Burlap wreaths

I LOVE the ‘loose & fluffy’ look of burlap wreaths!P1230233I’ve been ‘intending’ to make one ever since they first started popping up a few years ago.  And I’ve accumulated all the supplies, over the years, to do so!

P1230266I even ‘did the research’ (looking on Pinterest!) for tutorials.  And THAT is as far as I got before discouragement set in and my supplies were left to gather yet another layer of dust.

P1230238Do you love/hate Pinterest as much as I do??  Love all the ideas and inspiration, but HATE all the DIFFERENT tutorials for making the same thing!  aaaaarghhhh!!!

In my burlap research I found tutorials that said to use pipe cleaners, to attach your burlap to your wreath form.  Another said to use zip ties.  Another wire.  Even one that said to use SCOTCH TAPE?!?!?  So, after all that ‘research’ and the subsequent complete confusion, I just went with what ‘sounded’ most logical to me.  Pipe cleaners, cut into 1/4’s,  Wire cuts up your hands too much and scotch tape, just NO!

P1230240So, this is how my first attempt turned out.  And even with having pre-cut all my pipe cleaners to length, it took me a good TWO hours to complete this baby.  And I really was not totally happy with it.  I wanted more ‘fluffed out’ areas. All the folds were just laying too FLAT.

P1230234I tried ‘hand fluffing’ them, but they just flattened right back out.  So I grabbed a roll of brown package wrapping paper and made some ‘wads’ of it and stuffed them into various places.  You can see a few of them in the above close-up photo.   THAT is how I imagined it would look!

P1230235And it breaks up the folds a bit, and looks more ‘random’ to me.  So I waded up a bunch more paper balls.

P1230239Here you can see a few more of the places where I added the paper.  But you really don’t notice it if you don’t know it’s there.  I think perhaps my ‘problem’ with not being able to ‘fluff my folds’ without adding something is that the burlap I used was only 5″ wide.  Wider burlap, folded in half, would probably fluff better.

SO, after I made that first one, I ventured back to Pinterest to look over some more tutorials to see if there was a FASTER way to make them.  Can’t make any money selling them if it’s gonna take me over TWO hours to make one!!

Found a Pin that led me to a you-tube video touting that you could make a burlap wreath in 20 minutes.  TWENTY minutes???  Seriously?  I HAD to watch it.  It’s only a 2 minute video, so worth the time to watch.  Here’s the link:


Interesting, and most definitely a FASTER way to make a burlap wreath, but personally, I would NEVER make on using that method. Not even just to keep for myself.  Why?  One snag and your entire wreath will come apart!  There is nothing ATTACHING the burlap to the wreath form.  No thank you.  I’ll stick with my more labor intensive, but PERMANENT method; and only make a very FEW of them.

P1230305This is the back of the one with the gold bells.

P1230304Each ‘loop’ of burlap is secured to the wreath form with a cut piece of twisted pipe cleaner.

P1230265This is my second one, on which I used some printed burlap ribbon interspersed.  The printed ribbon was wired and fluffed out nicely.  I did NOT add the brown paper to fluff out the rest of this wreath . .  .yet.

P1230268Still pondering whether or not I need to.  I used MORE burlap on this one, so it’s fuller, and I guess with the printed ribbon ‘breaking it up’, the layers of burlap with no fluff don’t bother me as much.


Which do you prefer?  The larger ‘fluffs’ or the one with more ‘folds’?


I really don’t have a ‘favorite’.  Each looks good to me in its own way.

P1230315I decided to embellish the first one with a gold bow and a gold glitter “Noel” ornament.   I just ‘hung’ the Noel over one of the burlap loops, and did NOT permanently attach it.  That way it can easily be removed, and the wreath can still be used beyond the Christmas season.


Forgot to show you what kind of ‘form’ I used for these.

P1230314I bought this batch of rusty metal wreath forms at a garage sale a long time ago.  To prevent the rust from ‘shedding’ onto the wreath, I spray painted them with clear spray.  And I sprayed one white for an up[coming project.

P1230341AFTER I made those two burlap wreaths, I found these wire wreath forms at DOLLAR TREE!  These are the kind used in the video, twist and tuck method, and should make for a fuller wreath.  I haven’t used them yet, and in fact, I still have several of the rusty ones left.  But I did buy a few of the Dollar Tree ones because I KNOW that if I don’t buy it when I see it . . .they’ll be gone when I DO need them!

P1230976This one has gone to my booth at Stars.  Still trying to decide if the other one ‘needs something more’.  Will probably save it for spring.

P1230975It’s hanging on my re-done ‘holiday wall’.

P1230977Here’s a closer look at some of the other holiday wall decor items.

P1230979Bought these little gold frames at the bazaar last week.  The ‘Merry Christmas’ ornament is just ‘tied on’ with ribbon and can be removed so the frame can be otherwise used.

P1230980Same with this one.


Pot of moss

12.17.12 finds hats nude beach sign 034I was originally attracted to this because of the POT.   Love the rustic fell and thought it would make a great piece for holding a bird nest.

12.17.12 finds hats nude beach sign 035

Alas, the moss was NOT removable.  Hmmmm. . . .Do I want the WHOLE thing??  It IS half price . . (I’m conversing with myself in my mind!)

12.17.12 finds hats nude beach sign 036The yellow bare spots between the moss rocks (fake ones!) put me off a bit.  But the price was right and I figured I could ‘doctor it up’.  So I bought it.

12.19.12 boxes Stars 037I got out my bag or Dollar Tree reindeer moss that I’d been using for the little nests with eggs and grabbed my glue bottle.  squirted a bit if glue into each hole and shoved in a pinch of moss.

12.19.12 boxes Stars 038There were a lot more holes than I originally anticipated.  And after I filled the holes I noticed the GAP around the base on one side, so I filled that with the reindeer moss too.

12.19.12 boxes Stars 039The color contrast looks a bit extreme in the pictures, but it looks much more ‘natural’ in person.

12.19.12 boxes Stars 042I finished it off by using some of my new thin burlap ribbon.

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 011
Something simple and organic looking for the table centerpiece after Christmas.

Spring show ~ Every Husband’s Nightmare Bazaar ~ Pictures of OUR area

Just posting pics of OUR area today.  Will post the rest tomorrow.  I’m still pretty wiped out from setting up so much stuff in 12 hours.  I slept for 10 hours last night.  Got up and fixed Michael’s breakfast and lunch, then went back to bed and slept for another four hours.  Putzed around the house for a bit, then took a 2 hour nap!!!  On to the photoshow:

I’ve been wanting to try this ‘enclosed’ (but still airy!) look for the spot we set up at this in.   Finally gave it a try this year.  The show owner provides the lattice dividers, and I just used two ‘three-part’ sections and folded them around one end of each table at the entry to our area.   Placed a board across the top and draped some tulle.  What do you think of the look?  Yea or nay?

Here’s what it looks like from farther back.  I hung vintage sheer curtains on the fronts of the lattice.  For the next show, I’d like to try hanging strands of little LED lights on the inside part of the lattice.  Creating this backdrop gave me a good spot to create 2 little vignettes, since I didn’t have a LOT of the pink or aqua stuff.  The effect is much more dramatic when you don’t water it down by blending it in with a lot of other colors.

Beachy blue on one side.   Some spiffed up old directors chairs with new seats/backs, and the word ‘relax’ stamped on the back.


And the pink side, with a little bit of green for contrast.

My wire mannequin with feather wings and a pretty handmade apron (apron made by another vendor)

Cool vintage pink shelf, vintage pink chenille spreads, old pink picnic basket.

Pink chair, vintage pink kitchen step stool and very rusty old pink three tire metal cart.

And below is what you see when you walk through the doorway:

This antique full size spool bed is in nearly perfect condition!  We opted to NOT set it up with a mattress, but to use the space for more furniture.


Little shelf along the back wall.

A little more of the back wall.  In this facility we aren’t allowed to hang anything on the walls, so I have to be creative!  Michael cut some big shutters in half for me, and we set those on top of our display tables; and can hang pictures from the shutter slats.

Looking down the left side.  These SIDE walls are ‘temporary ones’ that the show owner installs, so we CAN hang things on them.  I try to NOT place the big 8′ tables along the sides too much, so I can better access them to use for hanging thing on.  I always seem to have an excess of things that need to be hung.  Guess I got used to having lots of hanging space when we had our own store.

A bit of a better look across the back wall.  Still have a bit of primitive stuff left at this show, but it will probably be the LAST show that we bring the primitive to.  It’s just becoming too much work to keep up with more than one style.  Especially when the beach and cottage are ALL we sell at the antique malls.  There really seems to NOT be much of a demand (locally at least!) for primitive and folk art style furniture and decor.

Right side wall, black furniture and lots of signs!


My little hand stitched owls and kitties.


LOTS of monogram letters!  Had some fun and spelled out a few words with them.  “beach”

“home”  These wood framed monograms have an easel back and can also stand up.

“Sophie”, “nest” and “party”



“song’  These white frames have a pretty satin ribbon to hang from.

Lots of other monograms!

Handcrafted monogram tags’ just $1.95 each!   Great to tie onto packages as gift tags or enclose with a card as a little gift.

This big shabby white curio display shelf IS for sale.


This great shabby Paris chic chest of drawers is only $79.00!

The show continues, weekdays; 10am – 8pm through Saturday, 10am – 5pm.


It’s time again for Stars famous “Haggle sale”!
The sale starts Saturday, January 16th at 10:00 a.m. , and runs through Monday, January 18th. Many vendors will be on site during the sale to ‘haggle’ with you. Others will be offering a % off the items in their spaces. It’s a great time to get those treasures you’ve had your eye on!

I’m not planning to be on site for the sale, but will be offering 50% off all regular priced items in our space. And this isn’t OLD STALE INVENTORY. I, just today, stocked lots of new seasonal and Valentine inventory. Here are the newest photos:

Shabby white bird cages and birds on pedestals.

Valentine trees, heart picks and cherubs.

Handcrafted red primitive hearts. The cool vintage divided tray IS for sale too!

Closer view.

Handmade shabby chic hearts. Display/gift box IS for sale too.

More shabby hearts in a carved wood heart-shaped bowl.

Hand folded and hand cut vintage paper shred.

More cherubs, some vintage, some NEW in acrylic gift boxes.

Pink heart picks in a vintage wire flower holder. Cute little LOVE monkeys!

Fuzzy red heart picks with French love phrases tags.

Handcrafted angel wings covered with vintage sheet music.

Red glitter LOVE banner.

Pedestal jar full of vintage lace tidbits.

Vintage gold frames.

Handcrafted crown and top hat covered with vintage book pages.

Vintage gold plate two tier stand.

Vintage lamp shade covered with vintage sheet music.

Cloche with vintage ceramic doll head.

Little cold tiara and tall black pedestal cloches and candlestick.

Close up of cloches.

Red glittered heart wreath.

Sweet little vintage floral plate on pedestal with cloche.

Hand cut burlap ribbon.

Christmas tree decor made with copper plumbing pipe


How sweet and simple is this tree made from copper pipe?!?!  The link below has the how to, both video and in step by step. 


August 1, 2008 ~ Here’s what’s new in the store.


And of course, a Halloween tree!  (sorry about the bad photo!)

Some new gift baskets filled with bath/body products:

Ane even some gifts for your four legged friends!

These are the COOLEST things ever!  A doggie water bottle (with a clip even) and a flip down BOWL so they can easily drink!  Perfect for the dog on the go!

Mini alphabet rubber stamps sets make a great gift for the crafter, scrapbooker or cardmaker.  There are a DOZEN different font styles!  Fun to mix and match!

NEW CALENDARS ARE IN!  16 month 2009 calendars.

Gifts for baby:

AWESOME vintage white chest of drawers


OUR WEBSITE: www.cscrafts.com/aj.html

VISIT OUR ETSY STORE: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5876981

~ primitives ~ trash to treasure ~ shabby chic ~ cottage ~ Paris apartment ~ repurposed home goods ~ repaired ~ restyled home decor ~ reused ~ recycled art ~ handcrafted gifts ~ one of a kind ~ artist originals ~ second hand style ~ junk market style ~ flea market style ~ beautiful junk ~ beach cottage décor ~ unique home décor ~ vintage home décor ~ unique gifts ~ custom made gifts ~ custom made home décor ~ personalized signs ~ Sophie’s Cottage ~ grubby candles ~ how to craft books ~

Make your own primitive grubby flag!


I just used an inexpensive 4×6 nylon flag.

Sprayed it with my grubby grungy stain recipe (sold via the blog and our Esty shop).  This is what it looks like while still wet with the stain.

This is what it dries to look like.  Can be mdae darker by adding a second application of the stian.

Close up of watermarks.

Hanging in the store:

This stain is NOT waterproof and will wash out if washed or hung outside in the rain.

OUR WEBSITE:  www.cscrafts.com/aj.html

OUR ETSY STORE: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5876981

Feeling ‘floral’

I don’t do flowers much.  Not that I don’t like them (because I do!).  I just don’t feel like I have the ‘knack’.  But of course I’m always BUYING silk flowers that catch my eye when I’m at the craft store.  They pile up in a basket in the back room until one day I finally pull them out and DO SOMETHING with them.  Usually something VERY simple.  Here’s yesterday’s foray into putting together some floral accents for the store:

Artificial rosehips tucked around a grapevine wreath.  This was originally a rosehips SWAG that ‘got beat up’ traveling to the spring shows.  So I took it apart, cut out the ‘owies’ and reused the good stuff.  Even had enough left to do another small wreath:

This next one I used three ‘mixed picks’ and one candle ring (cut in two):

Very simple pink peony wreath made from two bunches, cut apart and attached individually:

Gerbera bouquet made from two bunches, again just cut apart; and tied together with some pretty ribbon:

More often thatn not, THIS is how I end up using the florals I buy!  Just tuck them into a basket!


Quick and easy Valentine wreath

My best wreath making tip is to NOT ‘permanently attach’ your decorations to your wreath.  Why, you ask???  Well, by leaving  your wreath embellishments easily  ‘removable’ , you gain a LOT of flexibility!

You can take ONE grapevine wreath and re-decorate it for different seasons and holidays, instead of having several different wreaths to pack up and store. 

Here is a Valentine wreath I just made for the store:

I simply took this purchased glittery ‘love’ garland and cut the pieces apart and tied them onto the wreath!

BAM!  Done in 60 seconds! 

After Valentines day, just untie these embellishments and pack them away and add on something for spring or Easter.  Berry picks and pips are very easy to do.  Just ‘tuck them in’. 

You can also use your grapevine wreath ‘as a frame’ of sorts.  First hang something like one of these hearts and hang it on from your nail; on the wall or your door:

Then hang your plain grapevine wreath so that it ‘frames’ the heart. 

You can also wrap the wire hanger around the wreath to have the heart hanging form the top of the wreath.  I use ‘rebar tie wire’ on all my hanging things, and it’s VERY durable and can be bent and un-bent and re-bent many, many times.

Got punch????

No, not fruit punch!  Not a punch in the nose either.  And not punch as in you are so tired you are getting silly and ‘punchy’.


You hear the designers on TV shows mention ‘adding a punch of color’ all the time.  Meaning adding something that is dramatic or REALLY catches your eye.

I tend to be quite ‘matchey matchey’ in how I create my store displays.  With as much product as I cram into a small space, I feel like I need a sense of ‘unity’ to each vignette to keep it from feeling ‘too busy’.  I have certain colors that I like to mix together in grouping and tend to not venture far from that.

But after putting out all the Valentine stuff, I was feeling like the red section was just TOO RED.  (dies that make any sense at all???)  Like so much red together made it feel a bit bland.  Like I wanted more CONTRAST. 

I didn’t change up the red section, but I ‘sprinkled’ red stuff throughout the store in somewhat unexpected places.  For a ‘punch of color’.

Here on top of a stack of tan suitcases.

And on the table filled with mostly black items that is right next to the stack of suitcases

And right in the middle of a yellow and white display:

THEN, in the beachy blues and green section:

OUR WEBSITE:  www.cscrafts.com/aj.html