Holiday Decorating & Wreaths – 2020

Here’s a look at some of the decorating I did for our home this year as well as the wreaths I made. Pine from the yard was the main green used, I had been waiting for months to do some strategic tree trimming.

I started with pine that I cut from a bush out front. I kept the trees simple and saved decorating them until December.

I like to use greens from the yard (in our former home that was Blue Spruce) and then add one special element, in this case Eucalyptus.

From early November until mid December it is wreath making time! I love making them and sell them locally during this time.

This was boxwood clipped from our yard that became a wreath for above the kitchen window as it is long lasting and doesn’t drop needles.

This was the annual giant wreath that I make to hang behind the kitchen table and bring in that Christmas scent. It’s hard to tell here but the wreath is 3 feet wide and very heavy. It is made with spruce so it has a short indoor shelf life.

At the front area of the house is this corner where I keep extra material and wreaths before they are picked up.

Once it was December I added some baubles to the trees and a bow to the front door wreath just before Christmas. I like to extend the season and gradually decorate.

These Baby Blue Eucalyptus wreaths are one of my favourites because they smell incredible and are long lasting.

This year I was able to cut 5 branches long enough to be mini Christmas trees.

This was the other big (by our standards) Christmas tree.

Here’s another reminder of the transformative power of paint. More on this kitchen makeover from last year can be found here.

Holiday Home – Blue Spruce Wreaths & Garland

Making wreaths & decorating for the holidays using greenery from the yard has become a major passion of mine in recent years. I like to try something different each year using what I have available outside or foraged and then I usually add one element that is bought – like Eucalyptus.

Here is a look at our Newmarket home decked out for the holidays in 2018 using Blue Spruce from our yard as the base.

This beautiful, mature Blue Spruce supplied greenery every year that I filled the house with – I can’t believe in our first year living here that I was buying boughs of pine when I had this readily available.

I save all pruning until November and December now so that I will have plenty of material for decorating. In the case of this tree, I actually found that it grew more small boughs thanks to all of the small cutting done each winter.

I also made a 15 foot garland using the Blue Spruce by wrapping it around our Christmas lights making it an easier job to create. This went over the garage door.

The base of the wreath is made on a wire frame and then I added some dried silver dollar Eucalyptus I’d saved from something else I’d made in the summer. The pinecones I collected with my kids when out on walks.

The picture frame moulding made the perfect display area to hang a sash that I sewed from some silk look material I had. Since we choose not to have a large Christmas tree I think I tend to over compensate with fresh wreaths and garlands!

A detail of this table trestle leg – have you seen what it looked like before in this Apartment Therapy feature? It was a big project to refinish the table but so worth it.

Here’s a glimpse at the front of the house with the garland. There is a post showing how this garage door looked before it was painted here.

There is a tutorial on making a fresh wreath like this one here. Also instructions on this shiplap wall can be found here.

How to Make a Fresh Holiday Wreath

This weekend I’m planning to start some of my holiday wreath making using the pine and boxwood that we have in our current yard. I started some clipping last weekend with this simple branch. The wreaths here were made with driftwood I collected in the summer and this fireplace got a paint update last year.

If you follow me on Instagram I have created a hashtag #shibangwreaths to catalogue some of my wreath projects over the years. There’s a lot that doesn’t make it to my blog but it is on my Instagram @shibangdesigns.

Happy decorating & foraging!

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.

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.

Since I love making these wreaths I ordered several bunches of a variety of Eucalyptus and sold these wreaths locally. Here are a few process photos.

Baby Blue Eucalyptus dries well and lasts more than a year.

Staircase Reveal

Natural Garland Detail // Shibang Designs

If you’ve been following along on Instagram or previous blog posts, I’ve been sharing glimpses into my staircase makeover. The wall had been painted for two years, waiting for moulding and thanks to Metrie it has become a reality. There was no major renovation involved. I broke down the steps, starting with painting the walls & staircase spindles, refinishing the banister and finishing with  chair rail and panel moulding that starts at the front entry and continues to the upstairs hallway. The painting and refinishing had a lot of impact, but it wasn’t until I added the moulding that the staircase became a strong feature.

This was a big learning curve for me, but it’s not impossible, it just takes patience and attention to detail. It’s amazing to see how much dimension the moulding brings, and it makes this formerly overlooked space seem larger. Immediately after finishing I made a fresh garland to dress up the staircase since it’s now a main focal point and I was feeling the holiday spirit.

img_0576 This is the view from the main floor.
upstairs-croppedThat’s the kitchen off to the right.Chair Rail & Panel Moulding Complete // Shibang DesignsThe view from the kitchen.Upper Landing After // Shibang DesignsdownstairsMetrie Moulding Detail // Shibang DesignsAfter Installing Panel Moulding & Chair Rail // Shibang Designs The moulding continuing through the front hallway.
Staircase Makeover Adding Panel Moulding and Refinishing // Shibang Designs

This is a reminder of what it looked like when we first moved in and what I did to get here.

Below are the Moulding Profiles that I Used:

Metrie MDF Chair Rail

Metrie French Curves  Panel Moulding

With this project now completed I definitely have my eye on some other plain walls in the house that could benefit from some architectural elements. Are you thinking about adding some moulding to your home? If so, I have shared my process with lots of photos in the blog posts below.

Previous Posts:

Staircase Before // Shibang Designs
Adding Architectural Elements – BEFORE

Moulding DIY // Shibang Designs
DIY Trim Tutorial

Shipping Schedule

Canada Post recommends parcels be sent by the following dates to guarantee delivery for the holidays:

  • Within Canada– Regular Parcels Dec.11th, Xpresspost Dec.22nd
  • To USA – Regular Parcel Dec.8th, Xpresspost Dec.16th
  • To Europe & Australia – Xpresspost Dec.6th

Shibang Designs will be in Chicago next week. Take advantage of fast shipping within the US, by ordering items available online November 28- December.3rd and they will be shipped directly from the US.

Custom orders are welcomed, please contact me through my website to discuss.

http://www.shibangdesigns.etsy.com