Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Festive Wreath // DIY

I do love a wreath on a front door at Christmas time. I think it looks really pretty and adds colour and character to a house when the weather outside is a little bleak & grey.

I am all for buying a premade wreath whether it is made out of all natural materials or if you choose to fake it - its all good, what ever suits you! But this year I really wanted to turn my hand at making one myself and set aside an afternoon to do just that!

If  you would like to have a go at making a wreath for your front door or as a pre-Christmas gift for a loved one, keep reading and I shall show you how! Be prepared to set aside at least an hour and a half to make the wreath itself but don't forget to dedicate an hour or two to get all the bits before hand such as holly and other foliage. This is one for the patient people out there, also, prepare yourself for being pricked once or twice by the holly - stings like hell but the final product is definitely worth it!!

So lets get started!!

What you will need:-
1 premade grapevine wreath (or oasis) in the size of your choice. At the widest point, my grapevine wreath measured roughly 30cm across
Floristry or craft wire. I used green wire to blend in with the foliage (you may not need to use wire if  you are using an oasis)
Holly, ivy, foliage of  your choice

Lets Go!

Start by giving those legs of yours a little action by taking a walk to the woods where you should be able to find an array of foliage such as holly, ivy and twigs. Collect as much as you can carry, preferably in a thick reusable bag to avoid it splitting on your travels. Alternatively a florists will have lots of varied flowers, leaves and pretty shrubs but be prepared to spend a few pennies!

Once you have headed back into the warmth of your house, lay out all of your materials. This will make it easier when deciding what kind of leaf or berry or spruce you want to pick next.

Take your ribbon (I find ribbon that is about 1cm - 2cm thick is the best) and cut it into the length in which you want to hang it. I have mine hanging off a peg next to my front door as I do not have a knocker or hook to hang it on. My loop measured roughly 50cm - remember this is going to be halved and then tied in a knot so you may wish to add a few extra centimetres.
Loop the ribbon through the wreath and tie in a knot to secure.

Find where you want the ribbon to hang as you may find the wreath isn't perfectly circular as I found with mine. Once you are happy with where you want the top of the wreath to be, lay it down flat and pull the ribbon out, ensuring that the knot is on the inner edge of the wreath (see photo above).

Start placing your chosen foliage onto the wreath one piece at a time and secure in place with wire. Be careful if you are using holly as it can be a little vicious so you may want to wear some gloves if available.

Continue to add the holly, leaves and sprigs to the wreath ensuring that they cover any bare patches using the wire to secure it in place - you don't want to see the wreath or oasis itself. When securing in place with the wire, be sure to keep a piece aside - you will need this for the final bow. I also tried to conceal the knot of the ribbon to make a neater finish. It is a good idea to either hang/hold it up every now and then to see how it is progressing and to get an idea of where needs more greenery.

When I was near enough happy with how it looked like from the front, I turned the wreath over and gently placed it on the floor ensuring that the leaves were not squished. I then added further foliage to the outer edges to help conceal the grapevine wreath. I repeated this process for the inner ring.
By adding extra leaves etc to the back, you create a really lush, full wreath that holds it shape and lasts longer.

To finish the wreath, I took a thicker ribbon and tied it into a bow around a pen. With the bow tied to the pen I was then able to adjust the size of the bow to make it a shape and size that complimented the size of the wreath. When you are happy with the bow, decide on where you want it positioned and secure with the final piece of wire. You can now add any other decorations you may have such as pine cones, baubles, flowers, tinsel - the ideas are endless. I decided to keep mine quite minimal, only adding pretty ribbon to complete the wreath.

I really love the final product and will definitely be making another next year. It was a hit with people I worked with too after showing them - they were all asking if I would sell them which I think would be a fabulous idea for those who have time to get a little extra income at this rather expensive time of year!

It would be really great if this has inspired you to make a wreath! Pretty please let me know if you have gone for it and if you upload them to Instagram, be sure to tag me in it (@rhemaekea) so I can gaze in awe!

Have fun little crafters 

Loads of love and festive wishes!


Thursday, 4 December 2014

The Christmas Tag

Slippers on, hot drink at the ready & your favourite festive song playing - its Christmas Tag time!

1. What is your favourite Christmas Movie/s?
I am really trying to think of just one.. of course I love Elf and Home Alone is pretty good too, but I do love love love Scrooge. And The Holiday. And Love Actually. And Miracle on 34th Street. Ugh picking one just means doing all the other an injustice. I LOVE THEM ALL!!

2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
Christmas morning always and forever. When I lived at home I would always get up really early with my sister and we would run down stairs at like 6.30am screaming at all the presents that had miraculously been delivered under the tree whilst we tried to sleep. Yes I am 23 and yes I am totally heart broken that I won't be doing that this year. Something tells me James wouldn't quite see the magic in me running downstairs screaming my head off at all the presents I have wrapped myself aha!

3. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
I have never tried egg nog, but something tells me that is what a Snow Ball is? And I LOVE Snow Balls with advocate and lemonade and a little glacé cherry. Mhmmm honey bee, get me one of those please!

4. Favourite festive food?
Christmas dinner in general is literally life. But I adore the special sausage stuffing that only ever seems to be used at Christmas and Yorkshire puddings and roasted veg will always be my number one. Oh and pigs in blankets. I am just making myself sound like a whale aren't I :)

5. Favourite Christmas gift?
From my whole entire life? Without a doubt would of been my little kitchen I got when I was really teeny tiny. I had it for years and adored it! I remember being so heartbroken when my Nanny decided I was too old for it and it was taken to the local nursery :( Them grubby fingered toddlers better of looked after it!

6. Where do you usually spend Christmas?
I come from separated parents but have never spent Christmas Day with my Dad, he gets a whole day of his own usually on the 27th. I would always spend it at my Nan and Grandads and then when my Mum remarried we went to his parents ever other year and on Boxing Day we would go to wherever we wasn't on Christmas Day. Sounds confusing doesn't it aha! Sadly my Nanny passed away so Christmas Day is now shared between my Mum and Aunty, this year it is at my Mummas :D Not so sadly - my mum is rid of her ex husband so we don't see his family any more and my time is split between seeing my mum and going to James' house.

7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
Cosy nights in with films and drinks and treats. All my friends are keen to get me to go disco dancing but I have always stayed in and dread the idea of waking up on Christmas morning with the hangover from hell.

8. What tops your tree?
I got to buy all new decorations for our house this year which brought me uncapped amounts of happiness. To go with my rustic and retro theme I have going on in my living room, we have a star in a gorge bronzy colour with a little sprinkling of gold glitter on the top. It's a beaut!

9. Be honest, do you prefer giving gifts or receiving them?
I would be lying if I said I didn't love opening a pressie or two but I ADORE giving gifts more. I love spending the time picking out something for that special someone, wrapping it with pretty decorations and paper and bows and then watching the look on the receivers face when they are given it. Its such a nice feeling and I love it. Christmas is for giving!

10. Do you like to stay in your pj's or dress up for Christmas?
False eye lashes, heels, a new dress, full face of make up and hair curled. Dress up all the way! It's a once a year event in my family so we all tend to go all out and wear something a little more special.

11. What's your favourite Christmas song?
The Pogues Fairytale of New York & Jona Lewie Stop the Calvary. Such classics!

12. Do you get your shopping done early or leave it till the last minute?
I tend to be a late bloomer but this year I have flourished pretty quickly! I only have a few more little bits and bobs to get and then I am all set for a marathon of wrapping. I once stayed on till 3am perfecting my pressies!

13. The Tree: Fake or Real?
I've only ever had fake before when living with my beautiful Mumma, but James and I this year are going for the real thing.

14. Have you ever had a white Christmas?
Yes but Christmas is for staying in, keeping cosy, getting a little tipsy, playing games and spending it with family

15. What's the best part about Christmas for you?
Seeing the family all together and all the younger ones being spoiled. Someone in my family needs to pop some more children out as we are all growing up and I love little ones at Christmas time, all their little festive outfits and the excitement of what lies under the tree. Its just such a beautiful time of year and without a doubt my favourite. I hate when it is over but lucky for me due to having such a wide spread family, I get around 3 or four Christmas days WAHOO!!!

I hope you are all really looking forward to Christmas too and are excited for all the festivities! Be sure to let me know if you join in on the tag too and what your favourite thing about Christmas is!

Loads of love and festive wishes