Quick Note: After this post, I know I need better pictures and a light box. Please forgive the less-than-ideal quality.
Chances are you’ve seen those beautiful, puffy, sparkly wreaths around the holidays. With a new house, I’m always looking for ways to decorate and save a few pennies. There’s no way I can spend $50-$70 on a wreath that I’ll only see when I’m rushing in and out of the door. Thank goodness there’s YouTube and dozens of wreath tutorials. I made mine for about $10-$15 a wreath depending on what I used. Since there’s a lot of videos out there, this will be less a “how to” and more of a “how I did it” with a ton of pictures.
One thing to note, I will not be using glue or any adhesive at all. If you have kids that want to craft, this might be something good to make with them since you’ll only really be looking at glitter and wreath clean up. No chance of burns or glue everywhere!
- Wreath of choice (Lots of stores have them marked way down since it’s so close to Christmas)
- Mesh craft ribbon
- Shatter proof ornaments
- Other decorations
When I went to the store, I literally bought everything that grabbed my interest. When I came home I needed to edit myself, to steal from Project Runway, and create a cohesive look for each wreath. I set out to make about six (now eight) this holiday season, so it was a lot to wade through.
Below are two wreaths I put together in the first stages of pulling the pieces together. One is a Christmas Dallas Cowboys themed wreath and the other is bright colors, and I cheated. I used dyed burlap instead of the craft mesh that you’ll see on the other wreaths.
Here’s a few close ups of some of the elements I chose to use. I picked the Cowboys wreath since it’s been rather popular in my Facebook feed. As you can see, the blue and silver theme is very strong with this one. There’s no doubt what it is we’re celebrating here!
Clear your work area to focus on the wreath. I kept getting tangled in things to begin with and did a lot of pausing to untangle myself. If you have cats this will be even more difficult, but I believe in you crafters. We can overcome! 😀
I chose to use wreaths that were fuller than many of the videos I watched. It was in part because I like the end result. It’s also because there are more pieces to use to attach things to. Oh, and they were on a ridiculous sale. You can always tempt me with a good sale!
With your wreath front and center, lay the fronds out flat so you get a more donut look to it, which you can see in my picture. Later on you can fluff the fronds, but for now it’s just easier if they’re all lying out flat.
Okay, it’s time to use that crafting mesh!
Take the end and fold it accordion style so you end up with some nice gathers. Also make sure to give yourself a longer “tail” to secure on the back. This will help the mesh get that nice, full poof.
I also suggest making sure the sides (not the end) are folded so they point the same direction. You want to put the mesh sides toward the wreath so you get a smooth look. I did several poofs and went back to re-do them because I didn’t like the way they looked. You can see the what I started with in the picture to the left.
Now, with your mesh gathered together, you want to put it between two fronds. I like to start on the inside of the wreath. Hold the mesh in place with one hand, and twist the fronds on either side of it together nice and tight. Sort of like you’re closing a bag of bread. I like to do one twist, let the mesh go and do a second, really tight twist to sort of “lock” it into place.
If you don’t like your start, just do it again. One of the things I like about these wreaths is that they’re pretty forgiving if you want to undo everything and try again.
We’re going to make our first poof!
My first wreath I learned the lesson that bigger poofs aren’t necessarily the best. I wound up with this red and white, crazy thing that was sort of in the shape of a wreath, but not really. So, don’t be afraid to go small and work your way up until you find the poof size that works for you.
For the wreaths in the pictures, I went with about 6-8 inches. Now, I didn’t measure this. I more or less eyeballed it and used the spread of my fingers to measure. As you can see in the picture, my measuring system is not exact by any means! I gathered the mesh about an inch above my index finger, using the same edges-in-accordion method that we used to gather the end of the mesh.
I like to go from the inside, out, then out and in. So, we started the mesh on the inside. That means we’ll take the mesh toward the outside of the wreath to make the first poof. You’ll twist the fronds just like we did in the beginning to lock it into place.
Complete the circle! Continue the same method in Step Four around the whole wreath. At times you’ll have to reverse your accordion style. I fastened my mesh a few inches away from the previous anchor point on that side of the wreath. Some of the poofs will turn out bigger or odd shaped. I leave them and work decorations in around and on top of them to make it look how I want it to.
The bottom left wreath is done with red and green burlap. I did a leap frog pattern with this. I started with green, attached it in two places, then started the red, going over the green and attaching it. Then I leap frogged the green over the red and attached it. The ides was to do a red and green criss-cross. It was somewhat successful.
If you want to use a second, decorative ribbon, this step is for you!
We’ll look at my Dallas Cowboys wreath again. I used a silver ribbon and wove it over the blue mesh in the same fashion in which I started. The only difference is that I varied how far away and long the poofs were. I knew this ribbon would be shifted and moved around ornaments, so I didn’t mind that the end result was messier than how the blue came out.
Now we’re going to place the ornaments!
I like to start from the biggest items and work my way down. For the Cowboys wreath, I placed the two blue drums/present/pine cone pieces first because the placement of those two would add balance to the wreath, or make it look really lopsided. If you have a feature item, say a really large ornament or something with words, position that on the wreath first.
I didn’t think to take pictures of the back of the ornament to the left. It has a long, plastic covered wire and, like what you’d find on silk flowers. To attach these pieces, I insert the wire end through the wreath, bending the wire to keep it flat to the back of the wreath and moving it around until I’m happy with where it goes. To secure it, just wrap fronds around the wire. I like to do a couple of wraps with a few fronds down the wire so it stays in place and doesn’t snag on anything.
For things like ornaments, I used yarn. I made a loop either through the eye-hole on the ornament, or used the pre-attached string.
If using yarn, I’d find a place that looked empty and tie the ornament into place around the wreath, hiding the yarn with the fronds. For the pre-attached string, I was a bit more creative and did it differently each time.
Here’s a couple wreaths I’ve made. These are all gifts for other people because I still have my red and white monstrosity hanging on my door.