Arts'n crafts ideas (Full version)

A wreath for a natural-look Christmas

A Christmas wreath to hang on your front door, made from all-natural materials: wood, terra cotta, leather. It's not just pretty, but useful too, because the harmonious chimes from the bells (wood against terra cotta), acts like a doorbell. Its natural look, without any colors that shout 'Christmas' at you, mean that you can keep it as a decoration for the entire Winter.wreath in natural materials

you will need

  • Wreath made from woven vines (either to be made yourself from vine shoots that are still flexible or else buy them ready-made, ready to be decorated)
  • a terra cotta pot with a 2.4 inch diameter, 3 pots with a 1.6 inch diameter
  • 2 hearts in real leather (2 inch diameter)
  • large beads in real wood: one with a 1.2 inch diameter, 3 with a diameter of 0.8 inch
  • around forty small 5 mm beads and one 8 mm bead in dark-colored wood
  • brown leather and 'natural' color leather cords (each about 1.5 m long)
  • a brown thread and a needle

Placing the beads on the wreath

Adding the beads to the wreathThread the needle and attach the thread to the back of the wreath. Bring the needle back through the sticks towards the front of the wreath. Thread on a small wooden bead. Then bring the needle back towards the back of the wreath or bring it back out an inch or two further along the wreath: this will fix the bead in position. Then thread on another small bead, every inch or so... In this way, the thread is virtually invisible and the beads are fastened all over the front part of the wreath.

Making the bells

Pot with Christmas bellTo make a small bell, you should take a length of beige leather shoe lace or cord around 12 inches long, (13.8 inches long for the small bell in the center suspended with the brown leather shoelace). Tie a knot at one end and thread on a wooden bead (0.8 inches in diameter for the smaller pots). Tie a knot 1.2 inches further along and thread the shoelace through the little terra cotta pot: the wooden bead must be partially visible (it should be able to chime against the edges of the pot).Tie a knot immediately after you're through the pot to hold the bead firmly in place. Thread the shoelace through the branches of the wreath and make a loop that will hold fast, using a reef knot, then rethread the end through the pot (cut it down to size if it sticks out of the pot).
The principle is the same for the bigger bell. Use the 1.2 inch  diameter bead, but before you do this, take a smaller bead (8 to 10mm) to hold the shoelace firmly in position (otherwise, you will have to tie a double knot with the leather shoelace, which would not look very pretty). By using a bead made from dark-colored wood, you create a lovely contrast with the natural tones of the bead and the pot. This larger bell is hung on a very short length of shoelace so that it takes up all the space inside the wreath.The wreath's larger bell
Now, hang the real leather hearts from the brown leather shoelaces (if you can't find any hearts made from leather hearts in real wood will also work well, thanks to their color, as well as the fact they are made of a natural material). Lastly, a loop made from tying the 2 leather shoelaces together will enable you to hang this simple, natural-look wreath on your front door.