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!

New in the Studio: Screen Printed Tea Towels

Here’s a look inside my studio from the side of the room that I haven’t shown before. I did a mini makeover last year with several more DIY projects, which included building a new work table for screen printing.

With all of the focus on doing home improvement projects, I wanted to make an accessory for the finished space, in this case the kitchen.  Here’s a look at the process and finished pieces.

 

 

They are designed to be functional for everyday use and the linen will get softer with every wash.

Also, a tutorial for this wreath as seen in the photo above will be coming to the blog within the next week.

This board and batten wall works well for hanging fabric to dry too. The tutorial on how I built is here and was recently featured on Apartment Therapy.

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 need 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 wreaths so I’ve added a new post with others I’ve made.

shibangdesigns_eucalyptuswreath_logo'

Baby Blue Wreaths – 2019

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

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