Re-visiting burlap wreath making

It’s wreath making time for me again.  Yes, I am STILL trying to use up the supplies that I have on hand; and I’ve been putting off making the wreaths because they are so labor intensive!  Here is my previous post on wreath making.  I’ve come up with a BETTER way to make them this year though!

First, we have the wire wreath forms.  The ones on the left I got at a garage sale eons ago.  The one on the right with four rungs, I bought at Dollar Tree, but you can get them at any craft store if you prefer to pay a lot more for them!

The first few I started with were made using plastic mesh.  Again, I got mine at DT, but you can pay more at any craft store.  AND you can get wider sizes at craft stores.  this size worked just fine for me though.

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(Pardon the puppy paw at the top of the photo.  I had Willow for the weekend and she wanted to help!)  The bigger white mesh wreath was made using a bigger 2-rung form that I had with the batch from the garage sale.  And the picture above shows my new method for making the wreaths: twist your chenille stems onto your entire piece of wreath material (whether it be mesh, burlap or ribbon) FIRST.  Previously I had added the chenille ‘as I went along’, which gets very tedious!

I cut up my chenille stems ahead of time, before starting on the wreath.  That way, I have them all ready to go and can get into a better rhythm when tufting my ribbon.

By doing it this way it’s easier to take breaks if you need them (which I do with my carpal tunnel!) between strips of material and attaching them to your wreath.  Also, the actual construction of the wreath goes by much faster this way.  Overall, it probably takes the same amount of time, from start to finish to make one; but this new way it feels less laborious.

And then it’s time for embellishing.  I actually made ALL the wreaths and left them plain for a bit; then went back and added the embellishments to all of them at the same time.  I just lined them all up and started sampling the different add-ons that I had on hand.  For the sale of continuity though, I will show each wreath, start to finish.

I went super simple on the 2-rung aqua mesh wreath, and just added a simple gold glitter ‘Believe’ ornament.  On wreathe like this, where I am adding minimal adornments, I do not permanently attach the added decor.   I note on the price tag that the ‘Believe’ is removable; and this adds to the value of the piece because it can be used  without the added piece after the holidays.

Next is the fluffier 4-rung aqua mesh wreath.  On this one, as well as the big white mesh wreath, where I am using a lot of smaller adornments, I glue them on with tacky glue.

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That’s it for the mesh wreaths.  I wish I had written down how much mesh I used on each wreath, because I really do not remember.  I ‘think’ the big white one took 7 of the 5 yard spools.  The fluffy aqua one, 6 spools; and the smaller aqua, 4 spools.  When in doubt while purchasing supplies, buy MORE than you think you will need.  No harm in having extra left over.  But if you don’t buy enough . . . you might not be able to find more of the same when you go back!  Especially at Dollar Tree.  If you don’t buy ALL you want of think you will need at the onset, it’s VERY likely that you will never find more of it again.  And yes, I learned that lesson the HARD way!

On this one, I DO remember exactly how much yardage I used.  This is one of the 4-rung wreath forms, and I used a full 50 yard spool of Costco burlap ‘looking’ wired ribbon, and five yards of the ‘Merry Christmas’ ribbon.  The 4-rung wire forms pretty much take twice as much yardage as the 2-rungs.

This one is made from actual 5″ burlap on a 2-rung form.  Bigger, fluffier folds using 10 yards.

The printed burlap banner is just attached with safety pins on the back, so it is removable; allowing the wreath to be used year round.

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Size comparisons of various wreaths.

Another wired ribbon wreath, on a 2-rung form.  This one took about 40 yards in total.  For the two colors, I first added the print ribbon spaced out; then filled in with the red ribbon.

This one was a real challenge!!  I only had 10 yards of the ribbon to work with, and no coordinating colors to fill in with if needed!!  Fortunately this printed burlap ribbon was wired AND very stiff, so I could really fluff up each tuft and space them out more than with the soft ribbon.  I have to very carefully position each tuft ‘just so’ to hide all the attachment wires, and they will shift a bit with handling; but once hung in place is will be fine.

The turquoise burlap ribbon came from DT, the cream colored from the craft store, and the little big of green in the smaller starfish wreath came from who knows where??!  It was just in my supply box awaiting use.  I did both of these on 2-rung forms; and glued on the starfish.  I thought about making the starfish removable, but couldn’t figure out a way to do that without tying them on; and I didn’t like how that would look.  These took about 20 yards each to make.

2-rung form with 10 yards of the printed ribbon and about 6 yards of the red.  The printed was very STIFF (like the music notes ribbon) so I was able to spread it out a lot more than the solid red ribbon.  The red glitter ‘Believe’ ornament is just attached with chenille stems, so it’s easily removable; making the wreath usable other that just for the holidays.

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In the picture, this one LOOK like it’s all one color.  In fact it is two different shades of gold, because I didn’t have enough of either to finish it.   But I thought I had enough, so I didn’t plan ahead to intermix the two colors as I have on other bi-color wreaths.

The two different colors are just barely discernible, but you CAN see the difference in the picture on the left.  The ‘Joy to the World’ ornament is just tied on to one of the ribbon loops.

This one took 8 yards of the striped ribbon, and about 4 yards of the red.  Again, I didn’t have enough ribbon to complete the wreath and had to get creative.  I used some burlap ticking fabric to make a BIG bow at the top to cover up the area that I didn’t have enough ribbon to cover.

I’ve made a pretty good dent in my wreath making supplies!!  I still need to make a few more, but need to give my fingers a rest.  My right thumb is nearly raw from twisting chenille stems.

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ANNOUNCING!! ‘Make and Take’ SIGN MAKING Classes

I am now offering

‘Make & Take’

sign making classes

on how to make your own sign.

I’ll provide EVERYTHING you need to make your sign.  You can choose which sign you want to make from my library of over 200 designs.

To avoid spending half of our class time watching paint dry, I’ll do the sign prep for you in advance; so when you arrive for the class, you’ll just have to stencil on your chosen design.  Your sign will be done in about an hour.

Once you know the ropes and don’t need my direct guidance anymore; you can rent studio time for $10.00 per hour.   For studio time you will need to prep and paint your own boards at home and bring them with you ‘ready to letter’.   I will explain how I prep the sign boards, so you can easily do it at home.  If you don’t have an electric sander to distress your sign boards, I can help you with sanding when you get here; as part of your studio time.

For the MAKE & TAKE classes, prices are per sign; and vary with each student, depending upon which design you choose.   Prices (and approximate sign sizes) are listed with each design.  Since you’ll be using a stencil to letter your sign, the size of the lettering cannot be altered; BUT you can make a slightly bigger sign by using a larger piece of wood.  (you’ll see this option in some of the pictures of signs.)

I will provide you with varnish to use as your final top coat, and a nail-less sawtooth hanger for hanging your sign.  These signs are NOT weather proof, and intended for indoor use only.

*** Hover mouse over individual sign picture to see price and measurements.***

  (Yes, I know this doesn’t work if you are viewing on a device other than a computer with a mouse; but for now, it’s the only way I am able to do it.  Sorry!!)

I only offer light colored backgrounds for signs and black lettering.

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COLOR OPTIONS:

Left column, top to bottom:

Sage, Grey, Lt Blue, Aqua, Turquoise

Right column, top to bottom:

Pink, Cream, Ivory, Tan, Yellow

(Not shown, Lavender, Pumpkin, Mustard.)

Select your sign –  your color – a class date – make your payment via PayPal.

The wood for your sign will be cut to size, sanded, base coated in Black, top coated the color of your choice, edged and sanded to distress BEFORE you come to class.  I have room for up to four people per class; and it takes less than an hour to complete one sign.

LAUNDRY SIGNS:

BATHROOM SIGNS:

GARDEN SIGNS:

HOME / WELCOME SIGNS:

ROOM SIGNS:

*** SOME room signs are in other categories; IE LAUNDRY ROOM OR POWDER ROOM ***

BEACH SIGNS:

ENCOURAGEMENT / INSPIRATION / HUMOR SIGNS:

SEASONAL / HOLIDAY SIGNS:

IMAGINE – DREAM – BELIEVE  SIGNS:

LOVE – MARRIAGE – WEDDING SIGNS

PARIS / FRENCH SIGNS:

BIG ‘SUBWAY STYLE’ & SPECIALTY SIGNS:

The above ‘fancy cut’ board will work for several of my stencils; and is available in two different sizes:  13″ x 28″ and 13″ x 20″.  Cost to ‘upgrade’ to this style of sign board for any other stencil is an additional $15 / 25.00 on top of the regular sign price.

OTHER MISC. SIGNS:

CROWN, PRINCE & PRINCESS AND QUEEN SIGNS:

CHANDELIERS AND GRAPHICS SIGNS:

EMAIL me with your class date and time request.  Once your class date is set and you’ve selected your project, I will send you an invoice via PayPal to make your payment.

 *IF, for any reason you cannot make it to your scheduled class, you can reschedule for a different time, or request a 50% refund.  Only a partial refund is available as I will have already done the prep work for your sign in advance.

TUTORIAL: Picture Perfect Crepe Paper Rosettes

I’ve been making, and crafting with crepe paper rosettes for a while now.  Actually I started with PAPER rosettes, then progressed to crepe paper.  I assumed that the ‘material’ used didn’t make any difference; and I made my first crepe paper rosettes using the exact same method as I had used on regular paper ones.

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EPIC FAIL!!  What the heck happened?!?!?  I folded it SO perfectly!  As soon as I glued on the backing though, it went all ‘cattywompus’ and smooshed up.  sigh.

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Trying as best I could, I just could not get them to look any better than this; looking like they’ve been stepped on by an elephant!    Heavy sigh!

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I wanted them to be PERFECT, like this paper rosette.

dsc00073And these!

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The ‘smooshed’ ones weren’t entirely unusable; and by the time I added other embellishments the smooshiness was less noticeable.  Still, the perfectionist in me wanted to make PERFECT ones.

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This is how they look BEFORE gluing on the backing.  I wanted them to STILL look like this AFTER I added the backing.  The problem was that the crepe paper is so ‘delicate’.  Whereas regular paper ‘held up’ under the pressure of having the backing ‘pressed firmly into place’; this pressure was enough to smoosh and displace all those perfect little folds.

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So, I continued the TRY to make perfect ones, and continued to get not so perfect ones; but used them anyhow!  (I mean, it’s not like anyone was complaining that my crepe paper rosettes were too smooshed!)

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They were ‘passable’ . . . .but I still wanted perfect!

Yes, I realize that I am really dragging this post out!  Intentionally so; to emphasize my long-term frustration and ‘trial and error’ in perfecting this process.   

Yes, I finally DID figure out hot to make ‘picture perfect’ crepe paper rosettes.  Drum roll please . . . . .

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For the sake of those whom may not have made rosettes at all before; I’m starting at the VERY beginning.

 *** Cut a 30″ piece of crepe paper.

*** Fan fold the entire length in 1/4″ folds.

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I find it easiest to do this part ‘on my thigh’ as opposed to on a table or hard surface.  BUT, you will need a hard surface for the next steps.  That black with white dots thing in then picture is my little ‘lap desk’ that I use for my hard surface.

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*** Keeping your folds as uniformly as possible, fold the entire piece; trim off any extra end piece that hangs over the last fold. 

***  Hold your completely folded piece between both pairs of index fingers and thumbs and squish it together with all your might, to really crease those folds tightly.P1250859

*** Glue your fully folded piece, end to end, using the SMALLEST amount of TACKY glue possible.  Apply your glue to one end of your folded piece, then bring it ‘full circle’ to the other end; gently pinch between your fingers  to get it to hold.

 DO NOT use hot glue or regular white glue.  Regular white glue is too ‘wet’.  That, and/or too MUCH tacky glue will end up gluing together several LAYERS of your folds.  You want all your folds to ‘separate nicely’.

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NOW you will need your hard surface to work on.  I keep my little lap desk next to my ‘working chair’ within easy reach.

THIS is how your folded piece will look if you DON’T ‘crease your folds’ tight enough.  ‘Some’ crepe papers are thinner and less ‘crepe-ish’ than others, and those will also ‘sprawl out’ like this.  You will need to go around the circle the reinforce your creases if this happens.

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THIS is what you want your piece to look like when you lay it flat, after gluing the ends together.

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You will need a round piece of paper or card-stock for your backing.  I prefer card-stock; and I use a scalloped edge paper punch to make my backings.  Keep in mind that your backing might ‘show through’; so you might need to have it cut from a matching color.

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***With your rosette laying flat on your hard work surface; fully cover your backing piece with PLENTY of tacky glue.  This ‘seemingly excess amount of glue’ is KEY to making PERFECT crepe paper rosettes!  Don’t skimp on the glue on this step.

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This step can be a tad tricky, because you almost need THREE hands for it!  With practice you  will  learn how to maneuver your rosette so that the center is completely closed using just one hand.

*** Still working on your hard surface; With your glue covered backing all ready to go, after you have your rosette ‘closed tightly’, VERY GENTLY lay your glue covered backing onto your rosette; very gently tap around the edges to be sure the glue has ‘grabbed on’.

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IMPORTANT!!!  DO NOT PUSH HARD ON YOUR BACKING!!  That is what will smoosh all those perfect little folds and displace the spacing of them.  IF you have used enough glue on your backing, it will hold well enough for the next step.

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Your center might re-open a tad when you flip your rosette over.  Don’t worry, it’s fixable; as are any folds that are too clumped together or too spread out.

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***  THIS is another reason that you don’t apply too much pressure on the backing; you may need to ‘adjust the spacing of your folds’.  I use a small paint scraper for this.  With the scraper, gently move your folds as needed to evenly distribute them.  (You won’t ALWAYS need to do this; sometimes the folds are already perfect!)

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Once you are happy with the spacing of your folds, it’s time to make them stay that way.  Again I use my paint scraper, but a piece of stiff cardboard would probably work just as well.

THIS IS THE KEY STEP TO MAKING PERFECTLY SPACED AND ‘FLUFFY’ CREPE PAPER ROSTETTES!

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*** Place your paint scraper between each perfectly spaced fold, as close to the center as possible, and press down.  THIS is what makes the backing stick tightly to the rosette WITHOUT smooshing them. 

This might seem a bit tedious, but it really only takes a few seconds, and makes ALL the difference in creating a PERFECT rosette.

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*** Lastly, press FIRMLY in the very center with your index finger.  

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Look at those perfect folds!!

*** Let  your rosette lay flat for a few hours for the glue to completely dry.  

You might notice that the glue ‘bleeds’ through the crepe paper and leaves the whole thing a bit damp.  Just don’t stack them yet and they will dry just fine.

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Once completely dry, I store my rosettes on their side, like this, in a box.

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I like to keep a stash of rosettes ‘ready to use’ for when inspiration strikes.  I’ll usually make them while I watch TV in the evening.

Please let me know if this tutorial was helpful to you.

Ornament wreath #2

I was getting ready to pack away all my Christmas crafting supplies, and sorting the vintage ornaments I had by color to see IF I needed to look for more in the after-Christmas sales; and if so, what colors.

It ‘looked like’ I had enough on hand to make another wreath; and I decided to go ahead and do so while the steps were stiff fresh in my mind.

P1240515I elected to make this one using a slightly smaller ‘dynalite’ (that stuff that is denser and CHEAPER! than styrofoam).

P1240516Decided to cover this one with some tinsel garland before adding the ornaments; with the hope that IT would show through the ‘bare spots’ and I’d not feel compelled to fill every tiny nook and cranny.

P1240519Kind of cute even withOUT the ornaments added!

P1240749First layer.  (btw, the hot glue sticks MUCH better to the tinsel that it does to the fabric that I used to wrap the first one.  First layer; frosted white and rose gold med/lg ornaments.

P1240750Second and interior layer; shiney rose gold and gold ornaments.

P1240751Third layer; assorted med / lg ornaments ‘wherever they fit’.  The next few layers are assorted smaller ornaments to fill in the holes.

P1240754Alas, the gold tinsel ‘base-coat’ did NOT do the trick for me.  I LIKED it and will definitely continue to make the wreaths that way; but I still needed some ‘filler’ for bare spots.  This is where I had tucked in the snippets of white berries on my first one.  All I could find to use on this one was this mini star garland.

P1240752I clipped it into 5-6″ lengths and twisted the ends together and ‘flared out’  the ends to make a “Y” shape, so they looked like this teardrop shape.  I made a LOT of these!

P1240753Put some hot glue on the “Y” part and tucked them into all the bare spots.

P1240756And around the outside edge.

P1240758I just kept rotating the wreath and filling in the bare spots.

P1240759The more I added, the more I liked it!  I wasn’t sure about mixing the regular gold with the rose gold, but I like the combination just fine!

P1240760With tacky glue I glued a strip of fabric for it to hang from. It would probably be easier to add your hanger FIRST; but I find that the finished wreath looks better from a certain angel.  So I pick the best angel and add the hanger so it hangs that way.

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LOVE how the color looks in this picture; almost a sepia tone look!

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I think I like this one MORE than the first one.
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Here’s a reminder of what the first one looks like.
P1240759And the newest one again, against a white background and ‘truer’ to actual color.

Just FYI, the second one took about HALF as much time to make.  Partly because I was more confident in the outcome and moved a little faster; and partly because the tinsel covered wreath from ‘grabbed’ the hot glue better and I didn’t have to ‘hold each ornament in place as long’ for it to set, before moving on to the next one.

I’m hoping to get brave enough next year to make some bright color ones!  And now, to figure out HOW to store them safely until next year!

Upcycled Ornament wreath

 . . . . and next on my ‘Crafting bucket List’ is making a wreath out of vintage ornaments like this:

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(no, I did not make that one!  That picture is from Pinterest)  Every time I’d see one of these I’d just ‘sigh‘.  They are just SO glorious!!

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(again, picture from Pinterest)  This is actually my ‘dream’ wreath.  The really vintage ornaments in pink and aqua; each one different and in unique shapes.

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So, instead of just ‘drooling’ over the ones I saw on Pinterest, I started reading some of the tutorials.  Alas, they were as varied (and confusing!) as the burlap wreath tutorials.  Heavy sigh.

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I had actually purchased a bunch of the ornaments AFTER Christmas for half price at Goodwill last year.  Then I got so overwhelmed with picking a color and/or theme that I just slapped price tags on them all and took the boxes of ornaments to Stars to sell; and was just going to scratch that one off my crafting bucket list, incomplete.

P1240042Then this last week while out thrifting, I came across a BIG bag of assorted white and silver ornaments.  Yes, ALL of those ornaments were together in one big bag.   Looked like the perfect amount for making one of these wreaths.

P1240043Found this white berry garland and braided seed bead rope garland and figured I could use them as ‘fillers’ for my wreath if needed.

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This is pretty close to how I envisioned MY completed wreath turning out.

343b198ddab9ef2cf1c81f5b965daae3NOW, I just needed to decide which tutorial to ‘trust’.  Some said you could make on in 30 minutes.  HA!!  I spent ALL DAY working on mine.  And SO many of them showed this very same method as the photo above.  Just HOT glue the ornaments to a styro wreath form.  Styrofoam and hot glue do NOT go together well!

6a00e55391c48e88330105366f68d4970cThis ‘wire clothes hanger method’ looked pretty easy.  Glue all your ornament tops on (so they can’t pull off) then just slide your ornaments over your hanger and twist closed.  I had serious doubts that this would work as well as they claimed: the weight of the ornaments would likely turn your round form into an oval.  Besides, I don’t have any wire hangers.  (seriously, not a one!  I hate them!)

5648a1f10634ce60220d2b091f46f55cThis tutorial used a grapevine wreath, and attached the ornaments in ‘bunches’ as opposed to ‘layer by layer’ as did nearly EVERY  other tutorial.  I opted to trust the majority and go with the layering method.  But NONE of the tutorials really went into detail beyond the first few layers.  (NOW I understand why!)

P1240040I opted to use one of the straw wreaths I had on hand, and conceded to the fact that I’d HAVE to hot glue the first few rows of ornaments on.  Hot glue will melt the plastic covering on the straw wreath, so I removed it, and it immediately started shedding and coming apart!  I tore up some strips of muslin and glued them around the straw.  Hot glue will adhere better to the muslin.

P1240045My first outer row consisted of 19 medium sized balls and one smaller one (cuz the bigger wouldn’t fit!)  Hot glued these in place with the loops facing down.  (this is the BACK of the wreath)

P1240047After I hot glued them, I went back over each connection with a dab of tacky glue.  Hot glue tends to not hold too well in the cold and I was thinking of using this wreath for my front door)

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Second layer was on the inside; and took 13 small balls.  Attached with hot glue and reinforced with tacky glue.

P1240051Third layer was on the outside edge again, medium balls between each of the large ones. Since they had the first layer to support them while the glue dried, for this row I used JUST tacky glue.

P1240049Applied my tacky glue like this, them placed that end down into the space between the larger balls.

P1240052This row took 20 of the small balls; same size that I used on the inner row.

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Fourth row was the tiny silver glitter balls (13 of them) between the first inner row balls.  Again, I used tacky glue for this.  Stopped here to let glue dry overnight.

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Nice, neat row after row.

P1240055This is the last ‘defined’ row.  I used my largest balls, glued (tacky glue) one between every OTHER on the second outer row.  After this is when it gets ‘tricky’.  No more perfectly spaced rows.  You just have to fit ‘what you can where you can’.  NOW I understand why none of the tutorials go into much detail!

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I clipped the white berry wreath into individual ‘sprigs’ using wire cutters.

P1240077Got abut 50 individual pieces.

P1240064‘Somewhat’ between the previous layer, I used my biggest balls, but not in a perfectly symmetrical pattern.  You just keep filling the holes with whatever size of ball will fit.  I used my tacky glue as much as possible, and hot glue only if I absolutely HAD to.

P1240062I continued taking photos, but at this point you really can’t tell exactly what I did and I can’t explain it!  Just glue on whatever fits over the ‘bare spots’ where your wreath form is showing through.

P1240066Keep going!

P1240069From a distance, it looks done.  And I’m guessing that this is where most people stop.

P1240071Looking up close and from different angels, there are still a lot of tiny bare spots.

P1240073And they BOTHERED me!

P1240057The snippets of white berries did the trick to fill those annoying little spots.  I just dipped the ends in tacky glue, and shoved them into every crack where the muslin was showing through.

P1240074I SHOULD have attached a hanging loop FIRST, but forgot to.  So this is how I did it ‘after the fact’.

P1240075The backside is not at all attractive!

P1240104Not bad for my first attempt, eh?

P1240100Granted the white berries ‘detract’ from the ‘look’ a bit.  And I probably could have filled the little holes with MORE tiny ornaments.  But I was trying to ‘use what I had’ and if I were to have set it aside to finish later . . . well, you KNOW how that goes!

P1240107Those really ARE silver shiney balls.  They are just reflecting the amber lighting in the room and LOOK gold-tone.

P1240076This is what was left of the supplies.  Just a few large and medium balls.  I used ALL the tiny and small balls and berry sprigs.  Did not use the seed bead garland at all.  Maybe on the NEXT one???

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~::~

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Upcycled glass bottle SNOW FOLK

Lots of assorted collected bottles.  Time for a project to use them!

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I decided to make them into ‘snow folk’.

P1230906Assorted styrofoam balls, covered with a layer of paper because glitter does not stick to styro very well.  I painted on some ‘pink cheeks’ and covered the balls with white glitter.

P1230911I filled the wider mouth bottles with artificial snow.

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For the bottles with really small holes that the snow wouldn’t fit into, I used white sand mixed with a little glitter for sparkle!

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A batch of ‘carrot noses’; toothpicks cut in half and painted orange.

P1230919Poked a hole with a nail for the nose in the middle of the face then glued the glittered heads to the show filled bottles with tacky glue.

P1230920Put a dot of tacky glue into the nose hole and push the nose in place.

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Time for eyes!

P1230923I used little black upholstery tacks for the eyes.  Poke a tiny hole with the same nail used for the noses, squirt in a dot of glue, the push the tacks in.

P1230926And here they all are!

P1230928I decided to make them ‘party hats’ out of old sheet music.  Cut circles into thirds and glue.  (circle size varies, as do the sizes of the styro balls used for the heads).  I made little ‘pom-poms’ for the tip of the hats.

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The pom-poms are made from 1/4 of a chenille stem, rolled into a ball with just enough of the stem left to stick into the top of the hat.  (snip off the tip of the hat, add a dot of glue and push the pom-pom in)

P1230929Then I added a bit more glue from the underside to be sure the pom-poms were nice and secure.  Let the glue dry for 15 minutes or so, with the hats upside down.

P1230930 Put a generous line of glue around the inside rim of the hat and plop it on his head.  Press it down after a few minutes if it starts to loosen.

P1230936For the trim for the hats I used a while gold chenille stem.  Sized it to the hat that is already on the head, and twist the ends to make a circle.  Wrap the rest of the end around your circle.

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Put a line of glue around the outside rim of the hat and slide the gold rim into place.

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 Hold it in place for a few seconds to be sure it doesn’t slide up.

P1230940Lots of snow folk in hats!

P1230935I used a couple of gold chenille stems to wrap around the neck; embellished with a rusty jingle bell.

P1230937The smaller bottles just needed one chenille stem around the neck.

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And here they all are!

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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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOVJOxmuB-g

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.

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

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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.

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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.

Old book pages stars wreath

I am soooooooooooooooooo far behind on my Christmas craft projects!   In fact, I’m wondering if maybe I shouldn’t just take everything that I’ve finished in the last week and ‘pack it away’ for NEXT year!?!  (which I HAVE been know to do in the past.)   It’s such a nice surprise to pull out a box of craft supplies and find a bunch of projects already DONE!  Plus, I always seem to come across a bunch of really cute Christmas craft and decor ideas the week before Christmas, which is entirely too late for the current year, and I’ll have forgotten about them by next year . . . so I make up a few and stash them for next year!

I guess this next project isn’t necessarily Christmas themed, but it has a Christmas ‘feel’ to it.  Here’s the ‘inspiration photo’ from Pinterest:

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And below is MY rendition:

P1230876I did a few more layers that it looks like the original one had; and I made my stars in four sizes, and some smaller than on the original.  Here’s how I did it:

While it’s really a very simple looking wreath, and easy enough to figure out ‘how to construct’ on your own; it was MUCH MORE time consuming than I had anticipated.  Putting it together is fairly ‘quick & easy’, but the PREP work is very labor intensive!  You have been forewarned!

:: First you have to hunt down for of five different shades and prints of book pages, and tear out a bunch of those.

:: Then go to your scrap cardboard stash  (What?!?!  Doesn’t everyone have a stash of cardboard scraps?!?! Mine are mostly cut up cereal boxes) and find some good size pieces of cardboard.

:: Next, it GLUING TIME!  Grab your bottle of tacky glue (regular school glue is a bit too ‘wet’ and will cause your paper to warp more) and start gluing your paper to your cardboard.  I spent well over an hour doing this.  *** (IF you are using reclaimed cereal boxes, BE SURE to glue your paper to the PLAIN side, not the printed size; as the pictures may show through some of the papers.)  Put your glued pages under a stack of heavy books to dry and flatten over-night.

:: The next day, or however long it takes your glued pages to completely dry and harden; find a star shape you like and trace out a cardboard template.  I used a plastic star ornament to trace, then cut a few down to smaller sizes.

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:: Now that you have your templates, START TRACING!  Trace as many stars per page as you possible can, and be sure to make each star size out of each paper pattern.  I did enough for multiple projects, so not I have a stash of ‘ready to use’ stars whenever the creative mood strikes!  I also always do my craft project prep work ‘assembly line style’.  IE trace out ALL the star pages, then cut out ALL the stars.

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::  Which, coincidentally is your next, and the most time consuming step; cutting out the stars!  I ‘pre-cut’ each page of stars by cutting away each one so that I can ‘detail cut’ them one at a time.  Then once I have my pile of individually ‘rough cut-out’ stars, I go back and cut along the lines.  Since the ‘points’ tend to get bent up easily, I just went ahead and rounded the tips of all of mine.

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I ended up having to ‘press’ my cut out stars under those heavy books overnight again.

NOW FOR THE FUN PART.  I didn’t look at the inspiration picture until after I was done, as I did not want to ‘copy it’; but mine did come out very close to the same!

P1230862:: This next step WOULD have taken me an additional day (to make and let dry) if I hadn’t had a stash of them pre-made and ready to use.  I cut up circles of corrugated cardboard, glue two together, then glue strips of paper bag paper around it to make it nice and strong.  Press under heavy books overnight.

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:: I put ‘stripes of glue’ all the way around my circle wreath form; added the biggest sheet music stars, evenly spaced out first.

P1230866:: Second layer of dictionary page stars between the sheet music ones.

P1230867At those two layers, my star ends started curling a bit for the moisture, so I decided to stop and re-press under those books overnight.

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:: Next were the smaller sizes of stars and I wanted to be ‘raised’ a little.  I cut up small squares of scrap corrugated cardboard and glued them to the backs of the small stars before I glued them to my wreath.

P1230873:: Gluing on the raised stars.  I’d glue a few, then step back and look at it.  Add a few more and step back again.  this is the best way I know to prevent ‘over embellishing’.

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First layer of ‘raised’ stars complete.

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Adding a few more ‘layers’ of smaller raised stars.

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Close up.

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LOVE the vintage Japanese pages!

P1230876I think I’m done!!

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One last peek at the inspiration photo.  So I need to add a bow to mine too?

EDITED TO ADD: Someone asked how I hang these; and since it took me several ‘trials and errors’ to come up with this simple way to hang my flat cardboard wreaths; here is how I do it:

P1240027I attach a piece of jute BEFORE I add the stuff to the front of the wreath.  I glue it in place, then glue (tacky glue) a few strips of paper over the ends to be sure they don’t pull out.

Old mop bucket Upcycle!

This rusty old mop bucket!  What do YOU think of when you come across something like this?P1210052Even thought this bucket is pretty rusty inside, it’s an ‘industrial’ model and much bigger and sturdier than the smaller ‘home models’.  There just HAS to be something unique and useful that I can make this into!

P1210053The wheels still work great, so a ‘rolling’ something . . .

P1210054The first thing I did was ‘deal with the rust’.  I didn’t want to cover it or remove it, but we all know that once rust starts, it continues unless treated somehow.

P1210055So I took a can of clear MATTE (you don’t want ‘glossy’ rust!) spray paint and gave the outside a couple of coats, and the rusty inside a good 3 coats.  The clear spray ‘darkens’ the color of the rust a tad, but it still looks very ‘naturally rusted’.

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Next, I had Michael cut a round piece of wood for me that fit the top of the bucket; and I painted it grey.

P1200969Then I rifled through my fabric stash to find fabric that would match,  Settled upon this blue, white and grey homespun to cover the foam round that I had.

P1210056This round seat cushion pillow form that I had bought was a ‘no sew’ style.  It has a deep slit on one side and you just ‘wrap and tuck’ your fabric into the slot!  How cool is that?!?

P1200970Put them all together and you have a rolling fool stool!

P1200972With lots of STORAGE space inside!

P1200968I was originally making this to sell in my booth st Stars, but then I thought about those ’round tool trays’ that they make to fit the 5 gallon plastic work buckets . . . .

313ZGKCDFRLLike this!  And I decided that it would be the perfect rolling tool storage seat for my new garage workshop!

P1200970How cool is that???

Altered tins

Got these cute rectangular tins EONS ago; when we were still doing primarily primitives in our store in Hillsboro.  I think they had repro vintage laundry detergent labels on them.  They were on clearance and super cheap, so I bought a CASE of them; in sets of 3 graduated sizes.  The smallest about the size of a box of band-aids.

P1100939I did sell a few of them ‘as purchased’ in a little laundry vignette in the store with old wash tubs, wash boards, old clothespins etc.  (the above three are currently at Stars)

STILL had a lot of them left.  So I made primitive tea stained labels to put on some of them to sell alongside the vintage bottles that I similarly labeled.  (photo from Stars 2010)

You can see the can a little better in this picture.  So I did that with a bunch of them and sold them as such.  Then I started working on more of them and got as far as covering the original label with dark brown or tea stained paper; then I stopped.  Recently found that box of them; and with those ‘blank canvases’ made these new altered versions:

P1100842So I dug through my piles of scrapbook paper and embellishments and started layering stuff on!

P1100843even did the sides of some of them!

P1100844And some had to be covered on the backside too because they were all scratched up.

From my previous experience with selling these in our store, I knew that people would HAVE to take the lids off.   That’s the first thing they did when they would pick them up to look at them.  Take the lid off.  Even though they are obviously EMPTY.  It’s just human nature.  We want to SEE what’s inside.  But the lids were a very snug fit and it took time to get them back on.  Hence, at the end of every day at the store, I had to walk around and puts the lids back on all the tins!  sigh.  Since I can’t ‘be there’ to replace  the lids at the malls, and don’t want them to ‘go missing’  (you’d be amazed at what ‘walks out’ of those places!?!) I GLUED them on when I started this project!  (which does NOT necessarily guarantee that I WON’T find them with the lids taken off!)  double sigh!

P1100845I just sat at my coffee table in front of the TV one evening, glue bottle in hand, and altered away! (Aleen’s tacky glue is the ONLY glue I use!)

P1100846The ‘fauxen’ (faux frozen!) Charlotte’s are ones I molded with Sculpey clay.  Bought the mold to make them on etsy.

P1100847The moon face is molded clay too.  (Got this mold at the craft store)  The key is from a pack designed for paper crafts; flat on the back side so they glue down nicely.

P1100848And the top of that one.

P1100849Another face from the same mold set.  Embossed butterfly bought in a package at craft store.  You’ll notice that I also used these as wings for some of the Charlottes.

P1100850And another flat back key.

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Vintage looking photos from an embellishment pad.  TONS of great stuff in that thing!

P1100852Bingo card from the same pad.  Tiny clay moon face on butterfly.

P1100853These particular crowns are made from a paper die cut.  (not a die cut MACHINE; don’t have one of those YET!  But the little single ones you can buy at the craft store)

P1100854Another (smaller!) Charlotte.  I used my Ralph Lauren tobacco glaze to ‘antique’ the Charlottes and moon faces.

P1100855The biggest Charlotte of the bunch.  These wings I cut myself from scrap paper.

P1100856The top.

P1100857Pink!

P1100858Vintage dictionary page is from an actual old dictionary.  I use the paper from it a LOT.  Really inexpensive to buy at a thrift store.  Another ‘flat back’ key.  The vintage post card images are cut from a 12×12 sheet of scrapbook paper covered with them.

P1100859Top.

P1100860Half a Charlotte???  Well, I didn’t have enough clay left to make a whole one and I didn’t want to waste that last little bit of it! (what can I say?  Waste not, want not!)

P1100861Top.

P1100862Bird cage die cut from an embellishment pack.

P1100863Top.

P1100864Just layers of papers and a single embellishment.

P1100865Top.  ALL the tops have at least a strip of paper on them.  I only took pictures of the tops that I added MORE than just the paper to.

P1100866Another vintage look picture from the pad.

P1100867Top.

P1100868Funny cartoon image from the embellishment pad.

P1100869And another one of those flat keys.  Now that I’ve actually USED the keys, I’m wishing that I had bought MORE of them!

But more often that not, I buy stuff like that ‘when it catches my eye’ and it’s sometimes YEARS before I actually USE it.  And by then, if I decide I want MORE, they don’t have them anymore?!?!  But maybe that’s a GOOD thing!

I did all of these in one evening, in front of the TV.