When a non crafting junker crafts for Christmas – with canning jar wreath

I fully admit, I’m not much of a crafter.

I suppose it’s because I seem to be able to make what I desire out of found objects as is. I simply enjoy the look of an element in it’s authentic form without having to touch glue or scissors.

However, I took a walk on the wild craftin’ side this weekend. πŸ™‚

~ cranberry garland ~

Take this simple cranberry fake garland for example. While I loved the look, the piece I had wasn’t long enough for what I had in mind.

cranberry garland for Christmas

It doesn’t get much simpler than picking up some fresh cranberries, threading a big needle with some heavy string and getting to it! (creating in front of a kid’s Christmas cartoon made the job much quicker I might add..)

The top is the fake and the bottom is the real deal. How I LOVE the variation of the shades on the latter!

cranberry garland for Christmas

I strung the strands across my blogging area wall unit. Here’s one section. I love how the real berries look against the antiques!

Anyone have any idea how it lasts non refrigerated?!? I have NO idea. But I’ll let you know in 30 days. πŸ™‚

~ Tap handle ornaments ~

antique tap handles for ornaments

These fabulous antique tap handles are from Anything Goes Here Etsy. Since I just received them, I had to do something fun with them!

canning jar lids for ornaments and wreath

Add a few canning jar lids (that have rusted to the perfect hue from being outdoors), and raffia and you have…

Canning jar lid and vintage tap handle ornaments

Canning jar lid and vintage tap handle ornaments

… some very rustic junk style ornaments for the tree. πŸ™‚

~ Canning lid wreath ~

Make a canning jar lid wreath via Funky Junk Interiors

 I can’t take credit for creating this, however this is how I bought this wreath for $1. πŸ™‚ A bunch of canning lids were strung onto some kind of tie.

Make a canning jar lid wreath via Funky Junk Interiors

Make a canning jar lid wreath via Funky Junk Interiors

 Tie it together tightly and you have yourself an industrial chic wreath!

rust tip: I purchased the lids with no rust. They became this patina by simply hanging on my outdoor shed

Make a canning jar lid wreath via Funky Junk Interiors

Make a canning jar lid wreath via Funky Junk Interiors

Rustic garden shed with canning jar lid wreath on door

And this is where it got rusty.  I added these last couple pics because I linked this post up to Nester’s “You made a wreath out of what?!” party. πŸ™‚

So moving along…

~ illuminated jars ~

I have a dark fireplace mantel and desired to brighten it up.

White mini lights were first placed in position along the mantel top.

Then glass jars of varying heights and shapes were placed in front of the lights. The jars light up beautifully as if illuminated by candlelight.

tip: that white stuff is glass angel hair. It’s extremely difficult to locate, however if you do find some, don’t pass it up! It catches the light in the most amazing of ways and makes your surfaces appear hazy snow like.

 Dark mantel no more! The combination of the jars, lights and angel hair has quite an illuminating effect, especially when dusk approaches. And it’s very junkified. πŸ™‚

Closeup of wreath because Joani asked. πŸ™‚ It’s junkfied with memories. More story to follow!

~ old gate ~

 The ever so easy to make gate tutorial is HERE

The rest of my decor is simply all about arranging vintage finds and family keepsakes I already had. Is it crafted or simply arranged? I’ll let you be the judge. If you like no cost junk decorating, you’ll like what else is in store. πŸ™‚

Would you consider yourself more of a crafter or arranger?


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  1. The jar lid wreath is awesome! I want one…how long does it take for the lids to rust?
    For not being a “crafter” you do pretty well…that’s for sure! You’re the bee’s knees.
    Love your blog! You are very creative!

  2. My daughter made me a strand of the cranberries when she was young — I couldn’t part with them, so I packed them in a bag until the following year. When I pulled them out, they still looked great! I have no clue how they lasted 2 years; they did dry out some but still looked great!

    I ADORE the metal ring wreath above!!

    I hate to say, I have no holiday spirit this year. I keep trying to get my butt in the mood, but so many things are weighing me down.

    Anyway — kudos to you ~ wonderful job!!

  3. I made little fresh cranberry wreaths years ago on wire. I think a thin wire hanger. They will last for years. What happens is they dry and then shrivel up. Which means there will be more room on your garland, but they will be wrinkly and shiny and still very pretty. I’ve thought about making some this year. You’ll love them. I love your jar lid wreath. That’s definitely going on my list!

  4. You are SO COOL!!! One year, when I was little…we strung real cranberries and popped popcorn on our tree. Hmmm…maybe you just gave me an idea for a new post! Ha!

    Now, where did I put that old picture?

    : )

    Julie M. (Artist/Designer/Crafter)

  5. OMG- I so remember that angel hair from my childhood…my parents lived in Germany and we had tons of that stuff! It was very itchy and I hated it as a kid but boy I wish I had some now!

  6. Love EVERYTHING! I tried to go a bit more unconventional…a bit more rustic in decorating the tree this year. Man HATED it…He volunteered to give it a few days to see if it grew on him. It didn’t. So I undecorated it and went back to my traditional look…Well at least he tried…he really did. …at least I can “visit” you and look at your lovely Christmas decor!

  7. How do you come up with all your great ideas and where do you find all this funky junk!!? I love it all! Maybe ill try the cranberry garland…i have some in my fridge. Thanks for sharing! And thanks for the comment on my blog about my pumpkin snowman!!

  8. I’m def an arranger!! πŸ™‚

    LOVE what you have done.

    I put up white lights on my mantel last year….and loved them so much ~ I leave them up all year round ~ and change out what I put up there

  9. Girlfriend, who told you that you are not a crafter??? You da queen crafter! Love the looks and am heading out to buy me some cranberries right this minute! thanks for sharing your brilliant ideas with us! happy crafting by the way!

  10. For a self proclaimed non-crafty girl you sure do a wonderful job of creating beauty! I adore the canning jar lid wreath, may I borrow the idea? I have tons of lids from my grandmothers canning jars and this would be perfect to use at our farm!

  11. DONNA! You are so YOU!!!! Oh my goodness! I was squealing as I was reading!

    Love the ornaments! And the wreath!

    Cranberries will turn into cran-raisins!!! They look so COOL all wrinkling too!!! And you could always put them outdoors for the birdies and critters to enjoy! That’s what we are doing here!!!

    According to our dictionary:
    Craft (er) is one who does an activity involving skill in making things by hand
    (no where is a hot glue gun mentioned!)

    So you are a crafter!!! Hee!

    And an amazing, over-the-top, unique ONE I might add!


  12. OK, I love that wreath!! Your ornaments and garland are great as well! I was wondering the same thing about the berries. I see them everywhere and they are so pretty, but do they start to go bad? I guess I will find out! πŸ™‚ Have a wonderful day!!

  13. Love it all! You are a girl after my own heart! The rusty canning jar lids with the tap handles, I want to marry them<3 LOL! Great job! Merry Christmas

  14. I LOVE the way your mind works, Donna! You have totally blown me away with all of your awesome Christmas decorating ideas! I love the way you have completely thought outside of the box and came up with totally fresh and new ideas… AWESOME!!
    Also… did you get a new camera or something??? Your pictures are GORGEOUS!!!
    OK… can you tell I love this post… lol!
    Have a great day my friend!
    Jo πŸ™‚

  15. #47, no new camera. Just my goofy little point and shoot still.

    My dream is to write an ebook with ALL my tricks on getting the most out of one of these little cheapos. I just can’t do it in simple blog posts. I need more more more room! πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the kudos, friends! Wow.


  16. You are wonderfully creative and make so much out of so little. Sorry to hear that you miss your mum so badly..hOpefully things will get better. I’m having a GIVAWAY…POP ON BY.

  17. Oh MY!! I am a crafter, who wishes she could arrange!! My old barn is filled with those tap handles… I may hav to go raid. And the lid wreath is divine!! Wish I had one. Lovely ideas. Happy holidays

  18. This has got to be the most original, mind blowing Christmas decor I have ever seen!! How on earth did you come up with these amazing ideas?! You should be featured in every decorating magazine! Wonderful

  19. I just love your decorating -the ornaments are too cool. I think your angel hair -is that the same stuff our moms used to decorate with? If so it really is pretty

  20. Donna, you never fail to amaze me with your creativity. I love your Christmas decorations! Yes, you are definitely a crafter! I too had the same question about using cranberries because I wanted to add them to my decorations this year. Thanks to your readers I now know!

    ~ Tracy

  21. I have always adored your canning lid wreath but I love what you have done with the lids and the tap handles ~ you are a genius!! Hugs to you Donna. xo

  22. I absolutely LOVE your ideas and creativity with these decorations! You shouldn’t say you’re not a crafter, because you craft all the time!

    I also wanted to say my heart is with you this holiday season, having to go through it without your Mom. I really empathize with you on that.

    And finally, just wanted to tell you that I have been SO inspired and getting things done! I’ve been sharing at my blog, I hope you’ll stop by and see.


    ~Angela πŸ™‚

  23. Oh, Donna..you are an amazing junker if ever I saw one. I am totally and forever in love with your beautiful mantel. I LOVE the jars with the lights behind them so much better than FILLED with lights. When I was a little girl, glass angle hair was all we had. My mom would caution us kids to be careful as the angle hair could make little cuts on your hands. Now, I can’t even find any.
    I love all your cute decorations..and, I am NOT one bit crafty.
    \hugs, bj

  24. Now I’ve seen it all! The rusty jar lids that is!
    I am now on a hunt for rusty jar lids because I love it.. Wonder what my hubby will say when he sees mine..lol
    good job!

  25. How did I ever miss this? Oh your wreath brings back memories. My mom was an avid canner and stored her rings on an old wire coat hanger.
    Ah, she was junky before it was funky. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the memories. Happy Labor Day!

  26. Ever since I saw this wreath at your “wreath” party, I have been on the lookout for cheap canning lids. Well, yesterday was my lucky day. I popped back over to find out exactly how to make it, and I am super pleased that it is as easy as I thought! I will be making one for my blog this week with a link back to you to give you the credit! Life to the full! Melissa

  27. I love this! I am always looking at my rusty canning jar lids with regret as I toss them. I hate throwing things away if I can find a way to re-purpose things. Thanks!

  28. I have saved a bunch of license plates. What can I make out of them? I am crafty and handy but I can’t come up with any ideas.

    Thank you.

  29. hi Donna ! I love the canning lid wreath, and just wanted to know where do I purchase the lids and about how many do I need. also, love repurposing old, rusty objects and this is a great place to find new ideas for old junk ! Love it ! Thanks, Mary Ann

  30. I’ve also seen canning jar lids tied tightly in a circle with a stick in the center for a stem and a few fake leaves to make it look like a pumpkin. You can also add wire tendrils by curling it around a pencil to curl it.