As I have mentioned plenty before, the holidays are when I turn our dining room table into a month-long crafty workshop. But if I am to be honest here, I have to confess that some years there has been a fine line between happy, crafty jolliness and I-still-want-to-make-how-many-presents-and-stockings-and-cookies mania. So this year, I am embracing an approach to my holiday crafting that I’m calling lo-fi DIY. Because I’m a lo-fi, analog kind of gal – a believer that a little old-fashioned distortion adds charm and texture, while still feeling warm and rich.
Michaels is helping make this holiday adventure possible, for which I am very grateful. So every week marching up to Christmas, I’ll be here getting my lo-fi DIY on. And I hope you'll join along.
First up, the universal symbol that merriment is happening behind this door: a holiday wreath.
As you may have noticed, gray is having a big moment. As are humble materials, in these humble times. And what’s more humble than something you clean and scrub with? So I give you, a steel wool wreath. A little gritty and a whole lot welcoming. The bands of smooth gold ribbon make for a great contrast against the wiry texture of wool. And after the base is in place, you can add greenery, berries, or even a little cluster of jingle bells.
Wire wreath frame
Steel wool in two grades: I used #0000 (super-fine) and #3 (medium course)
Glue dots or regular glue, like Tacky glue
Ribbon (I used ½” width)
Sprig of greenery
Jingle bells (I used 18mm size)
1. Start by wrapping your entire wreath frame in the finer grade steel wool. You should be able to unfold each packet of steel wool so it opens into a rectangle.
2. Place Glue Dots every few inches along one long side of the steel wool. Pull the long side without the Glue Dots around the wire frame, then lay the other wide on top to wrap. Press Glue Dots into place. While you need to encourage the glue dots to stick to the steel wool (they’ll want to cling to the paper since the wool is not an even surface), it’s easy to encourage them onto the wool, and it makes wrapping easy-peasy.
3. Continue until you’ve wrapped the entire frame. At this point, you might be worried that your wreath is going to look like it’s covered in rat fur, but hold your nerve and march onward.
4. Now place the pads of the course steel wool on top, end to end. You can add a line of Glue Dots or regular glue to the underneath of each piece of steel wool.
5. Cut a 10” length of ribbon for each steel wool pad. Wrap it around the frame and tie the ends into a knot at the back of the frame. Trim ends.
6. Continue until the wreath is covered with steel wool, with ribbon securing each piece in place.
7. Wrap the ends of your greenery or berries with a length of floral wire, twisting to keep the sprigs together. To create the jingle bell cluster, cut an 8” length of wire. Thread each bell through the wire, pinch the wire into a U-shape and twist close to the bells to keep them in place.
8. Press the wire tail in between the two layers of steel wool. If you want to make it extra secure, poke the end of the wire through to the back side of the frame and wrap around the wire frame. Repeat with the bells.
Again, I want to offer big, merry, crafty thanks to Michaels for the support (and most of the supplies) for these projects.