Monday, December 3, 2012

Make a Unique Holiday Wreath for Pennies


A novelty wreath will welcome with whimsy
both home buyers and guests to your home. 

Last week I showed tips for creating a wreath of greenery. This week I made a wreath for our boat. The idea came to me when I spied an old life ring taking up space in the garage.

I love re-purposing what's on hand to create something no one else has! 

Wreaths can go a long way towards improving curb appeal. If your property is part of a condo complex that forbids front yard d├ęcor, a wreath usually falls within regulations. And it could be one of the things that distinguishes your unit from other units buyers look at that day. 

If you don’t have a wreath on (or near) your front door, and you want one that’s unique and cheap, look around for what you can re-purpose or upcycle. 

A wire coat hanger? A picture frame? A round mirror? Foam core? Plywood? Twigs? Vines? Driftwood? Any one of these are the start of a one-of-a-kind wreath. 

Or, get out your handy glue gun and create the base from what you can scavenge from thrift stores, nature, and around your home. Even something wild and crazy like ping pong balls, plastic plates, cookie cutters, or children’s blocks can make a cute base for a novelty wreath.

Since there was dust and mildew on the old, beat-up life ring, 
I wiped it with a cleaner that has mildew-cide.   

To put a faux finish on the wreath base, I started with one coat of an exterior satin 
house paint, but any craft paint would do as well. 

A good faux finish calls for a variety of colors. I sponged on four different
greens, letting each coat dry before adding the next. 

To replicate the (missing) webbing strips that hold the rope that encircles the 
life ring, I folded this 3-inch wide ribbon in half and stitched it across to make a loop.
The ribbon was long enough to go around the life ring, with a few inches to spare.

I knew the wreath would be viewed mostly from the front, but I didn't want to have an ugly
seam where the ribbon ends joined, so I used dressmaker straight pins to attach the ribbon. 

Once the rope goes on, it starts looking like a functioning life preserver. 
And it would still serve as one in an emergency. I connected the ends 
of the rope with duct tape, and tucked the joint into one of the loops.  


Once I added some silk holly sprigs and glued on some star fish I made from bakers clay, I hung
the wreath on the bow flagstaff. It makes people smile when they see it! I painted the clay stars and gave them a few coats of clear sealer, so we will see if that is sufficient weatherproofing.

Update: Seagulls seem to think the bakers clay embellishments are for snacking.  
I'm bringing the wreath home to replace what's left of the starfish with real shells.   


A "statement wreath" like this adds some personality to a property. And I made it from what I already had on hand. Do you have an idea for a DIY novelty wreath? 

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