What? It Fell Out of the Tree that Way!

Mr. Pea & I bought our Christmas tree on Sunday and ended up with a few extra branches.  The man cutting the fresh ring on the tree had to clip off a few of the low hanging limbs and he was about to throw them into the pile of other discarded branches when I stopped him.  We just paid for those limbs why discard them!  Christmas is the best time of year for a DIY project and those extra branches could make lots of nice decor for your home.

Here’s what “fell” out of my tree:

Christmas Wreath

Christmas Wreath

Christmas Bough Decor

Christmas Bough

In total I ended up with four of the lowest (and biggest) branches to play with.  Here is all you need to transform your extra branches into beautiful decor: 2 Wire Hangers, Pruning Sheers, Wire Cutters, and Green Wire.  That’s it!

Wreath Making Tools

2 Wire Hangers, Green Wire, Wire Cutters, & Pruning Sheers

The green wire I have shown is 20 gauge and easy to manipulate, floral or other easily bendable wire will also work.  If you have a wire wreath form floating around, omit the wire hangers.  Now, shape the hangers into a rough circle, line up the hooks, and using the green wire secure at the top, bottom, & sides of the circle.  I found it hard to even see the hangers anymore once the wreath was done, but if you’d like wrap the hangers with green floral tape.  Now clip one branch at a time into 10″-12″ lengths and secure to the wreath form you just created with the wire, overlapping the ends of each length.  Continue doing this until the wreath is as full as you’d like.

Now it’s time to decorate!  I had these clip on decorations from my usual grapevine wreath.  I got them at Michaels.  You could spice yours up using ornaments, bows, pine cones, or lights.  Whatever you have around the house or find in the yard even.

Here are a few inspirational ideas:

  Wreath Ideas

I really love the use of different plants for varying texture in all of these wreaths.  For more tips and how to add live plants to a wreath check out this article on Apartment Therapy.

My wreath took less than an hour to put together and I had enough branches left over to put together the bough on my front step.  I couldn’t believe how easy (and cheap) this was to put together!  Literally, this was free!  Now go make something beautiful!

Homemade Fir Wreath

 

DIY Paper Star Garland

To me Thanksgiving is such a nice primer to usher in the Holiday Season.  Right away you get to start off your Christmas decorating with a clean house (if you hosted), and all the leftover pumpkin pie is yours to nibble on while you dig through your box of goodies.

I like to add at least one new decoration to my holiday collection every year.  It is too expensive to buy it all at once!  This year I made a Paper Star Garland and I’d love to share this cute little DIY decoration with you today.

First you’ll need the template!  I cut these out with my Silhouette, but they could easily be cut out by hand.

Grab this template and scale it to the size you want.  I used a 4″ star and a 2″ star.  Cut along the solid lines and score along the dotted lines.  Cut out 2 for each finished star and glue them together with the tabs.  Once they’re glued you can push them together to get the 3-d shape.  You should end up with a pile of stars like this.

I made 8 large stars and 4 smaller stars for a 6′ length of garland.  Next measure the length of intended span and add a few inches for slack.  For instance, my window is approximately 5′-6″ so I added another 6″ to allow for a bit of slack in my garland.  Now cut out double that length for the rope or twine, I cut 12′ of twine.  Tie the two loose ends together so you end up with a doubled over 6′ length of twine with a loop on each end.  I hang mine by looping each end over a thumbtack, preferably the same color as your molding or clear to not draw attention to them.

Hang up your twine at this stage to make sure the length is right and make any adjustments necessary.  Trust me you want to do this now before the stars are added.  Now back to the stars!  I cut out 6″ of twine for the larger stars and 18″ for the smaller ones, but make this your own, keeping 6″ as a minimum.

 

 

Once you have them all stung through (broaden the hole on the little stars if need be), tie them off where you would like them to meet the rope.  Don’t tie them too close to the star because you want it to dangle.  For the larger stars I tied them off roughly in the middle and for the smaller stars I tied them off closer to the loose ends so they would hang farther down.

Now take your long length of twine down and lay it out on a table or the floor.  Take your stars and space them out along your twine.

Now keep an eye on your helper.  They might steal one of your cute stars or try to run off with the string entirely.  SO very helpful!

Now once your helper is wrangled, and your stars are arranged as you like them it’s time to tie them off!

Finish with a little bow or just a knot, it’s up to you!  Once you’re done tying them all to the twine you can hang and enjoy your beautiful work!

Ready or Not The Holidays are Here!

I don’t know about you, but I am still in shock it is November already.  I started focusing my attention on holiday items for the shop back in September, but the holidays still felt ages away.  Well today I showed up to a mall all decked out for Christmas!  Starbucks has switched over to their red holiday cups, and well I’m finding myself pulling out Christmas decorations too.  Ok, they’re for photo props, but still I just strung holiday lighting around a Christmas tree!  There’s no avoiding it, the Holiday season is here.

For this holiday season I didn’t want to make cards.  I was ready to try something different, so I started playing around with folded paper boxes.  I instantly loved them, but it wasn’t enough.  Anyone can fold a box, heck I’ll even give you the instructions!  There are a ton of tutorials on the web, but I had great success with these instructions from Homemade Gifts made easy.  Now that I had a cute box I needed to make it mine, something worth buying.  I ended up with these Poinsettia boxes and they are stunning in person!

Hand cut pedals, painted leaves, and beaded centers make these paper poinsettia on top of a hand folded paper box something worth buying (and keeping)!  I made a version of this box for a friend’s baby shower and everyone loved the idea!  You can expect to see more of these types of boxes in my shop this spring.

I enjoyed sculpting those flowers so much I decided I’d start working on larger, frame-able pieces of art.  I am not going to reveal just yet what I am working on, but in my research for my first piece I discovered a beautiful pattern just perfect for the holidays.  Yup, just worked out that way.

This leaf pattern is found in French Gothic architecture.  If you look closely you can see the Fleur-de-lis at the ends of the leaves.  It was a pattern designed for a King and it makes a bold, beautiful statement.  I have had so much fun playing with different ways to use this pattern for the holidays.   It becomes so whimsical in the colored patterned paper, and then so regal in the gold and silver.  My holiday decorating usually includes a bit of both humor and tradition, so I am pleased to have found a pattern that works for both.

If you’d like to incorporate any of these holiday items into your decor or gift wrapping, they are now available in my Etsy shop: Mrs. Pea’s Papers.  Thanks for stopping by, and Happy Holidays (already)!!