Thursday, 7 January 2016

DIY: Rustic Pinecone Wreath

Recently, I was contacted by BloomNation for an interesting project that they were working on with a couple of other bloggers. BloomNation is a community of florists that introduces people to different and unique flower arrangements that are curated by a plethora of florists. They provide a way for you to get your hands on exclusive handcrafted bouquets and arrangements and send them to your loved ones or even to yourself!

BloomNation contacted me recently and informed me of a series they were doing along with a bunch of other bloggers surrounding the art of wreath making. I was inspired by their work and decided to be as creative as possible in sharing my ideas of a perfect wreath. I decided to turn the post into a DIY to help people everywhere bring a bit of the cold, white winter into their homes.

I've been hoarding a sack full of pine cones in my closet since my last trip to Ooty (take a look at my photo diary here!) and had been planning this DIY for ages so this collaboration came at the most opportune time. This DIY is perfect for those who ache for the Hollywood winter experience as they bake in the "winter heat" (ever been to India in the winter?) or for those who love the beauty of the snow, but hate going out in the cold. This is a way to bring that feeling into your home and invoking a sense of magic and mystery into your lives.

It is really simple to make and it doesn't require a lot of raw materials. You will need:
Cardboard. Pick something really thick and sturdy like a side of an old refrigerator box.
A pencil to mark out the area of your wreath.
Thick wool.
Pine cones.
A hot glue gun.

The first thing you need to do is cut out a circular ring from your sheet of cardboard. Be prepared to work out your biceps and triceps and all of that because cardboard is hard to cut with a pair of scissors! Use the pencil and the string to create a makeshift compass to mark out a perfect circle. It doesn't have to be very neat as the edges will be concealed by the pine cones later on. When you're done, it should be something like this:

Once you've got that sorted, attach a loop of sturdy wool or wire to the top of one side of the ring. This will be the back of the wreath and loop will be used to hang the wreath up later on. It's easier to get this done before you've got all the pine cones on the ring. Ensure that the loop is supported with enough glue and tiny bits of cardboard as it will have to hold up a lot of weight!

On the front of your ring, start arranging your pine cones in any pattern of your choice. I prefer mine to go in one direction but you can arrange it randomly if you like. Only start gluing once you're satisfied with the entire arrangement.

I find that a hot glue gun is the best way to get the pine cones to stick to the cardboard. This glue forms an almost plastic like surface between the two  objects and seals it together. Be very careful while using this tool. They aren't kidding when they call it a "hot" glue gun! I learnt that the hard way.

When you've got the entire wreath covered in pine cones, you will notice that it is, in fact, quite heavy. If you feel like your base might collapse under the weight, add some supporting bars of cardboard to the underside of your wreath to strengthen it. Use enough glue to ensure that every inch of the beam is glued onto the base of your wreath. When you're done, you're left with a beautiful, simple and rustic pine cone wreath.

You could leave it like this and hang it up in your favourite room, maybe even admire it while you sip something hot. OR you could take it a step further, which is what I opted to do.

Since we don't have the option of snow here in Bangalore, I decided to bring that feeling home by adorning my wreath with fake snow. With the help of some white acrylic paint (it provides a bolder colour than poster paint) and a makeup sponge, I dabbed the colour onto the pine cones quite messily. The aim is to get the colour mostly on the edges but if I wouldn't worry if it got to the deeper parts as well.

You can also add a bit of silver glitter over the top before the paint dries to add a bit of sparkle to your wreath, or simply experiment with gold or silver paint to create different effects.

All that's left to do now is to hang it up and standby for the gazillion complements you will receive!

This took me a little more than an hour to make. That isn't all that long compared to most DIYs I've tried in the past.

I hope you give this one a try. If you can't get your hands on pine cones, be creative and try to incorporate your environment on your wreath. I'd love to see what you create!

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