Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Memo Board...of Sorts

You have probably seen rag garland tutorials somewhere in the last couple years. I didn't find out they existed until last year, but I thought the whole idea was a bit too "country" for my decorating tastes. Recently, however, I decided to make a small one to hang in my laundry room. I was going to add some clothespins on ribbons to it and make it something of a fancy-looking, decorative clothesline--a place to hang the "unmentionables" to dry. I had read several tutorials for the rag garlands, and every one of them said to tear TONS of rag strips--"you'll need more than you think," they all boldly proclaimed. Well, when you think you need several tons, but your garland is under three feet long, you may wind up with an extra ton of rag strips! What to do with them? The obvious answer is to make a rag wreath for your bedroom, and to add clothespins to the wreath to make it a memo board!

I'm not going to write a tutorial on how to make a rag wreath--you can google "rag garland" and get about two bazillion hits. To turn the garland into a wreath, just bend a wire hanger into a circle and use it as the base you tie your rag strips around. At first I tried to keep all the strips lying flat, but then I decided that made the wreath look...flat. So I just fluffed and twisted and pulled until most of the strips were coming forward and the wreath looked properly three-dimensional.  (This photo is pre-fluffing.)

I was originally going to spray paint the clothespins white. While I was waiting to get a chance to do that, however, I saw some stamped clothespins. What a great idea--make the clothespins pretty!  I used pink and green ink pads and stamped with a variety of floral images. Some were wide stamps, so I held several clothespins together and stamped them at once. You could also try spray painting, then stamping, or even overstamping different colors and patterns onto a single clothespin.
Once my clothespins were pretty, I arranged them on the wreath (I decided I wanted half to face in and half to face out) and dumped out my stash of narrow pink ribbons. For those who like numbers, my wreath form (or wire hanger circle) is about a foot in diameter, and I used ten clothespins. If I were to make this again, I might increase it to an even dozen clothespins. The ribbons I wound up liking best were about 1/4 inch to 3/4 inch. Eighth-inch ribbon was just too skimpy (although it might be fine if you used two or three strands), and wider ribbons didn't blend as well.
I tied a piece of ribbon around the wreath (just like the rags), put a clothespin on top, and put the ribbon ends through the clothespin. In the picture below it's done very loosely, but of course I snugged it up tight to the clothespin spring. Once the clothespin was pinching the ribbon, I double-knotted the ribbon ends on top of the clothespin. I experimented with the ribbon length a bit, but I decided I wanted the ribbon tails just a bit shorter than my rag ends, so I cut my ribbons about the same length as the rag strips. (The extra knots took up a little length, resulting in ribbons just slightly shorter than rags.)

Next, I rescued the ribbons from my feline helper/inspector.

Once all the clothespins were tied on, I added one last loop of ribbon for hanging, then stuck it to the wall with a small Command hook. I love those, by the way. They prevent my commitment-fearing self from having to put holes in the wall until I'm sure I like the wall arrangement!

(The flowers in the paper cone were on clearance this summer at Pier 1 for less than it would have cost me to purchase the flowers alone!)

Closeup of the beribboned clothespins.  I'm liking my new "memo wreath"!
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