Thursday, September 15, 2011

fall wreath from a lovely guest

Hello everyone, I have a very creative friend who is going to show us how she made this fabulous wreath. Meet Meriel:

So lately, I've been all about Pinterest. It's been my fave go-to app for any inspiration I need, be it craft, food, or design. I seriously love seeing what other people find out there on the internet! (It saves me sooo much time web-surfing!)

For my daughter's birthday I had all this gold tulle laying around from a table skirt I had put together and I wanted to reuse it in a cool way. In walks Pinterest and a wreath that many people have pinned as a to-do fall wreath. On top of reusing the tulle, I also wanted to try another Pinterest pin I had seen popping up where people use plumbing tubes as their wreath bases instead of paying exorbitant amounts at craft stores for foam wreath circles. Genius because it costs less than a dollar for 6 feet and if you have a handy husband like mine, he already had some in the garage. Sweet.

So here's my tutorial because it was super easy and very encouraging for a first time 'wreather' like myself, I figured others would want to know too!

First - the inspiration.

Second - the how-to instructions. (If you click on the pics, you'll be able to see everything closer up for more detail.)

1. You need foam piping, strong tape of some sort (duct, or electrical is what I used), and scissors. Cut the length of piping to your desired length/circular circumference. Mine was 24 inches laying flat, then taped into a circle. (FYI - my circle was a little small and the foam wasn't holding it's shape perfectly well, so my husband helped me cut some hanger wire and stick it inside to help shape it better. I'm assuming with a bigger circle this would not be an issue.)
2. You will also need a lot of tulle. Funny how I started this project with no idea if I would have enough tulle or not...
3. I knew that my gold tulle wouldn't hide the black/grey piping beneath it, so I covered it with strips of white muslin first.
4. I cut my tulle into strips that were about 11-12 inches long and used two strips at a time to give it more depth.

5. Then, with the circle in between my legs (sweet cut-offs, meems) I took the two-at-a-time strips and tied a half knot around the circle with the edges out. Don't finish the knot because it creates ugly space between the tulle ends and the wreath itself. The strips aren't going anywhere, so you're good with just the half knot.
6. Pull it tight and close to the previous knot so there's no space on the side of the wreath either.
7. See? Everything is really close together so you can't see the white underneath, and the tulle is just bulging outwards nice and pretty.
8. Keep repeating all the way around the wreath with your strips. Just to gauge, I used 80 strips (of two per knot) for the entire circle. And that's a small circle, so I'd make sure you have enough tulle before you start.
9. I trimmed the edges a little to make sure it was pretty even around the whole circle, and then hung with ribbon! Can you believe how lucky I was that I literally used my last two strips to finish it? Nothing left over, the perfect amount without knowing to start with... I was totally tempting fate, but I came out victorious.

Lastly - the final product. (With the flash it makes the tulle look really gold!)

Yay! My first wreath. It was really fun and I daresay, really addicting. Especially because I didn't have to buy an $8 foam base at Joanns. Well, hope you like it! You won't see it at my house unless you are invited inside though. I thought it looked cuter inside that on a door facing the street. So this is in my kitchen away from the elements and close up for me to smile at all day.


Thanks for sharing your creativity with us!!! I can't wait to make this myself:)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Christmas advent calendar tutorial

Call it nesting but... I started working on Christmas projects in JULY!!! My baby is due in the beginning of November and I thought it was important to get a head start on all things holiday.  I know how much of a zombie I am those first few months and I didn't want Christmas/Holiday traditions be the thing that was just accidentally forgotten.
So here it is my version of this. You can probably tell by my handy work that I am not an expert seamstress.  I just go for it and most of the time don't even measure.
But I did keep track of what I was doing so if any of you lovely's wanted to recreate it you could.

Start with:
Background fabric~ 18.5 inches by 30 inches
Tree~ 16 inches by 14 inches 
Three strips of fabric~ 18.5 inches by 6.5

Once you cut out your strips fold them in half (hot dog style) with right sides touching and iron the edge.

Using a regular straight stitch sew the open ends closed.

Flip the tube of fabric inside out and iron again.

Pin them to the bottom of your background fabric.

Next I used a zig zag stitch to attach my tree and I added a little tree stump.

I really liked having striped fabric because it made creating the pockets much easier (especially for a girl who doesn't measure).   You will probably want to use a ruler to break up your pockets each of mine are 2 and 1/8th of an inch with more space on the side pockets for a seam allowance.
First I sewed across the bottom of all three strips. Next I sewed down in single lines that went through all three strips.

I chose purple felt for my backing because it was all that I had. I cut it to match my background materiel exactly. Now, with right sides facing, pin edges of both these pieces of fabric together so you can sew around the edges. I added giant rick rack for fun. Make sure to leave a few inches so you can turn your fabric right side in. Lastly, hand stitch the last few inches together. 

Now you can hand sew on your bells. 24 of course!

I bought gold paint and small number stencils and painted on numbers 1-24.

 Putting the dowel in the back was trial and error for me. First I made a loop that the dowel could slide into but then the calendar hung forward so finally I just cut right into the top like this:
 and attached large red grosgrain ribbon to either side.

Finally you will need to purchase 24 small ornaments. I had no trouble finding them at Hobby Lobby. Hobby Lobby also always has coupons for 40% off so I got all of my ornaments for 5 dollars. I painted fabric gold and cut it out for a star and I hot glued on some small red rick rack for my tree. 
I used all scrap fabric so I really only bought the trimmings. 

Small rick rack~ 1.00
Large rick rack~1.50
Total cost: 11.00
(I used all my own fabric scraps so I didn't need to buy any.)

Events for days 1-24:
Thursday December 1st: Put our gift to Jesus under the tree (whenever we are serving or doing something kind we write it down and it goes in our gift to Jesus that stays under the tree all month)
Friday December 2nd: Listen to Christmas music
Saturday December 3rd: Go visit Temple Square
Sunday December 4th: Make hot chocolate and stir with candy canes 
Monday December 5th: Make a gift for Grandparents
Tuesday December 6th: Make the house smell like Christmas 
Wednesday December 7th: Read a Christmas Story Book 
Thursday December 8th: Wrap Christmas Gifts for Grandparents
Friday December 9th: Make a new Christmas Decoration 
Saturday December 10th: Color a Christmas picture 
Sunday December 11th: Watch a Christmas movie and eat popcorn
Monday December 12th: Elf some people in your neighborhood 
Tuesday December 13th: Build a snowman or hang up paper snowflakes 
Wednesday December 14th: Go out for a Christmas treat 
Thursday December 15th: Do something nice for someone 
Friday December 16th: Drive around and look for Christmas lights 
Saturday December 17th: Do service for someone in need 
Sunday December 18th: Make and decorate cookies 
Monday December 19th: Call a loved one
Tuesday December 20th: Go caroling and drop off treats to neighbors/friends 
Wednesday December 21st: Read a story or watch a movie about the birth of Baby Jesus 
Thursday December 22nd: Write letters for Santa Clause 
Friday December 23rd: Read "The Night Before Christmas"
Saturday December 24th: Act out the Nativity

Well, there you go! Is anyone else out there crazy like me and creating holiday decorations before summer is even over?