DIY Yarn Wreath (from abeautifulmess.com)I don't know what it is, but about once a year (or maybe a little less, every 18 months?), I get the itch to make a wreath. Wreaths are such a classic decor project that there are about one million options for how to create one, what supplies to use, etc. Since it's the holidays, I decided to make something simple that I knew I could use year after year if I choose. This easy DIY yarn wreath is similar to making a latch hook rug and kind of resembles shag carpet—but I mean that in the best possible way. :)

DIY Yarn Wreath Also it only took about 2 hours to complete, so you're just one good holiday movie away from completing this cute project. You could use any color yarn and ribbon, so it doesn't have to be a holiday wreath unless that's what you are going for. And this project is so inexpensive (mine cost around $12) that I could see this being a really fun gals' night craft project or homemade gift you could make multiples of if you wanted. 

How to make a yarn wreathSupplies:
50-60 yards of yarn
wire ribbon
wire wreath frame
spray paint, optional
scissors
needle and thread

Quick note about yarn for this project: I'd recommend choosing something that isn't prone to fray much if at all. I also think thicker/chunky yarns look really nice here, and they will make this project come together much faster (you'll see why in a second). I used 1 1/3 skeins of Yarn Bee yarn in Astounding White (each skein was 43 yards), but see what you can find at your local craft store as I think there are lots of options that would work well here. You could even use jersey yarn or cut up t-shirts into thin strips of fabric for a different look than yarn. The possibilities really are limitless here, but do keep in mind to choose something that doesn't fray easily. 

How to make a shaggy yarn wreathStep One: If you using, spray paint the wire frame. I decided to do this as my original frame was a dark green and I chose to use white yarn. So I wanted the frame to be white in case any small areas showed through the yarn. If your frame already matches your yarn color choice, then you can skip this step. 

Step Two: Cut one of the skeins of yarn into 7 to 8 inch pieces. This is a bit longer than you will probably need, but it makes it much easier to work with. You will likely need more than one skein of yarn, but it depends how big your wire frame is. So it's good to just cut one skein, and then wait to see how much more you will need before cutting a second one. 

Easy yarn wreath tutorialStep Three: Loop each piece of yarn over the wire frame and then slide into place. See the images above for how I did this. Repeat until the entire frame is covered in yarn.

DIY shag rug wreathStep Four: Give your wreath a hair cut! Trim the yarn to the length you desire. Then add a ribbon bow or any other embellishments you want (faux berries, decorative birds, greenery, etc.). You can sew these in place or use a hot glue gun. I chose to sew mine with thread to the wire frame. 

DIY Yarn Wreath  That's it—pretty simple! Now you can display your wreath on any door or wall in your home. Mine is currently hanging on the inside of my backdoor. If you do choose to hang it outside, you might consider using a product like Scotchgard Rug & Carpet Protector to help make it a bit more weatherproof. Yarn is delicate, so if your doorway doesn't have some kind of overhang or a storm door and you think your wreath might get excessively wet, then it may not last long. But again, this kind of depends on your doorway. So use your best judgment here. 

Also, feel free to judge my backyard. Maybe I should have been raking leaves instead of making a wreath? Hmm. But making a wreath is SO much more fun, guys. OK, excuse me, I need to go find a rake. ;) xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions.

New ABM actionsWe are continuing our 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways today with a prize we are really excited about! Earlier this year we launched our latest collection of A Beautiful Mess actions. These are Photoshop and Lightroom presets that we use on basically ALL the photography you see here on the blog. Actions make editing super quick and easy as you are just one click away from achieving some really beautiful looks. 

Today 7 lucky winners will get to choose an ABM action pack. Check them all out here: Clean + Modern Collection / Natural Beauty Collection / BW + Enhance Collection / Lightroom Magic Collection

To enter for a chance to win, sign up below and you'll also see that you can submit more than one entry by following us or signing up for our newsletter. If you have already signed up for the newsletter or already follow us on Twitter/Pinterest, simply do it again below to receive the extra entries (it won't cause you to receive duplicate newsletters or anything; it's just so we can verify your entry). Good luck! xo. Emma + Elsie


6th Day of Christmas 2016

The five minute braided bun (click-through for the full tutorial)My favorite hairstyle is an easy hairstyle! I like to air dry my hair because yes, it is a bit better for your hair, but really it's because most days I can't be bothered to blow dry. Too much effort! So while I love playing with my hair and trying new styles out, if the steps are too complicated or it takes too long—I'm out! Thankfully there are a lot of fun styles that look fancier and trickier than they actually are, like today's super easy five minute braided bun. Seriously, this bun will only take you five minutes to do, maybe even less than five.

Five minute braided bun for medium length hair (click-through for the full tutorial)Step One: Start with clean, brushed hair. Your hair doesn't have to be straight; textured and curly hair will also work for this style.

Step Two: Separate a small section of hair on either side of your face and pull the rest of your hair back into a low ponytail. 

Step Three: Twist your ponytail into a simple bun and secure it in place with a hair elastic and a few bobby pins.

Step Four: Braid both of the small sections of hair you left down. You can leave them thin or pancake them a bit to look fuller.

Step Five: Take one braid and bring it back across your bun and pin in place. Repeat with the other braid.

The five minute braided bun (click through for the full tutorial)Add a fun hair fork or festive pin in your hair if you want to get fancy, and you're done. This hairstyle is perfect for ladies like myself with short-to-medium length hair who want to get that up-do look. The low bun means you don't have to worry about those super short pieces in the back, and the braids totally give the illusion that you have longer hair! If you do have longer hair, you can still recreate this style. Just wrap the braids fully around the bun, or even play with texture by making fishtail braids instead. Cheers, Rebecca.

Credits//Author and Photography: Rebecca Stice. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess Presets for Lightroom

Creamy Winter Pasta Salad (via abeautifulmess.com)  Is there anything better than pasta salad? And yes, it might normally be thought of as a great side dish option at summer backyard bar-b-cues, but this version keeps all the best things about pasta salad (like the pasta and a creamy dressing) and updates it with some of my favorite winter flavors. Yum!

Creamy Winter Pasta Salad (via abeautifulmess.com)This pasta salad is excellent as a big side dish option, but if you end up with leftovers, it's great for lunch the next day too. On the day I photographed this, I ended up eating it for lunch and dinner, and I was not one bit sorry about it. :)

Butternut pastaCreamy Winter Pasta Salad, serves 5-6 as a side dish or 3-4 as a meal 

14 oz. pasta (butternut squash pasta is preferred!)
8-9 oz. brussels sprouts, about 2 to 2 1/2 cups once shaved
1 granny smith apple
3 oz. dried cranberries
1/2 cup toasted, chopped pecans
1/3 cup mayo
2 tablespoons sour cream or greek yogurt
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

First cook the pasta to al dente according to the package directions. Drain and allow to cool. 

Shaved brussels pasta salad recipeAutumn pasta saladCut the brussels sprouts into very thin pieces, discarding the bottom stems. Core the apple and chop into small cubes. 

In a small bowl stir together the mayo, sour cream, vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, and dry mustard. In a large bowl combine the pasta, brussels, apple, dried cranberries, and pecans. Drizzle the dressing over everything and toss so it all gets coated in the dressing. 

Creamy Winter Pasta Salad (via abeautifulmess.com) Serve right away or cover and chill in the refrigerator for a few hours. Man, I love pasta salad! So good and also insanely easy to make. I bought my butternut squash pasta (shaped like pumpkins!) from Trader Joe's, but it looks like it's also available on Amazon. You could also use regular (not flavored) pasta instead and this recipe will still be just as good. I'd recommend farfalle or fusilli. Enjoy! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions

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