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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Paper Wreath, $1 craft without the dollar store.

I've seen so many of these online I thought I'd give it a shot and make one.

It was a really fun project and I'd encourage you to try it, it's inexpensive and fun and pretty too boot.


  • Old book, preferably unusable, pages falling out etc. ~Free
  • A picture for the center, I used one from the book. ~Free
  • Cardboard, cereal box works fine. ~Free
  • Twine, or in my case a handle from a paper sack ~Free
  • Glue stick, the kind kids use like Elmers etc. ~Way under $1
  • Hot glue gun and sticks, I probably used around 8 glue sticks. ~ Under $1
  • Trim for around your picture, I've seen people use crepe paper, I used frayed fabric edge from some fabric I pre-washed for a project. ~Free

Grand total cost = around $1 (no dollar store needed)

To begin I pulled apart all the book pages, they were falling out so it was pretty easy. Then I made a cone, used glue stick to glue it and proceded to hold it in it's shape till it was set, you only have to hold the first one. After that I made more and stacked them inside the first so they would all be holding each other and not unrolling while the glue dried, it's quick with glue stick.

Cut a 5" cardboard circle (drew around a small plate on a cereal box, Chocolate Cheerios, YUMMMM!!) for the base to glue everything onto. Glue your bag handle or twine loop hanger on the back of the cardboard circle (picture side if using cereal box). You can then cover that side of the cardboard and anything ugly with a layer of book pages that you don't want to use for the front, this will make both sides pretty when it's finished.(I didn't do that and wished I had till I realized I can show you better without it.)

This photo is after the fact but you can see how it's put together, not perfectly centered on the cardboad but it didn't seem to hurt anything that way.

I placed the cones in a circle to get an idea how many I needed and where on the cardboard to glue. Sorry there are no photos of that part, I was actually sitting in bed watching a movie with Mr. B. while I glued it. You know that outlet by your nightstand doesn't have to be for an alarm clock, it could be for a glue gun :-). I use a craft cutting mat actually intended for quilting, with a padded side and a cutting side as an in bed craft table, I don't think Mr.B. is fond of it but I've gotten a lot of crafting done while watching movies with him :)

Started hot gluing the cones around the circle with plain side of cardboard facing up (if using cereal box), and ended by making sure there was an even number of them. Then added another layer of cones between every other one, so that the second layer had only half as many.

Trim down the picture and a piece of cardboard to match each other and fit nicely in the center, glue stick picture to plain side of cardboard, then hot glue the crepe paper or frayed fabric around the back of the cardboard (If your cardboard is thick you might change this so that your edging is between the picture and cardboard so the cardboard edge doesn't show). Now attach your picture piece, centered in the wreath, making sure it's right side up in relation to your hanging loop on the back of the wreath, use a lot of hot glue near the picture's outer edge but not in the "fringe."

YAY!!!!! You are finished!!! I hung mine with a piece of vintage wrapping ribbon, over the top of the door looped around the robe hook that is on the other side, so no damage to the door, just a long piece of ribbon. Be careful with it as it can be squished or torn easily, so I would not put it on the back of a door that runs up against anything. It would be pretty in a window as well, you could do both sides(carefully), or attach a large picture that covers the cardboard backing and make your loop less noticeable, or make 2 that are one layer each and glue them back to back to make it beautiful on both sides for hanging in a window or on a French door.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Snowy Mantel

I think I am finally finished with my fireplace mantle.

A picture of Miss 10 on her second birthday wearing wings at the playground.

The mantel is L shaped because we have a gas stove.

Tree Art by Nancy of "All Pulped Out"

I'm not sure about the little silhouette tree as part of the fireplace area, but the kids love it so I'm sure it'll stay around even if I move it elsewhere.

I've always been a little stumped when it comes to decorating an L shaped mantel with a little stove.   While I'm pleased with how it turned out, it's not "perfect" and it's actually not what I'd first envisioned, but I really like it, and I think I could get away with leaving it up during January and not feel like it's a Christmas leftover.  A great BONUS is that I spent $0 this year, I already had everything I needed, I just hadn't put it together before, so it feels new.  That's how most of my projects go and I am finally learning to be happy with that.  For years I never did anything, because I would start something and it would not be turning out as I had envisioned, so I would get mad and throw it away.  Yep, more sewing projects started than finished by far and same goes for crafting and decorating.  I think I am finally getting a grasp on doing what is necessary or even what I want and being happy with unexpected results. I am finding that often if I finish the project instead of giving up and tossing it, it turns out better than I had imagined in the beginning, not always, but often enough to make it worth doing. 

Here's a list of what I used:

  • Old windows, ~ my attic
  • 2 Feather Boas ~ $1 each clearance previous year.
  • Feather picks ~ Joanne clearance 20 cents each, previous year.
  • Votive holders, glasses, cream and sugars, overturned glass cylinder bowl/vase ~ on hand.
  • Silver plastic ornaments ~ from a previous "child-proof" Christmas.
  • Clear beaded snowflake ornaments (hanging from the ceiling) ~ Handmade by us.
  • Crochet snowflakes ~ previous Christmas.
  • Silver picture frame ~ thrifted.
  • White silhouette "tree" ~ S-bucks day after Christmas clearance.
  • Large 2 wick candle with glass tray ~ on hand.
  • Candles ~ bag of tea-lights from Ikea 
  • White lights with a white cord ~ previous Christmas. 
  • Scotch tape and dental floss for hanging ornaments, we have a plaster ceiling so no thumbtacks.
  • The tree art piece, an encaustic paining  by Nancy Donaldson of All Pulped Out shows a leafless tree silhouette with lacy curtains, lots of texture and translucent wax.  I love it. :-) Oh and I won it during the OWOH in February. :-)