Every year when Christmas comes around I think to myself, I must get a wreath for the door. Every year without fail, I forget! My mum, on the other hand always goes out of her way to make sure that there's a beautiful, natural creation of holly leaves and berries tied with a neat red ribbon which looks wonderfully festive on her blue front door.
This year, I did it-in your face Christmas 2012! and the reason I'm feeling even more smug is because I made it with my own fair hands out of plain old nursery school standard salt dough. I know, right?! Who says salt dough is for babies? The best thing of all is that it didn't cost a fortune to make and, whilst it will take a little more time to create than something using evergreens and berries, it will last you at least a couple of years.
You Will Need:
☞ A plain willow wreath -I used a 14" round but you could use a smaller size if you'd prefer.
☞ Salt dough - I made two quantities which covered my wreath perfectly but you may need more or less depending on the size of your wreath.
☞ Acrylic paints
☞ A paint brush
☞ Glue gun
☞ Mod Podge or PVA glue
Cover a baking sheet or tray with greaseproof paper and start to roll the dough into balls in a variety of sizes, ensuring you have a good range of large, medium, small and teeny tiny. Bake these on a low heat over the space of an hour or two until they're rock hard- you'll need to do several batches. Don't worry if the bases crack as they won't show once they're grouped together on your willow wreath.
Once you've painted all the balls (and this may take you a couple of evenings but it's very therapeutic!) you can begin gluing them onto the wreath. Try and group them together fairly tightly and use the various sizes to help you with this. I used the really small ones to sit between the gaps to give the wreath some depth. If you start to run out of dough balls, put on another batch.
Note: If you're hanging your wreath directly outside and not in a porch I recommend that you seal it before you add the glitter balls, with a PVA glue mix or clear varnish. This will stop the dough going soggy in wet weather.
When you've covered your wreath and you're happy with the quantity of balls, you can start on your glitter balls. The easiest way to do this is to mix your glue with a little water in a bowl (you won't need to do this at all with Mod Podge) and stir a small handful of balls into the mix at a time. With your glitter in a separate bowl, drop the covered balls in and swirl them around in the bowl. This'll give you an even coverage on each. Transfer them on to some paper to dry and repeat. Then simply glue them wherever you see a gap.
When you're ready to hang it, I recommend that you use a flat door hook for wreaths as it'll have the strength to hold it.
I'd love to know what you think of it-I've fallen in love with salt dough now and I'm already planning some new smaller projects involving it which I know you'll love too!