It’s getting to be that sort of holiday season, isn’t it? I have a post coming up for you about some decorations on the cheap that I did last year, but in the interim, if you’ve got a bit more time, why don’t you make yourself a new wreath?
For some reason, at some point my mother bought an enormous bag of bulk bay leaves. And she has used probably three of them in the past five years. And even dried bay leaves don’t hold their flavour for five years. Rather than throw them out, however, I thought I would make a seasonally-appropriate wreath with them instead.
Normally when I’m making a wreath I buy a cheap ugly pre-made one from a second-hand store and then I take it apart. This time I bought a styrofoam wreath form from Michaels instead. I was SHOCKED at how expensive they are! This 11″ one cost me a whopping TWELVE DOLLARS. For a piece of styrofoam. Next time I’ll cut my own out of computer packaging or something, thank you very much … Fortunately I also found a bag of assorted jingle bells at Value Village for two dollars so that saved me. And of course I had my trusty glue gun on hand.
The first thing I did was spray the wreath form all over silver with spray paint. Which was when I learned that even craft spray paint will dissolve styrofoam a little bit. Yikes. I did this just in case there were any gaps in my leaves. I wanted the whole thing to be silver.
I wanted my jingle bells to stand in as pseudo-berries, so I wanted to spray them red. However, I wanted them to be a frosty red, so I only sprayed one side of each one with red spray paint. If you wanted to spray all sides of each jingle bell I would recommend threading them on a long string so you can get all sides evenly.
Next I sorted out my bay leaves (pitching the broken ones) and sketched out a rough plan.
Then I started gluing. I used smaller leaves on the outside and inside edges of the wreath, so they would fit better.
Once I finished gluing on the leaves in the centre of the wreath, I started shoving random leaves in here and there, to fill in gaps but also to make the whole thing look a little less perfect.
So that’s with all the leaves glued on. If my bay leaves had been fresher I would have left this as-is for a nice festive green, but of course mine were past their prime and thus looked a little sickly.
This is my idea for how the bells were going to fit on. I was just going to group them in little batches and glue them on.
So after I sprayed the wreath silver again to cover up all the green bits, I got my bells ready to go.
To my dismay, however, I discovered that hot glue doesn’t stick to spray-painted bay leaves.
In fact it just peels the paint right off.
New plan. I grabbed my old spool of fishing twine and got to work with it.
I strung a handful of assorted bells on a loop of twine and tied the twine in a knot to keep them tight.
Then I simply tied the twine around the wreath form, weaving it under what leaves I could to hide it for the most part.
Then on the back I added a spot of glue to each twine loop to hold it in place.
And glued a nice blue ribbon on the top.
And then I hung it up. TADA!