Every now and then, when the cognitive pressures of being a teacher and a student at the same time became overwhelming, I would practice what I called “Craft Therapy.” The art of creating something with my hands, whether it be a poster for my classroom, or wrapping Christmas presents with unique designs and handmade bows, relieved a lot of that pressure, not to mention, helping me meet the next intellectual puzzle with a pair of fresh eyes and an unencumbered mind.
Recently, temperatures have dipped into the 60s and 70s here in Lafayette, so it has finally felt like fall. That, combined with the demands of graduate school, prompted me to visit the local craft stores. I had initially gone in to peruse their wares, but I was soon entranced by the wafting scent of cinnamon-dusted pine cones and pumpkin-spice candles.
My first project was to make a wreath to go on my front door. I’ve always thought that the ready-made wreaths were really kitschy and did not necessarily reflect my style…plus, they are usually really expensive! When that happens, it’s time to DIY!
So for materials, I picked up a grapevine wreath at Joanne’s Fabrics for 4.99. (Side note: There’s a great post on re-purposing a thrift store wreath here…wish I thought of that before buying a blank canvas!)
Anyway, they were also having a sale on silk flowers, and I had a %50 off coupon (which I downloaded right onto my iPhone while in the store–thank you, technology!). I like the mix of berries and flowers, especially in the burnt orange and yellow color scheme which both invoke feelings of autumn and contrast nicely against the brown vines of the wreath.
I started by trimming the flowers and berries off of the plastic stalks. I left some of the greenery in tact, but not too much as I didn’t want the wreath to be completely covered.
Then it’s time to play with spacing. I had actually purchased a glue gun for this project, but I found that by keeping the cuttings at least 3-4 inches in length, I could easily weave them into the vines of the wreath. The greenery I left a little longer so that it would have a sweeping effect around the wreath. I also think it looks nice to have some of it hanging off the sides. Remember, when making something like this, it’s not about measuring out exact distances. It’s about making the space feel full, while not feeling too circumscribed. Let some of the flowers cluster and some of the berries fall over the side.
This is what the final wreath looked like (the good part about not having to glue, is that I can move any piece if I feel like one side is lacking).
Like how I used the scratching post as a prop there:-)
Here’s the finished product outside. I decided to hang it on the screen door, as you really couldn’t see it through the screen (even though it looked lovely against the red of the main door).
To round out the fall-ification of our front porch, I bought some mums (on sale at Home Depot for $4 each) which added a much needed pop of color and “hominess” to the entryway.
Here are some more ideas for easy fall decorations for your front door:
If you have some more time on your hands and really feel like challenging yourself in the craft arena, here are some more DIY wreaths to tickle your fancy: