December 12, 2014

EASY Wreath Workshop
'Tis the Season to decorate and make everything Merry and Bright! So, what to do when you're tired, stressed and need to decorate but just aren't in the mood? One word. Wreaths.

Decorating wreaths, and using greens in fun ways, is one of the EASIEST ways to dress up a door, car (yes, I put a wreath on my car), and even the "for sale" sign!
Yes, this is the sign outside my beautiful home. Want a super nice Christmas present? 
It's a great house, just too big with kids all grown -
And I won't even tell you how long its been for sale :(

It was a stinky day when I decided to make my wreaths, and it didn't look like the weather was going to get better anytime soon. 
 This is the view off my porch. It was blowing so hard that I could only take a quick pic!
Another angle. See the big waves in the distance? Yikes!

Anyway, as I was saying, decorating wreaths is super simple and this is how I made mine this year! I cranked the music and went to work! First, I bought a plain, old wreath you can find anywhere from your local supermarket or garden store.
Then I compiled my accoutrements (don't I sound so French and fancy? ha ha).
 Pepper berries are the perfect addition to add a shot of color!
I found a couple of fuzzy barn-owly looking owls. (I'm also a grammersmith :). I'll call him "Henry". Feeling in the woodsy mood, but needing a little glam, I grabbed some olive satin ribbon, a pretty checked wired plaid ribbon and some pinecones. I spray-painted the pinecones with gold paint and then when the paint was still wet, I sprinkled some gold glitter on the tips for some extra sparkle. (My hands were covered in paint and glitter, and I didn't want to wreck my camera, hence there are no pictures of this step - sorry!)
I trimmed the berry branches into small pieces.
Then...and here's the amazingly EASY step you'll use forever…I took the pieces of the berry branch and shoved them into the wreath going against the grain (or opposite the way the greens are facing). 
Every wreath is just a wired bunch of greens made into a circle. The key here is to find that wire, and then insert whatever you choose, into it. Its kind of like teasing hair - you push against the wreath, into the wire and things just stay! You can do this with a million different things. It all depends on your preference and I've used heather, holly, grapevines, rose hips, you name it. And I've shoved all of it into wreaths the same way, and you don't usually have to add any extra wire. Its that SIMPLE!
Here is my wreath, ready for the next steps. I spaced the stems at even intervals, but if you like an asymmetric wreath, you can do this on a side or along only the top or bottom.
And with a simple wire to hang it, its ready for the festooning. 
I didn't have to add any extra wires for the pepper berries.
When I was thinking about this wreath, I thought I might add these grapevine balls that I also spray-painted gold. But with my owl, it looked kind of weird so I jettisoned them for some other project.
I needed to add wire to the pinecone so I could wire it to the wreath. 
All I did was wrap the wire around the base of the pinecone and twist the wire ends to secure it and then wrapped the pinecone on the wreath.
I wired three pinecones and then "Henry", right in the center of the bottom. 
He looks happy here, but I hope he's not watching to see if I'm naughty or nice!
A lot of people would think this is done…but not me! Next up, ribbon!
I love dovetailed ends of my ribbons so here I folded my ribbon in half and then cut to make the perfect dovetail.
Okay, so its not actually perfect…
With my tails cut, I proceeded to make the bow. Because I like full bows, I usually cut a piece that's three arm lengths long. I found the center of my long piece of ribbon by holding it up and then I scrunched it in the middle.
Then, I made a loop and twisted it slightly to meet the center of the ribbon…
 …and matched the loop, trying to use the same amount of ribbon for each loop, all coming from my original center point.
Then I made four loops...
…and wired it together in the center, taking a little piece of ribbon to make the "button" (or center dot in a bow) and secured the wire around everything.
Here's the wreath with the pretty plaid ribbon wired at the top. 
And I'm not done yet!
I wanted to add some shimmer to match my glitzy pinecones, so I slid some satin ribbon in amongst my plaid bows and tied bows in and around them.
I love how, just like in a flower arrangement, adding a few elements here and there, adds depth to the whole presentation!
Next up, the doorway!
This is how it started. I love my grapevine balls that I placed on my planters. 
Here comes the fun stuff!
I found these cool DRIFTWOOD reindeer at the flower market and, well, they just hopped right in my car! I named them, "George" and "Gracie".
I used two plain wreaths and put them under my balls and I love the simple rustic splash of green. Then George and Gracie each got a collar I made tying some garland in a circle. And then I hung garland over the front door. Its a mix of fir, cedar and white pine that I think's more interesting than plain pine, but anything looks great.
And using any extra greens that I had from the garland, I started to build up my Nantucket Basket planter that I love, almost more than anything, because I can never get another one.
I originally planned to gild my magnolia leaf garland from my Thanksgiving decorations,, but I couldn't because the weather was SO bad and was going to stick around for a week and I had other things to do. Shocker! So, I hung the magnolia garland in front of the greens garland for some pretty texture and color variation.
Then, I set about adding ribbon. Oh, how I LOVE ribbon! I need help!
I made bows using both types of ribbon in each corner, purposely leaving the center of the doorway plain because I had the wreath on the door. I like long tails on these ribbons.
Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas…
Here's the progression…

Even George and Gracie had to get a little more dressy! Nothing says "hello" like a starfish!
Next up, my Nantucket Basket planter!
It doesn't look like much here, but as I went along, I just kept adding straggling pieces of greens.
And as it filled up, I added some more glitzy pinecones. Since the pinecones were going into a planter, I needed to wire them on a stick so they would stay in and not blow away (especially in the weather I was experiencing that day!).
After I wired the pinecone, I wired it to the stick. You can buy these sticks at any craft or garden store. Then I trimmed the stick so it would fit snugly inside the planter.
I only needed two pinecones here because its a smaller arrangement. And then I wired Henry's girlfriend, "Lola", into this arrangement and used some leftover bittersweet and wrapped it around. I made sure to peel off any yellow berry covers that were still part of the bittersweet so all I had were red berries.
And finally, I gave Lola a little sparkle with her own battery-operated Stargazer lights from Terrain.
Here's to making your home very Merry and Bright!

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