Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Alert the social media, I HAVE CRAFTED!  After last week's post on wreaths I kinda committed myself so I couldn't risk the embarrassment of failure.  ESPECIALLY around the holidays.  Santa would have been so disappointed.

Fortunately I have a fellow wreath-minded friend - Emily Rose - with a great property for foraging so a craft date was set.  We both foraged our respective yards and met for toast, christmas music and greenery sharing.

I was greeted with homemade jam and this upon my arrival:

Just a bathtub full of ivy, naturally.  Where else would you put it?

I wanted to go for a free-form simple wreath so no ivy for me.  I started with a piece of privet because fuck privet I hate it.  And of course this happened:

Fuck privet.  YOU ARE GOOD FOR NOTHING.  So it was too stiff (that's what she said) and I cracked it in half while trying to work it around (WHAT SHE SAID).

New plan.  I was already going to use cypress foliage so I just used the entire branch instead.  Duh.

Well lah di dah I made a circle!  I just wrapped floral wire around the ends and called it a day.  I did have to gently GENTLY coax/mold the thick part of the branch around to help with the shape just so it wouldn't pull that tightly on the wire.  I'm assuming most evergreens would be this easy to use at this time of year.  And you may need to take off some of the smaller stems on top to clean it up.  Business up top, party on the bottom.  Mullet wreath.

If you're looking to make a specific size of wreath my wreath is about 13 inches in diameter so my branch base to tip was somewhere over 40 inches.  I don't need anything that specific but if you do then don't forget 2(pi)Radius of desired wreath = length of branch.  MATH!  so handy for life's more important situations!

Back to things that are actually fun and interesting: rainbows and nandina!

Nandina foliage and berries look great right now so I mowed down a bunch from my yard and attached them with a small bit of floral wire too.  I think I threw in a small sprig of pine too and ended up with this:

Wonky and wonderful!  Well, close enough.  Maybe it needs a trim on that right side but overall I'm super happy with.  Honestly, excluding the time it took me to murder the privet at the beginning and for eating more toast I think it probably took about 20 minutes?  I bet I could knock one out in about ten minutes now that I have the magic technique.

That was so easy I decided to make another one since we were already destroying the kitchen.
Thanks for letting me ruin your house in the name of greenery, Emily.  That's one branch on the form FYI.
In case you didn't know, critters live in branches.  Every year when I decorate my mantel with cypress I always make a few new friends in the form of some teensy tiny spiders so you're forewarned.  Sometimes they're the tiny white/clear spiders which I think are kinda cute.  Your call.

I stole one of Emily's wire wreath forms - super cheap and reusable - you can see above and decided to do a fluffier option using more of the cypress base.  

I used about three long branches which were really easy to wire into the form.  I added some more nandina, some holly, a bit of cedar and pine and a few sprigs of dried crape myrtle buds.  

I didn't really even wire most of the extras on since they stuck in place fairly well.  Also, that holly is an absolute beast to work with so I was tired of getting my cuticles pierced.

Pardon the sad picture (hey, it was dark and I'm clumsy) but I'm definitely enjoying the final product: 

Ok it was actually a more round shape to start with but I when I closed the front door after hanging it the plastic hook broke and it tumbled to the ground...  Whoopsy.  Fortunately I think if I give it a haircut on the right side it'll be fine.

I also added these post-Christmas 2013 clearance sale antlers for even more hipster credibility.  I feel so 2013 relevant!  I think I also might add in some fresh rosemary the next time I'm outside in the daylight.  Perhaps even an LED faux candle?!  I'm gettin' outrageous over here.

But it ain't all about me.  Emily made this super adorable wreath for her exterior windows:

This is a wire base like mine above but with ivy and cedar.  I love how the cedar is hairy like a muppet wreath.  What I love even more is the "bow" made out of magnolia leaves and finished with some nandina berries.  That is so damn genius.

She also did a large wreath outside using a grapevine base with ivy, cedar and cypress with equally impressive results. 

This one is about 36 inches wide and I don't think it took her more than an hour just tucking branches into the grapevine. Super easy.  Again, I bet once you've figured out your system the wreaths will go pretty fast.

From Emily's Instagram
It's like we're in Vermont!  

So even including the extra wonk on these wreaths and the cuticle stabs from the holly overall I was super stoked about the project.  I would absolutely make them again next year and maybe even do more this year.  I can't stop.  

I mean, it's essentially free, smells good and it's quite possibly the most Christmasy thing you can do other than prove to Santa in sensual detail how naughty you've been.

But only if you like gift-giving older men more than crafts.

Shit, don't we all?


  1. Mullet wreath?! Priceless. Don't get so addicted that we have to do (ANOTHER) intervention.

    1. But... I love when we all get together...

  2. I love your wild man wreath. As the branches stretch away from the wreath I feel like it is shouting, "You can't contain me! I'mma touch this thing over here!" Hmm, maybe it's a drunk uncle at Christmas wreath. There's shouting whoever it is.

    1. I would be HONORED to call my wreath the 'Drunk Uncle' wreath. So inappropriate... so uncomfortably Christmas.