January 13, 2010

Winter to Spring Wreath

I didn't used to be this interested in wreaths. I promise. I've had the same Halloween wreath for a good three years and before this years Christmas wreath making obsession (I never did get one made for each window...next year) I had had the same jingle bell, saw it on Martha, wreath for EONS. I mean, I think I made that thing in college. So why all this interest now in wreaths? Who knows. Maybe it's because I love our bright red front door. It's so cheerful and happy and it looks so pretty with a wreath on it. It also might be the fact that after not quite getting the function of the green wire curved wreath form, I found the flat Masonite forms I've been using this year. They've probably been around ages but hey, there new to me. And I love using them. Let's just say a combination of factors has contributed to this current wreath-making phenomenon. (Do I sound like CNN? Good, watch out Anderson!)

Anyway, now that Christmas has passed and the yarn and felt ball wreath is stored away in the basement (still uncleaned, I'm stalling, can you tell?) until next year, I have been pondering what kind of wreath would be suitable for winter and on into spring. Nothing too spring-ish, nothing too wintery. It had to walk a fine line.

After some etsy searches involving way too many veerings off into other fascinating items I came upon this wreath. Perfect. Except for two things. First, Will would kill me if I spent $50 on something to hang on our door and, second, it's paper anyway so would just get ruined. After a few more days of pondering and returning to that wreath and also to my memories of an old episode of Martha (back when they had the old theme song - remember that show? That, I liked) about a wedding with only paper flowers. What could I make flowers out of that wouldn't fall to mush in the weather in the wet weather? It had to be hearty and durable and water proof. It had to be plastic. But where was I going to find thin, white and translucent plastic? (and cheap?)

Ahhhh, light dawns. The recycling bin! Actually, I should admit that part of my revelation came after cub scouts last week when we were talking about earth conscious living and the kids started complaining about how we really should be doing more re-using because it's better anyway. Nothing like having a bunch of seven year olds shame you into being good to the planet. So, yes, this is made out of three plastic milk cartons, two paper ( I think it's coated with wax, if not, I don't want to know what makes it water proof) and two yogurt tubs.

I'm not going to lie and tell you this was fast. It wasn't. But it also wasn't hard. The key really seemed to be sharp scissors. I'm planning on writing a more in depth tutorial for ThinkCrafts.com but here's a quick rundown.

Cut the cartons apart, saving the flat parts and tossing ( I mean in the recycling bin of course!) the rest. Use your cups, mugs, jar tops, whatever, to trace lots (and lots) of circles onto the plastic. Make sure you have at least three if not four different sizes.

Once all your circles are cut out, start making flowers. The simplest shapes can be just circles with wobbly edges, but to get more complicated flowers slit the circles up close to the center,

and keep dividing until you have the number of petals you want.

curve the ends,

and layer them to make flowers.

I added some pretty buttons and leftover crystals to the centers as well. Once I had all the flowers cut out (I kept all the circles and a pair of scissors in a basket and cut while I watched TV in the evenings) I cut out some extra shapes and did not layer them to create a background. These I hot glued around the wreath before arranging the flowers on top. When I had the order I wanted, those too were glued in place. Add a ribbon and that's pretty much it. As I said, not hard, just time consuming (although it helps to have comfortable scissors as well as sharp ones to avoid achy hands!)