Yep, that's right--it's been a true crafting affair around these parts, some projects even involving NO SEWING MACHINE. Can you even imagine?
Carla has been busy whipping up a fun holiday skirt for her daughter... and some hand-sewn felt ornaments based on a few she found on Pinterest. Wouldn't these be fun to make with older kids? I cooked up two ornament wreaths shown above to hang on the windows in the dining room. I took advantage of some last call sales on holiday decor to stock up on the bulbs, got out the hot glue gun and voila! Only 2 hours later I was ready to snap the final photos. Here's the step by step breakdown on making the wreaths.
Select color-coordinated bulbs in varying sizes (1.5-2.5" in diameter). In the case of the smaller wreaths I made, I found some larger beads (.5-1" in diameter) to use to fill in the gaps between the bulbs. Since you'll be layering the ornaments, you could use some less than perfect (eg "ugly") bulbs on the base layer without much showing through. I estimate I used about 50 bulbs for each small wreath, plus another 20 or so beads to fill in gaps.
You will also need the aforementioned glue gun and a wreath base. I used green styrofoam wreaths and covered them with 2" wide strips of fabric. (I was using up fabric, so ended up with the multi-colored look you see below.) Though you won't see much of the underlying wreath, enough will show through so that you'll want it to look presentable. Tie a short piece of string around the wreath through which you can later feed the ribbon. Note, it is much easier to do this at this stage rather than after you've started affixing the bulbs.
Glue on the largest bulbs first--be cognizant that you evenly distribute them around the wreath, taking care also to evenly distribute colors and textures. I applied the hot glue to the bulb, then placed the bulb on the fabric. Man, did that glue set up the second it made contact with the fabric, so be sure to know exactly where you want each bulb before applying the glue.
Once you have the base layer of larger bulbs, start working the smaller bulbs in and around the larger bulbs. I tried to nestle the "necks" on the bulbs underneath (eg toward the fabric). I thought it could be distracting if they all faced up, though I did leave a few facing upward for variety.
As you glue, it is important to step back and look at your wreath as it takes form to make sure you've kept symmetry among the quadrants and to fill any noticeable gaps. I also found it helpful to hang the wreath in its intended spot in the window temporarily so I could see it in context. I modified some bulb placements based on the fact that the wreath sat lower than eye level and, if standing close to it, you look upon the wreath at a downward angle. Based on this, I added more bulbs on the inside bottom of the center opening.
Not bad for a morning's work. I think I may make a few of these next year for the kids' bedroom doors--what do you think?
~Erin & Carla
PS Just in case you were starting to think that Carla and I are impervious to failure, I present to you Exhibits A and B, When Holiday Crafts go Terribly, Terribly Wrong: