I “Wreath” You a Merry Christmas……

Okay, I know the pun in the posting title is lame, but it was the best I could think of after 10 minutes of brainstorming.  If you can come up with a better title, place it in the comments section and I will gladly change it.  However, we are not here to discuss the pros and cons of my literary genius, but to discuss a very important holiday topic – wreaths.

Yes, ladies and gents, if you have noticed one thing on the blog over the last week, it is that  I have become somewhat obsessed with these wonderfully round donuts of holiday cheer.    Somehow The Partner and I went two holiday seasons without really any proper outside decorations.  The first year, I think we were just overwhelmed with the sheer responsibility of owning our first home and ensuring that we didn’t burn it down, we opted out of decorating.  The second year, I patted myself on the back for simply forcing The Partner to buy a tree and ornaments.  As a side note, a 7 foot tree once unbundled has quite a large circumference that makes it nearly impossible to get down a narrow staircase…..heed my warning.

This year we opted not to buy a tree since we would be gone for 10 days to the East Coast to visit our respective families (and partially due to last year’s removal fiasco — see above).  However, I promised myself not to allow the holiday season to pass without some minor attempts of injecting holiday cheer into our home.  Ergo my attempt at the coffee filter wreath. Emboldened by its success, I have created a holiday console that I will be debuting next week as part of Living Livelier’s Blogger Holiday Open House.  But with the inside looking a little more festive, I felt that our front door was lacking in the holiday cheer.  So enter my solution……..

Plain Grapevine Wreath

I took a $3.99 grapevine wreath from Michael’s and created this:

Finished Wreath

Turning the plain grapevine wreath into the above bronzed beauty took about  an hour and $15 worth of total supplies:

Supplies: I found everything at Michael’s Crafts & the Dollar Store…..

Wreath Form: $3.99 from Michael’s

Bronze Floral $6.99 – used a 50% coupon to get it for $3.50

Pine Cones: One assorted bag for $0.99

Gold Leaves: 1 at $1.50 each thanks to the 50% Holiday Sale at Michael’s

Gold Berries: One bunch at $0.99 from Michael’s 50% off Holiday Sale

Gold Glitter: $0 (already owned)

Glue Gun: $0 (already owned)

Floral Wire: $0.99 at Dollar Store

Ribbon: $0 (already owned)

Total Amount: I did a quick price check and if you had to buy all the things I already owned plus the materials I bought, you would hit $15.  If you have to buy a glue gun, then add another $5 for the cheapest one on the market, so your total is now $20 – still not bad in my opinion.

Honestly, this DIY wreath was even easier than the coffee filter wreath.  Here is the  basic run down:

1) Give the wreath a base coat with the bronze spray paint.  I used the floral spray paint because it dries extremely quickly, sprays in a very fine mist and was the perfect shade of bronze I was looking for.

Surprisingly the shade of spray paint sorta matches my skin tone....go figure!

2) As the wreath is drying, gather your materials you will use to decorate the wreath.  I used gold leaves and berries from Michael’s floral department as well as some pinecones from the Dollar Store.  I sprayed those bronze too as well and sprinkled them with a bit of gold glitter I had left over from a past art project.

Gold Berries....

Pine cone (sans spray paint and glitter)

Gold Leaves

3) Now with everything painted, I laid the wreath on the ground and mapped out where I wanted the decorations to go.  I played with the configuration until I found something I liked.  However, I didn’t attach the pieces to the wreath.  I have found that looking at something from above is very different from looking at the same thing straight on.  I find it better to arrange items like on the same plane that you will be looking at them from – aka if it’s gonna hang vertically, then decorate it vertically.  So I took a quick snapshot with my iPhone to confirm placement and to use as a reference.

Decorations placed on wreath....

4) I found a length of ribbon from my stash and spray painted it to match the wreath.  Be sure to spray both sides since both sides will show when you loop the ribbon around.  And yes, I said I spray painted the ribbon — why pay money for ribbon to match when you can make your own for  pennies.  Find a piece of grosgrain ribbon that is the proper length (about 12 inches), lay flat and lightly dust with spray paint.  Since the floral paint is so light, it takes several swipes to get even coverage. Once dried, I tied the ribbon to the top of the wreath and attached it to a suction hook on the door.  If you wanted to make a pretty bow to hide the hook, go for it, but the hook didn’t bother me since it’s clear so I left it alone.  And besides, I am a horrible bow maker…..

Ribbon and hook for wreath

5) At this point, I started attaching the decorations to the wreath using the iPhone snapshot as a guide….

Attaching berries to the pinecone clusters using hot glue.....

6) As I said, I used decorations from the floral department and for a reason…..everything comes with wires or hooks attached.  I simply snipped items off  and used the existing wires to weave through the grapevines.  A few dabs of hot glue to hold things in place and it was pretty much done.  Once the hot glue dried, I took the wreath down and gave everything one final misting of bronze spray paint.

Completed Wreath.....

In less than an hour, I had an awesome wreath I loved. I told you this project was easy peasy!  So get cracking on making your own grapevine wreath because I am dying to see what all you talented folks are doing to decorate your home for the holidays!

Ring Around the Coffee Filter…..

What does this formula get you?  Figure it out and I will give you a nice shiny new penny…….

300 Coffee Filters

3.5 Glue Sticks

2 Burned Fingers


Graphic Credit: gerardnadal.com

4 Hours

1 Coffee Filter Wreath


Coffee Filter Wreath

I am really pleased with how this project came out.  I can’t stress how easy this project was in relation to how it looks.  If you don’t mind the occasional hot glue burn and some mind numbing repetition, anyone can do this craft project.  I have to thank Nichole over at Parlour for giving me the inspiration for this project.  Her fantastic DIY light fixture got me thinking that if she could do that with a $5 paper lantern, I could do the same concept but on a wreath form.  After a quick search of the net, I found that I was not alone in my concept and several other bloggers had attempted the project to varying degrees of success.  So armed with the knowledge that the worst I could do was end up with a life time supply of coffee filters, I ventured down to my local Dollar Store to pick up the supplies.  I returned with 320 coffee filters, a wicker wreath form and the reality that this project was going to take me longer than I anticipated.    However, at a total cost of $3, I figured I was game for the challenge.

I started Sunday afternoon on the project.  A cup of coffee (insert pun here), sunlight cascading into the kitchen and cabaret music streaming on my laptop.  I was in a happy mood….life was good:


Doesn't this look like a happy place to be crafting?


About 1.5 hours into the project....still in a happy place.


And then the darkness set in.....

I realized about the point above that the wicker form was not a good option for this project.  Due to its twisting nature, I couldn’t create a “master row” of coffee filter rosettes and then work out from there.  Further, I realized that I started fairly” loosey goosey” and then got tighter as I went applying the rosettes, so one side was slightly higher/fluffier than the other.  Annoyed, I stopped for the day and went had lunch because the prospect of redoing 1.5 hours of work just made me want to drink.

The wreath sat untouched until Thursday.  Now having ample free time on my hands (see reason here) I decided to finish the project.  It took about 2.5 more hours and several choice curse words after burning my fingers, but I figured out how to rectify the imbalance and create symmetry.  The secret was to apply the rosettes on a diagonal working with the contour of the wicker rather than against it.  It took about 2 rows to get the hang but after that,  but after that it was smooth sailing.  I finished the wreath in about two hours and spent a half hour filling out “holes” in the wreath for a fuller look.  As I said, aside from the inability to feel  anything in two of my fingers and slight brain atrophy, I really liked this project.

Originally I thought it would grace a wall in my living room, but I am thinking it may serve a more unconventional role in  my holiday decor.  Any guesses?  Leave a comment and if you guess correctly, there may be a special little holiday surprise in it for you. And no, it won’t be a shiny new penny – Geesh I am frugal but not THAT cheap!

Now That I Have a Little Free Time…..

I think I can officially say that I have a little more free time on my hands now.  I am hoping to channel all of this extra time and energy into some projects including:

  • Finishing up the guest bathroom – HELLO mirror trim!
  • Starting holiday presents – HELLO salted caramels and chocolate cashew bark
  • Finding a dog – HELLO Oakland SPCA
  • Writing a novel – HELLO Hell-to-the-no!  (that was a joke!)

However, what isn’t a joke and what I REALLY need to nail down is the tablescape for New Years Eve.  I  am hoping to have a few people over for a low-key celebration especially since The Partner’s cousin, Jenn will be joining us on her break from college.  I have this vision in my head and I am challenging myself to see if I can do at least 90% of it from the Dollar Store and thrift stores.  Second, even though we are not spending Christmas here in California (New Jersey here we come!  Let the jokes commence), I want to at least do a small holiday vignette.  Fortunately, the lovely ladies over at Living Livelier have invited me to participate in their holiday blogger open house.  I am going to use the vignette as my post, so it sorta lights a fire under my behind to really get started in earnest.

I am thinking of using my coffee filter wreath as the basis for the design….well that is use it once I finish the darn thing.

Ok, this wreath is going through coffee filters like John Mayer goes through girls.....

So today, my focus is to really push to get the wreath done and sketching out the overall layout of the vignette.  But first, all this talk about coffee filters has made me realize that I have not had my morning java.  Okay, time for a Starbucks run……..