It's not what you gather, but what you scatter, that tells what kind of a life you have lived.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Twelve Days of Christmas 2016 - Day Five

I hope you are enjoying the Christmas season. It's my favorite time of the year! I work to get my gifts for everyone finished and I try to get my Christmas cards made and sent out. I bake this most delicious bread with a cream cheese filling, cookies and pies, and whatever else I feel like.  I'm a little behind this year, what with the move and all, but I'll make it! I spent the day yesterday wood burning wooden utensils for everyone, so I'm off to a good start! 

Day 5's project is a holly wreath made from felt. It's really easy t make and it looks nice hanging on the door or wall, anywhere you decide to put it. All you need is a piece of chipboard or cardboard, green felt and embroidery floss, and some buttons. And, of course, your hot glue gun and glue!

First, decide how big you want your wreath. My piece of cardboard is 12" across because I used a dinner plate to make the circle. Then I used a cereal bowl for the inside circle for the hole. Cut out your cardboard, and if, when it's cut out, it feels kind of flimsy, cut another one and glue them together. The wreath is kind of heavy when finished, so you want a good support base, Cover one side with paper as you can see in the photo below. I used a dark green so it would look good if anyone ever saw the back. Cut the paper bigger than the wreath base and the hole in the middle smaller, so you have an inch of paper around all edges. Sort of looks like a donut! (You can't see this in the pictures, but it took more than one piece to of paper to do this.) Glue the paper to the wreath base and cut in from the edges in about half-inch strips, then glue the strips up over the edge. This will cover the edges of the cardboard so it will look finished.

Then cut another paper "donut" for the other side, but make it a little smaller than the cardboard, and glue it the cover the strips you glued down. This will be the side you glue the holly to, so it doesn't have to be pretty or anything. It's just the finishing layer on the circle. Covering the cardboard so the edges don't show is one of the things that are the difference between homemade and handmade.

Now it's time to cut out your holly. The size and number of leaves will depend on the size of your wreath. Draw a holly shape on paper and cut it out to use for a pattern. You will need to cut 2 of green felt for each leaf. My wreath took 16 leaves that were about 6" long, so that means I had to cut and stitch 32 pieces. Put 2 pieces together and stitch around them with a blanket stitch, or you can sew them on the machine if you like. Stop about 2" inches from where you started so you can stuff it. Do this with just enough stuffing to give it shape, but not enough to make it fat. After you stuff it, go ahead and finish stitching it shut. Now you need to stitch the veins. You can take your embroidery all the way through to the back, because it won't show and it gives dimension.

After all your leaves are made, it's time to glue them to the wreath base. Divide the inner edge of the base into quarters and mark them. This is where you will glue your first 4 leaves.

Now glue another 4 leaves in between the first four.

And four more....            


...and then the last four so your wreath is entirely covered with holly leaves, If you want a bigger wreath, you can either make the leaves bigger, or make a totally new layer (or more than one) under this layer. This will make it a lot wider, but be sure to adjust the size of your cardboard. It will have to be wider, too. 

When you get all your holly leaves glued on, it's time to glue the buttons on. I bought a couple packages of red and green buttons so I would have a nice assortment of colors and sizes.

Glue the buttons on randomly or the same way you did the holly leaves, in quarters and then in quarters again and again, until you have enough to make it look the way you like it. It's really up to you. You may want little groups of red buttons, like berries, or maybe just a single row around the middle.

I like mine all stacked up and full circle!

I also put a white one every once in a while, because I thought it needed a touch of white,

 I added a bow of red mesh ribbon to finish it all off and I think it looks pretty! I also thought it needed a little pop of whimsy, so I glittered the ends of the holly leaves in two different colors of glitter. I just brushed a little glue on the tips and shook the glitter on it. It added another dimension.

The color in these last two photos is off a little because I hung the wreath on a door in the family room to take the pictures and the light made it look kind of funky, but you get the idea. I really like this wreath and I think I'll be making more of these for gifts.

Are you ready for Christmas yet? I'm getting there. I'm going to be baking with my youngest daughter tomorrow so I'll be a little closer tomorrow night. Have a nice time with your family this season, and's not what's under the tree that matters, it's whose around it. Love to all,

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