The Winter of DIY

Way back when this blog baby was birthed, I created an ambitious goal for myself called The Summer of DIY (here’s the post in case you don’t remember that far back in Creating Krista history).  The plan was to write two posts per week and really stay on top of all my blogging projects.  It was pretty difficult to keep up with a rigorous blogging schedule while managing my (slightly more than) full time job and other life commitments.  However, this winter, I really stepped up my game.  I’ve been posting at least once a week, sometimes more, and Dan and I just completed our first mini-renovation our own: our guest bathroom!  We were on a roll… until now.  Today, I want to talk about how frustrating winter can really be for anyone who’s embarking on any major DIY projects (hence the tongue-in-cheek title of this post, The Winter of DIY).  There’s only so many things a girl can do to keep herself occupied when she can’t spray paint/sand/prime/build anything.  Here’s what my usual project area (the backyard) looks like right now.

Yeah.  I’m pretty sure that all of the DIY bloggers I follow happen to live in balmy southern climates and can do beautiful and amazing projects all year-round.  Now that my project space is unavailable,  I feel for those of you who live in apartments, don’t even have an outdoor space and still manage to keep up the DIY and crafting vibes all year winter long.  While whining to Dan and several work colleagues on multiple occasions about my stagnant creative juices, I realized something.  The DIY brainstorming and planning is still part of the process.  It’s just not as hands-on as the painting, sanding, woodworking, mirror removing, and so many other fun activities I’ve embarked on in the past few months.  The planning process looks something like this (and yes, it always involves a Rutgers snuggie).

Not only are our projects paused due to weather, but we’re anticipating a major kitchen renovation in May, thanks to an official contract signing we handled back in December.  This means that all of our extra moolah has to be pocketed for the time being, leaving little-to-no additional funds for projects.  I’ll be keeping you updated on all things kitchen-related, so  stay tuned for several posts on that process!  In the meantime, in an attempt to return to DIY normalcy and braving these winter blues, I’ve been sticking to the basics, and the project that I know far too well: creating a winter alterna-wreath. Check out the other alterna-wreath posts here, here, and here.

Does anyone else struggle with porch and outdoor decor post-Christmas?  It’s too late for the Christmas lights and garlands, but it’s too early to pull out the potted plants, despite the fact that Michaels has already started selling seeds.  While mulling over this conundrum and finding a lack of inspiration on Pinterest, I decided to take matters into my own hands.

You may recall my gold reindeer Christmas project from a while back.  One thing that I love about gold is that it can serve as an accent color all winter long (or, who am I kidding, all year long!).  I rummaged through my acrylic paint supplies and decided that a mint and gold color scheme for an alterna-wreath would be fun to spruce up my completely empty porch while the snow piles melt away.

Here are the supplies I collected from Michaels and around the house.  You’ll need a Styrofoam wreath, twine, hot glue gun, acrylic paints, and some accents (in this case, I used tiny fake flowers for $4 and a wooden letter K for $2 from Michaels).

You might notice that I had a LOT of twine for this project.  I am terrible with judging distance while driving, but apparently I’m also terrible at estimating how far a roll of twine will go.  I started wrapping the Styrofoam wreath while watching an episode of Fixer Upper on HGTV.  It took me about 10 minutes to wrap the entire wreath, and I used almost the entire roll of twine.  Yikes.  I took care not to overlap the twine and hot glued the final piece at the end.

Next, I decided to get cute and crafty.  I painted the wooden letter K with polka dots, just freehanding them with a small paint brush.  I made the gold dots first and then added the mint-colored ones.  There was no pattern or grant plan.  I was just having fun with this project.

I then hot glued the K to the wreath and glued on some of the decorative flowers I got from Michaels with (of course) a 40% off coupon.  Dan and I both decided that it looked a little bare, so I picked up a couple of chipboard hearts that just cost a few cents.

I decided to add two hearts, one for Dan and one for myself.  Again, there was no method to my painting madness, though I wanted to use both colors and show their accents.  The first heart I just painted half gold and half mint.  The second heart I got a little fancy and painted a stripe accented with some dots.  Then I glued the hearts onto the wreath.

The last step for hanging this baby on the front door was to add some pretty accented ribbon.  I love seeing wreaths hang from a hook in a looped ribbon style like this.  However, we just have a 3M hook on our door, so I thought it might be a little difficult to get this to work.  I bought a burlap-style ribbon (again, from Michaels) and wrapped it around the wreath, hot gluing the ends together.  Then I went out to the front porch and estimated the height that I wanted the wreath to hang on the door.  I marked the spot where the ribbon hit the hook, and I cut out a small hole of ribbon so that it could hang neatly.  Once more, with feeling:

There you have it: one way to keep me busy during the winter months is to give me a paintbrush, some wood, and a bunch of pretty colored acrylic paints.  If any of you are struggling with the February DIY blues, just know that I feel your pain, and we’ll get through it together, one small project at a time!

Leave a Reply