Thursday, December 8, 2011

DIY Christmas Wreath

Growing up my family always had a fake tree for the holidays. Sure, it was still a fun family tradition to dig the Christmas tree box out of the loft, fight over which branch goes where, and then be totally over the whole thing by the time the lights were untangled. But, for the past 2 years Kyle and I have opted for the real tree experience.

This year, our tree was ginormous and in order to have it fit into our tree stand a few branches had to be cut off the bottom. I decided to save those branches and try my hand at my very first DIY Christmas wreath. It wasn't as difficult as I was expecting and it was really fun to see it come together.

First I gathered all of my materials. I did most of my shopping at Michael's (remember your coupon- they always have a zillion of them!) I went with a silver and red theme so I bought some glittery silver ribbon, fake silver flower springs, fake red poinsettias, and a giant silver ribbon. The green spool in the top left corner is actually wrapped wire that I used to attach the branches to the frame.

I also collected the branches I was going to use, my frame (also bought at Michael's), and a variety of cutting tools. I started out using utility scissors (in the middle) to cut the branches which did an okay job, but if you have pruning shears (top) they work much better. I also used wire cutters (bottom) to cut the green wire into small pieces.

Then, I got to work! I suppose you can start by laying all of the branches out first if that's the way your mind works, but my brain is more of a "dive right in" kind of brain. I took my branches, one by one, and attached them to the frame with little pieces of wire. I found it helps to cut a bunch of small wire sections (about 2-3 inches long) and bend them in the center so you have them ready as you go, and you don't have to keep stopping along the way to cut more wire. It interrupts your creative "flow".

As you begin placing your branches you will naturally start using your creative eye to determine where they should go. To create a really "full" looking wreath it's best to do a lot of layering, criss-crossing branches, and switch up the direction the branches (some facing up, some down, etc.)

After lots of layering and tying with wire, the wreath starts to get full enough and tight enough that the final few branches can be attached to the wreath simply by weaving them in between other branches, without using wire. This was also how I attached the decorative fave flowers-- just by shoving them into the wreath. Then, I attached the bow with wire, wrapped the ribbon around loosely, and tied a bit of ribbon in a loop on the top for hanging.

Ta daaaaa! What do you think?? Show me your own DIY wreaths-- I'd love to see them!

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