Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Last Minute Christmas Decorating Ideas: Cheap and Easy Wreaths

Looking for a few last minute decorating ideas of before Christmas? I’ve seen a number of really cute wreaths this year made of all sorts of different materials.

Via Apartment Therapy

Via Design*Sponge

Via Design*Sponge

Via Apartment Therapy

While I would’ve loved to attempt some of these more complex wreaths, based on my limited time and budget, I had to go for two cheap and easy options. Below are two very easy examples of wreaths you can make to add some quick Christmas cheer to your humble abode.

Tinsel Wreath

I chose to make a tinsel wreath because I love the vintage look of tinsel garland, and I already had a bunch of tinsel garland on hand. If you don't have any, it's available super cheap at the dollar store.

Our large pile of tinsel garland that came from Roomie 1's dad's house
Making a tinsel wreath is incredibly simple. You can use pretty much any kind of smooth wreath form. I choose a wire one since it was only about $3.50 at Michael’s and I knew it would be easy to hang (even though I didn’t end up hanging it).

I wrapped the garland around the wreath form twice and then used floral wire to secure the end of the garland. Tinsel garland is pretty fragile, so it’s nearly impossible to secure the end by tying it. After the end was secure, I wrapped the garland tightly around the wreath, making sure not to leave any gaps. I used two pretty long pieces to cover the entire large wreath.

The beginning of my metallic creation.
I put the wreath on a washstand in our living room and leaned it against the wall. I like the way it adds a metallic element the room, and it helps vary the heights on the little Christmas toy vignette I created.

I made my washstand (that I picked up from a craigslist curb alert!) into my toy table.
I actually started collecting German smokers while working at the Christmas Attic.
Personally, I like the tinsel garland simple without any adornments. But if you wanted to jazz it up a bit, you could add things to it like ribbon, glass ball ornaments, or even lights.

Yarn Wreath

I’ve seen yarn wreaths everywhere this year, and really liked the texture and and winter sweater-like feeling of them. We needed something Christmassy for our kitchen, so I decided to pick up a straw wreath form and some yarn from Michael’s and try my hand at making one.

The yarn was on sale at Michael’s and only cost me about $2.50 per roll, and the wreath form was about $4. I used 1.5 rolls of red yarn for this project.

To make the wreath, I tied the yarn around the wreath, securing the knot on the back.

Straw wreath form with a couple rounds of yarn on it
 I then wrapped the yarn tightly around the wreath. Because the straw made the wreath an uneven texture, I didn’t worry about covering the entire wreath solidly on the first time around. The most difficult part of the process was looping the roll of yarn around the wreath so often, which was taking FOREVER. To expedite this process, I unrolled a portion of the yarn roll, and then wound it tightly around the rest of the yarn roll. Because the yarn was wound tightly in a circle on the roll, I was able to quickly roll the yarn tightly around the wreath and prevent the yarn from getting tangled.

After one layer of yarn, the wreath was almost covered. It had a few gaps because of the uneven surface of the straw wreath form. I went over it a second time to fill in the gaps.
 I went around the whole wreath twice with the yarn. The second time, I made sure every surface of the wreath form was covered. While I loved the examples of yarn wreaths that had felt flowers on them, I didn’t have any felt on hand, so instead I tied some leftover ball ornaments to the wreath with yarn. Once the ornaments were on, I took a piece of tinsel garland and wrapped it around the area where the ornaments were. I used a piece of yarn to secure the ends of the tinsel garland to the wreath.

To hang the wreath, I took a wide ribbon, cut it about a yard and ½ long, and used small nails to secure the ribbon above the bay window in our kitchen.

I hung the wreath in our kitchen window with ribbon leftover from the bow on my frontdoor wreath.

The ornaments I used were leftover from my outdoor garland.
Even though I would have loved to attempt some of the really cool wreaths that I’ve seen this year, the ones that I made were cheap and easy ways to make our house look a little more festive, which is exactly the kind of decorations I’m looking for when Christmas is less than a week away.

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