|My Dad with his childhood erector set|
Spotted these in the fern room at the Lincoln Park Conservatory the other day. I think they are there to illustrate that these plants date back to the time of the dinosaurs, which is indeed impressive, but dude, seriously, IS THIS A COOL IDEA OR WHAT?!
I’ll tell you something–soon as my postage stamp garden plot pops up next month, I’m planting a couple of dinosaurs.They are like prehistoric garden gnomes.
Long time ago I started a holiday tradition of making one wreath each year dedicated to one person/place/event. It doesn’t need to be fancy or frilly, just made from components that remind me of something wonderful. I hope, as years past, my home will be filled with oodles of nifty wreaths, each with a story to tell. So far I have 10 and counting. I try to make them in between Christmas and New Years, the time of year reserved for family and reflection and eating pie for breakfast.
I’ll save the story behind this year’s wreath, but, let me tell you: this sucker is snazzy. Like Pee-Wee’s Playhouse style snazzy. And, get this, it’s functional! You can even hang it up all year round.
Snazzy + Non-Seasonal + Totally Functional = Awesomeness.
This wreath is like the velour sweatpants of home décor.
I know you want it.
The idea of making a cookie cutter wreath came from this project in Better Homes and Gardens. It’s a lovely piece, but it doesn’t really allow you to use the cookie cutters once they are incorporated in the wreath. Sure, sure, that’s fine for someone who has antique pieces that are no longer in use, but what about my green plastic stegosaurus cookie cutter? If I glue him in a wreath, that would mean no more stegosaurus stamped pie crust. Can I live without stegosaurus stamped pie crust? Hello no.
So what am I going to do? I am going to use the wire branches to create little loop pockets where I can insert Mr. Stegosaurus. This way I can reach in and pull him out any time I want. Beat that!
* Cookie Cutters
* Wire based tinsel wreath. The branches need to be the sort of sturdy wire you can bend and mold easily. Just about any cheapy faux greenery wreath will work. I picked up this pink number in the dollar section at Target. Suppose you could also have fun painting an old wreath you have laying around the garage. And yes, I saw your garage, I know you have an old wreath lying around. PS: I borrowed your camping thermos. Thanks!
Prepare yourself, this could get complicated.
Step 1. place your cookie cutter on the wreath.
Step 2: use the wire branches to twist in the cookie cutters
Step 3: repeat
Step 4: get a diet coke and take a load off. This is exhausting.
Step 5: insert a thumb tack on your wall and hang it up.
Whew! We made it!
The really nice thing about this is that the wreath is 100% functional. I know it seems odd to think of a Christmas wreath as an organizing tool, but hey, think twice! Those little branches are sturdy yet super flexible. Perfect for gripping things that you don’t access everyday, but don’t necessarily want to relegate to the basement or under the bed.
When I was a kid my mom clipped all my hair barrettes and ribbons onto a tacky old wax grape wreath she picked up at a garage sale. It hung in my room and I stared at it every night wondering what barrette I would wear the next day. Pink and green polka dots bows or the Raggedy Ann clips?
Unfortunately, scrunchies came into fashion and the wreath got thrown away. Still, I look back now and realize what a smart idea my mother had back then. To this day I have never seen another quite like it. Now I think about it, there are so many things you could organize and/or display using a wire wreath….kitchen utensils, measuring spoons, pens and pencils, legos, beanie babies, barbie dolls….the possibilities are endless.
Have fun. Have fun Y’all!
PS: In combing through my cookie cutter collection, I found one that I cannot identify. Can anyone tell what this is? It does not appear to be bent or damaged in any way. I think it might be a platypus. Or a matinee. Ideas?
Oh, how I love me some party hats. I jump at any excuse to make them and wear them…
Birthdays = Party Hats
New Year’s Eve = Party Hats
Good haircut = Party Hats
Bad haircut= Party Hats
Visit to the dermatologist = Party Hats
Discovered the cat likes Barry Manilow music = Party Hats
There is never a bad occasion. Never. And I’m not just talking about kid’s parties either; adults enjoy part hats just as much, if not more! Well, maybe not all adults. Maybe just the cool ones.
The nice thing about party hats is they lend a sense of occasion to any location. When my friend Noeleen had her birthday party at a restaurant last summer, decorations weren’t really an option. Too much fuss. So, we brought the party to the table and wore the decorations on our heads. So what if the other tables looked at us funny? Fun was had by all!
Not long ago I was down South celebrating Abigail’s first birthday. Of course, there needed to be custom hats. And of course, everyone wore one except Abigail. Apparently, baby does not like anything touching her head, not even a custom party hat! Oh well, she had plenty of fun looking at all the adults looking like goofy Carmen Miranda types.
There are lots of ways to make custom party hats, but I find the easiest, sturdiest, and least expensive bases are those latex foam visors you find at craft stores. I try to stock up when they are on sale, buying a bag of ten for $4.00 or so. You can also use disposable paper party tiaras from earlier parties, or anything that will sit securely on the head. I have even used paper cups in the past….just make due with what you have.
Embellishments are unlimited! The secret is to find one or two lightweight elements that take up a lot of space + one or two sparkly/unique elements that will stick out from the pack. The foam rubber is especially nice because you can piece it with pipe cleaners or silk flowers, but glue and duct tape will also get the job done.
Think about incorporating…
- Letters and Numbers (Hello 2011! Or what about celebrating Alex’s Birthday by putting one big A on one hat + L on another, etc etc.)
- Plastic bottles cut into flowers
- Coloring book pages
- Feather boas cut to bits
- Silk flowers
- Paper doilies
- Holiday tinsel garland
- Small toys
- Tulle netting
- Monopoly money
- Playing cards
Just about anything in your waste bin that doesn’t smell or stick to your show can be used to make nifty hats!
Y’all have fun!
PS: Just as I was about to post this, I saw this wonderful article from Tatertots & Jello featuring 20 fabulous party hats. Check it out!
|Bubba, Kerry and Abigail celebrate the day in style! Abigail was fascinated by all the adults wearing hats on her birthday, but they only one she would put on her own head that day was the pink monster (a gift from Uncle John). Kerry took the party hats home afterwards –she thinks they will come in handy in the doctor’s office. Can’t you just imagine your childhood doctor administering shots in a kickbutt hat like this?!|