Monday, November 24, 2008

Just in time for Thanksgiving

Okay, so I'm a little late on the bandwagon. And these pictures are not the best in the world. But hey, at least I tried.

Here's a little project that you can have done in about an hour, depending on how many leaves you can catch before they all blow away. Now, this is best done with pressed leaves, but if you're only going to leave it up until after your Thanksgiving guests leave, flat leaves will be fine. It's a Fall/Harvest/Thanksgiving Wreath. About time, don'tcha think?

I was inspired by this picture:

It's in Better Homes and Gardens November issue (2008). I immediately made plans to hunt down some leaves. It wasn't that hard, since this year we've had a particularly spectacular color display for some reason. I heard or read somewhere that if you get a cold spell and then a warm spell (what we call Indian Summer, maybe?), you will get some really great colors. Well, that happened and we got 'em. So I was really excited about grabbing up some great colors.

My kiddo and I headed out to find some in our neighbors' yards since our poor oak tree is not the kind that changes to beautiful red...the leaves just turn dead and fall off. However, for the first time in the 12 years we've been here, our leaves did turn a shade of yellow, which made me very happy since I could use some of my very own leaves in my wreath.

Then I was just hit with a fever...finding all kinds of leaves in all different colors. There was no telling when or where I'd yank the van over to the side of the road (no easy task, I tell you) and hop out to grab a particularly striking leaf. I even crossed traffic to stretch out over a ditch to get a color I hadn't been able to find yet.

Then, when I had enough leaves to make my own forest, I took two really heavy books...

(I like the classics the best...they seem the heaviest) and put the leaves in between the pages and left them like that for a couple of days. Like I said, if you do this now, you can just find some flat leaves for this next step.

Then, take a plate, platter, or whatever you have a plate hanger big enough for, and begin hot gluing the leaves around the platter. I got a $1.25 platter from Old Time Pottery just for this project, but when I'm done, I can just peel all the leaves and glue off and use it for what it was intended for.

Note: make sure you put your plate hanger on your platter before you start gluing. You will end up ripping favorite leaves if you don't. Not that I have any experience in that area. None whatsoever. Nope. Not me.

Second Note: Make sure you have as much junk on your craft table as possible so that you barely have room for your glue gun, much less a whole platter:Recognize that bird, anyone?

Ahem...back to the project at hand...Start at the center (which you choose, by the way) and start gluing leaves up either side of the plate, layering as you go. Make sure you save your favorites for last ones you glue on, or they'll get covered up. Here's a couple of badly shot closeups of me with horrible fingernails gluing on top of an oak leaf for one of my favorite maple leaves:
and keep on going until you have enough to cover the outside rim of the platter. Then take your favorite of all favorite leaves and place it in the very center of where you started:Then, if you want it a little more frou-frou, hot glue a ribbon on the back under the plate rack until you get your desired look. Now, I have to leave a disclaimer here about this next picture. My husband, being the hunter that he is, took the camera to deer camp with him to make sure he had some way to document the massive 12-point he was sure to get. Hasn't happened yet, but he's still got the camera. That being said, I had to resort to my next fastest mode of cell phone. Sigh...please forgive the quality, but you get the idea...
And make sure when you hang it wherever you are going to hang it to have an $.80 clearance garland with the tag still on it underneath the wreath. That just screams HARVEST to me, doesn't it you?

Now, I have to confess that I do have pictures that are better quality than this in my external hard drive, but when I saw them I realized I reeeeeeeeally needed to paint my front door. So you will not get to see either the wreath in HD or my sadly painted door. I know you were just dying to, weren't you?

Anyway, it's really an easy, sweet project that I will repeat next year. And hang it on my freshly painted front door.

Okay, my sweet man just went out in the very c-c-c-old air and retrieved my camera for me just so I could take a couple of pictures. I love him. Anyway, here's a little better picture, albeit still with the "Minnie Pearl" garland (thanks Brandi, that made me LOL!).

And just for kicks, here's a turkey.


Darlene said...

I LOVE that did a great job on it!!! I do see that wonderful little birdie....I have about six of them

Anonymous said...

Well, now, you're plate turned out adorable. Actually, for me, it's the Minnie Pearl garland that makes the whole look complete.

And, when will all the birdies make their home away from the craft table? I seem to remember some wonderful husband creating a special birdie painting device. Can't wait to seem them in all their glory.

Susie from Bienvenue said...

Wow! I love it... I think that is the neatest idea. How are those roosters coming?

4funboys said...

I popped over after I read about your 4th grader 'lovin' math almost as much as mine does...

glad I did!

I love the art.

thanks for sharing...

if you've got any other great ideas... I'm all ears!

Unknown said...

Oh how lovely and so easy and simple.


Kimba said...

Awwww man! I wrote a clever little comment and blogger ate it. Bad blogger. It went something like this...

I love your wreath! What a great idea! I really thought you were going to hot glue the leaves on the bird, though. Now THAT would have been a fun project.

And it reminds me that I need to find my birdies and figure out what to do with them for Christmas.


Darlene said...

Hi Heathahlee,

Hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Jen - Balancing Beauty and Bedlam said...

hee could we forget the little bird...all the little birds...everywhere. :)

Unknown said...

Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy all the southern food for me (I sure miss it)Hmmmm!!!
Hope you are having fun with your sweet family.

Love and smiles, Suzy

The Nester said...

super cute idea!

Happy Thanksgiving weekend!