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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Christmas Crafting: Wreath Making Extravaganza

I have to start out by saying--I love having crafty, creative friends! My friend Stacey worked with florals for quite some time and was kind enough to share her knowledge and know-how with me and a few of my friends for a little wreath making. We had such a great time!

A girly event with crafts and snacks is such a weakness of mine. I love any excuse to have people over and make a few tasty treats. My hope is that this post will encourage your inner Christmas crafter and party hoster.

Do not be intimidated. You do not have to go overboard with food. I had store-bought caramel corn, home-made chex mix (make it days ahead of time), warmed brie with cranberry compote, the ever-festive cream cheese with pepper jelly, and chocolate covered pretzel sticks. If you caught my Tasty Tuesday post last week you will find my party spritzer.

Now that we have the food taken care of, here are the supplies you will need for the crafting. You can purchase everything you need from Hobby Lobby or something like it. I am lucky enough to have a holly and spruce tree in our yard that supplied a lot of clippings (and a good deal of inspiration for the project). Look around your neighborhood (or office building if you are me)...make a new friend or two and ask if you can clip some low limbs or clippings from top heavy bushes for your wreath making. And then invite them or make them something with the clippings! I cheated and went to overgrown lots for some of my cedar clippings. This can be such an inexpensive party. I promise.

  • Fresh evergreen clippings/branches (About a five gallon bucket full for one wreath, have more on hand then you think you will need)
  • Wreath forms (We used wire forms)
  • Pruning shears
  • Floral wire
  • Decorative ribbon and/or ornaments (I priced the ornaments per piece that I bought so I wasn't out a ton of money but so my guests could have a variety to choose from too.)
  • Gloves - greenery is really prickly 
If you have any ounce of OCD this might be a bit of a challenging project for you. Greenery does not always play along. This is another reason I say have more clippings than you think you will need; some branches may not bend in the "right place" nor will they all be full just takes a lot of trial and error.

1.  Choose the items you would like to make your wreath with. You may find it helpful to use a stick to decide how much you would like your greenery to stand out from your wreath and use it as a guide when constructing your wreath. (I had all of my greenery out on my front yard for easy picking.)

2.  Make a small bundle of the items you like and wire the bottom together.
 3. Place the first bundle on the wire frame and wire to the frame. (Do not cut the wire)
4. Place the next bundle on top of the bottom of the first bundle and wrap the bottom, just as you did the first one, and then wire it to the frame. Continue until complete! (It is a little tricky to not cut the wire but it makes for a sturdy wreath.)

A tip I learned about holly...the leaves brown quickly so clip the leaves and keep the berries. Magnolia seed pods are great woodsy additions to wreaths. So are dogwood branches. Dried okra and any other sturdy dried naturals are cool to add in too.
The wreaths may take a little time and will always vary from person to person but it is so so fun!! I have to share some other photos from our shindig. I love how different all of the wreaths are. You will see a swag as well...very easy to make and a good way to use any extra clippings. Hang them inside your home or on pillars or porch posts for added cheer (or around your neck like my friend Kat).

One last sure to cover any surfaces you don't want evergreen needles or sap to get on. Hence the lovely wrinkled sheet in our photos. :-)

I hope you go out and make you a ring of Christmas cheer! And when you do send us a picture! The sky is the limit with this craft!

-Alison and her crafty friends/neighbors 

Christmas sweaters...oh yeah!! And shout out to pampers for helping me with my diaper cake project. ha

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