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Wrea-Thinking My J-O-Y

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Crafting is my joy, which I started soon after we moved to the States around 2 1/2 years ago (back to the States for my hubby, but first time for me). But to be honest, my first year crafting wasn't very pleasant. Especially wreath making...which was totally a different animal for me.
After my first wreath for Halloween 2013, which was a great disappointment for me, I didn't want to ever try making another one again. But last summer finding a full tutorial on Joann's web site, I managed to make a 'somewhat acceptable' wreath.
*Affiliate links used in this post*
Difficulty: Medium
  • wrea thinking my j o y, christmas decorations, crafts, home decor, seasonal holiday decor
Since the score for the "Wreath vs Handan" match was 1-1, I decided to make a Christmas wreath this year. But seeing so many wreath styles out there, I just couldn't decide on what I wanted to do...until I saw this in a Ballard Designs catalog!
  • wrea thinking my j o y, christmas decorations, crafts, home decor, seasonal holiday decor
With fingers crossed for another 'somewhat acceptable' wreath, I started gathering the materials: two pre-lit noble fir garlands, one 22-inch noble fir wreath which I found at Put & Take last year, one set of mini Christmas lights, and four wire hangers. Since mine wasn't going to be a fresh wreath, I didn't want it to be too plain. To spice it up a bit, I collected some pine cones from the woods and found a ribbon, some faux berries and a Dollar Store cardinal in my crafts room.
  • wrea thinking my j o y, christmas decorations, crafts, home decor, seasonal holiday decor
Note: If you are planning to do a similar project and don't have the garlands in hand, then I recommend you to wait until next year to do it, because at this time of year, the garland prices spike. But the day after Christmas, all the shops tend to have sales up to 70%. This is how I bought my two garlands from Bed Bath and Beyond. A 6 foot pre-lit garland (2-pack) dropped down to $19.99. Besides I had 20% discount coupon so I only paid $16 for two garlands.
First I started making the wreath forms for the letters 'J' and 'Y' using wire hangers. For this step I had to use pliers, as the wire hangers I chose were rather on the strong side, so they were a bit harder to bend.
When I started doing the 'Y', I finally had enough of the strong wire hangers, so I changed them with a plastic coated wire hangers. Even though it was slightly thinner wire, it was still strong enough to hold the shape, and much easier to bend.
  • wrea thinking my j o y, christmas decorations, crafts, home decor, seasonal holiday decor
Now it was time to wrap these 'J' and 'Y' forms with the garland. I did not use any floral wires because the garland itself is like wire, so I just twisted the garlands' twigs to cling them on the forms.
  • wrea thinking my j o y, christmas decorations, crafts, home decor, seasonal holiday decor
While 'J' was pretty easy, I have a little hint for the 'Y': I first opened the garland full length and found the center point. I laid the bottom point of the form at the center point of the garland. Then I bent the garland over the wire form and secured it on the form by twisting the garland twigs. After I finished the bottom part, I moved on to the branches and secured them to the form again by twisting the twigs.
  • wrea thinking my j o y, christmas decorations, crafts, home decor, seasonal holiday decor
Once I had 'J' and 'Y' ready, I started working on the 'O'. My 22-inch round wreath didn't have lights, so I wrapped the mini Christmas lights around it.
So far so good! All the letters are nicely puffed up and looking full.
  • wrea thinking my j o y, christmas decorations, crafts, home decor, seasonal holiday decor
Next step was to add some pine cones and some faux berries to give the whole thing a dressed-up look. So one here and one there, I started hot-gluing the pine cones and berries sparingly to the 'J' and 'Y'. Then I put some faux holly leaves with red berries for the 'O'. Again I used hot glue as it is much easier than using floral wire.
And here is the finished J-O-Y wreath. Looks pretty good, right? I guess the new score of the "Wreath vs Handan" match is now 1-2.
  • wrea thinking my j o y, christmas decorations, crafts, home decor, seasonal holiday decor
Since I ended up with a better than 'somewhat acceptable' wreath and nobody was calling it names, I found the courage to take it a step further: I wanted to make a frame for it... a frame that would bring some neutral color to the whole thing and give it a wall-art look... and for that, birch branches and chicken wire was the way to go!
But the birch branches I had were not straight, and some were thinner than others. Even if I managed to make a frame out of them, hanging it and stapling the chicken wire to it could be an issue. Easiest solution to that was to make a simple frame with boards thinner than the birch branches, then install the chicken wire on that frame and tie the birch branches on top of the frame.
Greg, in the middle of his Thanksgiving preparations, precisely just before putting the bird in the oven, cut me the thin boards I needed for the frame. He is the best hubby in the world! As soon as I (the luckiest wife in the world) had the boards ready, I started putting the frame together.
  • wrea thinking my j o y, christmas decorations, crafts, home decor, seasonal holiday decor
Then one by one I tied the birch branches on to the frame...and taa-daaaa!
  • wrea thinking my j o y, christmas decorations, crafts, home decor, seasonal holiday decor
Now it was time to marry the rustic frame with the J-O-Y wreath. I hung the letters with wire.
  • wrea thinking my j o y, christmas decorations, crafts, home decor, seasonal holiday decor
It looks like I nailed this down pretty good!
  • wrea thinking my j o y, christmas decorations, crafts, home decor, seasonal holiday decor
And with the lights on...
  • wrea thinking my j o y, christmas decorations, crafts, home decor, seasonal holiday decor
I love how it hangs over the mantel!
  • wrea thinking my j o y, christmas decorations, crafts, home decor, seasonal holiday decor
I am so proud of myself! Now I think I can call it a match with "Wreath vs Handan."

To see more: http://thenavagepatch.com/wrea-thinking-my-j-o-y/

  • Kip
    Kip Redlands, CA

    Got it, was wondering if there was more

  • Joselyn
    Joselyn Bellerose, NY

    This is so beautiful and your ability to conceal the wires is commendable! "JOY" is one of my favorite words that i treasure not just during the holiday season but all year; I have it hanging in my front window; however it's courtesy of Target. LOL

  • Linda
    Linda Phoenix, AZ

    Your home looks very festive and your hanging joy display adds to festivity.

  • Patty
    Patty Glendale, CA

    I did write a summary and the ask key repeats the same question

  • Creek1girl

    Handan this is just gorgeous!!! I would leave this up year round as a woodland decor. This is my 3rd project I've seen you do and you are so talented and lovely. I'm loving your stuff.......have a beautiful day.

    • Handan & Greg @ The Navage Patch
      Handan & Greg @ The... Glastonbury, CT

      Oh thank you so much! Your comment made it my day!! You too have a wonderful day! :-D

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