How to Create a DIY Holiday Wreath in 7 Easy Steps

I try to take inspiration from everywhere for new craft ideas, and this one came from my darling mother-in-law! She found a festive and easy way to create a fall wreath on Pinterest, which made me want one too! So after work the other day I stopped by Michaels and picked up the minimal essentials for my holiday wreath. And the beauty of it is that I can repurpose this wreath for every holiday, namely Christmas, Easter, 4th of July, etc. There is only one permanent aspect to the entire piece, so everything else can be switched out, saved and reassembled through each passing season. And let’s just say I am loving it – so nice to come home to a cheery door!

The Essentials

  1. Wreath: $4.99 from Michaels
  2. Wreath hanger: $2.99 from Michaels
  3. Bow: FREE, left over from my wedding
  4. Wooden initial: $2.99 from Michaels
  5. Decorative leaves: $1.99 from Michaels
  6. Spray paint: $1.97 with 40% off coupon from Michaels
  7. Hot glue gun: $3.99 with 50% off coupon from Michaels

All Your Materials

7 Easy Steps

Tie the Ribbon

First I tied the ribbon on. It has a wire twist-tie on the back that can be readjusted or removed. I’ll leave it on for the Christmas wreath though!

Spray Paint the Letter

Then I spray painted the initial. I wanted to allow ample time for it to dry, so I did this first and then came back to it after the next 2 steps.

Tuck in the Leaves

I then proceeded to tuck in all the leaves. I didn’t want them permanently in place, so utilizing all the twigs and crevices seemed my best bet. It worked well and gave me the flexibility I wanted for finding the right spots for each leaf.

LeavesandRibbon

After putting on all the leaves I tucked in a small gold piece of ribbon, also left over from my wedding. There wasn’t enough to go all the way around though, so it covers the left side – I quite like the asymmetry.

Apply the Hot Glue to the Letter

By this point the letter was dry, so I brought it back in from the patio and hot glued the back…all down the left side. (I love the gold color of the H because it fits every season!)

Attach the Letter with a Glue Gun

Then, no-brainer, I attached the letter to the wreath after positioning it in the perfect spot. This is now a permanent feature, which I love.

The Finished Look

And voila! The wreath is complete and now handing gorgeously on my door. And I’m already brainstorming an elaborate idea for Christmas…this first edition was more mellow, as a test run. Next year I may dress it up with pumpkins and who knows what else! If you love this idea, and would like to see other crafty posts, visit my DIY Projects page.

What Everyone Ought to Know About Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®

ReStyled BoutiqueAfter revamping one dresser, it was only fair to give the other a facelift as well! And actually, painting my dresser has been a long-term goal for a while. The dresser started out as a deeper brown color that clashed rather badly in our bedroom, and especially next to the new dresser, so when I heard my mother-in-law talking about Annie Sloan paint, I knew I needed some. And thankfully, there is a small boutique up in Carmel called ReStyled that sells it, which is close to my office.

So the day of my hubby’s birthday, back at the beginning of the month, my mother and father-in-law met me at the boutique and we each bought Chalk Paint® for our respective projects. It was an investment, but this paint goes so far, and it is absolutely phenomenal in that it can essentially paint over anything. Not to mention, it is really easy to apply, it dries quickly and it provides a “shabby chic” look that is oh so popular lately. Along with the Graphite color I chose, I also bought the soft, clear wax to seal in the paint color. Below I’ve outlined all the steps in the process.

Annie Sloan SuppliesThe Materials:

  • Paint tarp – less than $3 from Meijer
  • Chalk Paint® – $38.95 for a quart from ReStyled
  • Soft Clear Wax – $28.95 for a tin from ReStyled
  • Paint brush – $4 from ReStyled
  • Paint stirrer – free from ReStyled
  • Screwdriver

The Steps: Turning Drab Into Fab

1. The first step was to lug the massive dresser from my room into the living room and onto the tarp so I had more space to move. The hubbs was very helpful with this. [Note: in this picture I already completed step 3.]

Dresser on the Tarp

2. Then I took out all my supplies, opened the paint can and stirred the paint.

Stirring the Chalk Paint

3. After prepping the paint, I unscrewed and set aside the dresser knobs to ensure paint wouldn’t get all over them.

Knobs and Screwdriver

4. Then finally, it was time to get my paint on. And honestly, I kind of just went for it. That’s the beauty of this paint – there is no right or wrong way to do it. If you want brushstrokes or the original color underneath to show, then don’t go over each part as much. However, I wanted it to be fully covered, so I went over certain areas a few times and tried to be fairly thorough. I also made sure to go into the cracks and crevices, and painted only the fronts and upper lips of the dresser drawers. I also didn’t paint underneath the dresser or on the inside legs. Really it was only important to cover the areas that are visible. Meaning the back, which has faux wood backing, was also left unpainted. This whole painting process only took me about half an hour to 45 minutes. Then I let it dry.

Drying Paint

5. After it dried, I opened the can of soft wax and used an old, non-fuzz producing rag to apply it. So basically, I simply dipped the rag into the wax and softly rubbed it all over the dresser to seal in the paint.

Annie Sloan Soft Wax

6. The last step was to rinse out the paint brush and the stirrer, close both cans and put everything away while I waited for the wax to dry.

Rinsing the Supplies

7. After the dresser was fully dried, I screwed the knobs back on and we carried it back into my room very carefully. And that’s it – my dresser is completely transformed now, and I LOVE it! Oh, and it looks really nice next to the other dresser as well.

If you’d like to know more about Annie Sloan paint – what you can use it on, where to find a retailer, colors, more advanced application, etc. then you should really check out the official website here. Happy Chalk Painting®!

Repurposed Decorative Pillows

Last Saturday, one of my good friends asked me to help her make two couch pillows out of a shower curtain. She knows I’m fairly crafty and handy on a sewing machine, so I was more than happy to help. The curtain had a fun pattern that matched the rest of her living room, and when I finished, I was rather pleased with myself. Which got me to thinking…pillows from a shower curtain? How ingenious!

I took this inspiration home with me and that same night I made pillows of my own – all three made from fabric I found around the house. So what did I use you may wonder, and how did I make them? That is simple enough. Now, it does take a certain amount of skill to sew anything, but pillows are fundamentally easy, so don’t be leery.

Patchwork Bedroom Pillows   Grey & Black Fouton Pillow

Cloth IconStep 1. Find Fabric: I prefer to repurpose, so for two matching pillows I used fabric from a decorative bulletin board I was using to hold coupons (however, my husband found it annoyingly girly), so I cut it up. Rather a tricky process since it had glue and staples everywhere! I also used the remaining leg fabric from a pair of Express dress pants I found at Goodwill for $0.99 (I used the top of the pants to make shorts a while back – details will be in another post). Then for the black and grey pillow I used fabric leftover from a pillow sham I used on a different project (which will also be divulged in another post). And the fabulous flowers came from headbands I stopped wearing years ago.

Tape Measure IconStep 2. Determine Size and Shape: I wanted the matching pillows for my bed and the other one for the futon. To be honest, I really just sort of “winged it” with the sizes and shapes. However, if you know exact measurements (for example, the pillows I made for my friend covered existing down couch pillows) then you should measure the size you need. Try to give a little give room, better to over-estimate than make them too small. Once you know the size, measure and cut it out of the fabric. Be sure to cut to same-sized pieces (for the front and back of the pillow).

Pinning IconStep 3. Pin Your Fabric: Keep in mind, the outside of each piece of fabric should be turned to the inside.  So in essence, your pillow will currently be inside out, with both non-patterned sides facing out. This is an important step because you want there to be enough space between the fabric edge and the pins to sew your pieces together, but you also don’t want there to be TOO much room. Determine how big your seam width should be before pinning and set the pins a little wider than this. Oh, and only pin three of the four sides – one side you leave open for stuffing and hand sewing.

Sewing Machine IconStep 4. Sewing the Seams: This is probably the easiest step, and the quickest. Once you sew all three seams, taking the pins out as you go, and remembering to back-stitch, you can move to the final step. However, you should test putting this cover on your down pillows, if you have them, before stitching it all up. If by some misfortune it doesn’t fit, then you can always rip out the seams and redo them. Not fun, but better than getting to the end with a pillow covering that won’t fit. If you don’t have a down pillow, then yay, you can move on.

Needle IconStep 5. Trimming, Stuffing and Hand-Sewing: Trim the excess fabric from the edges before flipping your pillow right-side out. Then, take the two bottom corners (the ones sewn) and pull them out of the top hole. Take your closed-tipped scissors and push in these corners to make them more prominent and formed. Then you can stuff the pillow, I actually repurposed and used stuffing from a different pillow that I ripped apart to turn into an apron, but any craft store or supermarket has pillow stuffing for $5-$12 per bag. Once you fill the pillow full, try to even out the stuffing so there are no lumps, then you can pin the top where you will hand sew. This time though, fold the top of each piece, about a 1/4″ or so, in so your seam will be nice and clean. Then hand sew and take out pins as you go. And VOILA, all done!

Display IconStep 6. Display Prominently and Proudly: You can feel accomplished at this point – an ultimate crafter! I bragged about it on instagram, twitter and Facebook…highly recommended, ha!

*Note: my matching pillows were quilted, or cut into smaller pieces that were sewn together before making the actual pillow form. This involves a more complicated process than a basic pillow. Let me know in the comment section if you are interested in learning more. And the flowers were simply sewn on to one piece of the pillow before steps 3-6.