This has been a year of great achievement, great loss, great beauty, great sadness, and great friendships; but through it all I have been repeatedly reminded of the gift of family. At this time of year, I think we all look forward to looking homeward and to family—whatever home and family may mean for us.

Still, it is incomprehensible to me that Christmas will be here in two days—and that New Year’s Day will roll around in little over a week.

I have two rolls of (once) live evergreen garland laying on my front porch, unopened (and certainly no longer “ever” green). It’s never happened to me before that I didn’t get the garland hung.

There’s also an XXL pumpkin in my front yard. It’s sitting in the same spot it sat on Halloween night—never cut, never lit. I ask Maggie about once a week, “May I please move that pumpkin now?”

At the moment, a pile of presents is sitting on the table awaiting wrapping. Every time I think of complaining about wrapping them, I remind myself that I’m lucky I have the ability to give and honored to have people to give them to. (Plus, I’ve also figured out that I can pay nine-year old Maggie—the pumpkin lover—one dollar per package. After our transcontinental trip with trains and origami, she is an excellent wrapper.)

Tonight I will put off wrapping just a day longer. I’m going to sit down, Maggie by my side, and wind some wreaths. The wreaths won’t make or break our holiday decorations this year (after all, we are garland-less). The wreaths aren’t really for presents (but we may well gift one or two). Really, making the wreaths is a way of claiming just a little more time together.

We are going to put on a holiday record—and wrap and twist and knot and pull and laugh and just sit. Olivia taught us to make mini hula-hoops—which are the base for these wreaths. Use the instructions below to join us.

(Plus—you could always use these same instructions to make everyone in your family their own personal hula-hoop—imagine a day of hooping together.)



¾ inch 100 psi irrigation tubing
PVC pipe cutter
¾ inch coupling
Organic cotton jersey scraps and/or Cotton Jersey Pulls

Cut the tubing to desired diameter with PCV cutter—our wreaths are approximately 62” in circumference, creating a 21” diameter wreath.

Using boiling hot water or a hairdryer, heat up the cut end of the tubing and insert the coupling to connect the tubing together. Let cool.

Make your Cotton Jersey Pulls from t-shirts or scraps. Once the individual pulls are complete, tie them end-to-end with a square knot to create one very long rope. You may want to roll this long rope of Cotton Jersey Pulls together into a Yarn Ball to facilitate the wrapping process, as this project takes yards and yards and yards of ropes. The wreath shown here is approximately 21” in diameter and requires approximately 72 yards of ropes.

Simply tie one end of your Cotton Jersey Pull to the base with an overhand knot, or a slip knot, or any other knot of your design that will secure the first end to the base. Proceed to wrap your wreath base with cotton ropes and continue to wrap until the entire surface is covered. For the wreaths shown, we used multitudes of strategically placed slip knots (as in our knotted necklace—watch a video on how we make these knots at Creativebug), finger crochet ropes of cotton jersey, and simple macramé knots.


For a hanger, use a doubled strand of a long Cotton Jersey Pull to wrap around one side of the wreath; secure in place with a slip knot close to the outside edge of the wreath and another slip knot at the top of your rope, and hang (or gift).


You may also wrap your wreath base with cotton jersey scraps before adding your Cotton Jersey Pulls. In this case, you will use the pulls to completely lash the fabric around your wreath. Try to keep fabric stretched and smooth as you work around the circle. You will find it easier if you lash approximately 3 inches apart and then work around the entire circle again and again.

You will find other wreath ideas here, here, here, and here.

Happy Days from all of us @ Alabama Chanin

4 comments on “WREATH TOGETHER

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  1. Angela

    I feel this! There is a bag of greens that were destined to be arranged in a planter still bagged on my porch, and, until recently, I had two pumpkins flanking my front door. A week and a half ago, my neighbor put a Santa hat on one and reindeer antlers on the other, a subtle hint. So, I decided to take it up a notch, and I carved one pumpkin with a Christmas tree and the other with a dove and put candles in them for a night. (They have since gone to the backyard to compost.) I hope you have a Merry Christmas.

  2. georgine

    A good reminder to do what is really important. Christmas used to be my favorite holiday, now I feel harried and obligated to do everything else but spend time doing fun stuff with my family. It shouldn’t be about having to do Christmas, it should be about wanting to do it.

  3. Sheryl Putnam

    Merry Christmas Natalie .. Thank you, Zac and your fabulous staff for making life more fun, delicious and creative. I’m sure I speak for many..
    Hope 2016 will be your best year yet !!