Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Winter Ice Wreath {with Tutorial}

Good morning everyone!  Today I'm bringing you a little project that I've been working on for the past couple of days and finally got finished up -

 A Winter Ice Wreath.  

This one over at Salt Tree was my inspiration.  Since this will be our last Winter up north (good Lord willin') I really wanted to do one of these for Christmas.  It wouldn't last 5 minutes in my beloved Florida.  So...I was excited for December to come, and snow and freezing weather so I could make one for myself.  The only problem was, there was no snow.  And no freezing weather.  Not until the day after Christmas.  Go figure.  

Well, no problem, the end of December brought lots of snow and January started off with some good freezing cold weather.  So I started in making a "Winter" wreath instead of a Christmas one.  New problem...now that I finally have it finished up, it's supposed to be in the 60's next week.  In January.  In Northwest Ohio.  I can't win for losin.'

Well, it was fun to do anyways and it gave me something to blog about, right?  : )

In deciding to do a Winter wreath I chose to go with blue and silver colors because I thought I already had some wide, pretty, blue and silver ribbon on hand. Turns out, I didn't.  Told ya...can't win.  

I hit the 75% off after Christmas clearance sale at Walmart and got a little canister of ornaments and 4 little decorative picks, all for about $2.  Other than that all you need is a bundt pan and some water.

I cut the picks apart and layered the items in the bottom of the pan.

Then I added bags of ice as weights on top of them to keep them from floating up in the water.

Next, I had my cute little helper pour about 1/2 cup or so of water in the bottom.  I wanted just enough to freeze the objects in place, but not so much that it would be high enough to touch the bags and freeze them in place too.  That wouldn't make for a very pretty wreath.

Then I just set it outside in the snow to freeze.  Later that day I did make some room in the deep freeze and brought it in so that no unwanted "doo-jabbies" that might be floating/flying through the air ended up in my wreath.

Then I just kept layering the water 1/2 - 1 cup or so at a time, letting it freeze in between.  (You can see one ornament still floated up a little despite my "weights.)  Here it is with the Bundt pan about half full. This took me a full day to get it layered that high, and then I let it freeze solid over night.

The next day, I added another layer of ornaments and objects, and started the process all over again layering the water little bits at a time.  Once I was sure they were frozen in place, I filled it the rest of the way up.  Oh, by the way, I used the filtered water that we buy from the local Culligan store.  We don't like the taste of our tap water so we fill up a couple of 5 gallon jugs every week or two for our drinking water, and that's what I used.  The original article says that different kinds of water will produce different levels of "cloudiness" in the water.

So, after another day of layering and then another overnight freezing I had this.

I flipped it over on a plate and set it in the sink to let it work itself out of the pan.  The original instructions say that you should just let it happen on it's own, don't try to force it by running warm water over the pan or anything else because you risk cracking it.  Another tip from me is, don't put it in your sink and then completely forget about it until a couple of hours later when it's nice and melty and you have to put it back in the pan and add more water and re-freeze it.  Trust me, it doesn't work so good.

After re-freezing it and letting it sit just until it worked itself loose from the pan, this is what I ended up with.

While I was waiting on it to come out of the pan, I worked on making a bow for it.  (More about that in a minute.)  I apologize that this picture isn't all that great.  I was trying to hurry up and finish the pictures before the sun went down and the low light gave me need to use some filler flash and some of the photos ended up a little harsh.  But I was afraid it would crack, or fall and shatter, or melt away or some other stroke of bad luck before I had a chance to get my pictures.

I love the little snowflakes tucked in there.

It ended up being very sparkly and "fancy," much more fancy than I usually do here at The "Farmhouse," but I still like it.  There are so many possibilities with this.  For a more rustic look you use pinecones and twigs, if it's still cold enough in February where you live you could fill it with red items for a Valentine's wreath. 
 Just about anything really.  

Now here's the fine print, this will really only work if you live where it gets really cold and stays really cold for awhile.  It was 30 degrees out when I was taking these pictures and it was already starting to drip.  I left it up anyways thinking that as the sun went down it would continue to get colder and it would be alright.  Not really.  Before I went to bed it was 28 degrees and it had lost a lot of water and had icicles forming on the bottom of it.  I just put it back in the pan, added more water, and stuck it back in the deep freeze to save for when/if the weather turns cold again.  But apparently, it needs to be somewhere below 28 degrees for this to really work.

Now, I told you I'd share a bit more about the bow.  Like I said before, I thought I already had a blue and silver ribbon, it was the whole reason I chose that color scheme.  But...after the wreath was already made and then I got around to unpacking my Winter box I discovered that I indeed did not have any ribbon.  I guess I didn't remember that I got rid of it last year.  I made a trip to Hobby Lobby hoping maybe I could score something in the Christmas clearance aisle, but it was not to be.  So instead I picked up these two.  They were 50% off that day so it wasn't too bad, $3 for both maybe?

Let me just be honest, I am NOT a bow maker, so any professional bow makers please keep your guffaws about my method down to a respective giggle if you don't mind.  I just fiddle it with it until it looks right, so don't judge.

1. I cut a few strips of ribbon the same length, 3 are pictured, but I ended up using 5.
2. I looped each piece into a circle and stapled the ends (I heard that snicker...)
3. I squeezed each loop in the middle and stapled it again (all right, not so loud, it's rude...really!).
4.  Then I layered them all together and you guessed it....
5. Stapled them together.  (Are you done laughing now so that we can proceed?)

Then I used basically the same method, only with a little wire and hot glue, to form a similar bow out of the smaller sparkly ribbon and glued that to the center (to cover up the, you guessed it...staples).  

And ended up with this.

So, for about $5 I have a cute and unique Winter wreath to hang on the door.  
Well, you know...if it ever gets cold enough I will.

Let me know if you decide to try this too, and be sure to share a picture over on the Facebook page
 I'd love to see your version!

(Don't forget to enter the giveaway going on {here}!)


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  1. Stephanie,

    This is sooo darn cute!
    And with our temps being in the single digits this would be perfect and stay perfect for awhile :)

    I like the blue you have used :)

    Have a fun and creative week!


  2. Love your wreath, staples and all. Blue is my favorite color. Our Ohio weather is unpredictable--I bet your wreath is in the freezer today.

  3. Lovely! You did a wonderful job, I love the colours you chose ;) Cheers!

  4. What a cool (pun intended) idea. I wonder though just what kind of knocking around it would do on my door when the wind blows. Hope you get to enjoy it before the winter is over.

  5. How clever is this!!! I love it:)



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