Friday, October 9, 2009

DIY Autumn Wreath

As I mentioned in my previous post, I created an autumn wreath for my front door. I had looked around at ready-made wreaths but was either unimpressed with the wreath itself or the price. I decided to make my own. Now, I am generally not a fan of artificial . . . come on, let's call it what it is - fake. I am not a fan of fake, man-made, plastic-y flowers, fruit, greenery, plants, etc. I stretched myself with this creation as I used exactly those things I have always shunned! I decided to stop and browse in the fake greenery aisle at Dollarama. Not something I have ever done. And I was slightly surprised at the various items I found. I gathered a few and thought I could probably come up with some sort of wreath that looked good - or at least better than the ones I had seen in other stores.

Here is what I bought (please excuse the "technical" words - that's why there are pictures!!):
  • 3 bunches of fall colored maple leaves with small berries
  • 3 bunches of longish leaves with larger berries
  • 1 bunch of white "bull rushes" (they are not soft, but stiff and scratchy and oh, so interesting!)

  • 2 bunches of long white rods (I have no idea what these are but they looked cool)
  • 2 bunches of white flowers
  • 1 bunch of red flowers

Keep in mind different textures when buying your flowers. The more textures you have the more interest your wreath will have. I also bought 2 rolls of some 3/4" wide goldish ribbon which was not completely smooth but a little rough and jagged-like. I thought it looked less polished which is exactly what I wanted.

Next, you need a grapevine wreath. I had this one kicking around the house, probably bought at Michaels on sale.

You will also need some thin wire, a pair of wire cutters and a glue gun. Gather these things and you should be set to go. Total cost (minus the grapevine wreath): $14.

  1. Determine where you want your foliage to go on your wreath. I only covered about half the wreath, keeping the grapevine exposed on the other half.
  2. Cut each maple leaf bunch into 3 pieces, cutting where it makes sense to cut. You want to be sure there are adequate leaves on each section. Cut off the extra stems, leaving about 2-3 inches. Stick the now separated and shortened leaf bunches into the wreath, starting at the bottom and working your way up. Continue until all your maple leaf bunches are on the wreath. They should all be facing the same direction.
  3. Cut apart your "longish leaves with berries" into 2 sections each, making sure each section has sufficient leaves. You may end up with one larger section and one smaller section. Put one larger section at each end of the maple leaves and use the smaller sections to fill inbetween the maple leaves. TIP: All of your leaves should be facing in the same direction. So, the stems should all be facing the same way. However, on the bottom of your wreath, face that longish leaf the opposite way. Does that make sense? This just makes it look a little nicer. You can adjust the maple leaves to cover the "gap" that exists between these two sections and voila! It looks great!
  4. Cut off each of the "white bullrushes", leaving about 2-3" of wire on each. Tuck into the maple leaves where you think it looks good.
  5. Take your stems of white flowers and gently pull off each flower in a downward direction. This should cause the flower to come off with a small piece of wire. Once you have all the flowers off, stick them throughout the wreath, filling in holes or gaps and placing them where it looks nice. Try not to bunch them all in one spot, unless that is what you want.
  6. Do the same thing with the red flowers.
  7. Strip the leaves off the "long white rods". Cut them so they have a 3" stem. Stick them in at the very bottom of the wreath. I only used three of these rods.
  8. Create a bow using the ribbon and wire you bought. Since my rolls of ribbon were only 3m long, I used 2 rolls and made 2 bows that I stacked on top of each other and wired them together to make one bow. Hot glue that bow in your desired location. I put mine towards the top of the wreath, in about a 10 o'clock position.
  9. Fluff and play with all the leaves and flowers and berries until everything is exactly where you want it. Make sure there are no holes or gaps.
  10. Hang your wreath with pride! You did it and it looks beautiful!

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