February 3, 2012

A Valentine's Wreath

Mr. & Mrs. K are back and just in time for Valentine's Day. They've decided to build a "Love Nest" on my front door complete with a tree swing.

This entire wreath is almost completely constructed with materials I already had. The only thing purchased was Plaster of Paris for the birch log and some red clay for the birds and the miniature heart tags.

The frame is two pieces of black presentation board that I cut in a fun shape. Sandwiched between them is some pliable foam that I saved from a package that had been delivered to us at Christmas. The three pieces are hot glued together and then trimmed in red grosgrain ribbon. It's what I had on hand but it would be fun to trim it out in a pretty patterned ribbon as well or even the turquoise blue.

I sent the handsome hubby out into the woods to find a log that would work with the idea that was brewing in my head. He came home with three 1/4 pieces of log. They were beautiful and mossy but no limbs and not the size I needed. So then I began thinking about alternatives. I remembered working with Plaster of Paris in 5th grade when we had to make volcanoes but I needed a base first. Then I remembered seeing a tutorial a while back on the Martha Stewart show regarding faux logs made from corrugated cardboard. I googled that and two reputable tutorials came up. The Martha tutorial and a tutorial from Design Sponge. Looking at them both they may be from the same source and then featured on Martha. That was that and I knew then how I was going to construct the base.

I used cardboard from a large box that I peeled the top and bottom layer off of leaving only the corrugated part which makes it really easy to fold and roll into the half log shape. I also rolled some smaller pieces that I attached to the base to make them look like tree limbs. Holding the cardboard in it's shape is some electrical tape. The limbs are attached with hot glue and straight pins and then some electrical tape at the base of each limb. Once the form was established I mixed up the Plaster of Paris working quick like the instructions on the box recommend. I found an old ratty paint brush to brush the substance on with and it was PERFECT. It actually gave texture to the plaster that I don't believe I would have gotten otherwise. The rolled cardboard mimics tree rings and I think it's pretty fabulous. I'm thinking the sky is the limit with this stuff. As long as you have a good base.

To make the nest itself I coiled jute twine and tied it in various places then hot glued some moss and a few twigs in place and then added a couple strands of bakers twine. After all birdies do you use bits of string and yarn in nest building.

The pennants and the pinwheel are all hand cut from a couple graphic patterns I created in Illustrator and then printed out. I strung the pennants using bakers twine. I have a tiny hole punch just big enough to send a sewing needled through which made for easy stringing.

The birds are shaped out of red clay which by the way can be a great stress reliever. For a couple added details I used miniature, heart, cookie cutters which I painted the house numbers onto and with additional clay made a couple beads and some mini birds that I strung from bakers twine. The swing is a piece of barn wood that had cracked when my husband was making my oldest daughters headboard.

It's amazing what you can make with an old cardboard box and some printer paper and a few other found items in nature and the basement + Plaster of Paris & Clay.

Linking up to TT&J , A Girl Creative and The 36th Avenue.

Thanks for stopping by Blue Sky Confections!

Jenny K.

p.s. I'll post the printables that I used for this project tomorrow just in case you want to make one of your very own.


  1. Very very nice! I love the colour combination! So pretty!

  2. This is so adorable! I'm in love with those little birds on the swing, it's like their having a little party right there in the tree. :) This is so creative and fun, great job!

  3. How cute! Great job-the colors are amazing! I hope you will link up to my I Heart Projects Party if you haven't already.

  4. Oh my!! How darling!! ;) Hope you can link this up at my Tuesday turquoise lovin' party coming up! ;) LOVE your blog!


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