Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas on the Homefront - DIY Holiday Wreath

Homefront Team Member Camelot's Treasures is sharing a special DIY tutorial on making a special Holiday Wreath for your family!  Be sure to check out her lovely handmade doll clothes at her shop on your next visit to Etsy.

DIY Holiday Wreath Tutorial from Camelot's Treasures
After so many moves the past few years, our family Christmas wreath wasn't able to stand up to all the packing and unpacking.  So this year, the kids and I decided we were going to try our hand at making our own wreath.  After several hours scouring over inspirational ideas on Pinterest and getting overwhelmed with all the different ways, we decided the best way to go about it was to just jump in and get our hands dirty.  Maybe we can even inspire you a little for your very own wreath - and we only spent about $5!

Our choices abounded!
So first off, I went through several of boxes that were actually "donated" to me from my parents last year (I tend to be the "hand-me-down" of everything, I think mainly because they don't want it cluttering up their house anymore).  We had satin balls, lots or garland, plenty of plastic balls, etc; so a lot to choose from.  OH, and I bribed my son to bring me all the pine cones from the yard all year long - it was 10 cents a pine cone, and I think we ended up with about 30.
The day before I pulled out the decorations, I purchased a Styrofoam wreath from Walmart that cost us about $5.  It's the 12 or 14 inch one.  (That was the only thing I actually payed for for this entire project.)
After we went through all of our stuff, we came up with several feet of green garland and several little decorations.
We hot glued the end of the garland to one spot and just started wrapping until we felt that our wreath was at a satisfactory plushness.  This is definitely an opinion - you can do more or less, just make sure you cover all of the wreath so you can't see the white (or whatever color your wreath is).  I think we used about 3 yards of garland.

He's having fun wrapping the wreath, can't you tell?

Here's the fullness we achieved on our wreath.

Next, we did a dry run on the placement of our chosen decorations.  Be sure that you get it to look the way you want before you attach them with hot glue or twist ties.  We used a glue gun, partly because I <3 my glue gun, partly because my 6 year old thinks it's the coolest craft tool I own, but mostly because it was readily available.

We "debated" strategic placement of all the decorations.

After about an hour and a half of creating, we had made our self this pretty wreath. We were pretty satisfied!  I even added a little dangle that hung in the middle of the wreath, using 3 ornaments and a little string knotted around the top of the wreath.  The "hanger" is just a pretty ribbon we found at the Dollar Tree, tied around the top of the wreath, and tied in a bow at the top.

Viola!  A Wreath Creation!

Here are some easy tips on how to plan your OWN Holiday Wreath:
1.  Get wreath form (you can get these at any craft or hobby department or store)
2.  Check out your stash of decorations - you never know what you can use up!
3.  Use natural accents - pine cones, twigs, acorns, etc are all around you; take advantage of these cheap decorations!
4.  Enlist your whole family to help make your creation.
5.  Set aside a couple of hours to plan and create your project.
6.  Have fun - this wreath may only cost a few bucks, but it will be a priceless addition to your holiday decorations!

A close-up of our wreath on our front door

Be sure to keep checking back to this blog all month long for other great recipes and holiday tutorials from our Homefront Team members!  And remember to search "homefrontetsy" on Etsy to see all the great handmade items offered by our shops.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Christmas on the Homefront - Glen's World Famous Fudge

What is the holiday's without a little food?!

As military families around the world, sometimes we have trouble being with our families and friends during the holidays.  However, a lot of people find that celebrating familial traditions helps bring our loved ones closer, with a grocery store trip just around the corner!

This month, some of our Homefront Team members, will share with you special recipes that they share with their loved ones during this festive time of year!  We hope that you enjoy testing them out, and maybe adding them to your own box of traditions.

Our first recipe this month is from Glen of Glen's Workshop.  Glen offer's handcrafted bullet pens and fine wood crafts.

Glen is sharing is "World Famous Fudge" recipe - "This is an easy, fool proof, quick recipe which produces the best tasting fudge I know.  I have made this recipe for more than 20 years and have never had a failed batch.  The key to this fudge is the final ingredient."

Share Glen's world Famous fudge.pdf - 380 KB

Be sure to keep checking back to this blog all month long for other great recipes and holiday tutorials from our Homefront Team members!  And remember to search "homefrontetsy" on Etsy to see all the great handmade items offered by our shops.