Forget paying store prices for wreaths.
Make your own for any season and your neighbors will be in awe of you (or your door).
Do you envy those neighbors who have it together with their doors. The doors just invite you in to the upcoming season and the home. Don't envy them, join them and make your door a welcoming entrance into your home, too.
I love decorating my doors for the season. What I don't love is the price tag on the wreaths I find in craft stores around me. Follow these simple steps to create a door wreath (or two) that will get those heads turning in your neighborhood.
I advise you to shop the sales. After the holidays, wreaths are on sale. My purchases were 60% off at Hobby Lobby. Purchase everything you want to include on your wreath. For this holiday wreath, I wanted to keep it simple and used old Christmas ornaments I already had. I purchased poinsettia arrangements, a bag of pine cones, red berry accents, a monogram letter, and other Christmas greenery to offset the greenery in the wreath. If you have double doors, buy double of everything.
Lay it Out and Plan.
“Every successful endeavor begins with a plan.”
1. To save time, lay all your supplies out so you have a visual picture of your supplies. Cut the tags off of everything to speed up the process.
2. Take your supplies and divide them evenly if you are creating two wreaths.
3. Next, fluff your wreath and open up the branches, if necessary.
4. Lay your decorations on the wreath to get an idea of what you want it to look like when it's done. You may find that you don't use all the materials you purchased. I used my floral cutters to remove the poinsettias from the arrangement.
5. Once you have a plan for your layout, if you are doing two wreaths, lay out the second wreath, making sure that the placement of items are located in approximately the same area, if you are looking for symmetry.
6. Start hot gluing your items in place. For heavier items, like the monogram letter, I used twist ties made from the same material as the wreath. Craft wire works as well. Make sure you are comfortable with the placement of everything before you start gluing and tying everything down.
7, Test to ensure that everything is secure. You may have to put more glue in certain areas. Use the garland ties or wire to create a loop on the back of your wreath for hanging.
Hang your wreath and enjoy the compliments.
If your mom is still in the land of the living, please do yourself a favor and, first, thank God, then have her to write down your favorite dish that she makes for you in her own handwriting. This can be framed and placed as great wall art in your kitchen. I love words, so I would surround myself with words in my whole house if I could. If your mother is no longer with us, write down your favorite recipe from her personal cookbook and frame it, but make sure you give her credit. You can also have it burned into a cutting board. What a great gift idea for all the "cooking" members of your family - a unique keepsake of a favorite recipe from someone you all cherished.
I would ask my mom to make a pound cake for me every time she came to visit. I did request her to write it down for me before the dementia took her memory from us. For all of you who never got your mother's recipe and have still tried to master the pound cake, I promise, this one does not disappoint. It turns out perfect, every time.
Jackie's Pound Cake
(10 inch Tube Pan or Bundt Pan)
BUTTER and lightly flour pan. Sift cake flour once then measure; set aside.
In large mixing bowl, cream butter then gradually add sugar beating on medium speed until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add cake flour and heavy whipping cream alternately beating on low speed until just blended as over beating will yield a dry and heavy cake. Add vanilla; for richer flavor, add additional 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract. My mom would also put ½ tsp. of almond extract in the cake as well. Pour into prepared pan.
BAKE approx. 1 hour and 15-30 minutes or until a long tester inserted in center of cake comes out completely clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 15-20 minutes. Remove from pan, and cool completely on wire rack.
COMBINE powdered sugar and butter in medium size bowl. Stir in 2 Tbsp. of heavy cream. If desired, add ¼ tsp. of almond extract or ½ tsp. of vanilla extract. Beat until smooth and creamy, adding more cream 1 Tbsp. at a time if necessary. Drizzle over cooled cake.
Enjoy with the closest thing to homemade ice cream you can find.