4 Simple & Natural Ways to Decorate for Fall

It’s September already and that means a new season and I have some Fall decorating ideas to share. The colours outside are shifting and there are so many simple and natural ways to bring this look inside.

1. Make a Flower Arrangement

While we don’t have flowers in bloom right now (I miss the Limelight Hydrangea hedge I planted at our last house!) we do have an amazing selection of foliage around the yard.

I clipped some ninebark, japanese maple, dogwood, poppy pods, aster and crabapple from our yard to make an arrangement.

I also added some grasses which was a trend I was not a fan of until we moved to Kelowna, where dried grass is a part of the landscape. For this arrangement I used chicken wire inside the lined box which made it so much easier to build the design.

Whenever we go to the beach I’m always looking for treasures, just like my kids. These are driftwood wreaths that I made by shaping branches I found. The grasses are from a row of Karl Forester grasses we have in the yard. This has been up all summer and I’ll probably keep it up during fall until inspiration strikes.

A couple of weeks ago this was another arrangement made with the same materials from the yard but on a larger scale.

In the background below is a new Eucalyptus wreath with a ribbon made with linen scraps from the mask making I’ve been doing.

2. Cut a few Branches to Fill a Vase

If you don’t feel like spending much time arranging flowers, cut branches from the yard are a quick and easy way to freshen up a room without spending any money.

This is some Ninebark that is in my studio. The dark, almost black foliage is a new favourite of mine and it lasts for at least 2 weeks in a vase.

In my studio I have been focused on making linen masks. I started using linen since that is what I use for screenprinting tea towels. Linen also makes a more breathable mask so now I am choosing more fabrics & creating colour collections to work with a fall wardrobe.

This is what I am making (more photos are on Etsy). Flower arranging is a creative outlet that is my break from sewing.

3. Make a Wreath to Welcome the Season

Wreath making is one of the most popular topics on the blog and I love making them so there will be more to come soon. If you have a metal wreath form and paddle wire it is so easy to grab it and start wrapping fresh material. I always save my wire when I remove old leaves and keep the wire in a bundle attached to the form.

A few months ago I was out after a big windstorm and there were willow branches that had fallen all over the beach. I collected the fallen branches – never cut from a tree unless it’s on your property or you ask for permission – and made a wreath from them. Even though I knew this would be temporary I enjoyed the process and saw it as extra practice and even therapeutic!

4. Gather Interesting Sticks & Pinecones to Display

Driftwood, pinecones & interesting branches find their way to our doorstep for display. These plants are Swedish Ivy that I chose since the fuzzy leaves would hopefully be unappealing for the deer and also to clip for arrangements indoors.

Bringing the season indoors is easy with a few natural elements that can be found all around.

As we learned in Design 101 in my Fine Arts Education, in nature all colours go together. I’m paraphrasing but the idea is that naturally colour coordinates and it is evident as you look around at the changing season.

More projects that I’m currently working on are often shared on my Instagram @shibangdesigns if you’re not already following. I share projects & ideas there more often than I blog!

Fresh Eucalyptus Wreath Part 2

This post from December 2017 about making a Fresh Eucalyptus Wreath has been getting lots of traffic lately so I am adding a new version to the post.

Now that I’ve made 3 versions with different varieties I will share what I’ve learned in case you are thinking of giving it a try this year.

I made that first wreath using seeded Eucalyptus on a 10″ wire frame. It dried out nicely and lasted about 3 months until the green started to turn a bit brown.

I saved the wreath and the following year I took it apart and used the dried leaves as an accent in my holiday wreath mixed with evergreens (as pictured below).

 

This summer I came across a large bunch of Eucalyptus in the grocery store and couldn’t pass up the chance to try to make a wreath out of it.

baby blue wreath ingredients Shibang

It was a bit tricky to work with and my hands were all sticky but the house smelled so good. I also added some lavender from our garden. I used the same process as for the other wreathes linked above.

This picture was taken in July when I had first made the wreath.

These photos were taken in November. The wreath has dried out very nicely, doesn’t drop leaves and has kept it’s colour.  

 

And since I love making wreaths, here’s another one I made last year. This was with seeded Eucalyptus and lavender and it stood up well to a cold Toronto winter out on the front door. Again I didn’t take pictures of the process because I was making it late at night but it was the same process as in my original Fresh Eucalyptus Wreath Tutorial.

 

How to make a Fresh Holiday Wreath

IMG_9328.JPG

Every year, my friend and neighbour Kate and I have a tradition of making wreaths together. We call it our own workshop where we have coffee while making some holiday decor.

This year we added juniper berries and dried eucalyptus (from the wreath I made last year) to our base of blue spruce from the tree in our front yard.

Here are some photos from the process.

This is the tree that gives so much to us!

Materials Ready

Creating little bundles with your greens in the secret to getting a cohesive look.

Layer the bundles of green over one another as you go around the wreath form, wrapping with paddle wire.

In a couple of months when the season is over, save the paddle wire to use again next year after you pull out the old greens.

Here it is at the front door — where it stayed for a couple of weeks until I had an idea that involved making a second one and bringing them both inside. More photos of that to come later but in the meantime, there is a sneak peek in my Instagram feed.

 

More Fresh Wreath Tutorials:

Boxwood Wreath DIY

 

Eucalyptus Wreath DIY

Fresh Eucalyptus Wreath DIY

 

Every holiday season I love to make wreathes, each time trying something new. This was my first attempt at making one out of only Eucalyptus.

For the wreath form I used a smaller 10 ” wire frame and 3 bunches of Seeded Eucalyptus from the grocery store.

It took me a few days until I started making the wreath and in that time some of the leaves had started to dry out even though I had kept the stems in water. I started with the dried pieces and made small bundles in the same way that I made the boxwood wreath last year.

These leaves worked the best. When there were so many seeded pieces it was difficult to work with.

Here is the wreath one week later, it dried out within 2 days of making it. Hopefully it will last the whole winter and won’t neede to be constantly cleaned up like cedar.

Update:

This post has been getting a lot of traffic which makes me think that people would like to see more examples of Eucalyptus wreathes so I’ve added a new post with others I’ve made.

shibangdesigns_eucalyptuswreath_logo'

Improved Boxwood Wreath

Simple Christmas Decor// Handmade Boxwood Wreath, Birch Poles & Cedar Swag

An Easy to Make Boxwood Wreath

Are you planning to make your own fresh wreaths this holiday season? It’s not too complicated and right now all of the boughs are readily available at grocery stores or maybe in your own yard.  Last year I shared how I made a boxwood wreath and this year I’m sharing an improved version.
Boxwood Wreath DIY // Shibang Designs

Supplies:

Once you have the basics then all you need to add (or clip from your yard) is the fresh greenery.

  • Wreath Form ( Wire or Grapevine)
  • Paddle Wire
  • Pruning Shears or Sharp Scissors
  • Fresh Greenery (2 Bunches for a Fuller Wreath)

 

Boxwood Wreath

To achieve a full and even wreath the key is to make small bundles of greenery that are roughly the same size. Rather than trying to use one large branch, cut it into smaller pieces, hold that bundle and secure it to the frame. Continue layering the bundles and securing them with the paddle wire.

Also using more greenery helps too. I used two large bunches of boxwood for this wreath compared to last year when I only used one. Last year I wrapped wire around each bundle that I added to the frame but this year I skipped that step and only did one continuous length of wire for the whole wreath.

These are the basics but berries and a mixture of greens could be added too.

 

How to Make a Boxwood Wreath// Shibang Designs
Boxwood Wreath 2015

A few photos of it finished wreath.

Boxwood Wreath, Brass Bell, Black Door