Saturday, December 17, 2011

30 Things I Love

1. I love my latest incarnation of a "...Things We Love About..." poster.

2. That I get to keep making these posters (I have another one in the works).

3. Speaking of posters, I love my newest set of prints by Ryan Berkley, which I scored at the Chicago Renegade Craft Fair.

4. Christmas is coming. And I ordered a bunch of cool gifts on ThinkGeek...

5....this is one of them.
Size does matter.

6.  ...

More to come later.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Happy Yarn Days!

My house is covered in every color yarn that you can think of! Green, yellow, purple, red... my head is spinning just talking about it.

Some lucky family members will be receiving hand-made yarn wreaths this Christmas and I've been as busy as a St. Nicholas elf making them. My inspiration started with a quick Google image search for "yarn and felt wreaths" (try it and you'll see!). I attempted a yellow and purple one for myself first, and was impressed with the result.

This was quickly followed by a smaller, red version (which will be given away during the annual Holiday Ornament Exchange at the office).

Unfortunately, or fortunately for some, I'm addicted and have already made 3 more (with another 3 in the next couple weeks). My fingers have the hot glue gun scars to prove it. But, now I'm experimenting with different felt flower shapes, feathers, birds, and glass ornaments! I even found perfect 16"x16"x5" bakery boxes to store them in.

Stay turned until after the holidays to see the rest and in the meantime, make one for yourself, or a friend. You'd be surprised at how fun it is (aside from the burns)!

So you're serious about making a wreath, huh. Here's how to do it:
1. Gather a lot of inspiration images of other wreaths online. It helps to have something to go by the first time around.
2. Pick your color palette. Keep it simple at first. I did yellow and purple but added different shades of each for interest. Don't worry, your color palette can get "crazier" on your next couple wreaths.
3. Go to a craft store to buy your supplies. I started with a straw wreath because I liked the size and it was cheaper than the foam wreaths. And picked out the yarn color, as well as a few colors and shades of 8.5"x11" felt sheets, and some embellishments (picks, fake foliage, sprigs, pieces of garland, etc. will do just fine).
4. Now start wrapping your wreath with the yarn. (Tip: don't remove the plastic wrap from the straw wreath. Also, don't worry about keeping the yarn perfectly lined up. It looks more interesting when you have pieces overlapping each other and helps to cover the wreath better.) This step takes the longest. I recommend doing this while watching TV. You should be able to get through an episode or two of Dexter per wreath. Once it's completely wrapped tie the ends together and tuck to hid the knot.
5. Start cutting circles in your felt. All different sizes. The bigger the circle, the bigger the flower. Once you have circles, then start cutting them into spirals (with a wavy line). Confusing yes, so go here to see visual step-by-steps.
6. Plug in your hot glue gun because you're about to do some gluing. Per the instructions on the above link, leave a flap at the end of the spiral and glue to the back of the flower.
 7. Once your flowers are finished, arrange them on the wreath, as well as the embellishment. Keep rearranging until you like what you see, then glue them down permanently (Tip: add an optional ribbon to hang it).

Cost of project:
Straw wreath - $3.99
4 sheets of felt at $0.30 each - $1.20
Embellishment - $0.99

Total - $6.18 (assuming you already have the hot glue gun and glue sticks like I did)

Wrapping yarn - 1 hour, 30 mins.
Making and gluing flowers, embellishments - 30 mins.

Total - 2 hours

Difficulty Level:

Yes! I guarantee you'll be proud of yourself, and everyone you know will want one.