Wednesday, February 15, 2012


This diy comes form www.oldtownehome.com .  Like I keep saying it's never too early about thinking of ideas and making them ahead of time before the holidays creep up on you.  I lover using magnolia in my different Christmas wreaths and garlands.  It dries really nice, almost like a leathery texture and look. If you don't have the real stuff use faux  greenery.  I have wreaths and garland that I've used the past 10 years and they still look in very good condition.  My wife doesn't like the way I change them almost every year though.  I will be posting a few pics (even though it may be a little late) just to show you what I've done to them this year (think winter wonderland).  Good luck!

Diy Winter Bows and Greenery
With greenery in hand, I asked my dear husband if he could wrestle up some scrap wood in the basement, cutting five pieces for me -- three for the windows and two for the doors to act as backers for the greens. He agreed, and just a short time later I had my wood backers.
Returning back inside to find my wood pieces cut, with the addition of a drop cloth to corral the needles and mess, our trusty staple gun, floral wire, ribbon, and craft store accessories, I was on my way. (More on the staple gun I used here.)
I started by arranging single magnolia leaves along the piece of wood, fanning them out in either direction of the center point, and stapling them securely in place.

After the layer of magnolia leaves was complete, I added a layer of the cut frasier fir branches.

And finally I added a sprig of boxwood on each side, as well as a turquoise bow and faux berries and acorns from Michael's. The result? Decidedly underwhelming. Even Lulu seemed unimpressed.

First of all, the scale of the bow was way off, and the fact that it wasn't wired ribbon left the bow lifeless and limp, kind of like a...well, you get the picture. And the berries? Also way too small in scale, in fact hardly noticeable from a distance. In this case, the size of the berries and stiffness of the ribbon absolutely matters. (Hopefully my juvenile sense of humor isn't lost on you.) I wanted so badly to have decor that matched the front door that I ignored the little voice in my head at the store that told me the ribbon wouldn't work, and the floral picks I rummaged up form the already scavenged available selection was a no go. I should have listened to that inner voice.
To say I was dejected is an understatement. I actually contemplated throwing the whole thing in the trash, stomping around, throwing a temper tantrum, rolling around on the floor a little bit, yelling "I hate uncle Jamie," and declaring it a Christmas opportunity stolen by the Grinch, but that wouldn't be very green of me, and it is the holidays after all, so it was time for my heart to grow three sizes. So the next day I hopped back in the car and braved the ridiculous shopping crowds once again and ventured out to Michaels.
After scouring the store for anything that might work a bit better I found one lonely roll of bright green satin ribbon, which happened to be wired. I also found a selection of large bright green and slightly -- dare I say -- tacky floral picks that might just be crazy enough to work with my new theme of green. With supplies in hand and a long checkout line ahead I decided to give it another go.
The result? This time, Wendilocks (yep, that's me) declared it juuust right.

In fact, I love it. I was worried the green glitter would be too much, but when surrounded by the subtle natural greens, it all seems to balance out.
So I got to work on finishing the two other window sprays, as well as the two vertical swags for the french doors. One everything was in place I wrapped a bit of floral wire around the back of each item I created so that we would be able to hang them from the window sills.

Once the swags were ready to go, Alex hung each of them using the floral wire and 3M Command strips and hooks.

If you look closely at the original windows in our bedroom, you'll see they're in dire need of a restoration as well as the addition of custom storm windows. Maybe I'll ask Santa for that for Christmas...but back to the task at hand.
The final result of my 2011 exterior Christmas decorating...drumroll please...looks something like this:

And for good measure, here's a close up of the swags on the french doors. You may notice that they're slightly different. I could claim that this was done to add visual interest, but in fact it was a happy accident, born from the fact I couldn't find two matching large floral picks at Michael's.

So there you have it. I went green for the holidays this year, and all told, spent only about $25 for the finished product. (That's not counting the turquoise ribbon and floral picks as they've now been earmarked as wrapping accouterments.) Not too shabby.
What are your plans to spruce up your home for the holidays? Anyone run into temper-tantrum induced decorating dilemmas that you'd like to share so I don't feel quite so ashamed of my own? Are you using non-traditional colors for your home? All I want for Christmas is to hear all about it...oh and maybe some restored windows too.

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