holtz’s “walnut stain” color. This part proves messy! You may want to wear latex gloves.

When all circles are inked, smooth them out flat. Hold it in your left hand, using your right index finger to press down in the center of the circle and gather it into a ruffle flower shape. On the back side, pinch the gathered part into a little circle; this is where you will add the adhesive.

Note about adhesive: I chose to keep the plastic on my straw wreath. If you use a straw wreath, I would definitely recommend doing this! My friend took her plastic off, and straw ended up EVERYWHERE! Not kidding, every nook & cranny! The best thing is probably to just use a foam wreath. Since I kept the plastic on my wreath, I used E6000 glue because I was afraid hot glue would melt the plastic. My friend used hot glue on the straw. Both held great!

Begin adhering the ruffles to your wreath form. This is where you get to play and experiment! On mine, I just started my first row around the front center of the wreath, then a row more on the inside of the wreath. I sort of squished my ruffle flowers together, but you can get a different look by spreading them out. My friend did hers a little different, and I like how hers looked just as well! She staggered hers – so the first was more on the left, the next a bit toward the right, then one toward the left, and so on. Just play with it!

Before you know it, your wreath will be full! Check for bald spots – I definitely found some on mine. As I said, I ended up just doing a row around the front center and around the inside. If I had more patience, I think I would have also done another around the outside, but you can’t see it much from the front.

Let your adhesive dry a bit before doing the last step, which is adding the fun accents! First, you’ll want to use ribbon to make a hanger for your wreath. You can always just tie the ribbon around the top of your wreath, but I didn’t want my ruffle flowers crunched. So I used a staple gun to attach the lace to the back (I folded the lace over a few times to make it stronger). This worked great!

All of my accents I found at Walmart for just $1 apiece in the Christmas section! I first added the “Merry Christmas” ornament. I left the string hanger on it and attached it to the back with the staple gun. I like how this let the ornament hang freely! Then I added the pinecones and poinsettia with my E6000 glue. These came with cool clips to attach them with, but I couldn’t find anything sturdy to attach them to, so I just used glue. I glued the pinecones on top of the inside, so they look like they are just resting there.

And here it is hanging on our front door! I think what I love best about this, besides how pretty it looks ;), is that it cost only $6 to make! Most everything I already had on hand at home, so I just had to buy the wreath form and accents.

I would love to see yours if you decide to make one!

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