Easy Burlap Wreath with Corsage Style Ornaments

Burlap or jute wreaths are so easy to make! You can dress them up, or leave them casual–and decorate them for any season. Here are examples of my two most recent creations, along with the steps so you can hang one on your door today.

 Mother's Day Wreath by rlc

This one was made for Mother’s Day.

 

Autumn Burlap Wreath by RLCThis one was a “No-Sew, No-Glue” burlap wreath makeover. I wanted something more full.

 

Materials:

Wreath Form
Burlap or Jute Garland (or your former No-Sew Wreath)
Ribbon (optional)
Floral Wire
Wire Cutters
Corsage Style Ornaments (instructions posted on October 16, 2014)

Steps:

Prepare your materials:

Garland and Ribbon:

Decide how many strips of material you will want to use; the one pictured has three strips of burlap and one strip of decorative ribbon. To measure the length needed for each strip, hold the material against the outside edge of your wreath form and wrap the material around it at least 1 ½ times. This will give you enough extra fabric to “poof.”

Floral Wire for Securing Garland:

Measure out a few strand of wire to be readily available. Basically, these just need to be long enough to wrap around the thickness of your wreath form. Give yourself enough extra to allow for easy twisting of the ends—you can trim off any excess once the wreath is finished.

Create Your Wreath:

I began by taking apart my original wreath; this was easy as I created it with the idea of changing it with the seasons—it was just a matter of untwisting some wire. I’ll be using the same process to make this new version.

Gather the ends of your fabric strips, hold them against your wreath form, and secure with a wire twisted in the back like a twist tie. Autumn Burlap Wreath Start rlc

Now it is just a matter of playing with the fabric; securing it at the end of each section with a twisted piece of wire.

 

 

Once you’ve finished the body of your wreath, it’s time to add your decorative elements. I’ve used some corsage-style bouquets created by taking apart elements of floral stems and re-securing them with florist tape. These little bouquets are on florist wire. To attach, simply place the bouquet against your wreath, between two of the “poofs,” and wrap the wire stem around the wreath. Finish by bringing the end of the wire back around your bouquet and pinch it closed. Floral Tape Tutorial 006 rlc

 

 

Take a good look at your wreath—play with the fabric, adjusting the “poofs” so they cover the twist ties. Once you are happy with the result, turn the wreath over and trim off any excess wire. Autumn Burlap Wreath Back rlc

Last Minute Centerpiece: Pumpkin Bouquet-Candle

pumpkin bouquet candle by rlcIt’s down to the wire for your Thanksgiving meal and your table looks under-dressed. The big question is…candles or flowers? Why settle for either one when you can have both? This bouquet-candle centerpiece is quick and easy to make. All you need is a small pumpkin, some dried rice, flowers, and a tea light!

When making a pumpkin bouquet one usually places a can or jar inside the pumpkin to act as a vase. Today’s bouquet-candle is different; the flowers go into the sides of the pumpkin and the tea light sits in the top. It’s really quick to make but will only last two days.

Craft Materials: pumpkin bouquet candle materials

  • 1 small pumpkin or other squash
  • Flowers (I suggest flowers that will sit close to the fruit—small mums work well)
  • ¼ – ½ cup dried rice
  • 1 tea light
  • Knife and scoop for cutting top off pumpkin and removing seeds
  • Awl or other sharp tool for holes (I used a Phillips screwdriver)
  • Vegetable peeler for rounding out top opening (optional)

Craft Steps:

  • Place dried rice in a small bowl and add water to cover. Allow to soak. Meanwhile…
  • Cut the top off your pumpkin, being careful not to puncture the bottom of the fruit. Remove pumpkin seeds and flesh
  • Round out the opening with the vegetable peeler
  • Poke holes for the flowers using the awl or other pointy tool. You will want to stay above the mid-line. Keep in mind that all flower stems should aim down to the bottom center of the pumpkin. Trypumpkin bouquet candle stems two rows of alternating punctures or, for a more classic look, make evenly-lined punctures only in the ribs of the fruit (as seen in the picture below).
  • Trim the flower stems and place the flowers in the holes. If you feel any resistance it might be fleshy strings on the inside of the fruit; simply scrape them away.
  • Strain the rice and carefully spoon it into the pumpkin, tapping lightly so it fills the entire chamber. pumpkin bouquet candle fill
  • Even off the top.
  • Seat the tea light in center.pumpkin bouquet candle alternative

Sending Warm Blessings for Your Thanksgiving Holiday

Gobble-Gobble Gourdy: A Quickly Crafted Critter

Gourd Turkey by rlcMeet Gobble-Gobble Gourdy. Created from a fresh gourd and an old pine cone, Gourdy will happily guard your display of Thanksgiving pies or take respite under a colorful fall bouquet.

 

 

Craft Materials:Gobble Gobble Gourdy set up

  • 1 colorful gourd, fresh or dried
  • 1 large pine cone with open seed scales
  • 1 small cone
  • Hot glue gun
  • Small saw or bolt cutter for severing stem

 

Craft Steps:

Determine how your gourd will sit and where you want to attach the head. Heat up your glue gun.

Using the largest pine cone, break or cut the very end of the fattest section. This will be the tail section of your turkey. (Note: The stem of a pine cone is quite tough so be prepared to build up an appetite.) Hot glue this end piece to the largest end of the gourd.

Gobble Gobble Gourdy back

From the remains of the large pine cone, pull off a few of the larger scales. These will be the tall tail feathers. Hot glue them to the sloping part of the gourd just above the end piece.

Glue the small pine cone into place at the small end of the gourd. This will be the turkey’s head.

Gourd Turkey front view by rlcnt

Add a snood for detail: (The snood is the fleshy part that hangs over a turkey’s beak.) From the remains of the large pine cone, pull off one small scale. Glue this onto one side of the turkey’s head.

“Gobble-Gobble”

No Glue Burlap Wreath Dressed Up for Fall

Fall Burlap Wreath by RLCI finally invited autumn into our home. To me, a wreath is a sign of welcome and prosperity; an invitation for each season to share her gifts. So today, I re-dressed my No Sew No Glue Burlap Wreath in the colors of the season.

For those of you who missed the original post, below is a picture of my summer wreath. The beauty of this wreath is that it is so easy to change it up for each season or holiday. By creating decoration “picks” there is no need for glue. You can make the wreath as thick and “poufy” as you like just by altering the amount of material you use, how many sections you create and how much you “pouf” the fabric. (Click here for original instructions).  Burlap Wreath Summer by RLCA

For the fall makeover I removed all the buttons and ribbons from the original wreath. Next, I chose two types of ribbon—tucking one end of each under the wire behind the burlap fabric at the bottom (you could also pin the ends in place). I brought the ribbons around the wreath, tying them into place with some twine.

Imitation flowers tucked under the same hidden wire behind the fabric at the bottom along with a pick made from some fall leaves (clipped from a garland) create the focal point. The makeover took about ten minutes.

Burlap Wreath Fall Focal by RLC

Check Out Another Easy Wreath
This one is made in the same way but with wired stems that twist into place! Autumn Burlap Wreath by RLC

Do you enjoy making wreaths? Tell us about your favorite! What types of base do you prefer? Silk flowers or dried? Is there a family story that goes along with your wreath?

What’s on Your Craft Bench?

On the Workbench by rlcI thought I’d take a moment to share some of the of the things I’ve been working on and invite you to share your own projects.

Lately, I’ve been in jewelry mode. I decided to create some resin pendants using Halloween-themed pictures I drew a few years ago. It’s fun to take the original illustration and use photo editing to apply different techniques–each pendant comes out unique!

Red Flight bracelet by RLCJust to show the difference, here is a picture of bats flying with the moon in the background. But in one version the moon seems to be bleeding (and has an extra bat), the other (in the picture below) is more sepia toned.

 

On the Workbench Items by rlc

I reverse-painted some clear pendants and ended up with some really neat effects! I especially like the blue one (in the picture here), but there was a lovely, shimmering lilac colored pendant that became the focal for this necklace.

Creations by RLC widget pic

I’ll be adding the finished projects to my shop as I go along. I just recently added these two. One is original artwork in resin, the other is a Dia De Los Muertos lariat necklace featuring hand-formed and hand painted clay skulls. Passkey and Los Muertos by RLCby RLC

So, that’s what’s on my bench right now–what’s on your bench? Are you making crafts for Halloween or stitching gifts for Christmas? Are you trying something new? Do you have a craft to share? Let us know!

 

 

 

 

Create an Eerie Gallery of Illuminated Picture Boxes

Illuminated Picture Boxes for HalloweenBe the curator of your own ghostly museum! These DIY light boxes are a fun way to light up your hallway, bathroom, or fireplace mantel.

I shared this craft last Friday with the folks at Samhain’s Sirens but thought it was so fun I’d re-post the craft here!

 

Craft Materials:

  • Empty boxes—one for each illuminated picture. These will be your frames.
  • Ruler to measure the “window” size for your print.
  • Item to trace for “window” (optional)
  • Vellum for printed picture (about .99 cents at the craft store; scrapbook section)
  • Computer and computer printer for printing picture onto vellum
  • Paint, pretty paper, or other embellishments to decorate frame
  • Craft knife or scissors
  • Tape
  • Glow stick or battery operated light source. (I used the submersible LED lights I talked about in Light Up Your Party. They have a clip on the back to hold them onto the box/frame)

 

Craft Steps:

Choose an empty box—an empty cereal box or tissue box will work nicely. Tape closed any open ends and cut a large opening out of the back side of the box.

Illuminated Picture Boxes one

Lay the box face down and measure or trace your desired picture window opening (I used the lid to a can). Cut out the opening.

Illuminated Picture Boxes two

Measure your window to determine the needed size of your printed picture. If you will be painting your box you might do this now so it has time to dry.

Illuminated Picture Boxes three

Using your computer, choose a photograph or illustration to print. You might want to manipulate the image using photo editing software. Save the image.

Decide how you will print the image and print a test page on regular paper.

How you print the image depends on your equipment. I use my Word program and insert the image onto a document. The rulers on my screen help me to size the image.

Check your test page against the window you cut from your box. If you are happy with the size then print a final copy onto a piece of vellum. Note: Vellum does not take ink as well as regular printing paper, so be prepared to allow a few minutes of drying time. Your image might have roller lines or other ink imperfections but that just adds character to your final work. (wink*)

Cut out your image allowing enough of a border for taping to the box.

Samhain Greetings by RLC

Place your box front down on a table. Place your image face down inside the box. Check the placement to be sure the image is correctly positioned in the window. Tape the image to the inside of the box.

Illuminated Picture Boxes five

Finish decorating your frame. When the time comes to illuminate your box simply tape a glow stick—those little sticks you break and shake—or a small, battery operated light source to the inside bottom ledge of your box.

Illuminated Picture Boxes Samhain Greetings

I’d love to see your gallery! Send me a note or leave a comment if you want to share your picture boxes with Museiddity readers.

Light Up Your Party!

You have your decorations up, your costume made, and your menu planned—have you thought about your lighting? When planning your Halloween gathering your choice of lighting is as important as your menu. After all, nothing ruins a mood faster than turning on the lights! This means your lighting needs to pull double duty—provide atmosphere and enough light for people to see by. One of the most versatile lighting options I’ve found is the submersible LED.

Basically, these are bright, tiny flashlights that possess a watertight seal when turned on—perfect for illuminating potions or specimen jars! You’ll findSubmersible LED Lights submersible LED lights in the floral section of your local craft store. Available in several colors, they turn on with a simple twist of cap and some of them have a handy clip on the back to allow for more flexible placement options.

Your buffet table is the perfect place to begin planning your lighting. How do you create a mood and keep the food looking appetizing while using a minimum amount of space? Illuminated jars will serve you well here by providing both light and acting as raised pedestals for serving dishes. Fill a few jars with water and place a submersible LED in each jar. You can add food coloring to the water, some fresh herbs for an underwater effect, or plastic body parts. Cover the jars with lace or gauzy fabric for a more muted light.

Submersible Lights in Buffett SettingA

The bathroom provides another lighting challenge. Try adding a couple of submersible LED lights to a vase of flowers; in addition to a fairly bright light the flowers will provide a nice shadow effect. (Tip: add purple or black food coloring to the water and the flowers will turn a darker color.) Illuminated jars will work here as well; try tucking one out of site behind the toilet or filling the shower with specimen jars. If you have a tub, fill the tub with colored water and anchor a few of these LED lights in the bottom. Create a scene in the tub—maybe a gruesome mask amongst floating vines.

The tiny size of these lights allows you to tuck them just about anywhere; they don’t have to be in water. Clip them to your other decorations, hide them on top of the cabinets…let your imaginations go! Just don’t let the dog eat them.

Best Intentions…Interrupted

I had so many plans for September–fill my shop for the holidays, share some terrific Halloween crafts, host a contest,…. then the bug from Hades came to visit (seriously, it’s going on three weeks now!) So, October may not be as grand as I originally intended, but I plan to move forward and share what I can.  In the meantime, you can join me each Friday in October over at Samhain’s Siren’s.

Samhain is the Celtic New Year, and the precursor to what we now call Halloween. Samhain’s Sirens is a fun group of  people joined by the common love of the season. Each Friday in October I’ll be sharing a craft and hosting a giveaway.  Come on by! There will be recipes, gifts, and stories to celebrate the season.

Double Layer Earth Cakes: Treats for Guests and Gardens

Earth Cake by rlcCelebrate Earth Day with a mini, double layer garden cake! Whether you call them Earth Cakes or Garden Cakes, these are perfect party favors for your Earth Day celebration. Make them ahead of time for guests to take home or provide an area where everyone can make their own. Bonus…the kids will love making, and planting, these cakes!

Supplies:

  • Bucket for mixing up soil
  • Flat working surface
  • Cardboard discs, plastic lids, or other recyclable/reusable “cake plate”
  • Can that is slightly smaller in diameter than your “cake plate”
  • Wax paper Potting soil/garden dirt
  • Water
  • Flower seeds
  • Small flowers or leaves (optional)

Directions:

In your bucket combine potting soil, water, and garden dirt if needed. You want the mixture to be “packable” and able to keep its shape.

Place some wax paper on your work surface.

Pack a small ball of your soil mixture. Place it on your wax paper and gently press into a flat disc or “cake layer.”  Use your can as a cookie cutter to create uniform layers. Make two per cake.

Sprinkle a small amount of flower seeds over each layer. Gently pat the seeds into the cake. (I used a wildflower seed mixture for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds). Let your cake layers dry for a few minutes.

While waiting for your cake layers to dry, prepare your cake plate by arranging a layer of leaves, flower petals, or other “doily.”

By now your cake layers should be dry enough to handle without breaking. Gently peal them off the wax paper and position them on your cake plate seed side up.

Decorate the top of your cake with a small sprig of flowers or a few small leaves.

To Plant:

Lay each layer in a pot or in the garden and cover with a small amount of soil. Refer to the direction on your seed packet for planting depth and watering instructions.

(Alternatively, the cake layers can be crumbled into your garden)

What are you crafting for Earth Day? Leave a comment and let us know!