Monday, December 3, 2012

holiday diy | colorful ribbon wreath

Christmas time has officially begun in our household. I spent four hours yesterday visiting countless dollar stores, Walmart, Target, and the list goes on, trying to snag inexpensive holiday decor supplies. As I mentioned before, I decided I wanted most of our holiday decorations to be handmade since I can never really find decorations that are exactly what I'm looking for. (They're either too country, too traditional, too plastic-y, too cheap looking... I could go on and on. Whatever, I'm picky!)

This year, I didn't care as much about having a central look or theme, I just knew I wanted everything to be whimsical and colorful. So that's what I'm going to try and do with everything I make. Yesterday I got supplies for handmade ornaments, embellished stockings, and... today's DIY - a new holiday wreath!

Some of you may remember this fall wreath I made back in October. I loved it, and it has certainly served us well the past two months, but I wanted something fresh and bright to get in the Christmas spirit. (Something that took up a lot less time than gluing individual felt leaves on a large wreath form.)

I was inspired by the colors and feel of this holiday wrapping paper from Kate's Paperie.

Whimsical and colorful, right? So I thought, bright ribbon, a little bit of felt, a hand-threaded holiday message and... Voila!

I would give you guys the exact step-by-step, but I'm TERRIBLE at taking in-process photos (especially when I craft until 1am over two glasses of wine) but here's the gist of it and if you have any questions, just let me know!

I had a small foam wreath form laying around that I purchased for a whopping $1 at Michael's. I measured a strip of ribbon long enough to wrap around the wreath and then cut several strips from my various spools in each color. Then, using a hot glue gun (the duct tape of the craft world) I simply started with one ribbon, putting two dabs of glue under each side of the ribbon after wrapping it around back of the wreath. I wrapped another ribbon strip next to that one, placing it slightly on top of the previous ribbon to avoid any gaps of the doo-doo brown colored wreath showing through (seriously, it was so ugly. Jason kept calling it my "poop wreath.") I alternated the colors in no particular order - just what I thought looked pretty. I made sure to alter the widths too because I didn't want it to have a uniform look.

After I covered my wreath in ribbon, I cut out a simple rectangle of red felt, snipping triangles out of the two ends to give it that ribbon look (I'm sure there's a fancy word for this but I don't know what it is.) I wanted it to have that "banner" effect, so I folded in the ends and hot glued the felt to itself making it stick. After that, I lightly penciled a general outline of "JOY" onto the felt, but of course you could use any message you want. I used a thick white thread and a needle to make a simple "in and out" stitch to give the letters their outline. (I do NOT know how to sew nor will I probably ever learn so I'm not sure what type of stitch that actually resembles.) If the sewing part scares you, you could also do thin little painted wood letters and hot glue them on. That would be cute!

Last, I realized the banner would be too flimsy if I hot glued it to the front of the wreath because there was nothing behind it to add support. Luckily I am clumsy, crafty, happy AND resourceful, and remembered we have some wooden skewers on hand in the kitchen. I cut one to length, shoved the spear into the foam on the inside hole and then pushed the other side so it was stuck straight across the wreath's middle. A little hot glue and it was the perfect support for my banner! A quick ribbon added to the top and the whole thing took about an hour and a half.

I love the color and whimsy it adds to our front door, and it is such a joyful pop of vibrance for anyone walking into our home. It's the same brightness I'm hoping to bring to my handmade ornaments - can't wait to show you guys those! (If my idea works, that is. I'm working on them tonight!)

I hope you all are having a great Monday and I hope everyone is getting into the holiday spirit.

Are you doing any handmade decorations this year? 


  1. This is so cute! And after seeing your Instagram last night I am impressed at how fast you put this together! Very inspiring. Perhaps I'll do some crafting for the holidays as well. :D

  2. I love this! I have been decorating in more non-traditional whimsical colors this year too. So cute!

  3. This looks adorable, Caroline! Love the finished wreath! May be borrowing this idea when I think about wreaths for next year. ^_^

  4. So awesome. I love the colors and the message!

  5. Thanks, Marg! I thought the boldness would be right up your alley!

  6. Thank you so much! Borrow away! The more wreaths the merrier (literally!)

  7. I don't know what it is but whimsical is my middle name lately. Maybe it's a phase or maybe I'm just finally embracing my deep-rooted silliness! :) Thanks for commenting, Ginna!

  8. Thanks Alli! Definitely faster than the felt wreath. I will tell you that once you make the decision to plunge into the holiday madness, it's a bit hard to stop... :)