Weekend craftiness: Wreaths and other shenanigans

This weekend, a few of us got together to celebrate my dear friend Alyssa’s 20-hrmphhth… birthday! If you guys don’t already follow her blog, pop on over and take a look around. She’s one of the craftiest little ladies I know and always manages to inspire me somehow. Also, she bakes cupcakes. You’ll love her.

I had a feeling she’d appreciate a handmade gift, so I whipped up a yarn wreath for her and myself and a little embroidery thingamabob. I say ‘whipped up’, but if you’ve ever made a yarn wreath, you know I’m a filthy, rotten liar because it takes about as long to make as it does to watch 3 trashy VH1 reality shows. I don’t know from experience or anything though… just saying.

P.S. I do not embroider or sew at all, so don’t judge the little rain cloud project too harshly. Whenever a craft project doesn’t turn out the way I wanted it to, I just say “it has charm” and pretend I wanted it to look that way. Really though, this looks like a 5 year old did it, ha!

Just wanted to give you guys a few more example of what you can do with the oh-so-addictive yarn wreath. I think my count is about up in the teens now. I just love those things!

[ See a few other wreaths I’ve made here: 1 | 2 | 3¬†]

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. :)

A tiny bit of progress on Maddie and Jack’s room

Do you know what a huge challenge it has been to decorate a shared girl/boy room? Oh dear Lord, kill me now.

Before I found out I was pregnant with a boy, I had big plans to transform Maddie’s super girlie pink and green nursery into more of a big girl room. It was time.

Maddie's old room

I had my sights set on doing a cutesy woodland theme, complete with owls, deer, flowers and toadstools… Well now I have a little man to consider. A little man who proooobably won’t appreciate an abundance of flowers and pink. I still think a woodland theme will be appropriate for both a girl and a boy, but I’ve had to be super careful in the execution of it all. So I finally decided on a theme of Little Red Riding Hood & the Big Bad Wolf.

That being said, I don’t really have much of the room completed yet. I know… I’m nearly two months away and I need to get on this business! I just wanted to share a few little things I have been up to…

I bought these wall decals from an Etsy shop called Sign Chick. The wolf sort of reminds me of a confused donkey, but that’s okay. Little Red is adorable, and he didn’t need to be a scary wolf anyway!

This funny little print came from a shop called My Paper Crane. The toadstools make me happy.

And last night I made another yarn wreath! I’m telling you, these things are so addictive. I’ve made 5 in the past month and I see no end to the madness. I could really put one in every room of my apartment and be just as happy as a clam. Anyway, this one is pretty girlie with all the rosettes, so I decided it’s going to be hung on the wall above Maddie’s bed. She’ll rip it down within an hour, bless her little destructive heart.

I’ve also purchased a pair of curtains, scored a great deal on a Target rug, and have handmade bedding in the works for both kids. I’ll keep you all posted on the progress of the room as I go!

(By the way, be looking for a quick yarn wreath tutorial in the next few days. I know they’ve been popping up everywhere around the internet lately, but I’ve had a few requests so I’ll be sharing my simple little process soon!)

“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?