Monday, August 22, 2016

Creating a Magnolia Wreath

Living in Texas
we enjoy gorgeous Southern Magnolia trees.
A few blogging friends have asked 
how to create a magnolia wreath.

With the holidays upon us, or for anytime decorating,
I thought I would share another post on how to make a wreath
using fresh or dried leaves.

This beauty stands in our front yard and is nearly 40 feet tall.

I love to decorate with the trimmings
and here is an example for creating a
Magnolia Wreath.

You will find, it really is fairly easy to do.


To begin, I lay out all the branches usually cut from a needed trimming and gather the size of leaves I'll need for the wreath.

I use a simple green Styrofoam round  wreath
from the Dollar Store.
This one is about 14" round.

Next, I begin to cut the leaves and stems
and hot glue them on the wreath.

Going in one direction, I hot glue the leaves
to the top, front of the wreath
 and around the sides and inside area.
Keep in mind, these are fresh leaves.
The wreath will dry over a few weeks and become fragile.
You can still enjoy the wreath, but the vibrant green will have dulled and faded.
Some like that look too.

Moving the leaves up and down for interest and a natural flow
till all the Styrofoam ring is covered top and sides.

Once completely covered, it looks something like this.
The bottom leaves are placed in a cluster of three, 
where I planed to place a simple silk ribbon.

This is the backside.
No need to glue leaves to the back.
Just place enough around so you do not see the Styrofoam wreath.
The hot glue works great with
these strong thick leaves.
That's the beauty of using magnolia leaves, they are strong and easy to work with.

Once complete and the ribbon in place,
I hung it over a picture in our family/library room
using an over the door hanging hook.

While the wreath is fresh, it will last several weeks. 
Once it dries, it becomes more fragile,
but can still be displayed with care.

To design magnolia garlands I simply wire branches
together in the size needed for
topping a hutch like the ones I share below.
The garland below was very fresh in this photo.
The leaves lay down a bit over time giving a 
more relaxed and pleasing look.

In our dining room,
one Christmas I added  single leaf stems to evergreen for another garland style.
Little lights added to the garland make for a cozy evening glow.

Recently, I created another wreath
 and this time used
dried leaves.
I gathered the leaves and dried them over time laying flat
on a work table.

The leaves turned a faded green to brown.
To make the wreath,
I proceeded the same way as for the fresh cut wreath.

You have to be careful at this point since the leaves 
are fragile and can break.
I find them still to be easy to work with
if you just handle them with care.

After the wreath was complete,
I brushed a light coat of evergreen acrylic paint
over each leaf to make it look fresh again.

Lastly I brushed each leaf with a gloss finish varnish 
to give the wreath a bit of shine similar to  fresh leaves.

As you can see, this wreath was larger in size
and I simply added a jute ribbon.
You can see the leaves aren't as plump as fresh,
but can work.

The paint and gloss varnish brought the wreath back to looking fresher and hopefully with care, it will last throughout the season.

From the side you can see, the leaves are glued in place
to cover the Styrofoam.
For Fall I can add a pretty Autumn ribbon or bow.
For Christmas, Holiday ribbon will be perfect.

So that's it, easy isn't it?!?
Hope you try a wreath if you have a tree
maybe using faux leaves if you can find them at a craft shop.

Remember, these wreaths are made with real Magnolia leaves
and will not work with the Saucer Magnolia leaves
from that type of real tree.
Those leaves are just not sturdy enough.

Thanks for stopping by for a little crafting fun.
See you next week.

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Designing Boxes

Hi Friends,
Hope you enjoyed a nice weekend.
We cooled down a few degrees with a few drops of rain over the weekend.
More rain predicted this week and we are hopeful.


Recently I was going through my stash of stuff to redesign, 
 and I always find things I forget I have.

It's like going junkin all over again when I shop my store room.
Some day I'll show you that room positioned next to my studio. 
But today I'll share a few box redesigns I had stashed away.

I forgot how long ago I found this wood box.
Do you do that when you find treasures to create with?

Anyway, I've been on a kick to design with boxes lately so  this was a good re-find!!

Starting with one of my favorite chalk paints in sheepskin,
 I painted the whole wood box inside and out.

The lid just lifts off.
I think it may have had a hinge at one time, but I like the lift off style better.

Adding lots of sanded distress gives it some cottage charm.

Once dry the fun began.

I added lace and burlap ribbon all around the sides.

Lined the inside bottom and inside lid top with a pretty decorative paper
and glitter trim.

Next I added a vintage style postcard graphic to the lid on an angle.

It needed a little something, so I painted a few French roses trailing around.

Sealed all and complete for storing keepsakes, TV remote and more.

Happily this box went off to an on line friend Debbie, in our
Embracing Cottage Style giveaway for June.
So glad it has a home and can be enjoyed!

Here's another box style writing desk I found at the same time.
It was painted gold in it's previous life and I nearly passed it up.

Ivory chalk paint with light pink stripes, graphics and hand painted roses and filler flowers
redesigned this one.

Adding distress all around and aged the hinges a bit more with brown chalk paint.

To the inside I added pretty decorative papers with trim to reflect my painting on the desk top.

This also lives in a new home with Jan from Jan's place.

Another below is still available in my shop.

All in shades of tone on tone whites and creams hand painted with chalk paint inside and out.
The lid is designed with crocheted flowers and painted faux leaves.
Lastly, this jewel box below found a home 
 several more like it have been requested.
I'm always on the search for these treasures.

It's that time of year I'm working on many projects to fill the shelves

While it's still a scorcher here in Texas, 
it's hard to think fall, but I'm trying to work on pumpkins and more.

See you next week.

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Monday, August 8, 2016

Tutorial for Burlap and Roses Wreath

Hey Friends~
It's the second week of August
What does that mean?
If I'm not in the pool, I'm creating.


Burlap roses have been on my "to create" list this week.
Along with white roses, designed from loose petals.
So the fun began with burlap ribbon.
Starting with a 12" round wreath,
I wrapped it with the burlap.

Next I created burlap roses for the wreath
using the same ribbon
folded in half
 then twisted and wrapped to form a rose.
You tube has many tutorials on these roses.

Once completed I moved on to designing white roses
from loose single petals.

These petals are folded and glued in half from the petal bottom up,
twisted tight for the center bud,
then layered around the center to form the rose.
I found the curly petals work best for this project.
These petals have a cotton feel which work better then the 
silky type of petals.
Where did I get these you might ask??
I think Hobby Lobby, Michael's or Jo-Anne's.

Once the flowers are all created,
it's time to add some leaves.

You have seen me paint leaves in other projects
and these will also be painted cottage white.


An easy tip when painting items like this~
Use a piece of cardboard and carpet tape.
Place the leaves or small item on the tape
to hold  it in place and then paint away.

When dry, turn over and paint the backside.
After all the elements are complete
the fun begins
 by placing them on the burlap wrapped wreath.

As you can see, I place the roses and leaves a bit off center.
I find that to be more pleasing to the eye.

I also added natural wood buttons here and there for interest.

To the buttons, I use a sharpie pen to mark where thread would be.
A few hat pins are also added with pearl tops.

Before I go~
below are a few more of my garden inspirations
hand painted for my etsy shop with lots of love.

These goodies including the wreath have found new homes
and I am blessed they might be enjoyed.


See you next week.
Blessings to all.

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