“Tick tock,” goes the clock, and the holidays are near. Are you ready?
Don’t panic. There’s still time to craft a beautiful Christmas, with wreaths that can be made in minutes or a few hours. These ideas also can be used to create garlands, tabletop decorations or to deck out the Christmas tree.
Start with a noble fir or pine wreath, real or synthetic, and add an assortment of decorative floral picks, such as red berries. Throw in some small ornamental balls, add a ribbon, and presto, a wreath is born, according to Jo Pearson, the creative expert at Michaels.
If using a synthetic wreath, she recommends weaving an additional garland, such as brightly colored berries, into the wreath to give it more interest and depth.
“There are just a lot of pretty berry garlands,” says Pearson. “Sometimes they don’t need a bow. Then they’re just very natural.”
The same wreath can be changed out each year for a fresh look. “You don’t have to store 50,000 wreaths,” says Pearson.
Other ideas: Spray pine cones with adhesive, then dust with glitter and add them to the wreath. Or, “tip” a wreath with spray snow.
Glass ornamental balls come in diff erent shapes and sizes and can be filled with paint that’s swirled around inside before attaching the ornaments to a wreath.
Pearson recommends experimenting with non-Christmas colors, such as pink.
“The colors are just not traditional reds and greens anymore,” she says. “People want their wreaths to stand out.”
Several wreaths for sale in catalogs and online can be reproduced with minimal cost or time. Neiman Marcus sells the “Midnight Platinum,” a 31-inch square wreath, for $195. It weaves in twigs, leaves, faux berries, pine cones and beaded balls in silvery, gold and gray, and includes a string of white lights and a taff eta ribbon.
Create a similar look with a plain, green wreath wrapped with an additional garland. Use silver Design Master spray paint, or any other color, for a monochromatic look. Weave in a string of batteryoperated white lights. Add the visual accessories: floral picks of wire or beaded balls, berries and pine cones — spray paint these beforehand or leave them natural. Wrap with a beautiful bow.
For indoors, try recreating the 20-inch wool wreath sold by Anthropologie for $148. Start with a Styrofoam form and wrap it with colorful, chunky yarn. Use wool, or wool and another yarn for added color and dimension, says Pearson, who goes rogue with these additional tips: Randomly wrap the wool wreath in metallic thread. Or add felted balls and crocheted ivy leaves. Visit Etsy.com for more yarn wreath ideas.
From Marcie McGoldrick, editorial director of Holiday & Crafts for Martha Stewart Living, come these fast and luxe ideas for indoor wreaths (featured in the magazine’s December issue):
— Glue metallic bows in coordinated colors to a flat, wood wreath, covering it. About 18 bows will fill a 12-inch form (50 for a 24- inch wreath).
— Craft a card wreath with a 14-inch embroidery hoop, mini wooden clothespins, wood glue and holiday cards. Spacing them 1-1/2 inches apart, attach the clothespins to the hoop, alternating those that point out with others that point in, to give the wreath versatility. Hang it with a pretty ribbon and clip on holiday cards.
McGoldrick finds unusual wreath forms at Main Wreath Co. For basic wreath-making instructions, and to view 40 wreaths with instructions, visit her magazine’s online Christmas Workshop.
Finally, Etsy artist Trisha Muhr of Sycamore, Ill., has an ingenious indoor wreath idea: It’s made from the pages of thrift store books. Muhr, who sells her crafts at the Etsy store Roundabout, says the wreath takes about 35 minutes from start to finish, once you get the hang of it.
Trisha Muhr’s Book Wreath
8-inch foam or wood wreath (available at some dollar stores)
Pages from a medium-size book (older books add patina)
Glue gun and glue sticks Satin ribbon for hanging
Spray adhesive or craft glue and glitter
1. Remove book pages. If using glitter, fold the paper into an “S’’ form (one-third back and onethird forward) and dip one short end in glue, or spray edges with adhesive and dip into glitter. Set aside to dry (about 5 minutes).
2. Starting with the backside of the wreath, re-roll the pages into “S’’ forms and glue them to the wreath form. For easier gluing, fold the bottom of each “S’’ page about ½-inch up and glue that tab to the form. Glue the pages close together.
3. Working from the backside to the front, and from the outside to the center, keep rolling and gluing the pages around the wreath. Check for bare spots and fill them in with additional pages. (You won’t need as many pages to fill the back as to fill the front. Filling in the back just helps the wreath appear fuller.) When finished, the wreath should resemble a rosette.
4. Glue a satin ribbon to the back of the wreath. (The wreath is lightweight, so easy to hang.)
Tips: The bigger the book, the fewer the pages that are needed, and the faster the wreath builds. This wreath looks great made with sheet music. See the Nov. 2, 2009, online blog at Living with Lindsay for similar (and amusing) instructions with images.