Creating a simple, natural looking fall wreath is as easy as cleaning up the yard. Lucky for us, the talented artist and designer Matt Lanci came by the other day to show us how it’s done.
A quick survey of the brush and tangle growing at the edge of the yard revealed a key ingredient for a festive fall wreath: grapevine. That, coupled with the bag of pine cones that Matt rescued from the forest floor and we had the makings for a beautiful wreath.
After pulling a pile of dying vine down off the back trees, Matt set to work.
Simply pick a vine, find an end and form it in to a ring about the size of the wreath you wish to create. Sometimes you will be wrapping one piece, other times several branches at a time will be wrapped around, it just depends on the way the vine grows. Fold the vine in and out as you go, creating a tight twist. When you come to the end of a piece just tuck it inside of the tangle to secure (see images below).
If pieces are jutting out or making points instead of rounded edges you want to shape them back into place. You don’t have to be gentle. Every few wraps around grab the edges and make sure they are continuing to form a circular shape.
To accent the completed wreath, we affixed a few pinecones with twine and weaved some bushy pieces of field grass from the wetlands near the yard. String to hang with a piece of ribbon or twine and you have the perfect handmade holiday display.
Don’t worry, no real animals were harmed in the making of this craft… only some plastic kids toys. Instead of wondering what to do with your old grimy kids toys, give them a good dish soap bath and then hack them in half for ‘Heads and Tails’ Animal Magnets. Plastic animal lovers (and personal friends) should close your eyes now, because the pictures in this post may very well disturb you (or reveal your holiday gifts).
Here are the steps, mostly in pictures.
You will need:
- Plastic animal or dinosaur toys if you have old kids toys, this is a great way to hold on to the childhood memories, otherwise take a trip to a yard sale or toy store
- Primer, spray paint (primer is important in order to get really bright metallic colors)
- Copper (or gold) spray paint
- Hack saw with a fine blade (you should have seen the guy at Home Depot look at me when I whipped out a moose and said I wanted to saw it in half, that was FUN)
- 1/2 inch, strong hold, small ceramic magnets
- Hot glue gun, or another strong adhesive glue
NOTE: If I were to do it again, I would have bought a vice grip for holding the toys while sawing. It would have been much easier and safer if I had.
Make sure to do all of your spray painting outdoors or in a well ventilated area. And wait for the paint to dry COMPLETELY before applying another layer.
I Love Them Sooooo Much!
Here on the east coast the days seem shorter and the air is brisk, leaves have been falling and the trees are almost bare. The time has come for enjoying cool weather hikes and cleaning up our yards in preparation for winter chill. And as we do, we come across a bountiful and natural selection of potential holiday decorations.
Last weekend a friend came bearing bags of pinecones from small to large. He taught me how to make wreaths and centerpieces out of dying vines and tall grass. We added pinecones as accents and decorated the house for fall. After we were done, I found myself with over half a bag to pinecones to spare. So this weekend, I bought a can of neon paint and brightened them up a bit. Here are the results.
These neon pinecone ornaments are so easy and yield such popping results that you’ll want to make them for everyone you know. The two most important things you need are primer, so you really get those neon brights, and an open space in which to work.
For a little extra pizazz, I added a layer of silver glitter spray paint to the cones once the neon color was dry. It’s so easy to get carried away!
Wrap fishing wire around the end of each pinecone, double knot and hang.
I can’t wait to hang some on a real tree, and give the other half away as gifts!
This last weekend was a craftacular activities weekend. And while there are some pretty awesome projects coming up on the blog, these simple Astro Rocks were like an added crafting bonus. I mean, when your outside with an awesome can of 24K Gold spray, paint it’s easy to get carried away.
These astrological symbol stones also make great gifts for both the upcoming holidays and, of course, birthdays.
All you need is an outdoor workspace (for spray painting), a few rocks, gold spray paint, black acrylic paint, a brush and a chart of simple astrological symbols. Have fun and make tons…. literally.