Halloween Wreath

Semi-Homemade Halloween Wreath

This past weekend, we had a lot of fun getting in the spirit of the season and decorating for Halloween. In an effort to better document my Halloween exploits, I’m going to try to post a project each day.

One of the oldest projects on my Halloween to-do list was to make a wreath. Last year, I bought a spooky-ish (but plain) black wreath from CVS on 60% clearance the week after Halloween was over. The wreath sat in our Halloween bins in the attic all year. I got it out this past weekend and decided to spice it up with some dollar store items: Centipedes, roaches, a fly, spiders, a ghoul, and the dollar store spooky gray cloth. Total budget for this wreath ended up being about $5, and we’re pretty pleased with the effect.

Tinseled Pompom Garland

There have been a lot of really cute garlands around this holiday season. I’ve been especially drawn to the felted ball garlands, like this one at Anthropologie:
Anthropologie Garland

or this one at Branch:Branch Garland

And, I think this Christmas ornament garland from Crate & Barrel is also pretty cute:
Crate and Barrel Garland

I set about doing some research investigating what kind of garland cost would fit into our budget. (I already suspected a DIY solution would be required.) Using the garlands previously mentioned, their prices per linear foot are $11.66, $8.00, and $1.55 (in the order in which they appear). Using ribbon twirled around our tree, I calculated that we need approximately 50 feet of garland. This would make the cost $583, $400, and $77.50, respectively. The Crate and Barrel garland cost isn’t too bad, but the Anthropologie and Branch garlands were way out of our price range. But I still preferred the felted wool balls (especially the continuous ring of balls like the one from Branch).

A visit to Walmart’s craft department gave me an idea–a garland from Tinseled Pompoms. Tinseled pompoms are not the same as the felted wool balls, but they’re still pretty cute. (And they sparkle!) I figured an experiment was in order to check out the cost. I assembled my materials: 1 Bag of Tinseled Pompoms (75 per bag), Clear Fishing Line, and a Needle.
The Materials

I used a pretty big needle and just pushed it through the center of each of the pompoms.
Needle through the Pompom

When I was through with the bag (about 15 minutes), I had 3 feet of garland.

The pompoms are $2.97 per bag; one linear foot of garland costs about $1.00. To finish up the entire garland, it will cost $50.00 (give or take). This is the most affordable garland! And I’m really pleased with the end result. I love the size variation and the tinsel.
On the tree

I will post a better picture when we’re through decorating the tree. Making this garland can be a bit time-consuming, but it’s an easy activity to do when you’re chilling out watching a movie; the whole family can get involved. And the end product can be used again and again!

Semi-Homemade Christmas Stockings

When it came time to make some Christmas stockings for my husband and me, I was limited by the fact that I can’t sew. (I know this is a severe character flaw that I will begin to remedy in the new year via sewing classes from my mother.) I had no idea what I wanted our stockings to look like, but I love patterns and texture. And I can embroider.

Christmas Stockings 1
I purchased some ready-made, extra large (we love things in our stockings and the nuts, candies, and fruit take up a lot of space) stockings for cheap. I went to my fabric craft reserve and picked out some vintage fabrics and a set of green striped sheets. The stockings had white furry cuffs at the top, so I removed the cuffs and used the size as a general guide for the new green-striped cuffs I added.

Embellishment was a difficult choice, but I decided to use a winter/Christmas theme–snowflakes for me, Christmas trees for Rob. If we ever need to make some more stockings in the future (ie – if we ever have kids), I’ll probably do one with presents, or stars, or gingerbread men shapes; the possibilities are endless! I cut snowflakes and trees out of the vintage fabrics and tacked them on with some glue and embroidery – french knots and running stitches. I used my laptop to lay out our names in a script font and then traced the names through the green-striped sheet using a fabric pen and relying on the light of my laptop for the tracing. I embroidered our names with a crewel yarn to give them some oomph.

Detail Shot 1

Detail Shot 2

The last step was sewing the new cuffs on to the stockings. I did it all with very simple stitches (by hand), but they are surprisingly sturdy. The overall product is pretty rustic, but I’m really pleased with them. The fabrics are so pretty, and I love the green striped cuffs with the red stockings. I’ve saved the sheets & vintage fabrics in a special box, so if we do ever have kids I can use the same method to make new ones! (Or if I ever feel like doing stockings for all the animals!)

Christmas Stockings 2

Embroidered Dish Towel

I embroidered this hand towel for one of my fellow Leo’s Birthday Present. I’m not sure exactly, but I think it needs a pair!
Read more

Embroidered Landscape

Embroidered Landscape

This weekend, I was finally able to finish an embroidery I’ve been working on forever!

Over a year ago, I bought a barely started cottage embroidery scene at the bi-monthly Lutheran Sale at the church near my house. I was thinking about starting a new embroidery that I bought at another flea market, and then realized the cottage was still incomplete. I was able to practice a lots of lazy daisies and french knots.

I think it came out pretty well; it’s a perfect addition to my tacky landscape collection.