Making art and hanging it

Janie Munch displaying one of her Christmas wreaths.

They swirl, twirl and float like snow as all things frosty, sweet and homespun should be in a Christmas wreath.

For Janie Munch, it’s a comeback to her design background as a licensed designer with works that reflect her dynamic eye after subbing as a teacher at Mimosa Park Elementary School for more than 20 years.

“I know they’re liking the snowmen,” Munch said of her most desired designs including snowmen. “Everybody loves them.”

There are also the little scarecrows dressed as a little boy or girl, which is really a fun project for this Luling resident. They make great fall wreaths.

She’s working on a nativity wreath, an idea she says came from an Etsy website crafter, but the Luling designer quickly added, “I add my own touch.”

Munch has already been invited to teach a class on wreath making with the parish’s Community Education program, which she will do in spring. She’s thrilled to help others make their own favorite design.

Janie Munch displaying one of her Christmas wreaths. Below, one of Munch’s floral designs.

Firstly, keep the design super simple, she said.

“The snowman is easy to make,” Munch said “You could just use the blow with the three buttons and a hat. You don’t have to even use a face.”

The same concept could apply for Easter with a carrot wreath, she said.

“You wrap with orange mesh and add a little green sprig out of the top,” Munch said. “A wreath doesn’t have to be complicated.”

To get started on a holiday wreath, Munch advised establishing the base with mesh (the color depends on the project’s color scheme or the imagination) such as silver, gold, white or green. She also uses pipe cleaners.

“Start thinking about what you want to make,” Munch said.

For her, everything else just happens.

Munch likes bows so one is typically incorporated into her designs. And it should be a really good bow, which she has observed others haven’t always put them together well. The bow is typically a wire ribbon, which is a central point.

“If your bow isn’t right, it doesn’t help the look,” she said. “I do the bow first and then add it to the wreath.”

“Usually, when I make a wreath, I make my bow after the mesh,” she said. “And then I work around the bow.”

Then comes the accents like leaves, twigs and berries like holly, lending the a freer look go the design.

Bows have also found their way into her other designs like those with the Saints and LSU wreaths, which are good sellers year round.

Half of her design includes the Saints and the other half LSU. A fellow church member asked her to make an LSU-Alabama combo, but a friend mused if she had to close her eyes to do it.

Munch further advises to take care in where accents are placed, and having a good color scheme also makes a big difference in the outcome.

“It’s not just orange and purpose there,” she said. “You have to make it blend.”

Also, making a wreath should be fun.

“You can do it on your own time,” Munch said. “You can stop for a while if you get tired or your neck hurts.”

Want to see her work? She’ll be at a craft show at New Life Community Church on Dec. 1.

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