I have spent almost every Christmas of my life in the desert. I have dreamed of a white Christmas but that just is not going to happen in the Valley of the Sun. But I still love the holly, ivy, and evergreens of Christmastime. I still love the smell of a fresh cut Christmas tree and the beauty of a winter wreath. Last year I made my own Christmas wreath but I put a southwestern spin on it. It is actually a pretty easy craft activity that any desert dweller or lover of southwestern style can make. Hang one on your own front door or give one as a gift.
What you will need:
- Artificial pine wreath
- Small terra cotta pots (with hole in bottom)
- Decorative items of your choosing. I used artificial peppers and cacti.
- Hot glue gun
- Wreath hanger
- Start by fluffing up your wreath. They come from the store pretty flattened so just manipulate those branches until the wreath is nice and fluffy.
- Before you start gluing, visualize what you want the wreath to look like.
- Cut or tear small bits of raffia and glue them randomly into the wreath.
- Using the hot glue gun, carefully glue your decorative items into the wreath. Try to place them deep in the wreath so they will be more secure. Be sure to space your items so you will not run out before they are spread throughout.
- Make the bells by folding a piece of raffia in half and knotting it near the end. Insert the raffia loop through the inside of the terra cotta pot so that the knot catches on the inside of the pot. If you wish, write a festive expression or draw on the pots. Now you can glue the pot into the wreath by hanging the raffia loop on a branch, pushing it to the back, and gluing it there.
- Using the raffia, make a big bow and glue it on the wreath. I put mine on the bottom but put yours wherever you like.
- Hang the wreath using a wreath hanger.
- Look at the wreath and admire your work. You did a great job!
A few tips:
- Buy more decorative items then you think you need. You can find a ton of neat things in the floral and wedding section of craft stores like Hobby Lobby. Do not overspend! Look for deals.
- Make sure you glue your items deep into the wreath. It looks better that way and they stay put there.
- Do not obsess about symmetry. Too much symmetry in a wreath feels mass produced and commercial.
- Hot glue is hot so be careful. Also, do not dally too much because it dries fast. Put your items where you want them quickly!
- This wreath will last a long time if you store it right. I store mine in a wreath storage box.
- Have fun. Why not have the kids make miniature versions?