Growing up, my mom had a little cave-like space off the garage that she used to create wreaths and sprays (non-circular wreaths, basically). She spent hours at a time messing around with dried plants, her clippers, metal wire and a hot glue gun. My mom and a couple of lady friends would put on an annual holiday “boutique” filled with hand-made treasures of all kinds: silver jewelry (I still have a silver bracelet my mom bought me nearly 30 years ago), confections, clothing, toys, glass ornaments, and wreaths, of course, among other goodies. Even I got in on the action, baking “Hum Yum” brownies and boxing them neatly in parchment and tying with a festive ribbon. I sold them for $5 a box.
My mom sewed, baked, and made her own screen prints long before the maker movement became a “thing.” She is the O.C. (Original Crafter) in my life, and my source for answers to tricky crafting (and especially wreath) questions.
But I never thought I would grow up and make wreaths. Until recently, I didn’t even like wreaths that much. Wreaths are often cheesy and lame, created with plastic holiday-themed trinkets and fake garland. But, like Luke Skywalker, I had to accept my destiny to become who I was meant to be: a wreath maker.
Fall and spring are the busiest seasons for my regular (i.e. paying!) design work. Summer and the holidays… not so much. I like to be busy, and I go nuts when I don’t have projects to dig into. So I channel my energies into home projects and making during slower work times. I experimented with using sparkly things to create a glitter ball wreath and played with yarn-wrapped wreaths that I saw all over Pinterest. I even made a wreath out of Sweethearts. Then I came across a hip and modern wreath here (which was inspired by this one) and decided to make one like it myself (for mom, of course).
This process of making these felt wreaths is very repetitive, and thereby a bit therapeutic. It’s also an opportunity for “distracted engagement” while the kids are doing homework. I started selling them on Etsy, and since have shipped wreaths as far as England, Canada and Australia. It feels like validation of my craft and also financially supports my “hobby” (which, considering it’s barely a break-even, is how I like to look at it). The great thing about not being motivated by profit is that I am accountable only to my creative self. I can make whatever I want! It’s a bonus if someone wants to buy the outcome of my labor; it feels like an honor if another human being wants to hang my work in his or her home.
Lately I’ve been making felt “petal” wreaths. This one is for Easter:
Here’s a close-up:
I’m also super excited to create some of the cool wreaths found in the Wreath Recipe Book, written by a couple of talented plant lovers at Studio Choo, that I received as a gift:
What I love about the wreaths in this book is that they feel organic but modern, like me! Maybe this “recipe” book of woody, wonderful creations will provide new material for the wreath evolution. Bring on the wire and twine… it’s my destiny to wield a glue gun.