It all starts with a Pool Noodle I picked up at the Dollar Tree. Using packing tape, I stuck the ends together and made a circle.
Next, I did something that I hadn't done since grade school - Paper Mache! To make paper mache, mix 1 Cup Flour and 2 Cups of Water in a large bowl to make a paste. Rip strips of newspaper (it's better if they're ripped, not cut) and dip them, one at a time, into the paste mixture. Using your fingers, squeegee any excess paste from the paper - you only want a very light coating.
I applied the paper mache all around the pool noodle, making sure to smooth out the paper as I went.
Here's what it looked like after 2 coats of paper mache. I set it outside to dry - it took about 6 hours to dry completely.
Next, I gave it a couple of coats with white craft paint, then one coat of Modge Podge to seal it and give it a bit of a sheen.
Now for the fun part! I was looking for Nautical Style Rope in the Dollar Tree, and came across these great dog toys:
The rope was just what I was looking for! I asked my husband to take them apart and I attached them to four "corners" of the ring using some basic string. I then covered the string with some Blue Painter's Tape. The back of the ring is shown below:
All that's left is to Personalize it! I used Brick Red Craft Paint to write "USS MATZ...CVN-599." I chose "CVN" because my husband loves aircraft carriers and those are their call letters, and "599" is our wedding anniversary!
Because I can't just "leave well enough alone," I took this Life Ring to the next level by adding some fish netting I had lying around and some Salt Dough Starfish and Sand Dollars that my son and I made (for FREE) after seeing a great post by Tanya at Make The Best Of What's Around.
Here's the final result! I just LOVE it and I think it's a little different than the traditional summertime wreath!
The Fake-It Yourself Breakdown:
Personalized Life Ring Wreath (Pool Noodle $1.00, Dog Toys $2.00)
Total Fake-It Cost: $3.00
Personalized Life Ring from Brookstone ($89.95)
Total Fake-It Savings: $86.95
**If you liked this, check out my other Crafts!**