Starving Student Christmas Special: DIY Fresh Wreath!

2012/12/05 § 1 Comment

I worked at an arts and crafts store for three years and over time I worked my way into positions I enjoyed very much. When I wasn’t lurking in yarn and t-shirt crafts, I was “staging” or putting together displays. One year I did all of the large Christmas displays, and it was the most fun I’d ever had at work (before or since. There’s really nothing like getting up at 4am to head to work in ratty work clothes to spray flock paper trees. Yes, that happened.). Working at said arts and crafts store wasn’t easy on family. I basically made them start taking holidays other than Christmas seriously (I’m still bitter that no one puts up my Halloween decorations when I’m not there, and let’s not even get started on the pumpkin wreath). One of the things that no one saw coming was my love of wreath making. There’s just something so satisfying about making something that, when placed on a front door, everyone can see!

Since I worked at this big store, I always decorated faux wreaths. It actually makes more sense- they are easier to manipulate, they don’t drop needles everywhere, you can hot glue stuff to them, and then you can reuse them the next year! All you have to do is find somewhere to store them, and in SoCal, that isn’t really an issue. But when I moved to NYC last year, I found that I couldn’t get a fake wreath to decorate because…I have nowhere to store it. Seriously. Space is nonexistent and the little storage space I do have is dedicated to shoes. So a real wreath it was. I went to the dollar store and found some decorations, and then went to Home Depot and dropped a ridiculous amount of money on a real wreath. When I could get a fake one for five bucks, that felt like ugh, but it was what we had, so that’s what we had. After Christmas, I saved my decorations and pitched the wreath.

This year though, I went to the greenmarket and spent a whopping five dollars on a bunch of tree boughs and made my own wreath! It was my first time doing so, but I’m pretty dang proud of it. Factor in the fact that I used yarn I already had along with metal hangers to put it together and decorated it with last years decorations, and woot, this is one affordable wreath! I should note that I wasn’t aiming for one of those super fluffy, full wreaths. This was simple, with the intention of bringing a smile to the face of whoever catches sight of it. I think I achieved that!


Here’s how I did it!


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Four tree branches, some yarn, scissors, box cutter, metal clothes hangers (3ish), and a broom.

Play bendy straws with the branches, and start tying them together in a line that will eventually become a circle.

007 008But Allie! you say – this is super weak and isn’t holding a shape! Ah my little crafters, that’s where the clothes hangers come in. Unbend a few of those suckers and just start wrapping them around your wreath, and you’ll find that all of a sudden, it all gels. (Don’t tell my boyfriend I was playing with pointy metal things. Apparently I look like one of those people who will just walk into traffic, so y’all be safe now with your eyeballs and the sharp things, y’hear?)

Hang it up on a door, and notice that it’s kind of scraggly.


That’s ok, just start playing with it. Cut off the extra bits and put them where there is less. Can that extra piece just be tucked behind a wire? Probably!


Once you’re done playing with it to get it more even looking, now you can decorate it or leave it be. Since I had decorations, I put them up there. See how I put more flowers on the left to balance out the right side?


Enjoy your fresh, awesome-smelling, pride-inspiring wreath, and then go sweep your floor!


Where mine is on display!

Where mine is on display!


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