October 31, 2012
Fall is here and it starts with Halloween. Which is today, I know, but better late than "Nevermore" right?
Even though I don't dress up anymore, I do enjoy the fun of the season for all the kids. The excitement for me begins when I see the mass of pumpkins laid out for sale in the field by my house. I drive by and tell myself that I don't have room to bring dozens home and they won't fit in the back end anyway because of all the mums.
This year I'm feeling a little "homespun" in the air. I recently spied this wreath on one of my favorite blogs
"The 36th Avenue". It has a perfect blend of those "Halloweeny" colors without too much fright. I loved the little crow and the handmade burlap roses. Have you noticed? Burlap is everywhere this season!
I found that this project was really simple to make, with very basic instructions. I was lucky enough to find the perfect orange and white print fabric in our stash here at work along with a black and white polka dot to make the hanging sash out of. When I got home and started on my project, I found that I didn't have any burlap to make the flowers with, which was OK. I ended up using a small grey print, some black lace, a small black and white polka dot and some heavy cream linen. For the wreath, I had chosen a 12 inch Green STYROFOAM™ wreath that had a more rounded edge to it. The crow required a little searching but I finally found one amongst the other little birds at the craft store. I grabbed it up quick, it was the only one they had!
"tear, wrap, pin"
Fabric: My orange fabric was a little less than a yard and I simply snipped along one end at about 2 inch intervals and ripped it down the length. This ripping technique was new to me, but it gives it a scruffy more interesting edge. It took a least six-seven strips to wrap the wreath, but it will vary depending on how close you want to overlap. Start by placing your fabric strip at an angle on the backside of the wreath form and secure the end with straight pins. Continue wrapping the fabric around the wreath overlapping as you go, but not real tight.
Wrapping: When you have one strip wrapped, stop and see if you like the way it looks. I decided I didn't want it to be so flat and perfect, so I just slid and scrunched the wrapped fabric a little bit towards the pinned end where I started and thought that looked better. You'll want to end and begin your strips on the back side of the wreath form only and cut off the excess fabric when needed. Hold the loose end of the strip in place with a pin. To begin another strip, I folded under the edge and pinned it on top of the previous strip. Place it flat against the back even if the fabric on the front side of the wreath is scrunched. Continue wrapping the strips all the way around the wreath.
"fold, embellish, go hot glue crazy!"
Flowers: I hadn't made very many flowers before and couldn't get them to turn out like the burlap ones used on the original wreath, so I just went with what I knew. Later, I found this great tutorial for making burlap roses that explains the process really well. It's the technique of twisting and turning the fabric that I didn't know about. You'll want to make different flower styles and sizes, using different fabrics for a more varied and interesting look.
Once I had all my flowers made, I
just laid them out next to my wreath until I had the layout I wanted. It looks
best if you have them starting a little up on the left side and then move down
along the bottom. Also vary the color
and fabric prints for interest.
TIP: I think my crow was a little smaller than hers and it just had some thin wires attached to the legs. I needed him to sit up higher on my flowers so he could be seen, but I knew I'd never be able to glue the wires or him to the edge of a flower and keep him from flopping over. My remedy was to take a couple of my not so pretty flowers and glue them in behind the bird for more support. The little extra glue he needed was behind him and the flower so it didn't show.
NOW: Grab your glue gun and remember it's HOT. I always seem to forget that part. Start by gluing the larger flowers first and then you can work and tuck the others up next to them. Stop and hold the wreath up in front of you as you work to see how it's going to look when it's hanging. I was working next to a wall so I just held it against it.
I used the large black and white polka dot fabric to make the hanging sash. I only had about a yard, so I just cut a five inch wide strip, took a quarter inch seam and was done. This seemed a little short, but I knew it would be alright since I was going to hang at the office first. Later, I'm going to hang it on my pantry door later on at home, so I'll go back and add on some extra fabric.
This was a really fun project and was the fastest wreath I've ever put together! I watched TV while I made the flowers and wrapped the wreath. When all was done, I just took everything over to the craft table, warmed up the glue gun and wow, look at this cute little wreath.
I'm already picturing a grouping of Christmas ones hanging on my coat closet door by the entryway. It will be a nice way to add a little welcome to my home for the seasons.
"for more inspiration"
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