Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Little Holiday Spirit

As always, it's been a quite a while since my last post. I hope I find you all well and in the midst of a lot of holiday excitement!

My year, suffice to say, has been extremely busy. Without spending too many words on it, I'd just like to say that this is probably the most challenging time of my life, although it can also be incredibly rewarding. Third year of medical school is exhausting but also fun at times! If anyone is interested in a post talking more about what my year and experience has been like, I'm happy to share, but otherwise, I'm keeping this more in the spirit of a crafting blog.

And despite the demands that have been put on me this year, I have still managed to find a little time here and there for crafting! Shocking, I know. I'm hoping there will be time later on to share my other projects, but it'll just be one today.

So I moved recently, and my living situation now is such that I know I'll be here for at least two years. That is the only explanation I can come up with to explain why I had a sudden urge to actually put up any sort of Christmas decorations this year. Something about the slightly more permanent living situation made me want to "take ownership" of my apartment in some way. Somehow, putting up seasonal decorations does that for me, I guess, even though I've really never been a "holiday spirit" kind of girl!

I had originally thought that I wanted to craft those little cone-shaped Christmas trees you're seeing everywhere, or maybe crochet up an adorable Christmas lights garland. We don't really have the space to store a large amount of seasonal decorative stuff, so I was thinking small.

However, I had also noticed that a lot of our neighbors are putting up Christmas wreathes. And somehow deep down inside, I felt this "keeping up with the Joneses" sense of inadequacy suddenly well up, and then I decided right there to make a wreath for our door!

A quick trip to Michael's and an hour or two later and....

Ta-da! Isn't it cute?

All it took was a foam wreath form, a couple tinsel garlands I bought last year (whoooo, post-seasonal clearance!), some ribbon, a decorative little "sprig", and some wire.

A foam wreath form is a great base because it's so easy to get stuff to stay in. Simply use some wire (you can use the "U-shaped" floral pin things, unbent paper clips, even some nice heavy staple gun staples) to anchor the ends of your tinsel and wrap, wrap, wrap. Make sure it's luxuriously dense and fluffy!

When you're done with that, wrap your ribbon around, anchoring it in a similar way. Don't wrap it too tight or you'll crush the tinsel, and that just looks weird.

I made a bow by hand by making three larger loops, then using the central loop to cinch them all together. The nice thing about a lot of crafting stores is that they'll have bows coordinating with a lot of their holiday ribbons premade for you if you don't feel like making one on your own. Either way, pin the bow onto the wreath as well.

As for the green "sprig", all I ended up doing was stab the stem into the form as well. Seriously, foam is magic, I love this stuff.

Lastly I created a hanging loop with a longer piece of wire bent into a U. I found the point that I wanted to be the top of the wreath and starting poking the ends of the U into the foam, pointing it upwards. When the wire was about halfway in, I then bent the remaining exposed wire up to create a simple loop.

Et voila, you are done!

The sparkling in these images makes me ridiculously happy. :) And we now have an adorable wreath and I no longer feel drab next to our neighbors!

I've seen a lot of very creative wreath ideas out there. Ornament wreathes, crocheted wreathes, succulent wreathes, yarn-wrapped, burlap, pompom, the list goes on and on. Have any of you created your own wreathes? Anyone have other fun ideas with what you can do with a tinsel wreath as a foundation?

Happy holidays! Hopefully you will hear from me again soon!

Thanks for reading!


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