Monday, December 10, 2012

Merry and Bright

I love decorating for Christmas, and since we are in a new house I have all kinds of new places to decorate.   We have this half wall in our entryway that is part of our staircase, and I decided that this year it is the perfect place to hang our stockings.  Above the stockings I hung a little string garland to hang Christmas cards using clothespins.  It looked a little off when I first finished it, so much so that I texted a picture of it to my BFF and my cousin to ask it if was ugly or cute.  They both assured me it was cute (as is their duty), and  my BFF suggested adding some greenery.  I had already been wanting to make a swag that I saw on pinterest, so I decided to go all out and try to make a garland as well.
Inspiration photo from Better Homes and Gardens
When we bought our Christmas tree at good old Home Depot, they had a basket full of extra tree branches free for the taking.  My mom and I gathered up a bunch of them with the intent of getting crafty, but I didn't get around to it until today.  I had also picked up some other supplies at Joann's and Michael's.  After gathering all of my supplies, and digging my hot glue gun out of a drawer, I realized that I had a hot glue gun with no glue sticks.  I have had it for years, but never actually used it.   I attempted to finish using just regular craft glue, but it was a no-go.  So, off to Joann's I went, where I acquired some glue sticks as well as some green floral rope for the garland I would make.

After that short little field trip, I returned home to finish my first project, a greenery bunch to attach to my banister.  I just arranged some clippings of the evergreen branches and bound them together using 26 gauge green floral wire (It is just what I had on hand, but I think any floral wire that is easy  to wrap around your greenery and cut should work).  I then arranged a smaller bunch and attached those sticking out in the other direction so that there would be some greens on the bottom.  I used a small bunch of bare sticks as a backbone, but I think that is optional.  I just liked the way it looked in the inspiration photo.  I clipped apart some floral sprays that I bought at Michael's so that I could arrange them on top of the greens and attached those with more floral wire.  I then tied a ribbon around it and tied it in a bow.  The bow was not cute.  I even watched a Martha Stewart Tutorial on "How to tie a bow" (for real).  That helped, but it was still not a great bow.  But luckily, I hot glued some glittered pine cones and mini Christmas balls in the center to finish it off (and hide my pathetic bow).  I ended up being really happy with how it turned out.

I wrapped the post to protect it before hanging the swag

Next, I attempted to make my first ever garland.  It was actually really hard to find a good tutorial on how to make one, but I finally found THIS one.  I pretty much followed her instructions exactly except that I did it inside and I only used one type of evergreen.  After I finished the basic green garland, I attached it to the top of the half wall with thumbtacks ( maybe not the most secure method, but I am trying to avoid leaving a bunch of holes in the wall, and it works).  I wound a string of lights through the greens and then tucked sprigs of pine cones and berries into the greens.  The strand of lights I used was a little too long, so I put the leftovers in a clear vase next to two other clear vases filled with Christmas balls and glittered pine cones.

The supplies I used for the garland and swag are:

1 bunch of branches (from Michael's - if you live somewhere with trees you can just go cut some down)
6-8 leftover Christmas tree branches
2 glittered mini-pine cone sprays (cut apart)
2 golden berry spray (cut apart)
mini Christmas balls ( I only used 4)
3 medium pine cone sprays
26 gauge green floral wire
Green rope (mine was wired, but I don't think that is necessary)
wire cutters/garden shears
Hot glue gun
1 strand of clear Christmas lights

Everything I either had on hand or picked up at craft stores.  I'm so happy with how these projects turned out! Although making something like this can seem daunting, it actually was fairly simple and and fun. Once you have all the supplies they don't even take that long. Happy holiday crafting!
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Colleen said...

I love the stocking area even more after seeing it from a little further away! I wish I could see it in person, looks beautiful :)

NW Girl said...

Aww, thank you! I wish you could be here too!

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