Saturday, 28 December 2013

DIY December #2 - Beach Inspired Shell Wreath

I have finally finished my last and most exciting DIY December project which I must say I am very proud of and even though Christmas day has past this project is great to start after christmas whilst you go on your seaside and beach walks you can be collecting shells as you go. 
As i love the beach and happen to live right by the sea I manage to witness the beautiful sunsets quite often and it's that which inspired me to create this wreath as I wanted to capture the sunsets soft golden hour tones and in a way bring them in doors.  
The thing I love most about the 'golden hour'  is how perfect everything looks, hence its name given by photographer 'the golden hour', everything compliments eachother so perfectly, so what better way to combine shells both beautiful and natural into a none typical Christmas design. I wanted to do something completely different to your usual wreath and incorporate my own personal touch to my home made decoration.  

So if you're lucky enough to live by the beach this project is super cheap to create as the main item you will need are shells and lots of. I've used limpet shells because of the warm colours on them but you can use whatever shell you wish. After you have collected your shells of various sizes you will also need the following; 
- a polystyrene hoop - available online and most craft stores. 
- glue gun and glue
- rope 
- screw hook

To begin with organise your shells into size piles then it's easier to arrange your wreath. You want to start with your most largest shells by using the hot glue gun to glue the edges of the shell to the outer side of the polystyrene wreath. When you have finished your first round of shells choose the next size down for your next round of shells using the same technique for each round working your way inwards.

Once you have completed all the rounds of shells you may want to add some extra dots of glue to support and ensure your shells stays in place.

You may notice a few gaps where you can see the polystyrene hoop and in these spaces I chose to place some smaller shells to cover the gaps, which I thought brought the whole wreath together. Still using the same glueing technique, glue around the edge of the shell and place on top of the previously placed shell above the gaps (shown in the above picture).

The last part of creating your wreath is  adding your screw in loop to the top of your polystyrene wreath by simply finding a gap between your first round of shells.  Screw it in to create the hole and carefully unscrew it ensuring not to make the hole too big. Then apply a blob of glue into the hole and screw back in the loop. You will want to leave this a good 10 minutes to dry, leave to sit to ensure it doesn't pop out when hung later, while the glue is drying you can prepair the rope to the desired length you want to hang it at and thread through the loop when the glue is set. 

Remember a sea shell wreath is not just for Christmas but can be incorporated into a year round decoration and even a table piece. 

Hope you liked my DIY December piece and make sure to follow and subscribe to my Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages.

Thanks for visiting!
Beth x  

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

DIY December #1 Ivy Frame Decoration

Here we are counting down the days until Christmas and can finally do all the festive traditions including decorating our houses. Since the cooler months hit us here in England and with being trapped indoors on the dark nights, although I've also managed many enjoyable autumnal sunny walks around the countryside, forests and beaches. All of this has contributed to many DIY inspirational ideas influencing me from nature's natural resources as you will also recognise the theme in my next 'DIY December' post.

To kick start DIY December my first do it yourself project is a simple but effective one to get you into the swing of things. What you will need is: 
  • A mirror / frame to decorate.
  • Ivy.
  • Glue gun & glue.
  • Scissors.
  • String, I'm using garden string for a natural affect.
  • wall pin x2

 First of all you will need to measure your frame either precisely or by eye if your going for the rustic look then go out and cut your pieces of ivy luckily for me my neighbour's ivy has grown over my side of the fence so it was very accessible, if you've not got easy access to ivy go ask your neighbour, family or friends if they would mind you cutting some off, it grows super fast so I'm sure they won't mind one bit.

Next grab your wall pins and secure them into the top two corners of your frame.

You then want to make two slip knots out of you string and allow an extra inch after the knot to be glued and wrapped around the thickest end of the ivy which will be your vertical pieces to ensure it stays attached to the stork using your glue gun and hangs straight down the frame. Repeat this step for the other side.

Now your two vertical sides are complete there's just the top piece to put in place, if like mine you find your stork of ivy is a little bare and lacking in the leaf department just take your glue gun and small cuts of string to attach another piece of ivy behind your original one to balance out the look of your ivy (shown in the image below). To fix your top piece simply sit each end behind the wall pins on each side of the frame to hold it in place.

For some final touchs I just added these cinnamon scented decorations to create a visual and sensually beautiful DIY decoration. Of course though you can add what ever you like to yours!

Let me know if you have a go at this by tweeting me @staircase2style or tagging me in your picture via instagram @staircasetostyle. Don't forget to follow my blog to keep updated with more DIY December ideas.
Thanks for reading!

Beth x