Tutorial: Cheery Yarn Wreath

I know the holidays are over and the whole idea of still having wreaths hanging up might seem silly, but bear with me on this one. Yarn wreaths are my absolute favorite craft of the moment. They’re inexpensive to make and though it does take a little time to wrap the yarn, they become quite addicting once you get the hang of it. My favorite thing about them is the versatility. You can quickly switch up the theme of your wreath with a simple little trick… but I’ll get to that in a minute!

Supplies:

  • Wreath form (I used a mini 8″ foam one, found at Michael’s for $4 or so)
  • Yarn
  • Scissors
  • Adornments of your choosing (felt flowers (tutorial here), rosettes (tutorial here),¬†bows (tutorial here), buttons, ribbon, etc.)
  • Glue or pins to hold your adornments in place (not pictured, whoops)

Step 1:

Tie one end of the yarn around the wreath and secure in a double knot… or a triple knot if you’re paranoid that a beast might come attack your wreath in the night. Don’t trim that little tail yet! I’m sure there are other ways of doing this, but I’m a simple girl and this is a simple project. (I’m also a bit lazy. Ain’t no thang.)

Step 2:

Wrap the yarn around the wreath form. This is the part that can and will take you 238 hours if you let it. I’ve found that the best way to go about this tedious little task is to not worry about perfection. You can loop the yarn through and tighten it each time to make it look seamless and without lumps, but no one’s going to pay that much attention to it in the end and you will probably go nuts (speaking from experience). This one took me about 20 minutes to wrap.

(And if you ask me, the little lumps and bumps add character. That’s what I like to tell myself in the mirror, as well.)

Step 3:

When you reach the end of your yarn wrapping journey, you’ll be back at the loose tail you left dangling in Step 1. Tie the end of the wrapped yarn to that loose piece and knot it a few times. NOW you may trim it. This is the back of your wreath, so no one will be able to see it that little knot… stop hyperventilating!

Step 4:

Decorate your wreath! This is when magical things happen.

You can use either glue or pins for this step. I actually have come to prefer pins because you can rearrange everything if you make a mistake, and as seasons and holidays change you can easily switch out your adornments to fit. That’s what I was talking about with the versatility of this project. Bonus: you don’t have to wrap yarn around a new wreath form any time you want a new look. Lazy girl wins again!

The Final Product, Version 1:

The Final Product, Version 2:

See? Pretty painless. :)

“Don’t come in here. We’re talking about Christmas…”

(Refresh your memory about that phrase by reading this post. Or don’t, because it’ll probably make you curl into a ball and cry a little.)

With Christmas smack dab around the corner (seriously? how is it December already?!), I’ve been busy trying to come up with some different gift ideas than what I usually do. This would be my normal, quite sane process:

…and then I die. It happens every year.

My goals this year are to:

1) Make by hand as many of the gifts as possible

2) Use thrifted and recycled materials

3) Keep the cost to a minimum

4) Not die. (A very wise goal, I do believe.)

I figured most people in my close knit group of friends and family won’t mind that I’m taking this route, being that they get something absolutely unique to them. I could be totally wrong though. They could all be waiting in anticipation for an expensive, store bought present from my SOON TO BE STAY-AT-HOME SELF, knowing that I’M ON A STRICT BUDGET but that would mean THEY’RE NOT IN TOUCH WITH THE TRUE SPIRIT OF THE SEASON and would be quite SCROOGE-LIKE if you ask me. I just don’t expect that of these people. THEY LOVE HANDMADE GIFTS FROM THE HEART and VALUE THE THOUGHT AND EFFORT THAT GOES INTO THEM.

(I call that a subliminal guilt trip. It’s subtle, but it works.)

Anyway, here are a few goodies I’ve made so far.

Dessert/cupcake stands, made from pretty vintage plates and candlesticks. (Do you like my lone, strategically placed ribbon in the background there? I was feeling artistic at that moment. Don’t mind me.)

One of several yarn wreaths I’ve made so far. Wrapping that yarn takes some time, but man do they turn out cute. I may or may not be keeping this one in my entry forever and ever amen. (Did I say I was going to give these as gifts? Oh, right.)

What’s kind of lame is that I can’t share everything I’ve been making because most of the recipients read my blog, but I’ll eventually show you the rest. There are a lot of hair clips and pins and other things of that girlish nature.

So what about you? Having a handmade Christmas this year?

DIY – Anthropologie Inspired Flag Bunting Necklace

I absolutely love this necklace, but with the $70 price tag I was like, ummmmmm… let me try.

(What can I say? I be cheap.)

Supplies:

  • leather scraps (I found mine on clearance at the fabric store, but you could just as easily cut up an old purse or jacket or… pants? hee)
  • acrylic paint & paintbrush
  • necklace chain & jump rings
  • thin ribbon
  • scissors
  • a thick needle

Cut out several triangles from your leather. I ended up using 9 for this necklace.

This part was definitely an experiment. Being that I was using only supplies I had on hand at home & was trying to make this as cheap of a project as possible, acrylic paint was my only option. I’m no expert on paint, but I’m sure there’s another type that will last longer and hold up better. For now though, this works.

I poked teeny little holes in the flags with a needle, looped the jump rings through, and linked them all together side by side. About halfway through this process I thought to myself, “AHHH. Why didn’t I just glue this to the chain?”. It would’ve been a lot easier to assemble it that way, but I am no quitter. No siree.

(But I really, really wanted to.)

Attach the necklace chain to both ends of the linked flags. Tie a sweet little ribbon to the chain and call it a day… you’re done, sista.

The total cost for this knock-off necklace was about $5, since the only thing I purchased was the leather. Not too shabby!

I made an owl for Mr. Jack

(Oh yeah, did I mention that yet? We’re naming him Jack.)

The stitching is far from perfect and it almost looks like it has devil horns, but I think this little felt owl will have no problem making a cozy home in Maddie and Jack’s soon-to-be shared room.

What do you guys think of making a few more of these owls and turning them into a mobile for the baby’s crib? I’m getting the crafty bug!

DIY Scrap Paper Garland

Maddie has grown up so fast and is now entering the little girl stage (sob), so I wanted to start incorporating some new colors into her room to make it less babyish. There is a lot of light pink and white already, so I picked some pretty blues and greens out of my ever-growing paper scrap collection and made a super simple paper garland. I think it’s a good start!

Supplies

  • Scrapbook paper in coordinating colors/patterns
  • Thin twine (found in the gift wrap section at Michael’s)
  • Scrapbook Punch (I used one with a scalloped edge and a smaller circle, but you can always just cut them out by hand, old school)
  • Glue

Use your scrapbook punches to make several circles of various sizes and colors. This was so easy, Maddie helped me. Seriously.

Set the punched paper circles out so you know what you have and decide what kind of a pattern you want to use for your garland. I ended up alternating the cut outs by big-small-big-small, but you can really do whatever you want and it will still turn out to be quite adorable. (My OCD took control in the above photo. You really don’t have to stack them in neat little piles… Don’t mind me.)

For each little piece, you’re going to need two matching circles. You simply sandwich the twine between the two cut outs and hold them together with a dab of glue in the center. I really hope that makes sense. It’s a lot easier to do than it is to explain!

Keep sandwiching and gluing until your garland has reached the desired length. Voila!

Tack it to a plain wall for some added cheer, hang it above your bed, use it to wrap a gift, drape several strands across the ceiling to decorate for a party… and on and on and on. Have fun with it!