Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Something from nothing - with love from me to you x

We've had the same Christmas wreath on our front door for the past eight (or more) years and while it's a pretty little twiggy thing I had started to feel that perhaps a change was in order but didn't want to spend a silly amount of money or any money, come to that.....and I wanted to make it myself.
I was having a bit of a clearout yesterday and came across a roll of hessian webbing that I picked up ages ago at the Scrapstore, in a big bag of stuff costing £1.

That got me thinking and I decided I'd find a way to use the webbing but first I needed a ring and, again, I didn't want to spend if I could avoid it but it had to be suitable for hanging outside, albeit sheltered from worst of the weather.

Whilst making a cuppa I happened to look into the corner of the kitchen and I knew just what I could use. Carrier bags. Even though I use reusable shopping bags we still seem to have a ridiculously large collection of plastic bags and this was the perfect way to use some of them up.

I also thought it would be good to share - so here's a little photo tutorial if you fancy making one too.

I started by scrunching the bags into long lengths and securing them with a bit of sellotape, adding more bags in until I got to the length I wanted.

Next, I formed the long piece of plastic bag stuff into a roughly circular shape.

Then it was a case of wrapping more plastic bags around the ring to fatten it out, using plenty of bits of sellotape to keep it all together.

I decided I wanted it fatter still and happened upon a piece of bubble wrap that I'd been saving for who knows what. So, the next step was to cut 5cm wide strips of bubble wrap and wrap it around the ring, using that sellotape again.

By now it was a pretty good shape and size but wasn't very firm and strong and I was worried it would become decidedly oval once it was decorated and hung up.

I found just the thing - some plastic packaging salvaged from a recent Ikea purchase. Although if you don't have some nice firm but spongy plastic you could substitute this with gaffer tape (which I would have used had I been able to find it!). At this stage I wrapped it more firmly, pulling tight on the plastic as I wrapped, to compress the stuff inside the ring and to firm it up a bit.

I can honestly say that by the time I got to this point I was getting really rather excited - mainly because it was actually working!

Now came the fun bit - securing the end of the webbing with a couple of long pins I started to wrap the ring with the webbing. Make sure you pull it really nice and tight, because it would be such a shame to wrap the whole thing and find you're about an inch short on the webbing when you get to the end.....ask  me how I know....

To finish off I stuck a couple of pins into the end of the webbing and then stitched it securely to the webbing underneath.

Drum roll please......ta daaaah!!!!

All I have to do now is decide how to decorate it - using only stuff that I aready have of course. I'm mooching on Pinterest for imspiration and so far this is the closest contender.

To be honest my head is now buzzing with ideas for more of these. Instead of the webbing you could use fabric scraps, ribbon, old t-shirt material, denim from an old pair of jeans, felt, crochet, frayed fabric bows, buttons, little needlefelted robins, loads of baubles, pompoms.....the possibilities are endless!

I might need to make an indoor one too. Or one for every door in the house.....and all the windows.....and all the neighbours' doors......

Let me know if you have a go - I'd love to see your creations :o)

love Moogs xxx

p.s. ooh ooh - you don't just have to make round ones.....you can do any shape you like - hearts, stars, letters.....I think my brain is full....


Rachel said...

Brilliant! And what a fab way to reuse old carrier bags! Must give this a go... R xx

Calidore said...

Well done. What a fantastic idea to use up those grocery bags. Can't wait to see the finished project.

Gina said...

Very impressive Mrs Moog!

rachelmp said...

What a great start. We always seem to have no, or a glut of plastic bags even though we use the "green" bags all the time

quinn said...

That looks lovely! If there are enough bags stuffed under my kitchen sink, I'll try your core-building method when I make the Hampstead Wreath (designed by two of your compatriots, in fact
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/hampstead-wreath). I found some yarn tonight that should work, and was very reasonably priced AND on sale, which makes me feel a little better about breaking my 2012 yarn-buying moratorium when the finish line in in sight. If I can make a core for the wreath instead of buying one, that will be great! Thanks so much for the idea and demo - I never would have thought of bags!

Plum Cox said...

What a great looking wreath former - well done! I wonder if using a wire coat hanger (you know, those ones that you get from the dry cleaner) would be a good firm base for the bags? I like the idea that it would have a built in hook, and that it could be bent into shape first.
No plans for a Christmas one, but I'm thinking that a heart shaped one might make an appearance on my door sometime!

Locket Pocket said...

Very clever! You've clearly been paying attention in all those recycling classes you teach! ;o)

Twiggy said...

Oooo what a fab idea, and so good to use up stuff you already have - clever lady
Twiggy x

Kaz said...

This is brilliant! Such a great idea to use those bags up. I've seen one where they've used ribbons and fabric scraps just tied leaving lots of ends fluffed out! x

Anonymous said...
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Angela said...

Clever you, what a great project for children.