Category Archives: Wreaths

Halloween Wreath

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I haven’t done much Halloween decorating this year, and it’s not for lack of pinspiration.  I have a whole Halloween Board.  There is no shortage of ideas to make your yard spooky, scary, or just plain fun.

Yet, I’ve done nothing.  Am I lazy?  Am I busy?  Yes, to both, but that’s not the real reason why I haven’t been busy decorating.

The answer is that I’m hostile.  And I’m hostile, quite honestly, because it’s an election year, and I feel like the core principals of our nation are under attack.  Because of that, I’m very fearful of the future, and as a result, I have felt a serious lack of festivity when it comes to things like decorating for Halloween

But my kids’ haven’t lost their enthusiasm.  So, I stopped reading political articles, got out the Halloween bins and got busy.

Their excitement was contagious.  Before I knew it, I was digging out stuff to make a wreath.  You know how much I love wreaths. Especially when I can make them myself.

Here’s some ideas for getting your front door in the Halloween spirit.

Image of Halloween Boo Wreath from Lil Maddy Designs on Etsy.

Lil Maddy Designs on Etsy has amazing wreaths.  Isn’t this one fun? But alas, this wreath is seriously professional grade, I am no where near talented enough to pull this beauty off, especially at the last minute.  Plus, I didn’t have tons of tulle.

Then there is this one from Craftaholics Anonymous.

I love this one, but I didn’t have burlap, letters, or scrapbook paper to decorate the letters.

Which lead to option 3, this wreath from Lion Brand.

Image of spider wreath from Lion Brand.

I could potentially pull this off, but I didn’t have grey yarn, although I did have black… and I had plastic spiders.

So, that’s where I started off.  Wrapping a 16″ wreath form in black yarn– while I watched this weeks Presidential Debate.

Then I got out my fake spiders.

And my spooky sheet, which I figured could work in lieu of a spider web (which the kids had already spread all over the front bushes, plus I thought maybe it would hold up better than the cheaper stretchy spider web material).

I wrapped the “spooky sheet” over the wreath, and tucked the ends in at the back.

Then I hot glued the spiders on the “web”, and added a few plastic spider rings for good measure.

At this point, it met approval from both Christopher and His Majesty, so I hung it on the front door.

Well, it’s not my favorite wreath, but I am horrified of spiders, so I think the fact that they now greet me when I come in the front door is part my reservation about this entry way decor.  But my kids–especially His Majesty–love it.  His Majesty is all about spiders and bugs these days.  And, I definitely think it’s pretty creepy, so it fits the Halloween bill.

Do you or your family really get into Halloween decorating?  Do you prefer fun decorations, spooky decorations, or a combination of the two?  Any decorating ideas you want to pass along?

Thanking our TEA-chers

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Thanking our TEA-chers

This month marks the end of His Majesty’s first year of play school.  He goes one morning a week at a church located about a 25 minute round trip from our home; A duration of time just long enough for me to accomplish nothing of real value.  I call it “doing the preschool shuffle”, because the amount of time is just long enough to start something, but not long enough to finish anything.  I can grocery shop, but I can’t make it all the way home, unload the car, and get everything put away.  I can clean a few rooms, but then I find one more thing to clean, and I don’t leave myself time to put everything away that has managed to navigate into the wrong place, resulting in yet another pile of stuff that then needs to be tended to “later”, as I dash out the door to pick His Majesty up at the appointed time.  Every time I tried returning home to clean something, I was late picking him up.  Every time.  I tried taking Christopher out for breakfast, but he doesn’t like getting dressed before 9, and he says that he gets more work done without His Majesty squawking in the background.  Even shopping for myself– in all of the unaccompanied bliss that the preschool morning would afford me– proves challenging, because most of the department stores that I favor don’t open until 10, and/or are a 30 minute drive from the school, which wastes far too much time.  So, I’ve all but given up on finding practical uses for that 2.8 hours a week (it actually works out to be a little less than 2.8 hours, since His Majesty is not a morning person, and the more I try to get him ready on time in the morning, the more he digs in his heels and intentionally moves slower, resulting in us chronically arriving about 15 minutes late), and I have taken to doing more self oriented (note that I did not say “selfish) activities like reading, making uninterrupted social phone calls, eyebrow and hair maintenance, and the occasional deep tissue massages.  I’m all about time management, folks.

So, as much as I now enjoy those few hours, what’s more important is that His Majesty LOVES it.  He runs down the hallway towards his classroom, bursts through the door, practically rips his backpack and jacket off and rushes to embarks on what is certainly an exhausting few hours of hard core play.  He makes art work.  He goes on the playground.  He listens to finger plays and songs and stories. He thoroughly wears himself out, and takes a monster nap when we get home.  He is all about going to play school.

Plus, he loves his teachers, Miss Beth and Miss Sarah.  Aside from noticing that they are always hugging him and telling him how fantastic he is, I also noticed that they always show up with coffee or hot tea in the mornings.  So, when I originally pinned this tea wreath, from Kojo Designs, it was with them in mind.  Last week, as I was getting a thoroughly awesome massage from Tabitha at Balance Day Spa, it dawned on me that due to an upcoming family trip, His Majesty’s last morning of play school was coming up this week, and I had better get moving on the project.  The things that occur to you while you’re getting a massage.

Luckily, it didn’t take long, and the supplies are easy to find and inexpensive.  You probably have some of them lying around your house already.

Here’s what I used for each wreath:

A large cardboard box to cut the circles that would serve as the wreath

10 inch Dinner plates to serve as the stencil for how large to make the wreath

A compass (remember those from when you were in school?) to make the inner circles

2 large pieces of scrapbook paper (I used 14 inch squares)

ribbon, coordinating with your scrapbook paper (to hang the wreath)

wooden clothespins (I used 24 on one wreath and 21 on the other, it just depends on how you space everything out)

mod podge

foam brushes to apply mod podge

hot glue and hot glue gun

tea bags in individual packets (equal to the number of clothes pins you’ll adhere to your wreath)

scissors

a pencil or pen for tracing

I started by cutting out my wreath forms from the cardboard boxes.  I traced around the plate and then had my husband cut them out.  I am not handy with a pair of scissors.

I used thick corrugated boxes for my cardboard, so I didn’t bother gluing two circles together like the tutorial at Kojo Designs, but that’s your call, depending on how firm the cardboard you use is.  Remember that it is going to support the weight of the clothes pins and the tea, so you don’t want it to be too flimsy.

I traced the cut out circles onto scrapbook paper, sticking close to the edge.  Don’t trace your circles in the middle of the page.  Tracing close to the edges allowed me to use the leftover paper to trace out the pieces that would eventually be used to cover the clothes pins.

Trace on the “bad” side of the paper, so that you don’t leave marks on it after you’ve cut the strips out.

Then I had my husband use the compass to trace out the center circles, and cut them out.

Finding the center of the circle.

You want the thickness of the cardboard to be about as wide as the clothes pins.

I covered both sides of the cardboard with scrapbook paper, using mod podge applied with a foam brush.

Then I covered the clothes pins with the paper strips, again using mod podge and a foam brush.  I let them dry for a few minutes, and then applied another thin layer of mod podge to the top of the scrapbook paper.  You only need to cover one side of the clothes pins, because the other side is going to be glued to the wreath.

I let everything dry overnight, and then I glued the ribbon that will allow the wreath to be hung on a pantry door or hook.  I knotted the ribbon together, tied a bow at the top, and hot glued it for stability.

The next step was to use hot glue to adhere the covered clothes pins (applying glue to the plain, uncovered side) onto the wreath.

As the glue was drying, I opened up my tea packets.  Learn from my mistake, please. I bought three yummy sounding teas made by the same manufacturer.  But then, I opened the first box, Lemon Zinger, and sighed.

They were not individually wrapped tea packs.

Boo.  When I bought them, I had a 50/50 chance of getting what I needed.  A smarter woman would not have gambled the entire purchase on one brand, and would have gotten multiple brands, just in case she was wrong.  I was mesmerized by the delicious sounding names, and made a bad call. Raspberry Zinger, Lemon Zinger, Honey and Vanilla… Mmmmmm….. Learn from my mistake.

But, as it turned out, I had many varieties of tea in individually wrapped packets in my kitchen, and more than enough to complete this project.  Plus now I’ve added these three boxes to my collection.  Quite a selection, indeed.  Friends who are reading this, accept my offer for tea when you come over next.  Please. I have so many options for you to choose from.  Just. Drink. Some. Tea.

In any regard, you want your tea to come individually wrapped, like this.

I applied them to the wreath using the clothes pins, alternating the colors to make them extra pretty. (After I took this picture, I found another variety, so I swapped some things around and added an additional choice, which you may notice in later photos)

I finished both wreaths in under about 2 hours total (divided up into smaller blocks of time) and spent less than $10 per wreath.

I’m going to combine these with gift cards, and I hope that the combination will be a nice treat for His Majesty’s teachers.

But what do you think?  Did I do the tutorial justice?  Do you think the gift will be well received?

Easter Egg Door Decor

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As much as I loved my Valentine’s Day wreath, I had to take it down, being that it was about a month after Valentine’s Day.  But no worries.  I replaced it with something just as pretty.

My (p)inspiration to make an Easter Wreath came from this “Easter Egg and TuTu Wreath” from My Creative Way and this “Yarn Egg Wreath” from The Sweet Survival.  Both sources offer really easy to follow tutorials.  Ultimately, it came down to which was going to take more time, and I decided that an Easter Egg and Tutu wreath was going to be faster and easier to pull off, and, I’m happy to tell you that I completed mine in about an hour while watching Netflix while Christopher played outside with his friends and His Majesty took a nice, and much appreciated, nap.  But, I also put my own spin on the design of the finished product, partly because I wanted to in the first place, and partly because I ran into a problem with my original plan.

I originally planned to cover the entire wreath in strips of tulle, like the tutorial at Creative Way had done but using a foam wreath form, but then my goal was to cover the entire front of the wreath with Easter Eggs, using a hot glue gun.  Then I was going to fill in any gaps with eyelash yarn, hoping that it would look a little like plastic Easter “grass”.

I was worried that I didn’t have enough eggs.  Turns out the eggs weren’t the problem.  I’ll come back to that in a second.

So, I started by cutting the tulle into strips about as long as the diameter of the wreath form.

I folded the strips of tulle along the length, to make them less sheer, and to give them more fluff, and then tied them in a knot.

You see that glitter in the tulle? That shiny, pretty glitter?  It wasn’t so pretty when it was all over my floor.  What a mess.  Anyway, I tied the strips of tulle all along the wreath… Until I ran out, which was about halfway around.

*Sigh*

At that point, I decided to finish as much as I could by glueing the eggs along the tulle wrapped portion of the wreath, and then go back to the craft store at some point to pick up more tulle, allowing me to finish the wreath.  I applied a little hot glue along the opening of the eggs, to keep them intact, and then I applied a big glob of glue on the egg itself and pressed it to the tulle to stick them together. I alternated the colors, simply because I’m cool like that.

Once I’d covered the front of the tulle covered portion in eggs(I would have been dead on accurate with 50 eggs if I’d covered the entire thing, by the way), I held it up and examined it, and just as I was ready to clean up my mess and put it aside until I was able to get to the store for more tulle, and the idea struck me to cover the top portion of the wreath form in the eyelash yarn, which I thought might make the wreath slightly reminiscent of an actual Easter basket.  Plus, I reasoned, there really wasn’t enough space between the eggs to easily use the eyelash yarn otherwise, so why not.  I didn’t have any other options at the moment, so I gave it a try.

I was so unsure about the idea that I didn’t even glue the yarn, I just wrapped it around itself and tucked it in where it met the tulle.  It’s held up fine on the front door thus far, but if it looks decent when I take it down, I’ll glue a few pieces to secure it before I store it.  (But, that probably won’t be an issue, since the pollen in the air is almost certainly going to do a number on it and prevent me from using it again next year anyway). After I’d finished wrapping it, I took a leftover piece of tulle that had been just a touch too short to use earlier, and tied it at the top of the wreath, so that I could hang it.

I am really happy with how it turned out, and I’m extra glad that I was able to finish it in one sitting, and avoid another trip to the store (which I’m sure my husband is happy about).  I love seeing the colors when I pull in the driveway, all bright and cheery and spring-like.  It’s enough to bring a smile to my face every time.

So, what’s decorating your door these days?  Do you decorate for Easter?

Felt Rosette Wreath

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This might be my favorite Pinspiration yet!

I scored some cheesy Valentine’s Day window decorations last year on clearance, and by some collection of miracles, I not only remembered that I had them this year, but I also remembered where to find them.  I’m the queen of buying things on super clearance, only to remember that I have them after the opportunity to use them has passed and/or never being able to remember where I put them. And this is after I have specifically put said items “where I won’t forget about them”.  Seriously, that’s what I say *every time* I can’t find something that I’m looking for.  My husband teases me about that pretty often.  But, as I said, I DID remember about the Valentine’s Day decorations, and I DID remember where they were, AND I remembered that I’d pinned this perfect Valentine’s Day Felt Rosette wreath— IN TIME TO ACTUALLY MAKE IT!! The stars must have truly aligned, I tell you.

It came from a great blog, Our Best Bites, which has tutorials, crafts, recipes, give-a-ways, and dozens of kitchen and household tips.  The writers have had so much success with their blog that they’ve written a bookOur Best Bites: Mormon Moms in the Kitchen.  You should check out the reviews on this book: Five stars all around!  If their recipes are anywhere near as easy to follow as their tutorial on this Felt Rosette Wreath, well, then, I simply must add this book to my next trip to the bookstore!

I basically followed the tutorial, and as I mentioned, it was very simple and well laid out.  Even so, this project was time consuming.  Some of that was likely due to my inexperience, but I definitely think you should plan for at least 4 hours to complete this thing.  It took me about 6 hours, spread out an hour or so at a time over a few days worth of nap times and evenings after both kid were in bed. But, like I mentioned, I’m a novice, and, I also added an hour or so to the project by wrapping my 14 inch wreath form with white yarn (that I scored for 50 cents at a yard sale).  That part was unnecessary, and, in the tutorial, they just painted their wreath form, which, judging by their finished product turned out just fine.

You basically need only the following:  Felt squares (mine were 12×12, and I purchased 36 of them, 9 in each of my 4 color choices), ribbon or tulle to hang your wreath (I used 5/8 inch ribbon, and I actually chose my colors based on the colors in the ribbon), and a wreath form (I used a 14 inch foam form, like they did in the tutorial, but if you decide you want to wrap yours in yarn, you can get a a straw wreath, leave it in the plastic, and yarn wrap right over it).   Then you’ll need a glue gun, and a big ol’ pile of glue sticks.  A lot of glue sticks.  I used a half a bag of the mini glue sticks. I spent just under $17 on this project, including a bag of mini glue sticks.  The felt was 4/$1, the ribbon was 50% off, and I used a 40% off coupon on the wreath form. Not too bad.  I did not use all of  the felt squares, either, (I ended up using 7-8 sheets of each color) so it would be a dollar or two cheaper if I were to do another one.

Because my felt sheets were perfect squares, I was able to just cut them into even quarters. That’s a no brainer. Fold it, cut on the line, fold it again, cut on the line, done.

Then, I started cutting the squares into round-ish spirals, like the tutorial showed.  I say round-ish, and you can see what I mean.  This felt stuff is pretty forgiving, which made me happy.  I like when things are easy, and don’t have to be exact.  After a career in health care, I like things that have some wiggle room (Side note: I used to always joke with the students and residents on their first days with me, telling them: “Relax. It’s pretty hard to kill a human.”  It did wonders to ease their tension, and I’m happy to report that none of them ever made any nutty mistakes, probably because Mama took the pressure off.  And yes, I did refer to myself in the third person as “Mama”, as in “Here, let Mama show you how it’s done.”  For reals.).  See how this felt spiral has a little corner on it?  It really made no difference after the rosette was rolled.  Looked find of like a rose petal.  Totally ok to not be perfectly round.

My husband helped me cut the spirals while we watched “The Tourist” starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie.  (It was an ok movie.  Maybe I would have liked it better if I had been paying full attention to it, instead of half listening while I cut up felt squares.)   Since I had my husband’s help, things moved a little quicker for me.  He probably saved me about an hour.  What an awesome husband.  Did I mention that he’s a wiz with the power tools, too?

This was the first time that I’ve used felt for anything, and I think I’m in love.  Have you guys seen any of the ideas for felt food?!  Or  how about this adorable felt Christmas tree?  Or the many different felt flowers you can make? There are some really great ideas, and it seems to be easy to work with.  Starting at the center of your spirals, roll inward, until you have a little jelly roll style rosette.  Rolling them up was the quickest part of this project.  I had this many done in about 30 minutes.

And then my helper stepped in and rolled a bunch for me.

The next day, during the little slice of heaven otherwise known as nap time, I wrapped the wreath form in yarn. 

Glue your first piece to the wreath,

And then begin wrapping around and around and around until you get the entire wreath covered, overlapping the yarn as needed to cover all of the foam.  I didn’t have to worry too much about this part, since I used the same color yarn as the wreath form, but if you were to use a dark color yarn, you’d have to be more diligent to be sure you covered all of the foam.

After that, I was able to start glueing the felt rosettes onto the wreath…One at a time…

Alternating the colors however you think they look best. The felt held its shape pretty well, but I did go ahead and apply glue at the tail piece, and then to the entire bottom of each flower.  That may be why I used so much glue, but I wanted to be sure that everything stayed where I wanted it. Pack them in there pretty tightly to make sure you cover the wreath (which isn’t such a big deal if your wreath is a coordinating color, but I did glue them as close together as I could get them).   See how each rose is a little different from the one next to it?  I think that makes it truly unique.

Before the rosettes completely covered the wreath, I glued the ribbon down, and then covered it in roses, leaving only the portion that the wreath would hang from visible, but you could also add the ribbon to your finished product, like in the tutorial.  Like I said, this project would be hard to mess up. Fast forward another nap time + and evening, and in the end, I had this.

Not bad, if I do say so myself.

You could do a lot with this project, and believe me, I intend to.  My friend Emily said that she would have stopped when about half of the wreath was covered and hung it up just like that, and I agree, it would have looked really cute that way.  I’ve already bought extra felt and another wreath form to do another yarn wrapped wreath in a different color scheme, with a few larger felt roses, or maybe a few flowers that I’ve pinned from elsewhere on the web.  Big plans for my front door, baby.  Big plans.

Are you doing anything to decorate your door for Valentine’s Day?  If you don’t have the time to do this felt rosette wreath, maybe you can knock out this argyle wreath with felt hearts?  Or a tissue paper wreath, like this hot pink one? How will you decide which one to make?