Sheet music leaf wreaths – TUTORIAL.

I’ve been in the mood to work with vintage sheet music a lot lately I guess.  I’ve done the banners with it, covered the reindeer with it . . and made these new wreaths with it.

I actually keep boxes of leaf shapes that I have pre-cut ‘on hand’, so when inspiration strikes I can start creating right away.  I like to have something to do in the evenings when I watch TV.


Cutting out the leaf shapes is one of those somethings. I also ‘tea stain’ them ahead of time.  (I use my own recipe for staining; it does NOT contain actual tea or coffee or vanilla.  Those make it too sticky!)P1170027

I cut my wreath rings out of triple layer scrap cardboard.  (just glue three layers together with tacky glue)  I also use tacky glue to glue the leaves to the wreath.  This picture shows how I place the leaves; along the inside and outside rim first.

P1170026It can be quite labor intensive, gluing on one leaf at a time.  To speed up the process I lay out a couple dozen leaves; then dot them ALL with tacky glue (just a small amount on one end of the leaf shape).  Then place them on the wreath form.


This is what the leaf placement looks like close up when finished.

P1170036This is a really BIG one!

P1170035On this one I used non tea-stained leaves, which do lay nice and flat; but a little TOO flat once I got it all put together.  (tea staining the leaves causes them to curl up and wrinkle a little bit as they dry; giving them a more natural look)

P1170048I didn’t want to try to tea-stain these leaves after they were already in place, bit I thought maybe spritzing them with water might curl up the leaves a tad; giving a more natural feel it it.

P1170047It worked like a charm!  Exactly the look I was hoping to achieve.  A few of the leaves did curl up a bit too much, to where the cardboard base showed underneath.  I just put a dot of tacky glue under them and glued them down a bit more.

P1170046NOW I just have to figure out how I want to ’embellish’ this one.  It feels a bit too BIG to leave plain.

My first thought for dressing it up was to hang a small banner across it, but that just looked too busy.  I stared at this thing for WEEKS trying to figure out ‘what else it needed’?!?!?


I finally settled upon some ‘bling berries’!


I had found a packet of these amber colored crystals at Dollar Tree, and decided to use them on the big wreath.


I just glued them on with tacky glue in little clusters of three.


I don’t think I’ll make them THIS big anymore!  SO many more options for ‘styling’ smaller ones; like this next one:

 I made this one using my pre-tea stained book pages instead of sheet music.

P1170033Added this little laser cut wood ‘love’ to the top left.

P1170031And a couple of tea stained felt birds and a little read heart to the lower right side.

P1170029Here you can see what I was talking about with the tea stained leaves curling up a bit and looking more natural.

Perfect little wreath for Valentine decorating.

Time to start working on Valentine’s stuff

Pulled out my bins of V-day supplies and left over product from last year.  I collect vintage cherubs and heart shaped candy boxes throughout the year and just toss it all in a box along with any leftover supplies.  I FINALLY figured out that sorting and STORING my supplies by SEASONS kept things more organized, AND easier to find when I needed it!

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 041This first batch of pictures is product leftover from last year.   Remember the great computer crash of 2012 last year??  (I still have nightmares!)  Anyhow, a lot of this stuff was never posted in my blog because of the crash, so I’ll show it to you now.

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 040
It’s always nice to have a few things  left over from the previous year to get me started and inspired.  This is a vintage thrifted body powder box WITH the pretty pink PUFF still in it.  I just added the red glitter and the embossed metal doo-dad.

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 048Another thrifted box, this time SILK covered, inside and out; and it already had the bling on top.  I just added a little glitter trim and a paper heart to the ties.

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 049And added some paper shred!  “no box should be completely empty” is my philosophy!  This shred is another of my ‘hand mixed’ shreds; with red instead of aqua for the pop of color.  I use this one for some Christmas stuff and of course, Valentine stuff.

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 042This was a Christmas gift box from  Dollar Tree.  I always look for solid red and white stuff in the after Christmas sales to use for Valentine crafts and year round.

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 043The lid to this box was already glittered, so I just added a little heart embellishment.

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 044Then I lined the box with a rectangular white paper doily (Dollar Tree has all kinds of sizes, shapes and colors of paper doilies!) added a little bit of my red paper shred blend and some chocolate heart shaped candles.  (also from DT!!)

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 045I ‘think’ these pillows came from Target last year.   I hand stamped some tea stained muslin ribbon and pinned it to the pillows.  (didn’t want to permanently attach them in case the purchaser wants to remove them.  It’s nice to offer that option when you can)    Target is a great place to look for seasonal decor items at ‘not much more expensive’ than dollar store prices.  Look in their ‘Dollar Spot’ at the front of the store.  Be sure to look EARLY in the season.  this stuff gets picked over FAST!

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 053I used the top of this box for something else (can’t remember what!) So these chocolate scented heart shaped candles, nestled in a bit of paper shred, are wrapped in cellophane.  You can STILL smell them even through the cello!

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 055Little chippy thrifted frame with pretty paper and little embellishment; reads ‘Happily ever after’.

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 057Cute vintage style Valentine cards are blank inside.

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 059I find the boxes of these at stores like Ross or Marshall’s; then I individually package them for sale.

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 060I think (not positive!) this came from Target too.  I just add a little embellishment to things like this.  On this one I just added a ribbon.  Sometimes I’ll tie on a tag or vintage key.

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 066Same here.

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 063Just something a little different for the front door instead of a wreath.  Pink Christmas stocking bought half off after Christmas, filled with white berry sprays (half off post Christmas too!) and a little heart shaped tag.  Again, nothing is permanently attached, so it can be un-done and used as a Christmas stocking next year too!

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 064Cute little pink bucket with heart tag.  Not sure WHAT I’ll put in it yet, if anything.  May just sell it ‘as is’ for the purchaser to fill with goodies.

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 065Glass heart shaped orns from craft store,  I filled with hand crimped and shredded vintage sheet music and tied on a little vintage repro key with pink ribbon.  These are cute to pile into vintage candy dishes.

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 067Thrifted LOVE sign I added glitter to the border.

 12.26.12 Valentine crafts 068Altered candy box.

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 072I left these empty last year because the bigger chocolate candles from DT wouldn’t fit.  Now THIS year they have smaller candles, which I HAVE put in the new boxes I ma making to sell on etsy.  Probably won’t add the small chocolates for Stars though.  Too easy to slip into a purse or pocket!

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 069Another ’empty’ altered box.

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 073Just layers of paper and doilies.  Cast plastic vintage cherubs have been spray painted white, then antiques with Ralph Lauren tobacco glaze; before gluing to box.

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 070I like to have different price points on stuff like this, so this one is without a cherub, and priced lower than the two with.

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 071Play around with your different layers of papers BEFORE you glue anything down.  Be sure you like how it looks, then start gluing.  You can’t make changes once you start gluing!

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 075Wood bead heart ornaments.  I hand make these using rebar tie wire.  Made the tea stained hand stamped tags too.

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 076Purchased embossed tin tile hearts from ages ago.  I added scrapbook embellishments; keeping with the shabby chic look.

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 077Vintage sheet music paper rosette and doves wreath.

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 079Completely hand crafted except for the hearts.  Doves are cut from old cereal boxes and covered with vintage sheet music.

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 081Primitive bentwood boxes painted red, topped with hand cut wood hearts.  These are from AGES ago, back when I did primitives.  These might be going on etsy.

So that’s what I’ve got to START with.  Now on to the NEW STUFF!

Paper rosette Valentine wreaths




For sale in my space at Stars Antiques in Portland.


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.

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.