Monday, December 14, 2015

Making a Jingle Bell Wreath


One of my favorite images on my Pinterest Christmas board is that of a jingle bell wreath from the Martha Stewart website. This year I decided to make one, or should I say I decided to ask my handy husband to make one. He's such a good sport. When I say I'm not very good at crafts, I mean it. I get really frustrated when things don't turn out as I want them to (see bow above as example A).

Naturally, Martha uses fancy, expensive bells from a specialty store in New York City to make her wreath. Not having such a resource nearby, we visited a couple of local crafts stores, finding some decent ones at Hobby Lobby. They are shinier and less expensive than the ones we saw at Michael's. I bought two containers of 20mm bells (150 total) for only $6.98 (they were 50% off). At Michael's the same amount of slightly smaller bells (18mm) would have cost $21.


Paul bought 16 gauge galvanized wire at Home Depot. He paid $6 and some change for a 200-ft. roll. We ended up with enough bells for two wreaths and spent less than $14 on supplies.
 

How to make a jingle bell wreath:

Step 1: Cut a 19" length of 16 gauge wire (tip: measure a length of string, then run the string along the wire to get the same length without having to straighten the curved wire). Using jeweler's pliers or small needle nose pliers, make a small eye on one end of the wire. 


Step 2: Start threading the bells onto the wire, twisting them in needed to get them to nest snugly together.



Step 3: When you have strung as many bells on the wire as you can, form the other end of the wire into a small hook and insert the hook into the eye on the other end of the wire.



Next it was my turn to embellish the wreath with a bow (Paul draws the line at bow tying!). My mom was an excellent bow maker. Clearly I didn't inherit that gene. I have lots of nice ribbon, but I always end up making the simplest of bows. For this wreath, I wanted it to look special, but I knew it wouldn't turn out like Martha's. 

The first bow I made was the silvery one below. Paul thought it looked great, but I wasn't completely happy with it (oh, the joys of being a perfectionist). There's a crease in the tail on the right side which bothered me, and it didn't look as pretty as I had hoped (though I must say it does look rather nice in the photo). 


I returned to my ribbon box and found a satiny gold ribbon, which I thought coordinated well with the brass hardware around the door knob. Paul helped me attach it to the wreath with some fishing line, which worked perfectly. 


What kinds of crafts are you making this holiday?
 

10 comments:

  1. Hi Claudia, These are so charming and your instructions are very good. There are lots of bow making instructions on You Tube if you want to work on your technique but I always prefer the simpler bows anyway. I made huge bows for the large wreaths at the entry of our neighborhood this year, wired ribbon makes bow making much easier. I recycle old ribbon, I press any creases or bends with an iron. You can press out the creases by putting a handkerchief or linen dish towel over the metallic ribbon. Hobby Lobby is so much better priced that Michael's any day, they also have good coupons.

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    1. Thanks, Cindy. So nice to hear from you! I appreciate the tip on ironing ribbon. I'll give it a try!
      Claudia

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  2. Years ago when Martha made this, I too was going to make one but couldn't find jingle bells in an affordable price range... Lucky for me Martha sold one of these as part of her holiday line at Kmart one year and I scooped a couple up! Perhaps with a local Hobby Lobby of my own now I can make a larger one!
    ~Chris

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Chris. The two containers of bells we bought at Hobby Lobby made two 7" wreaths and one 6". I'm going to head back to the store for more bells so we (I mean, Paul) can make more wreaths.

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  3. So charming - want onw!! Okay, Paul needs to make a few of those to sell on Etsy. Jingle, Jingle! Merry Christmas to you all - xoxo, L

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    1. Wonderful to hear from you, Loi. Merry Christmas to you. And I told Paul I'm going to put him to work making more wreaths. Maybe an Etsy store is in our future! If only I had more time ...
      Claudia

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  4. I love this! I'm going to make some for gifts. Thanks for the excellent instructions and buying tips. Your bows are actually very pretty

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    1. Thank you for visiting, and thanks for the compliment on my bows. I appreciate that!
      Claudia

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  5. Love this! I have the Martha Stewart's wreath book and I love it. I need to try making this next year! I found you via Loi!
    ~Janine

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    1. Welcome, Janine. I'm so glad you found my blog (and thank you, Loi, for listing me on your site). Merry Christmas!
      Claudia

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