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beaded cranberry wreath a la martha stewart circa 1996

Does anyone remember this stunning wreath from the cover of a Martha Stewart Living magazine?  If I have my dates right, she did a fresh cranberry version in 1995, and then this beaded one the following year.  I have the magazines somewhere ... but no inclination to find dig them out for this blog post.  I'm sure you could google it.

Back then, I was newly married with no children (translation, tons of free time).  I actually ordered the specific beads listed in the instructions (remember, this was pre-internet days) from a little shop somewhere in New York.  They were pricy!  But I wanted to make this wreath exactly the same in the.worst.way.

I remember sitting in front of the tv sticking all the pins into a bag of poly stuffing so I could paint each and every little pinhead with nailpolish.  Yes.  Yes I did.  I was that banana-nuts-crazy.

Twenty years later, I still love this wreath as much as the day I made it.  I used to hang it on a mirror above our (fake) mantle in our old house.  It didn't get put out last year 'cause we were still "unpacking".  But last week I stuck one of those 3M adhesive hooks on the inside of my front door and hung it.  The beads are glass and surprisingly heavy.  Fingers crossed that it doesn't fall! 

The old bow had seen better days so I gave it a new double-faced satin ribbon and trimmed the edges with scalloped scissors, just like Martha's.  I think maybe the tails are a tad too long.  I might trim them later.

Did you ever do a craft from Martha Stewart Living magazine?  What was it?  Do you still have it?

xo k

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Reader Comments (19)

Never even seen a Martha Stewart magazine, let alone made anything from it! But a classic design like this never goes out of fashion- understated elegance I call it!
December 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSuz
It is a pretty wreath. I like the new bow.
That is quite a memory.
I have never made anything from Martha Stewart. She does have some interesting ideas.
Some of them are intense.
December 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRosemary
Oh yes. I remember ordering buckwheat hulls from some place on the east coast. They cost a ton but she insisted they made the best pillows ever. I sewed the pillows up but those were seriously the noisiest pillows we ever tried to sleep on. Total project fail.

In a very early issue (back when you could only get the magazine at K-Mart, I think) there was a sundress pattern and I made those for all of my nieces at the time. Those turned out well.

Her projects always look nice but sometimes the sure are over complicated! Can't believe you painted all those pin heads. Wow!
December 18, 2015 | Unregistered Commentermarcella
I still have old mags - all of 1997 through 2005. After that, I kind of reached a realistic state. I can't keep all the magazines and had to cut it off. Still wondering if I should be hanging on to these "oldies". So many classic projects! Love your wreath and love that you put so much into it and that it's as special to you today as it was years ago.
December 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterStacy Olson
Oh I did so many Martha things. Love her. Did cut myself after a while. I own so much fire king and weird random stuff. Nothing pretty like this. Remember that bee skep cake? That mold was so expensive and I wanted it so bad. I even own Martha stock. Not my best investment. Martha though. Lovedo the old Turkey Hill Martha. I even drug my family out to Turkey Hill to peek over her fence. I was sure we'don't end up on hard copy. Frankie cried. She didn't want to be on that show. Oh the memories.
December 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPam
Loved the old Martha. I made a wreath out of dogwood twigs, hand colored white silk dogwood flowers pink (just like in the magazines) and yes, I still have it but it's very brittle now. Loved her old show, especially when her mom was on.
December 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSue
Oh I remember the fresh cranberry wreath! I just loved her and her show and taped them all the time. Remember the Christmas specials? I was newly married too and I was so sure my new future life would include mimosa parties on the lawn and spongeware decorated sugar cookies. I know you will get every reference here!
*Sigh* those days were a "Good Thing"

Love the beaded wreath - very classic and I would make it even today.

Merry Christmas:)
December 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJenn M
Oh the memories - I remember this wreath and you did a masterful job of it. I got fixated on a cake she made in Martha Stewart Living that had a miniature vegetable garden made of marzipan vegetables. Tiny carrots with long green leafy stems, tiny cabbages, tiny everything. I don't even know how you could make that many colors of marzipan and make the perfect little shapes without losing your mind. OMG I thought about that for years and though I cut out the recipe, I never did make it. Now that I see your wreath I wish I had attempted the wreath when I saw it in the magazine - it's glorious. I can't say I've tried too much of hers - I like her banana bread recipe and a few other baked goods but that's about it.
December 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSherri
Ha ha that's hilarious. Yes years ago I found a Martha Stewart Christmas craft book at TJ Maxx and made a bunch of stuff from it. I remember my friend and I trying to make little walnut and pearl bead ornaments. We had to glue sparkles on the bits and then tie the thinnest silver thread around them, adding the beads on top and below the nut. Took about four hours to make TWO! But I still put them on my tree every year! Merry Christmas!
December 19, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAnn
That wreath is gorgeous! I'm fairly sure we don't have Martha Stewart anything over here (I'll be honest...I wouldn't recognise her if I tripped over her!) but I can see why you wanted an exact copy of her wreath!
December 19, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterArchie The Wonder Dog
Oh, I could tell a few stories!

There was the never-ending bowl of banana muffin batter (I threw out the rest after I baked the first 96 mini muffins).

I have a few old issues of the magazine. I think I still have ALL the old issues of her short lived "Baby" magazines. I do love that most of her stuff is both fresh looking and timeless, which is a hard line to walk.
December 19, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHolly
What a beautiful wreath - well worth all of your time - and painting each pinhead :) - wow! Not sure if I ever did any of Martha Stewart's projects, but I do remember making a Christmas Wreath from 'some' magazine for my children's Teachers one year using individual Tea Bags. So I needed a LOT of peppermint and other red or green 'individually packaged' tea bags to pin onto the foam wreath form. They loved it, but I never attempted that again.
December 19, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSigi G
I did make several of her craft projects. I made the ribbon poinsettia weath. I still have it but I haven't hung it in a really long time. Merry Christmas.
December 19, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAnita
The high standards in the old Martha Stewart magazines were amazing. I rewired an old trilight floor lamp using instructions from an issue, over 25 years ago, and it is still proudly working in our living room today.
December 19, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJean
I loved watching episodes of Martha. We bought one of her Christmas books in the early nineties. We made our own stamped brown wrapping paper for Christmas, but unlike Martha who used leaves and such, we used our kids hand prints and footprints in green, red and copper paint. The family loved that one. I think we did it two years in a row. I always wanted to have a house that looked like hers at Christmas. I did learn how to string lights on my tree to really light it well from Martha on one of her shows. I still think she's pretty classy and so much more a perfectionist than I am. Thanks to everyone for sharing here. So many memories.
December 20, 2015 | Unregistered Commentercharlotte
What a beautiful wreath! I think the bow is perfect the way it is, very classy, good proportions. I just bought the holiday issue of Martha Stewart's "Living" magazine but haven't had time to really look through it yet. I hope to do that Christmas Day and maybe plan accordingly for next year.
December 21, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCindy A
OMG I made two of those wreaths. I had to special order those glass beads in different sizes. The wreaths cost me a fortune! Then painting the pin tops and poking all those pins through the styrofoam. My fingertips were so sore. Funny memory of being creative. Thanks
December 25, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterYvonne
I too subscribed to Martha's magazine in the 90's. I was a newlywed and a new mom during those years. I did simple projects that I could find the stuff for locally and cheaply. My mom, my oldest son (who was 4 at the time) and I made the icicle ornaments and snowflake ornaments from silver pipe cleaners. I also made a small jingle bell wreath to hang on my inside, front doorknob. All are still in use today, 17 years later.

I have all of her Christmas books, decorating books and cookbooks. The magazines I eventually got rid of except for the Christmas issues. Those I've kept. I still buy the Christmas issue if I see enough ideas in it that I love. For me, her ideas were jumping off points to create my own style of decorating and holiday traditions and expanding my cooking skills.
December 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMel
I've so enjoyed riding this post and the comments! I made the fresh cranberry wreath 😀

I still subscribe to MSL and only recently got rid of my mags, 1996 (ish)-2013. I kept the Xmas ones and a few other special ones.

The magazine and show were a big influence on me during grad school and my thirties. I learned so much from Martha!
February 11, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

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