Once a year I get crafty…just once a year. And it’s for a mighty good cause I think.
What is it you say? *drum roll*
This little baby.
I really don’t see the point of spending a couple of hundred dollars at David Jones buying a beautiful, but very plastic wreath, when you can make a real and gorgeous one yourself at home. And more importantly for me is the sense of real satisfaction and accomplishment you get from the end result.
So without further ado, let me introduce you to all the bits and pieces you’ll need:
- Wire coat hanger
- Sticky tape (good thick packing tape is the best)
- Florist wire (green)
- Hot glue gun
- A great collection of decorations from the art shop to glue. (Pick a colour theme and stick with it, don’t get to excited with every decoration you see.) You may have to invest $30 the first time for all this, but then you can keep them for all the years to come.
- Packaging string and kitchen string
- Baked lemon or orange slices
- Pretty ribbon
And most importantly…
- A good bunch of fresh pine branches. Not too big, because you don’t want cumbersome branches and lumps of wood to bend around the wreath. (NB Stole mine off the bottom of the Christmas tree, so worth getting a tree a little too tall and cutting it down.)
First thing’s first and most importantly, make yourself a cup of tea. I love to squeeze lemon into mine personally. Yummy.
When that’s done, you can get on with the rest of your work. (Also you can find a similar gorgeously striped travel mug here.)
Next, get your coat hanger and bend the gajeebies (pronounced ‘ga-jee-bees’) out of it, so it ends up like a nice ‘o’.
Chop the standard hook part off with the pliers and make your own hooks. Or just bend it around with the rest. All depends on how strong your coat hanger is.
Then, have a sip of tea.
Next, grab your wad of newspaper and start scrunching it around the coat hanger, until it is even all around and looks like a large doughnut, taping it up in key places as you go.
Tea and doughnut…Mmmmm
After this comes the trickiest bit and it’s best to shift to the floor, as your work space.
Start laying out your branches along the doughnut, keeping the needles going one direction (it looks neatest that way).
Lay it out all on one side of the doughnut and then it’s time to get your kitchen string.
Warp around the wreath and tie an initial knot in your string and then start tightly stringing it around the wreath to lock those first branches in place.
Then flip it over and start tucking branches into the already existing string and add more string if need be.
Make sure to secure the thickest part of the branch under the string, because you don’t want wood sticking out of your wreath.
The internal part of the circle is also very important, so tuck lots of branches around there as well (smaller more flexible branches are much better for the job).
(By this time, you may have forgotten about your tea … it’s gone cold, so maybe brew another one.)
Now, once I did the majority of tying with the string, I added packaging string around the final parts, because it’s far less noticeable then bright white string, and if it is visible, it just adds a touch of ‘rustic’ to the look anyway.
When you realise there’s enough greenery and almost no newspaper is visible, start pulling out the needles to cover the string as much as possible. You want your wreath to have a fuzzy look, not something caught up in a straight jacket.
The final look should be something like this.
After this, you may need to hydrate, so take a tea break.
Next comes the less prickly bit and a lot more fun.
Turn your glue gun on and get it heating up nicely. Use newspaper as a bench top protector.
Time for decorating!
I use cinnamon sticks, pine cones, gold glittery plastic leaves, foam red berries, baubles, holly stolen from over the neighbour’s fence, you name it! (Don’t worry, the neighbour knows…I think…)
And also these delightful sour circles.
Super easy to make and I did them the day before. (Stripey throw rug here.)
All you do is slice them up around 5mm thick, lay them on a wire rack and pop them in a low fan forced oven of about 120°C (248°F) for 2-3 hours. Flip them every 30 minutes, or so. Just keep an eye on them, as different parts of an oven cook differently, so flip and turn at your own discretion to make it all even. All in all, remember, a ‘low slow’ oven dehydrates them, which is what you want. We don’t want them cooked!
Start gluing them together, if a cluster look is what you’re going for (rind to rind is best).
Let them cool, like your tea has probably.
Next I do the pine cones. This is where the florist wire (or any thin wire) comes into play.
Lay out your pine cones where you want.
Grab your wire and push it to the core of the cone.
Make sure the ends of the wire meet at the back and twist it until your heart’s content. *Leeeet’s twist again, like we did la-ast summer…*
Ok, I’ll stop.
Next, lay out all your goodies on your wreath,
Arrange them how you like.
Stand back and have a look; fill in those gaps that lack colour, or variety.
Tuck in here, pull out there.
When you’re happy, start gluing. Do it in a clockwise fashion to make sure you don’t miss any. Start with the ones closest to the branches and layer your items, as desired.
Finally make sure to leave room on the top of your wreath for a ribbon, because you need something to hang it with. On the ribbon I also tied an old nice hanging decoration for the hole of the doughnut. (Music, of course!)
When it’s all done. Let all the glue cool and set.
Make another cup of tea.
Hang the wreath up….
And admire your very own handy work!
It’s a total home decor tree-t and everyone will be ‘green’ with envy.
Looks good, smells even better, but obviously doesn’t taste half as good as your tea.
What’s your favourite tea?