Tuesday, December 18, 2012

This is a PWCR kind of day. I'm having all my girlfriends over for coffee and breakfast stuff and good conversation, which I looooove, and then tomorrow at 2-ish, school's out for Christmas break! I've got lots of things on the agenda, but they're all pretty close to home and family. I'll probably share some of it later, but until then, I'm pushing the 'relax' button. Have a wonderful, slow, meaningful Christmas with the ones you love!

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot, I got featured on Knock Off Decor today. Well, my wreath did. Go check it out. And you might just want to add Beckie to your blogroll. Ideas abound over there. Seriously. There's knockoffdecor for all you department store hacks, infarrantlycreative for all around crafty goodness and roadkillrescue for before and afters that will knock your socks off!

Thursday, December 06, 2012

D.I.Y. Felt Mistletoe Wreath or The Only Christmas Craft I've Managed To Do This Year

As the title suggests, this is, in fact, the only real Christmas craft I've done this year. I've decorated my house with all my old stuff, some newer stuff and stuff I made last year, but I just haven't gotten around to making anything on my list for this year. To remedy that, last night I invited all my hardcore crafter girlfriends over for a craft night. I pulled out all my crap and laid it out on my counter and told everyone to go to town. Actually, true to form, the girls who came didn't need any of my crap because they had plenty of their own to work on. ;)

This is my inspiration. Last year I saw this on pinterest and fell in love. I quickly found out that it's a West Elm item and as usual with cute West Elm items, it was expensive and sold out. The edges of it reminded me of those fuzzy flannel blankets with knotted fringe around the edges. I wondered if I could make a wreath with a similar look. First, I looked to see if anyone else had made one, but as far as I could tell, no one had. That meant I had to put all my hacking skills aside and figure this one out on my own.

I started with a god-awful straw wreath I got at Goodwill, a string of pom-pom trim and a yard of darkish olive-ish green flannel material I found at WalMart. Yes, I know the title says it's a felt wreath, but I realized later that I was actually working with flannel. Felt would work, but it might be a little harder to work with because of it's thickness. The flannel turned out to be the perfect weight for tying all those knots.

I took the whole piece of fabric and laid it out on the counter and kind of wrapped one edge around part of the wreath, just to see how much it took to wrap it around and also have strips long enough to tie with no straw showing from underneath. When I had my measurement (my finger pinching where the place was I needed to cut) I cut the strip and it turned out to be about 16 inches wide. Of course, it'll all depend on your wreath and how long you want your strips to be.

Like the leftover polish on my thumb? I was waiting to meet with someone and nervously peeled/scraped the polish off all my nails but I was called in before I got to my thumb. I know, nice.

I took the wide strip I had just cut and folded it longways, and then folded it again longways. The second fold was just so I could keep all the little strips even when I cut them. I cut up to a couple inches from the fold and when I was done, I had this.

Now starts the mindless part because over the next hour or so you're going to be tying knots. Knot after knot after knot. And you're going to tie two knots. So, I guess that's technically a double knot. At first, I was doing right over left and then right over left for the two knots and then moving on to the next one. Then I noticed all my ties were facing the same direction so I realized I needed to mix it up. After that, I did right over left and then left over right and then switched it for the next one. This made it look pretty random with just a little fluffing needed at the end.

The strip in the picture above wasn't quite long enough to go around the entire wreath, so I just cut another piece and started wrapping it where the other ended. Since the fabric on the back is a little bunchy and the knots in the front cover so much, you can't really even tell that two pieces were used.

After all the knots were tied and fluffed, I noticed that I didn't like the squared off ends of the knot strips. This started the second tedious task of my night. I went around and rounded off all the square knot strips. Yes, there were a lot. But I wanted it to look a certain way and the way it was just wasn't doing it for me. I took a picture halfway through my trimming so you could see the difference. 

Now all I had to do was cut a bunch of pom-poms off the trim and hot glue them on.

And voila, there you have it. A wreath that bears some resemblance to the over-priced, out of stock, West Elm tree skirt from Christmas 2011.

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