Sunday, December 26, 2010

Martha Challenge - With Bells On

I saw this photo about a year ago in the Martha Stewart Living Christmas issue. I have thought about making a wreath before, but never one like this. Not only did it look super easy, it also had a unique look to it apart from the usual circular guys that adorn front doors. We kept the boughs that were trimmed off of our Christmas tree and stored them on the balcony while I picked up the supplies.
Attempting to find large silver bells proved harder than I imagined. Home Depot had some perfect ones but they were only in red and gold. An online search came up empty. Then there they were, at Michaels, tucked away on some random shelf - a pair of red bells that were the perfect size. 
 I decided I could get around my refusal to compromise on color scheme by spray painting the bells silver. You can't buy spray paint in the city limits of Chicago, so rather than take a trip to the 'burbs I thought about what I had at home. Some blue glitter was just sitting there, unopened, so I decided to try my hand at this. Recently becoming a glitter expert from another Martha project involving pumpkins (read all about it here) I got to work. The glitter glue was applied, the glitter was dumped on. It was starting to look pretty good.
Of course, the red ribbon was a sharp contrast to the color scheme I was aiming for. Taking a pair of scissors, I carefully cut out all the red bits I could and instead tied some blue ribbon into a bow on top.
Next up was putting together the actual wreath. Simple enough - taking boughs of similar size and a few smaller ones for the top and twining them together from the stems so they hang down.

I had found some silver jingle bells in a couple different sizes at Family Dollar - an unorthodox store choice for me one day as I wandered around Uptown. However, I can't deny the $1.50 price tag. Using twisted ornament hooks, I fastened the bells all over the boughs. I didn't take any pictures during this process - woops!

Next step was attaching the glittery bells to the top of the wreath. It was ready for hanging. Originally, I was going to hang on our front door, but being in an apartment building near the top, there wouldn't be many people to pass by and see it. So I thought I would hang it off of our balcony instead for a little outside charm.
Here's where you'll see my two mistakes with this project.

Mistake #1: While I was glittering away, it did not occur to me to do the insides. After all, when I held them at eye level they looked perfectly covered, why waste the glitter?

However, hanging three floors up off of a balcony, the insides of the bells are about all you see. Geez.
Mistake #2: Glitter is not weather-proof. Gross.
Ahh well, I'm still calling this one a success because from street level you can't see these imperfections and it actually looks pretty nice. Next year maybe I'll think through things a little more before hanging up a wreath!

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