Sweetgum Holiday Wreath

My mom used to change the Christmas holiday decorations every year.  Every year, there was a new theme with new homemade decorations.  It appears that I have the same condition.

Last year, I made an amazing Paper Cone Christmas Wreath.  However, I saw this wreath from Martha Stewart and had to make something similar. I gathered as many sweetgum balls as I could from those that fell on our balcony [I refused to pick any off the ground due to the neighbors with dogs].  I ended up with 2 gallon-sized freeze bags full of sweetgum balls and this beautiful wreath.

My sweetgum ball holiday wreath

What I used:

  • 10 inch straw wreath
  • 2 gallon-sized freeze bags full of sweetgum balls
  • Floral wire cut in 1.5 to 2 inch pieces
  • 2 cans of metallic gold spray paint
  • 1 container of coarse glitter
  • 2 inch wide ribbon
  • Hot Glue gun
  • Optional: latex gloves for spray painting

What I did:

  1. Cut off the sweetgum ball stems. Hot glue one piece of floral wire into one of the sweetgum ball holes.  Let dry.

    Sweetgum balls with floral wire

  2. In a ventilated and prepared area, spray paint the sweetgum balls.  Sprinkle glitter on a portion of the balls immediately after they are spray painted.

    Spray paint & glitter

  3. Spray paint the wreath.  This ensures that any holes from the placement of the sweetgum balls will not look awkward.
  4. Insert the floral wire into the wreath.  Be careful when you do this or the wire will bend.  Bent floral wire is harder to insert into the straw wreath than straight wire.  I only inserted sweetgum balls into the front of my wreath to ensure that it hung flat against the door.

    Almost complete

  5. Hot glue ribbon to the back of the wreath.  Let dry.

    Ribbon mission complete!

  6. Hang and enjoy!

    Glitter, gold, and red make for a beautiful holiday season!

    Hipstamatic Print of the Sweetgum Ball Wreath

DIY: Valentine’s Day Wreath

After making a unique wreath for Christmas, I wanted to make something adorable for other holidays. This is our Valentines Day wreath.

I Wanna Hold Your Hand

Materials Needed:

  • Size 2 knitting needles
  • A frame
  • Ribbon (any variety, any size – you pick)
  • Pink or Red worsted yarn (I used Loops & Threads Impeccable Solids in Rogue and some yarn from Cosymakes Knitting Kits)
  • Black  worsted yarn (at least 24 inches in length)
  • Embroidery floss in the desired eye color
  • Yarn needle
  • Batting (Poly Fil)
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun

Preparing for Hot Glue


  1. Remove any backing or glass from the frame. Make sure that everything is removed  so that the frame will lay properly on the door or wall.
  2. Knit 2 hearts using Anna Hrachovec’s free heart pattern and size 2 knitting needles.  You must make 4 sides for 2 hearts.  Do not felt these pieces.

    One heart down, One heart to go

  3. Sew the hearts together and stuff with batting.
  4. Embroider eyes as desired.  I used the Japanese anime style of happy eyes and used our eye colors to designate us.

    Blue eyes for me, Brown eyes for Z

  5. Thread your yarn needle with black yarn.  Insert the needle into one heart just a little below the eyes and push the needle through.  These will be the arms for the hearts.  Cut the yarn with a very long tail.
  6. Repeat #5 for the second heart.
  7. Knot the ends of the black yarn between the hearts. Determine the amount of hang you want between the hearts when the wreath is hanging.
  8. Hot glue the other end of the black yarn to the  frame.
  9. At this point, practice hanging the wreath to see how your hearts will hang.  If needed, hot glue the hearts to the frame.
  10. Hot glue the ribbon to the frame.
  11. Let cool, hang, and enjoy!

    Ta-da! Cooling down before hanging!

    A bit blurry, but shows the effect

    Hipstamic View of the Wreath


Paper Cone Christmas Wreath

Sharing a home with Z makes me want to do all of the traditional holiday decorating that I have been bypassed for the past few years.  So, finding the perfect Christmas wreath for the apartment was easier than I expected.  I had narrowed the wreath choices down to two paper wreaths (one using book paper and one using sheet music).  Z was floored when I showed him the sheet music wreath (probably because he is a musician).

The Etsy wreath made by RoseFlower48

I decided that the same effect could be done cheaper than buying the one on etsy.  So I purchased 50 vintage pages of sheet music from LoveDove Trading on Etsy and the tutorial began.

Our Finished DIY Paper Cone Christmas Wreath

What I used:

  • Pages of Sheet Music (I used approx 25 pages)
  • Craft Glue or E6000 (hot glue could be used as well)
  • 2 inch wide ribbon
  • Cardboard circle base
  • Cardstock
  • Stamp and stamp ink
  • Embossing glitter
  • Embossing gun
  • Optional: ribbon

What I did:

  1. In order to get proper paper cone shapes, I cut the sheet music to 8.5″ x 8.5″.

    Sheet Music

    Sheet Music should be cut into 8.5" x 8.5" squares

  2. Start making cones out of the sheet music squares using glue on the outer corner to seal and hold the shape. Be prepared to make several trial cones to get the right size.  The size of the cones will determine how many you will need for your wreath. As I made the cones, I placed each in a circle so that I would know when to stop.  If you use vintage paper, be very gentle because the paper will  tear in this process.  Do not fold vintage paper unless you want it to tear.

    Prepping the Paper Cone Wreath

  3. At this point, I used a Dos Equis box to get a circle cardboard base.  I used a regular cd to get the basic shape and size.

    Cardboard base cut

  4. To maintain the shape of the wreath,  I placed glue all over one side of the cardboard base and then began placing the paper cones in groups.

    After the gluing process

  5. After forming the wreath shape, I cut a cd sized circle from the cardstock paper.
  6. Taking a holiday stamp that I used on our Christmas cards last year, I stamped the center of the cardstock and poured gold embossing glitter over the top.  Be use to shake the excess glitter off before you emboss it (or you will get the excess embossed glitter like I did).
  7. Emboss the stamp.  Be careful how close you hold the embossing gun to the paper.
  8. Glue a short ribbon to the cardstock (or whatever you desire) and glue the cardstock circle to the wreath center.

    Close up of the center design

  9. To hang the wreath, I glued the longer length of ribbon to the cardboard base and up one of the paper cones for added support.
  10. Wait for the glue to completely dry. Decorate your door, home, or office.

    Waiting for the Glue to Dry

Finished and Hanging on Our Door

The total project took me roughly 3 hours (not including time spent waiting for the glue to dry completely or time spent watching Z play Kirby’s Epic Yarn while crafting).  Using the sheet music cut to 8.5″ x 8.5″ resulted in a wreath that is about 22-23 inches wide.