West Coast Christmas: Bougainvillea Wreath

Several days ago I realized that our house has zero holiday decorations up, and I didn’t really have the desire to put any up. This is a distinct contrast to pretty much every other year of my life. Check out our apartment last December:

That’s Craft Friend Shelly with foster cat Ninja, myself, and Sporty Gretch

Shown in this pic is a cardboard mantel with personalized stockings (including one for the cat), strings of hand-cut snowflakes, and light-up Christmas bulb necklaces and reindeer antlers. There were also strings of Christmas lights, gift-wrapped paintings, and tissue paper snowflakes. Check them out!

My indifference about this year’s holiday festivities probably stems from a combination of things. First of all, the west coast climate is not the winter I am used to. Frankly, it doesn’t make any sense. It is 75 degrees today. Nonsense. Secondly, I’ve been spending my time the boyfriend and his family who are not Christmas-celebrators. We celebrated Hanukkah last week (which I should have blogged about), exchanged gifts, had a big dinner, etc. and now it’s over. And third, I don’t believe I’ll be going back to the east cost for Christmas. I was just there for a much-needed vacation from life, and it’s looking like it’s just going to be too much money to go back. But enough of the pity-party, here’s what I did!

I originally wanted to make a super beachy wreath for our door with sand and shells and sand dollars I have found on the beach, but when I walked to the beach to collect supplies, there was nothing. I was probably at the beach at the wrong time of day, but I decided to switch gears.

Inspired by resources I already had (read: free), I decided to make a wreath out of some greenery from our yard. Near our fence we have a huge flowering bush, which I have learned is a bougainvillea. Our plant has dark reddish flowers but they also come in various shades of pink, red and orange.

Pic from a few months ago, much fewer flowers on it now.

So let me stop right now to say: Please do not do this project! Apparently the sap of bougainvillea can cause rashes like poison ivy. It also has thorns. Basically, this whole project is a hazard to your health. I didn’t get a rash but I’ve never had poison ivy before and I don’t think I can get it at all. If you want to make a danger wreath like me, I suggest going with Devil’s Snare or Whomping Willow. Much more interesting.

Anywaaay, so I needed a base for the wreath. I was going to cut out a ring of cardboard but while searching around the house, I found some sort of medium-gauge wire that I think Marcus bought for something. There was just a random piece hanging out in the corner of our messy “dining room.” I wrapped it round and round til I had a circle like this:

Then I took some fine gauge wire and started attaching branches to the ring. No idea what kind of wire this is, it is quite possibly from my mom’s craft box from college or something. If I was a wreath-making professional, I would probably use some green floral wire.

The branches were a little less-bendy than the ideal, but they worked out okay. And of course, there were the aforementioned thorns, which I avoided to the best of my ability. Luckily, no blood was shed. I kept working until I had a ring of leaves and thorns that was slightly more sparse and droopy than I would have liked. And are you wondering where all the red flowers went? They all fell off as soon as I clipped the branches. So I whipped out the glue gun and glued individual leaves and flowers on to fill in the holes. I also pulled a piece of plaid ribbon out of my craft box that I’m pretty sure the cat wore around her neck for last year’s Christmas party. Here’s what I came up with!

Not too shabby for a poisonous, dangerous Christmas wreath! Several days later and it’s only slightly droopier than when I first assembled it. I plan to work on (and blog about) several more (hopefully less contagious) Christmas crafts, so stay tuned!

xoxo

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5 Responses to West Coast Christmas: Bougainvillea Wreath

  1. Shellby says:

    AWW, last Christmas was such a success, wish we could throw an awesomely decorated party again! I also wish we could switch places for a week, It’s weird to me for it to be cold on the holiday, haha

    Great job on the wreath, turned out beautifully!

  2. Lori says:

    Wow! To quote one of our fav people, you sure know how to “make it work.”

  3. joanne says:

    hahahaha loved this story! you sound SO enthused!! it turned out pretty anyway. will be awaiting the next post!

  4. Suz says:

    A perfect wreath for CA!! Wish I could send you some of our snow. Sure puts me in the Christmas spirit…

  5. Pingback: Last Christmas «

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