Thursday, December 19, 2013

Yes, Another Sleigh Bell Harness

Today's craft includes a second sparkly gold sleigh bell harness I purchased at JoAnn's, a few findings from my stash, and more of my mother-in-law's decorating items.  (JoAnn Fabric & Crafts is one of my favorite places to shop.)

I put together this particular flower arrangement several years back with the intent that it would be attached to the front cover of a scrapbook I wanted to put together for my in-laws. I had hoped that the album would become sort of a coffee table book to be enjoyed by all. Well it turns out I'm horrible scrapbooker, especially when it comes to paper scrapping. It also took several more years to get the information needed to tell the story of each picture. Maybe one of these days I will finally get around to telling their story in digital form.  So this floral arrangement was really without a true purpose.  So sad.

So the first thing I'd did was take it apart.
There's a lot of good stuff there but not all of it is right for this particular craft.

First, I needed to make up a base. A few years back I got a heck of a deal on some Christmas tree garland. I think these were sold in 9 or 10 foot lengths. Each length of Garland can make three bases for these sleigh bell arrangements. Using wire cutters I cut each Garland into three somewhat equal lengths. This is crafting so we don't have to be precise.  Only one section is needed per arrangement.  The rest will be used for more sleigh bell arrangements.
With the (approximately) 3 foot section of garland, I formed a loop and connected the ends to each other. I stretched it out flat as shown in the photograph of the base. Since the harness will go down the center of the arrangement, all of the little evergreen branches should be bent to go towards the outside. However a few need to be bent towards the inside forming a ladder effect as shown in the base picture.  This maintains the shape of the base and gives the sleigh bell harness something to rest on.

Here's the rest of the materials I used for this arrangement. Notice in the picture that I've already placed the sleigh bell as well as a few gold sparkly twigs with berries that were in my stash of goodies. I'm certain those came from my mother-in-law as well.

The gold pick containing a nice assortment of sparkly stars, gold lame leaves, gold painted sticks and  festive balls was probably in the bottom of a clearance bin at JoAnn's after Christmas one year. Yes I am a faithful clearance bin shopper. Unfortunately I only had one of these picks so I took it apart.
I knew it would look good at the top of the sleigh bell harness. Matching pairs of wired items, I went about re-creating this pack to better suit my needs.
When all that remained were unmatched single items, I simply worked them in to where they look nice.
The wire stems make this super easy to twist together for this project.
Using floral wire, I attached my new gold sparkly "double-pick" as well as the harness to the top of my base. This is the only place I attached the harness to my base. I utilize the loop of the harness where the ring is attached mostly because I only have green florist wire and it would look really tacky if it showed.
The next step is placing the various items on the arrangement. I started with the bigger items. These pine cones were easy to secure because they came with their own wire already.  I like pre-wired items.
The cream flowers went on next. That soft cream color looks lovely next to the gold of the harness and the brown of the pine cones.
This soft cream color was working so well I decided to slip in those smaller flowers which were saved from the original arrangement.  The stems of these flowers have no wire in them at all making them difficult to arrange in just the right spot. Without wire, the flowers tended to bunch together thus creating a larger visual effect than desired. 

Wrapping wire around the individual stems allows for more flexibility in the arrangement.

I did this with the leaves that came off of the original arrangement as well. The gold tone of these leaves is a pleasing subtle accent in this arrangement. (To achieve this look on leaves take gold metallic spray paint, spray it directly to a paper towel, and work it into just the bristle tips of a dry brush. Give the leaves a couple of soft and quick swipes with the brush.)

Here's a close-up of a single group of the small flowers attached  using florist wire. Of course after this picture is taken I went back and added wire to each of those stems so I could spread the flowers out.

Here's the finished arrangement on the wall. I utilized the loops of ribbon from the original arrangement as well, even fashioning a bowl out of three of them to give this arrangement a final bit of dressy flair. One of the nice things about this style of arrangement is that it can be attached to existing wall art. In this case the arrangement is attached to all wrought iron cross that was purchased from Hobby Lobby and permanently adorns in my great room.  I'm a huge fan of not having to undo a room just to decorate it for Christmas.

The unused dusty pink rose as well as the three sparkly gold tone pairs wait their turn in the bin of wonderful treasures.  Back on the shelf it goes until the next wave of inspiration hits.

There are more sleigh bells to come so watch for yet another sleigh bell post.

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