I know it's not even Thanksgiving yet, but if you're making your gifts and decorations like I am this year, the prep time is upon us! And I'm on the lookout for bright holiday ideas that won't break the bank.
Just feast your eyes on these shimmery, sparkly wreaths made from old Christmas ornaments by the super-talented thrifter Sonya Collett of Dime Store Thrift. Sonya started making her holiday wonders last year as a blizzard was making its way toward her home in Sioux City, Iowa. "I always seem to start projects at inopportune times," she says. "But once I started making one I couldn't stop, and the entire dining room table was covered in wreaths, tinsel, hot glue sticks and old Shiny Brites."
Sonya tapped into her passion for thrift shopping and combined it with her love of purchasing old ornaments all year long. "I love any old Christmas decorations and get giddy when I find nativities, plastic Christmas junk from the '70s, old strands of lights .... ALL makes me pretty giddy!"
As she hits her local Goodwill (her favorite shopping haunt) she always keeps her eye open for vintage Pyramid and Shiny Brite ornaments as well as goods that were made in West Germany or the United States. "Any color, any size, just let it be old," she says. "And you know, I love the ornaments that you can tell have been used, hung on the tree year after year using an old string or twist tie. I want the ones I find to have been loved. So if there is etching in there, bring it on. But I will not shun a box of never-used Shiny Brites!"
You, too, can make a wreath of holiday ornaments by following Sonya's easy tips.
• For your base, use an evergreen wreath or wrap a twig or foam wreath in a long strand of tinsel garland using a twisted piece of sturdy wire that will end up at the top to use as a hook.
• Arrange and spread out the ornaments you want to use. Sonya keeps hers sorted by color in wire baskets so that she can see what she has available.
• "Heat up that high-heat hot glue gun, baby!" she says. "And keep a LOT of extra glue sticks at the ready; you do not want to run out in the middle of this project."
• Locate your most spectacular ornament and affix it to the top of the wreath by squeezing a generous amount of glue onto its backside. Press into place and hold for about 20 seconds. ("It will sort of melt the tinsel as it affixes; don't let that scare you. But please, be careful to not get burned by the glue!!" she warns. "I can't EVEN begin to tell you how bad that hurts."
• Then add the rest of your ornaments, using odd sizes to fill gaps and create visual texture, and soon, your one-of-a-kind wreath will be ready to hang.
Now doesn't that just put you in the spirit of the season?
If that's not enough, be sure to stop in frequently to visit Sonya at Dime Store Thrift as I've heard she's gearing up to do a special giveaway of my book The Find: The Housing Works Book of Decorating With Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects, and Vintage Details. What's more, if you're the winner, I'll even sign it for you!
Always Frugal, Always Fabulous,
The Elegant Thrifiter