Fall Leaf Garland

 

A big, beautiful garland is a great way to decorate your mantel, banister, balcony, or (if you don’t have any of those things) hutch.  Buying one can cost close to $30 plus shipping at Afloral (my favorite place to buy silk flowers online) or as much as $80 at Hobby Lobby (which, FYI, has very reasonable shipping prices, last time I checked).  I made mine for $13 thanks to a great tutorial I found on Pinterest.  And I didn’t even have to buy grapevine.

 

Inspiration

(Source)

 

Unlike most of the other DIY garlands I looked up, this one is full, lush, and looks realistic – and it is a cinch to make!

 

Process

You can click the link under the picture for the tutorial, or you can just read on.

 

You will need:

 

– fake leaves (make sure they are the kind with a hole in the stem – see picture below) – I used four bunches that I found at Walmart for $3 each

– twine or yarn

– large-ish needle (it has to be large enough to accommodate your twine/yarn, but small enough to go through the hole in the leaf stems without pulling on the plastic)

– any embellishments you want – I used pinecones from my mom’s backyard and some little foam vegetable things from the Dollar Tree ($1 pack of 5 vegetables)

 

Sorry for the blurriness, but hopefully you can see the hole in between the leaf stems – this is what you need because it’s how you thread the leaves on the garland.

 

Step 1.  Measure your yarn (or twine) – I made my garland about 3 yards long – thread your needle, and knot it.  Make sure the knot is large enough that the leaves won’t slip off the end.

 

Step 2.  Take the leaves off their bunches and start threading.  I had two different colored bunches – a yellowish-greenish-brownish bunch and a reddish-orangeish-yellowish bunch – so I alternated.

 

 

Step 3.  Keep going until you run out of leaves.  Really, it’s that simple.

 

This is the point at which I diverged from the tutorial.  The tutorial above was, strictly speaking, for a garland to put on the outside of a house.  Mine was to put on top of my hutch (someday mantel, I hope), and I noticed that when I strung the leaves tightly together until the stems touched, the resulting garland was very, very thick:

 

Not only did that mean I would need more leaves to make my 9′ garland (remember, the goal here was to save money), but I wasn’t sure it would lay right on my hutch.  So I just spread the leaves out a little.

 

 

It may not look like it in the picture, but I thought it looked better.  So I kept working that way until I was out of leaves.

 

 

Step 4.  Add your embellishments.  I used Tacky Glue to add my pinecones directly to the yarn, but to glue the little vegetables to the leaves, hot glue is a better option.  I also coated my vegetables in Mod Podge and sprinkled them with green glitter for a little sparkle.

 

Result

I’m very proud of my garland!  And it was so easy to make, there’s no reason why you couldn’t do it too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall Ribbon Wreath

 

Fall is coming, and as I browse Pinterest I am getting more and more excited about decorating my small apartment for the season and its holidays.  I thought I’d start by trying my hand at making a ribbon wreath.  Since I didn’t actually look for a tutorial, I completely made up my design, and although I’m happy with how my wreath turned out, I don’t recommend you follow my method.  Instead, I recommend this step-by-step tutorial.

 

A beautiful wreath can cost a minimum of $20 and upwards of $100 if you buy it.  My wreath cost less than $10 to make with the following items:

 

– wreath form from the Dollar Tree, $1

(I used a wooden form because I didn’t know what I was doing; you should use styrofoam for a ribbon wreath, and they sell those at the Dollar Tree too)

– four spools of wide ribbon,  also from the Dollar Tree – $4

(You will probably need more ribbon than this if you use the tutorial I posted – the more ribbon you have, the fuller and richer your wreath looks.  The spools at the Dollar Tree only have 3 yards of ribbon each, so look for spools that have more than that.  If you want to order online, I highly recommend JKM Ribbon – and BBCrafts – great selection and amazing prices).

– sunflower bunch from Walmart, $3

– one spool of goldish 3/4″ ribbon from the Dollar Tree, $1 (I later took this off to use elsewhere; it didn’t add much)

– thin wire I had on hand

(the tutorial I posted uses straight pins – trust me, don’t do it my way)


Total: $9

 

In case you want to know, what I did was I wired loops of ribbons together and wired them onto my wreath.  It was time-consuming and poky, and while again, I’m happy with the overall result, I think it would have been much easier and less painful if I had used a styrofoam wreath form and pinned the ribbons (in bunches) onto the wreath.  I’ll try it that way come Christmas.

Tissue Paper Pumpkins

Holidays are all about people coming together, and one of my favorite parts of decorating is sharing ideas with other people.  I got the idea for this project from a total stranger in Walmart!  Thank you!

Inspiration

While browsing Pinterest (again) for decorating ideas, I came across a site that has 50 (count ’em) pumpkin crafts – basically 50 different ways to make pumpkins out of things that are not pumpkins.  This one was my favorite:

(Source)

 

This project uses fabric to create the look of a pumpkin.  It’s a fairly inexpensive project (if you can find large quilting squares for a good price), but while I was looking for fabric squares at Walmart and telling my mom about this project, a lady in the same aisle said she’d seen the same craft done with tissue paper – much cheaper!  I thanked her and switched gears.  Thanks to her, I was able to recreate this craft for free.

 

Process

For each pumpkin, you will need:

– 1 roll of toilet paper (the larger the better)

– 1 sheet of orange tissue paper

– green tissue paper

– brown paper (a brown paper bag works)

– Scotch or double-stick tape

 

My mom supplied the orange tissue paper (she’s a schoolteacher so there is lots of tissue paper at her school) and brown paper bag, but I already had the rest of the supplies.  You might have everything you need lying around your house, especially if you are the kind of person who saves tissue paper after opening presents.

 

Step 1. Fold your tissue paper in half and place the toilet paper in the center.

 

 

Step 2.  Fold one corner of the tissue paper up and stuff the end into the toilet paper tube, keeping the tissue paper as close to the toilet paper as possible.

 

 

Step 3.  Tuck an adjacent corner into the tube the same way, folding excess paper underneath to hide it.

 

 

 

Step 4.  Fold in a third side, leaving one corner.

 

 

Step 5. Fold in the last corner.  Remember to tuck all the excess paper underneath your folds so it doesn’t stick out.

 

 

Step 6.  Cut a large strip of brown paper – about the same size as copy paper is plenty – and fold it in half lengthwise.

 

Step 7.  Roll the paper into a cylinder.

 

 

Step 8. Twist the tube like you’re wringing out a washcloth.

 

 

Step 9.  Stuff the brown paper into the center of your pumpkin.  The excess tissue paper will make the hole small enough to hold your “stem” in place.

 

 

Step 10.  Cut out a leaf shape in green tissue paper.  I tried this freehand and it was awful, so since I didn’t have a leaf pattern with me, I traced the shape of a leaf from one of my silk flower arrangements.  If you want to use my pattern, click on the picture below to view it larger, then right-click it and save.

 

 

Step 11. Tape the leaf onto the pumpkin.  Ta-da!

 

 

I made three pumpkins using two  shades of orange tissue paper.  Since I wanted all three pumpkins to look a little different, I put polka-dots on one sheet.  You can fancy up your tissue paper by adding a design of your own.

 

 

In other news, I’ve been taking pictures with my almost 3-year-old cell phone, which is not what it used to be.  I’d use my camera, but it’s twice as old and takes pictures twice as slowly.  Maybe someday I’ll have a new camera; until then, bear with me. ^_^