A Nest for All Seasons A Nest for All Seasons: Hamster Wheel is Morphed into a 3D Living Wreath

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02 September 2011

Hamster Wheel is Morphed into a 3D Living Wreath

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Remember THIS POST when I came home with a hamster wheel and 3 little bebes stole it? Well, at some point, they tired of spinning the thing, and I swooped in to make my project. What kind of project did I want to do with an old metal hamster wheel? A 3D living wreath of course!

It took quite a bit of time to get it completed, but the actual process is quite simple.  The first thing you must do is make a base for the plants.  I used sphagnum moss (not spanish moss!) as the base for the plants to grow in.  Basically, you have to soak the bejeebers out of the moss until it is thick and dripping wet and then attach it to both sides of the frame with fishing line or a thin, but strong plastic thread.

Here is a little better view of attaching the moss.  
See those little feet over there?
They were helping out a bit ;)

Helping :)

After you have the entire frame covered in moss, you should take the fishing line and wrap it around and around and around again over the entire frame to secure it.  Once you feel the base in solid, it is now time to do the fun part!  Pick a variety of succulents and start designing!  Some succulents with longer stems can actually be woven int the wire framework of the hamster wheel.  You have to make sure that they are woven loosely as to not break or crush the stem and the bottom of the stem needs to be firmly in moss, not in the air.  Shorter stemmed succulents can be attached into the moss with a bobby pin.

What makes this wreath particularly interesting is the 3D quality.  Since the form of the hamster wheel  is "thicker", there is more planting space and the entire circle, top, bottom, inside and out can be planted.  This is the underside of the wreath when it is placed on a banister.  You can even stand it up!  you know how hamster wheels are normally oriented vertically?  Just use the stand and place your wreath vertically for a 3d centerpiece. 

The plants I used are a combination of succulents.  This particular plant is actually called 'donkey spurge' or Euphorbia Myrsinites.  This plant is great because it is hardy and touch and quite pretty in the spring with lime green growth, HOWEVER it is noxious in some parts of the country where frost does not slow in down and the sap can irritate the skin.  I know from experience that the sap can irritate the skin...similar to poison ivy - ick!  The sap appears when you break the stems (like when you are making a living wreath) and wherever it touches, you will most likely get a rash.  I didn't have too bad of a time with it, but it can be really dangerous for kiddos, so beware!  The other downside is that the spurge did not last longer than a few weeks on the wreath while all of the other succulents are still trucking! 
So the moral of the story is, choose your succulents wisely!

One other great thing about using the hamster wheel instead of a traditional wreath form is that the bar in the middle of the wheel makes an absolutely perfect carrying handle so that you can easily transport your wreath without damaging it.

I leave my wreath on this banister, so it gets rain on a consistent basis.  
If you have a drought or keep your wreath indoors, simply soak it with water once every 2 weeks.

If you would like to make a wreath, here are a few links for more information on picking plants!

FANTASTIC SITE for pairings for sedums and other plants.  Garden by the Bay.

Now go create something fabulous!!!


Adrienna Friday, September 02, 2011  

This is SO clever! I would have never thought of this! Such a great way to revive that old hamster wheel. I know I have one somewhere in my basement, and once I find it, I'm making this :)


Megan @ Apple House Revival Friday, September 02, 2011  

Wow, just, wow! I absolutely LOVE this! I am a huge fan of sedums and succulents, and have investigated creating a living wall, but in the North West they just don't do well, too much rain. This, however, would be great! Now I'm on the lookout for an old hampster wheel.
Thanks for sharing and good luck in Crafting with the Stars. (I entered too, that's how I found you.)

allenaim photography and design Friday, September 02, 2011  

Adrienna - that excites me to no end!!! that is the end goal of this whole blogging thing and it totally thrills me that someone might be inspired enough to go MAKE something! Yuppee!!

Megan - I'm coming over to check out your entry RIGHT NOW!! :)

Inspire Me Heather Friday, September 02, 2011  

Oh gosh, girl - this is just waaaayyy too cute! Maybe it's your photos, they just come alive and look just beautiful! I liked your new header too - such pretty colours!

SocialStudiesSoubrette Saturday, September 03, 2011  

Wow that is gorgeous! I adore succulents. I have a ton of them. Now if I only had a hamster wheel. Never thought I would make that statement ;D

refresh reStyle Sunday, September 04, 2011  

So far this is my favorite from the Nester's party! I hope that one day I will get off my lazy...and do something with succulents! and a hamster wheel or something else cool like this!

Madigan at madiganmade Sunday, September 04, 2011  

This has so much natural texture and is sooo pretty! Never would guess that you used a hamster wheel!

Hello, I'm Laura Sunday, September 04, 2011  

What a completely adorable wreath ~ I love it!

Have a Happy Labor Day.

Grandma Bonnie Sunday, September 04, 2011  

The photos are great. I love the idea.
New follower from the Monday Mingle. I hope you stop by for a visit. Have a great week

Mizzreviewlady Monday, September 05, 2011  

I am now following you from the hop and so glad I found your fabuous blog! I would love a follow back over at http://mizzreviewlady-mommyreviews.blogspot.com/

Janelle Monday, September 05, 2011  

Choose your succulents wisely! hahaha. Just stopping in from FTLOB. I'm so intimidated by making living wreaths. I like the bobby pin idea though. Yours is so pretty. I never would have though of leaving it on the railing... :)

Heather Monday, September 05, 2011  

Hello from Mingle Monday! I love this idea!

Sharon Monday, September 05, 2011  

Awesome! Great idea!

Lindsay Wednesday, September 07, 2011  

Holy crap this is so darling I love it. I would have never thought to use a hamster wheel. I love when people use thing for what they are not used for. Super creative I just love it.

Laura Wednesday, September 07, 2011  

I am impressed. This seems to be a regular emotion while reading your blog. If impressed is even an emotion...

Korrie@RedHenHome Saturday, September 24, 2011  

This is so cute, clever, gorgeous, stunning, exceptional...I'm running out of adjectives! Great project.

Angie @ The Country Chic Cottage Thursday, October 06, 2011  

That is awesomeness!! Thanks for auditioning for OMTWI!!

The Bold Abode Monday, May 28, 2012  

Oh my gosh! Your wreath is AMAZING, Amy!!! I'm totally smitten... Thank you for linking it up to my little wreath party!

Mimi Wednesday, October 31, 2012  

How cute...one of the best I've seen so far!

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