A BOO-tiful Wreath...

The MacLaren's 2014 Halloween Wreath

The MacLaren's 2014 Halloween Wreath

My supplies for the 2014 Halloween Wreath

My supplies for the 2014 Halloween Wreath

Since today is the first day of Fall and such (although, here in the desert that is really not a season. I mean, the thermometers are still well into the 90s and the cactus needles don’t change colors!), I thought I would start a little Halloween wreath to put on the door. I am a week early in putting this up – but I got it done and I wanted to get it out there. I will continue with the rest of the Halloween décor next week once it is actually October! Alas, I gathered all of my goodies and began thinking of how I wanted my wreath to look.


When I first looked at the mesh wreaths I thought they looked quite intricate and time consuming. In fact, the most time consuming part is choosing how you want it to look, what colors you will use and how to embellish it. For me, today’s project was a little more time consuming just because I had a few interruptions (lunch with my bestie!) and a dog who kept trying to get her entire 80lb. body between my 2 feet (not certain what that is about…I think she is still trying to figure out why I am home all day!).

Alas, I thought I would share my ‘how-to’ on these easy-peasey wreaths. Hopefully, if you haven’t already, you will make one for yourself.

Simple floral wreath form with chenille stems

Simple floral wreath form with chenille stems

For many years I thought you had to have a special wreath form with the wire twists already attached to them. Oh how much money I could have saved myself if I would have only figured out sooner that a very inexpensive wire floral wreath and some chenille stems in a matching color would do the trick quite nicely. I just twist my chenille stems spaced along the wreath form on the various levels of wire. You will be going back and forth with the mesh, so the stems will be covered up. Once you have all of the chenille stems on the wreath form, you will be ready to roll!

Starting the first layer of mesh - secure with the chenille twists

Starting the first layer of mesh - secure with the chenille twists

To start, you pick a place on the wreath and begin by sticking the end of your mesh on the center of your chenille stem and twisting the stem around the mesh to hold it firmly in place (think of a bread twist tie and twist it 2-3 times). Then leave about 10” of mesh before you secure to the next twisty. Make certain to go ‘high’ then ‘low’ on your spacing so that it looks even as you go around. Once you start, you will get a feel for the right amount of mesh and spacing. Sometimes I go around the wreath form twice, and sometimes only once (like here, as I knew I was going to use the smaller black mesh over the orange, and then use ribbon as well). Leave the tails of your stems/twisties long as you will be using them for other mesh or ribbon as you choose.

Adding the secondary mesh layer

Adding the secondary mesh layer

Once you have finished with your base mesh layer (be it one round or two rounds) you can start with your next ‘layer’ of mesh. I used the smaller width in black for my second layer. Again, pick a spot and start twisting the chenille stems around the mesh to secure it…leaving the ‘tails’ for your next layer and/or embellishments.


Ribbon layer

Ribbon layer

Then I added my ribbon layer – following the same steps as above. Once you finish this layer, take some time to ‘fluff’ all of the mesh and ribbon up and out – so you understand the fullness of the wreath and the placement of your embellishments and bow(s)

Here is the step that I failed in getting photos – adding the embellishments! After I was done I realized I didn’t get any shots. Nevertheless…it is super easy to add them as you are using the chenille twists to secure them on to the wreath at the various places you would like. I like to lay my embellishments on my wreath and play around with placement before I secure anything.

Once you add the bow (if you choose to do a bow) then you can go around the wreath with some wire snips and trim down the excess chenille stems so they don’t show.  When you hang it on your door you will be able to see where you may need to ‘fluff’ or adjust the mesh/ribbon. Some people use wreath hangers – but our neighborhood has metal screen doors and the wreath hangers make it difficult to close those doors. So, I will weather use a zip tie or another chenille stem to attach the wreath to our door. Both hold up well – the chenille stems seem to do a bit better with the Arizona heat – but use what works best for you.

Some tips:

  1. Look at the Target Dollar Spot for embellishments. Catch them right at the start of the season and you will find CUTE stuff for your seasonal wreaths. The Dollar Stores also have several things you can use.
  2. Avoid using hot glue on anything for these wreaths. If you are in a hot climate like I am, it will just melt outside. If you are in a colder climate, it will end up cracking and lose its hold that way. You should be able to attach all items with the twisties.
  3. Watch Michaels and Hobby Lobby (even JoAnns) for sales on ribbon and mesh. This weekend I found the mesh and ribbon on sale at Michaels for 50% off. When this happens – stock up if you can! The ribbon was the same…which made it $1.50 a roll (10 yards!). They have sales like this often at this time of year.
  4. Grab a few jumbo bags of chenille stems. This time around I got sparkly black and plain black. I also have a variety pack in pastels and primary colors.

Cuddle While You Burp...

(Admit it...the title made you curious, huh?!)

Lil Man arrived in this world on May 5th. For anyone counting, that’s 4 months ago this coming Friday.

 

 

In preparation for his arrival the kids had the sonograms

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did the maternity photos

 

 

 

 

 

 

Planned and prepared the awesome Star Wars themed nursery

 

 

 



Had a few great baby showers






And over her at Gigi & Pops…we prepared the nursery/playroom as well. The one thing I never did for our house was make burp cloths. I made the kids some for the Star Wars theme…so cute. I figured I would get around to making some for our house – I just didn’t think it would take this long!

I have a girly version of the cloth diaper burp cloths…as craft cloths for the craft room. Not really appropriate for a Lil’ Man!

So, on Monday I figured I might as well keep on sewing after I created THIS lovely!

I had a stash of some wonderful Cuddle terry cloth fabric (hence the title of the post) as well as an adorable 6 pack of flannel fat quarters from JoAnns. I opted to make them very simple and in a different manner then the ones made with the cloth diapers (not that I don’t like those – I think every home with a newborn should have those type – cloth diapers are AWESOME for everything. Hence the reason I use them in my craft room!).

What I didn’t know was just how much this cuddle material sheds! Mercy, oh my soul! I even threw it in the dryer beforehand (a trick I learned with minky fabric) and it till was shedding like a sheep escaping its coat!



Nevertheless, I powered through and got these cuties done. Hey are super simple: just cut the fabric in 10”x18” rectangles; sew with ¼” seams wrong sides together leaving a 3” opening on one of the sides to turn (don’t forget to back stitch at the start and stop of your seams); turn right side out and press; top stitch with a 1/8” seam all the way around closing the 3” opening as you go. Wash & dry and you are ready.

These would be super cute embroidered with the little’s name, or with ribbon trim or piping.

Can I just say that I would now like a personal blanket made from this stuff. It feels heavenly.

 

 

Perhaps that is another project for another day.