I finally have a sofa in my living room!!

Well, I have a sofa ‘of sorts’.  A daybed that will function as my sofa and that I can sleep on when I have overnight guests (whom I would of course give my room to!)  And it only took me 14 months from the time I moved in to ‘build’ it.

I really. REALLY wanted to find  a cool old day bed to use in my living room.

Something along the lines of these.  Aren’t they fabulous!?!?  Alas, I have not seen one single vintage day bed since I moved 14 months ago.  And actually, had I found one like the iron ones in the above photos, they probably would have been to short to actually SLEEP on.

I already had this old door that I had painted to use as my headboard previously in my room at Michael’s.  It ended up being too long to use as the headboard in my room here, so I just stashed it in the garage until I figured out what to do with it.

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So, a few weeks ago, an elderly gentleman who lives across the street from me came over while I was outside working on some projects, and introduced himself to me and commented on how I was ‘always out here working on something’!  He said he had an old door and peg rack that he was getting rid of, and asked if I’d like them.  Of course I said yes.  This is that door, and it is HEAVY.  It took both of us to lift it onto my wheely cart and wheel it over to my place!

Wasn’t sure WHAT I was going to do with it at first.  Michael has been working on some home improvements, and I thought he might be able to use it; so I offered it to him first.  He did not need it, so it was mine . . . all mine to figure out a use for.

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So I had the old panel door for the backing.  Could use the newly acquired ‘heavy’ door for the base.  Now I just needed to figure out what to do for legs????  But I wasn’t sure that ‘just legs’ would be sturdy enough, and I wanted to leave room for storage underneath, so I wanted it a bit HIGHER than a typical daybed would be.  So I designed the above wood boxes to use as the base to put the door across, and Michael custom built them for me.

I had even saved the wood support boards that we had used to attach the panel door to the wall when I was using it as my headboard previously.  I just screwed the boards back on using the same screws in the same holes; then screwed the door to the wall.  Most of the weight of the door is supported by the boards. Screwing it to the wall just keeps it from falling over.

P1280737And there you have a ‘naked’ make-do daybed!!  Now I just need a mattress or some kind of padding!!  Which proved to be much more difficult than I had anticipated!!  A twin mattress was too wide and not long enough.  So I  headed to Joann Fabrics (50% off coupon in hand!) and figured I could get a new foam pad at a decent price.  WRONG!!!  Even at HALF off, the foam pads were crazy expensive!!!  Forget that!  So I put on my thinking cap and started looking elsewhere.

Since we are nearing the end of summer, I thought perhaps I could find a box pad like the ones above (but for outdoor furniture) on sale.  Nope.  They were more expensive than the foam pads!  An actual twin mattress would have been the cheapest option IF it would have fit!  sigh.  WHAT am I going to use for the ‘cushions’ on my sofa/daybed????

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My propensity to think outside the box led me to purchasing TWO king size foam mattress pads.  I cut each one into THREE equal pieces; which gave me a nice and cushy SIX layers to sit or sleep on!!  I bought a plastic twin bed cover to ‘hold the foam layers together.

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I was really envisioning something that looked like this.  I LOVE the old pallets for the base, but NEED the storage room that a covered base provides.  But a cover similar to the one above might still look good with a skirted base.

But this is what I got . . .  for now at least.  The covering and pillows are temporary.  I just threw what I had on there for now.  I want to make a skirt (burlap maybe) and a vintage chenille bedspread and different covers for the pillows (feed-sack style maybe?) .  Oh, and now that I see it ‘almost finished’, I’ve decided that it NEEDS arms or SOMETHING on the ends.

I would LOVE to find some cool vintage corbels to use as ‘arms’.  They wouldn’t really need to go the full depth of the bed; just enough to keep the pillows from falling off.  And if I can’t find any old corbels, I can buy news ones, or maybe MAKE my own!  (I foresee a field trip to the salvage place down in Aurora!)

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So, the daybed is still very much ‘a work in progress’.  As is the living room as a whole.  I had to figure out where to move the dresser that was on the wall where the daybed is now.  (it’s full of craft supplies!)

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And I’m totally embarrassed to admit that I have yet to do away with all of this ‘pile of stuff’ at the back of my living room.  Although this is a picture from a year ago, and the pile is now about 1/4 that size.  A lot of it was product for Stars that has been taken to my booth and sold. Getting rid of this will open up the living room a bit more, but only in a ‘long and narrow’ way; not any wider.  And now that I’ve decided that I NEED to do the Junk Salvation show again in February; I’m going to have to start accumulating product for it.  I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’m just going to have to upgrade to a bigger rented storage unit.  I have a 4’x6′ right now.

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These old suitcases that I have as the coffee table for now are too big for the space.  I actually have a really cute shabby white trio of tables that I had Michael build for me (before I even moved) that I had intended to use as the coffee table.

 While I was awaiting a sofa to put a coffee table in front of, I had put them on my front porch.  Remember my blue pumpkin display from last fall?  The two smaller ones ‘tuck under’ the bigger one.  These will eventually replace the suitcases as my coffee table.

So, the ball is rolling and I just MIGHT have my living room squared away enough to actually put up a Christmas tree this year.

New ‘fauxzen Charlotte’ project

I’ve been trying to think of a new way to use my faux Frozen (fauxzen) Charlotte’s.  So, I decided to look back in my blog to see what all I had done with them in the past.  I honestly FORGET about some of the projects I’ve done, until I SEE them again!

Wow!!  A lot more than I thought I had done!  I’m not sure there IS anything NEW left to do with them!?!

P1260811And then I come across some square shaped brown glass jars that are the perfect size for a mini Charlotte collage!

It was a pretty quick and simple project.  Vintage book pages background and wings; die cut crowns from metallic paper.  I tied some tea stained cheesecloth on the top and added some cute little charms.  Bam!

UPcycled 3 drawer chest

DRAT!!!  I could have SWORN that I took a picture of this ‘nasty’ three drawer chest before I started working on it!?!  Alas, apparently I did not; but from the looks of these drawers, I think you can imagine what it looked like.

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Layers of old paint colors, mismatched drawer pulls . . .

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Contact paper on the top?!?!?  (I REALLY should have looked at this more closely and with my glasses ON; before I decided to buy it!)  Fortunately, said contact paper was SO old that it was really BRITTLE, and scraped off with a paint scraper fairly easily.

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And MORE contact paper was covering this mess on one side!!  That ‘indent’ is far too big to just fill with wood putty.  Time to get creative.  (Just in case you are wondering WHERE that indent came from; this piece must have been the side drawers from a desk.  And this is the side the desk top and drawer was attached to.)

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The repair in progress.  I found a ‘strip’ of wood that was almost the right size; then filled the rest of the gaps with bits and pieces of bamboo skewers.  Sanded all that smooth, then filled any remaining gaps with wood putty.

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Sanding down the top revealed more layers of colors.

Lots of pink under the brown on the drawers.  Filled the holes from the previous drawer pulls.

A couple of layers of paint and lots of sanding with the orbital sander; purposely revealing some of the old pink and yellow paint on the top.

The side with the damage on the right; the good side on the left.

Good (right) and bad (left) sides again; but in better light.  My ‘repair’ job IS noticeable, but not very!  Most of the time, you don’t even SEE the sides of a chest when it’s in use in a home anyhow.

Found the perfect vintage drawer pulls for this piece.

Available for purchase in my booth at Stars.

Prettied up trinket boxes

Cute little trinket box with magnetic closure makes for a quick and easy make-over.  (found the box at dollar store!)

I cut a piece of paper big enough to cover the existing image; but left the pretty border still visible.

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Then I glued a stamped piece of muslin on top of that; just a little off-center.

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I added a little scrap of matching paper to the underside of the lid.

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The sticky label on the bottom of this one just so happened to peel off perfectly; which is NOT usually the case.  IF it had not come off without damaging the bottom of the box, I would have glued another piece of paper to the bottom as well.

Just so happened to find another box at a different store, with the exact same design.  Went with a simpler design on this one.  Covered the whole top and front with vintage dictionary page; added a vintage post card image and a ‘paper’ key.

This one is a soap box that I saved.

This one had a very pretty design on the existing paper, so I just needed to partly cover it.  A piece of paper and a crown stamped on muslin, off-center.

A little piece of matching paper to cover the ‘non-removable’ label on the bottom of the box.

And a little piece on the underside of the lid ‘just for fun’ (this piece wasn’t really ‘necessary’ because it’s not covering anything  . . . I just thought it added a little interest!)

MORE banners

So, while I had all my banner making supplies spread out all over the living room; I found some MORE supplies to use up.

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These bigger, glitter-edged letters are pretty ‘fancy’ as is, so I opted for a simple vintage sheet music backing.  (after trying out a LOT of other design options!)  These cut-out  paper the letters are made from paper that looks like faded book pages.

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For these, and whenEVER possible, I do ‘hole punches’ for adding the hanging string to the banner.  MUCH less time-consuming than gluing string or ribbon to the back.

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I had three full sets of this particular lettering; with 2-3 of each letter; so after I used up all the D’s and M’s I had on these dream banners, I still had a LOT of letters left.  But not a lot of options for  words to spell, with some letters having been used up.  So I laid out all that I have left to see what other words I could spell.

 I had used up all the sheet music backings that I had pre-made, also; so I went with dictionary pages for the Paris banners.  (* I make the banner backings ahead of time and always have a stash of them on hand.  That way, when I’m in a creating mood I can get right to it; without as much ‘prep work’ before hand.  Plus I like to have ‘busy work’ to do while I am watching TV, and this kind of thing is perfect for that!)P1260790

~::~

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On this one, that I already took to Stars; I used tea stained sheet music for the backing.  (but I only had enough of the tea stained pages to do one banner)

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I sure hope ‘DREAM’ banners are popular because I now have a LOT of them.  NOW I just need to figure out what to do with all the left-over ‘odd’ letters . . . . Q – X – V = Z – J   . . . . .   Maybe for some altered art projects??

Upcycled soap box

Hello, my name is aj; and I’m a ‘soapaholic’. 

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If you are a regular reader of my blog, you’ve probably already figured that out!  I must confess that my addiction goes further than that.

I can’t resist ‘sniffing soaps’ at the store.

No, not the soaps in the soap aisle at the grocery store.  The ‘fancy’ soaps that come in pretty boxes.  Marshall’s is my favorite store for ‘soap sniffing’.  But I don’t sniff just ‘any soap’!  No ‘floral’ fragrances for me (except Lavender).  Other floral scents make me sneeze!  And I only like ‘neutral color’ soaps.P1260297I I was attracted to this box of soap because of the pretty box.  When I opened it and saw that it was PINK, I quickly put the lid back on and replaced it on the shelf withOUT even smelling it.  Because I don’t like pink soaps!

Just as I was starting to reach for the next box to open and sniff; the fragrance from that box with pink soap gently wafted by and it was AMAZING!  It smelled like a fresh strawberry pie.  I could NOT resist a full on sniff.  I HAD to buy it!

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The soap itself went directly into my shower and the box to my craft table.  I especially like how the box was decorated with the baker’s twine.  (will have to remember that trick!)

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I love upcycling these pretty soap boxes.  Usually I have to re-cover the entire box; but this one was already decorated so nicely that I only had to cover the ‘soap’ information.

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I found some print scrap book paper that coordinated with the paper on the box to cover the front label.

Used a piece of the same paper to cover the bottom of the box.

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There was a removable ‘riser’ in the bottom of the box that I wanted to leave in place because it SMELLED so good; so I added some of the same paper to it.

Easy peasey pretty (and fragrant!) little gift box ready to go!

Super simple soap box upcycle

Remember this GIANT jar of soaps in my bathroom?

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See that extra big square bar, behind the oval bar sitting in front of the jar?

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That extra big bar of soap came in a really nice box.

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TOO nice of a box to just throw away.

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Long sides on the lid so it closes securely.  Would have been a nice box just for storing small craft supplies in . . . . but you KNOW I can never leave well enough alone!

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Since this box was ‘mostly plain’, it was a super simple make-over.  First I added a piece of paper over the writing on the underside of the lid.  (I got this cool wrapping paper with the writing on it from Ballard Designs.  It was NOT cheap, but it’s SO pretty!  And I’ll get a lot of mileage out of it using it for craft projects.)  ANY kind of paper could be used for something like this: old book pages, vintage sheet music, wrapping paper, tissue paper . . . .

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For covering the outside, I measured from the front, across the top, down the back, and around to the bottom; so I had one long piece to cover the whole area.

HELPFUL HINT:

For applying paper to things like this, I’ve found it MUCH easier to put the glue on the ITEM (as opposed to the paper).  Tacky glue is my glue of choice.  I covered the front part with glue and pressed on the paper; then applied glue to the top and smoothed the paper over it . . .and continuing all the way around to the bottom.  By just doing a small section at a time, it’s easier to smooth out any air bubbles.

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Since the sides were plain, I didn’t need to cover them; but if they had needed covering, I’d cover the sides FIRST, letting that piece overlap a little on the front and top.  Those little overlapped pieces will be covered when apply the rest of the paper.

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Easy peasey!!!  As an afterthought I decided it needed something on the front.  I just ran a little piece of a twig across my belt sander to give it a flat side and glued it on as a handle.

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These make great little gift boxes or storage boxes.

More ‘yard debris’ wreaths

Yep, I’ve been out gathering up yard debris to craft with again!

It all started out innocently enough last fall when I gathered up a few bits of moss that had fallen off the tree in my front yard to ’embellish’ the blue pumpkins I had painted and displayed on my front porch.

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Initially I had only replaced the ugly plastic stems with cut up branches.

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Then I was out picking up pine cones from my yard (because for whatever reason, the lawn maintenance people hired by the property owners just mow right over them and leave them on the lawn!?!?) and there was a LOT of big pieces of moss that had fallen off the tree.  That is when it occurred to me that adding some moss around the stems of the pumpkins might look good.

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Mission accomplished!

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Even the pumpkins with just a ‘stub’ of a stem, looked better with the moss added.

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I continued gathering up  the moss from under the tree once a week or so; intending to use it to add to little bird nests in the spring.

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Every once in a while I’d pick up a hunk of moss, only to discover that it had grown onto a piece of tree bark; and it fell apart if I tried to remove it.  So, I was tossing those pieces back.

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Then we had some very stormy days and a lot of bark bits had fallen from the tree and I had another ‘light bulb’ moment!  Gather up the bark and use it to make a wreath!

It took a couple of months to accumulate enough bark to make a wreath.  I just got in the habit of going out and gathering moss and bark once a week.

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First I covered one of the bulky straw wreaths with strips of brown paper using tacky glue.

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I just started gluing bark to the paper covered wreath form.  The tacky glue worked great for this project, as it’s ‘tackier’ than regular white glue and sets very quickly.  I’d lay out several pieces of bark, apply the glue to the back; then put the bark on the wreath.  In just those few extra moments, the glue will begin to ‘tack up’.  Occasionally I’d have to hold a piece of the bark in place for a minute or so for it to adhere properly.  I’d much rather do that then deal with a hot glue gun.  Plus, hot glue doesn’t hold up ‘in the weather’, and I envisioned these as ‘outdoor’ wreaths.

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That first photo of the ‘first step’ is really the only one that I took.  Beyond that, it was just ‘filling the space’ with bark bits.  After drying over night, I filled any bare spots with moss.

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Here’s what the back looks like.  I glued a strip of muslin to the back to hang it from.  You can see that loop at the top of the previous picture.

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Be sure it’s covered about 2/3 of the way around, so that none of the backing shows from the side view.

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A few ‘glue spots’ are visible in this pic, but they will eventually dry clear.

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Simple and organic looking.

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I actually had enough ‘supplies’ to make two of them.  As an after thought, I added some feather birds and a nest.

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Little bird on top of the smaller wreath.

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Little nest with eggs and a bird added to the inside of the bigger wreath.

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~::~

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Do you think they look better ‘plain’ or with the birds/nests added?

Variations on a theme: Snow Folk: Styles B & C

You’ve already met my ‘original’ snow folk, below.

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Assorted vintage salt shakers and clear bottles and with party hats made from vintage sheet music.

P1240128I started these guys a bit ‘late in the season’ for this year; so I’m just going to pack them away for next year.

P1240036I had a few extra ‘heads’ made up, but had run out of bottles for bodies. so I grabbed a couple of these salt and pepper shakers at the dollar store.

P1240059I decided to use the tops for the hats for these guys, and just added a chenille ‘pom-pom’ to them.

P1240430Then I made this little guy and glued TWO tops together for his hat.

P1240431I’m thinking I need to add ‘something’ to the top of his hat too.

P1240408Then I found a few more bottles and decided to give them little a NEW style of little crowns.

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I’m trying to NOT use my ‘typical’ little sheet music crowns lately.  I made these new crowns from stiffened lace and spray painted therm gold.

P1240409Even up close and in person, you’d never figure they were made from crocheted lace.

P1240414Since they are a little more elegant, I tied sheer white ribbon around their necks.

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and tied on some little metal snowflake ornaments I had in my stash.
P1240417I gave the taller one a double snowflake.

P1240407A few more to stash away for 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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