Thursday, June 9, 2011

Nautical Life Ring Wreath

While we're all in the mood for some Sun, Sand & Sea, I thought I'd share with you this adorable (and super cheap) Life Ring Wreath I came up with the other day.

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!**


  1. Yay!!!! It turned out great :) Thanks for linking this back to my blog. This was such a great use for the starfish & how creative is that life ring...LOVE IT! I'm going to link your blog post to MAKE THE BEST OF WHAT'S AROUND Facebook page. Thanks again.

  2. Your wreath is so dang cute!! I love how different it is. You did such a good job!

  3. Very nice. thanks for showing us how.

  4. Love it - especially the fact that you used a pool noodle for the ring.

  5. I love that you used a pool noodle. That is so creative and I love the concept of your blog. I am super frugal and love to craft that way. It is more of a challenge and I like that. This is awesome!!!!
    following you now

  6. Cute! This is a good idea! I might do something like this with my Girl Scout troop (we live on a Navy base). I wish I had seen this in time to make Father's Day gifts with them, but they might be a neat thing for us to do for Veteran's Day. Thanks!

  7. Great tutorial! THank you for sharing!
    Thanks for linking up to Making It With Allie! I can't wait to see what you have for next week!


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