Homemade Christmas Gifts

Posted by  | Monday, October 19, 2009  at 10:47 AM  
Hey POH Readers! Feels so good to be back blogging after the birth of our second daughter Mattie. It's a little challenging, hence the reason I'm late with this post, but I love POH and I love it challenges me in so many areas.

This week is dedicated to Homemade Christmas Gifts. I will post something new throughout the week. Today is a gift you can give early, around Thanksgiving or at the beginning of December, a homemade FRESH wreath. I love making these, for they are absolutey affordable and quality at the same time.

Disclaimer: Your fingertips will get black because of the sap, so definitely slap on some latex gloves. I didn't mind it too much because I wasn't headed anywhere, and my hands just smelt so good!

Step 1: Go to walmart in the " fake flower" section and buy a grapevine wreath. I couldn't find the grapvine wreaths in the Christmas section. This is the biggest secret to making the fresh wreath, because it's the grapevine wreath that gives you your perfectly round shape. The wreaths cost around $2.50 or $2.99, pretty good for something you can reuse every year.

Step 2: Wal-mart fabric: Skip on over to the by the yard section and look in their reduced "scraps" section. You won't need even a yard of material, so the scrap section is perfect for what you need. Just look for anything that looks Christmas-y. I found a green and bright red plaid material that was .44. I also found some shimery gold material and some maroon material. It was perfect. Even less than 1/4 yard will do.

Step 3: Wal-mart: While you're at Wal-mart, be sure you pick up a wreath hanger. They are hidden in Wal-mart too. They are around $2.00. They are in the wedding/scrap book/craft section, believe it or not. I didn't see any in the Christmas section. I've seen them in black or gold. I used gold because of my gold pieces of material and my bow.

Step 4: Do you have wire ribbon? At Michaels, I found a huge spool of 100 feet of wide, wire ribbon on sale for $3.99. Do you know how many ribbons you can make with that?!? You can get it at Wal-mart too. Just be sure that it's wire and wide. You will also need wire clippers and a spool of wire. These items will last year after year.

Step 5: Go to Lowes or Home Depot and ask where their free tree limbs are. There should be a box out front with "free" on it(at Lowes). If you ask them, they will bag up in a net the limbs that you want. The Lowes worker told me to take both HUGE boxes and of course, I didn't need them, but he did offer to bag up what I did want, using the same plastic net they put on your trees when you buy them. The fun part is that it's free!!!

Step 6: Once you're home, get out all of your needed materials(see list below) and find an open space in a garage or outside. You don't want to get sap on your carpet or rugs :

  • fabric
  • fabric scissors
  • hand-held twig cutter (borrow one from your neighbor)
  • wire cutters (or buy a spool of wire with the cutter attached)
  • tree limbs
  • grapevine wreath

Step 7: Stuff your cut limbs in one direction into grapevine wreath, meaning you want all of the limbs pointing in one direction all the way around the wreath, so you'll be turning your wreath one direction the whole time. No hot-glue gun needed. :) It's okay if you have crazy twigs pointing in all directions...you'll shape it up when you're done.

Step 8: Lay aside your wreath after stuffing it. Take out your fabric and your fabric scissors. Cut your fabric into 1" strips(wide) and about 4" long(I'm guessing). Not too long because you want the ties to be perky...no drooping allowed. You will feel like you can't tie them easily but it's the perfect length. My strips were too long at first and it didn't look as good. You can use one color, two colors dispersed separately all over the wreath or tie them together. I liked the look of tying two colors together in one knot. But then again, I liked the diversity of having two colors separately dispersed all over the wreath too.

Step 9: Making the bow. Either buy one or google bow tutorial. For now, just get your materials.

Step 10: Attach your ribbon bow to your wreath using the wire with which you made the bow.

Step 11: Shape up all of the straying twigs. You want some random twigs, but the bigger ones you want to clip off.

Ta-dah! You're now ready to hang it! Using your wreath hanger, hang your beautiful, fresh wreath up for all to see.

These make great gifts!!!


Terra Jones said...

Hollie - this is gorgeous! My grandmother makes these every year, but nothing fantastical as that! Beautiful!!!! :)

Abby Webster said...

I dont understand the twigs... I really may do this for my MIL for Christmas and give it to her on Thanksgiving... what are the twigs in your picture? what is the logic behind them? sorry if I sound like a doofus, I'm just now trying to exercise my crafty-ness..

ChezDeshotels said...


Thanks for the free info I make these but had never known I could get the greenery for free. Awesome. Also just another tip or idea you can use these for a centerpiece for a table and put a big pillar candle in the center or you can add a vase with christmas balls in it for the center. We actually did these with candles for all the table centerpieces for my wedding reception and know I make some every year!

Thanks Hollie I am so excited about this week

Hugh & Hollie Carson said...

Fantastic question! I wasn't very clear. The twigs are greenery that are cut off the bottom of people's christmas trees when they buy them at Lowes or home depot. The bottoms of the trees are usually cut off so people have a fresh cut that isn't sapped over. They put the clippings or twigs they cut off in a box that is free for the taking.

Angelia Carson said...

Two questions:
(1) How do you keep the sap from getting on your front door when you hang the wreath? (I have always only used an artificial wreath)
(2) When tying the scraps of fabric, are you just knotting them around the pine twigs?
You have inspired me to try a craft!

Hugh & Hollie Carson said...

Here are the answers to your questions:
(1) How do you keep the sap from getting on your front door when you hang the wreath? I guess it saps over fairly quickly because it never drips or gets on the door. But if you are concerned about it, leave it on your front porch for a day and let the sap harden.

(2) When tying the scraps of fabric, are you just knotting them around the pine twigs?
Yes, just knotting them around the twigs. Nothing special. But you could really decorate your wreath however you'd like. This is just one way.

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