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?