It’s holiday craft time! We hope you like our Holiday Village Wreath – St. John’s Edition. This wreath was a labour of love, and we think it turned out so cute, we just had to share it with everyone. We didn’t take pictures mid-process, but it’s really not that complicated. For anyone interested in creating their own version, read on!
So it’s no secret that us Newfoundlanders love jellybean row-style townhouse crafts. From painted rocks to mailboxes, they are a dime a dozen. But we both spent our university years in St. John’s, and our love for downtown runs deep. The idea for this wreath came from a desire to make a row house-themed Christmas project, and the happy circumstance of being gifted some bottle brush trees someone had lying around for a while. I had seen a village wreath with bottle brush trees on Pinterest a while back, and voila! We had our Christmas project.
To make our townhouses, we started with some simple wooden rectangle shapes we picked up at the dollar store, and some acrylic paints. We picked our favourite designs and colour combinations from some actual St. John’s houses, and started painting! To make the houses look like they were lit up with Christmas lights, we topped them off with a row of stick-on rhinestones we also got at the dollar store. Then we glued popsicle sticks to the back to make them like true rowhouses, and added a ribbon of black rhinestones underneath to look like wet pavement streets. We staggered them so it looks like they are going downhill like the steep hills of downtown St. John’s.
Next up, we decided to include some St. John’s landmarks, to make it extra special. We settled on the Basilica of St. John the Baptist and Signal Hill. Both buildings are stone, so we bought a peel and stick stone tile (again, from the dollar store), cut it with some power snips, and painted with acrylic paints. We just googled images of the real building and then had to unlock our phones every 30 seconds to remember what we were doing. It’s probably better to print off a reference picture, but no matter! Easy peasy!
To make the wreath, we started with a styrofoam wreath form and the most realistic-looking branches we could find from the dollar store. Then we poked holes and hot-glued in each step of the way, being sure to fill in any visible holes. This was a long, painful process that resulted in a few burns (ouch!) and ended up costing just as much as if we had bought a wreath – 1 out of 10 would not recommend. It would work just as well to buy a nice-looking artificial wreath, or if you don’t mind making one each year, a real wreath, and spraying with artificial snow and glitter spray. Or if you are a sucker for punishment, you can do what we did – it did turn out very nice in the end!
Finally, we arranged our bottle brush trees with old pillow batting around in groups on the wreath, followed by our houses and buildings. When we found a layout we liked the best, we hot glued everything into place. We have a more concise shopping list below, but the best thing about this craft is that you can be creative and choose your own favourite town or buildings. Happy Crafting!
- A foam wreath form and 15-20 flocked faux fir branches, or an artificial wreath with white/glitter flocking
- ~5 popsicle craft sticks
- Craft-store wooden rectangle shapes (we used 6)
- Peel and stick rhinestones
- Black sequin ribbon
- 1 peel & stick stone tile
- An assortment of bottlebrush trees (about 16)
- Batting from an old pillow, or cotton balls
- A hot glue gun and several glue sticks
- A pair of power snips