Wednesday, October 5, 2011

DIY: fall wreath

This is the best wreath I've made so far. Of course, I've only ever made two, but that's not really the point now is it?

Remember the fabric wreath? That thing hung on my door all summer and I really never tired of it at all. The only thing I will note is that the fabric got a little droopy. I don't know why. Maybe it was humidity? Dust? Heat? Wind? Whatever the case, it started to look a little tired. So that's when I began thinking about making another wreath for fall or the in-between before Christmas wreaths are acceptable.

Lately I've been noticing a lot of pretty foliage on my daily walks. Berries and grasses and seed pods are quite beautiful this time of year and without showy distracting flowers taking all of the attention, these plants should get centre stage.

So after weeks of forgetting, I finally brought a bag and some clippers with me and walked around to all the spots I remembered seeing great grasses.

You would not believe how many looks you get when you're carrying around a bag of grasses and weeds. People looked at me like I'd gone mental. It probably would have helped if Idle Husband didn't stop at Save-On to get an ice cream for the walk home. I guess you might look a little more crazy if you're also in a grocery store carrying around a bag of weeds.

The ice cream was totally worth it though! (This flavour is always sold out and now I know why!)

Once home, I put everything in a vase of water and formulated my plan the rest of the day.

The vase of water is pretty important if you're not planning on doing this the day you collect your weeds. You don't want them drying and becoming brittle. It will be impossible to bend them into a circular shape without them cracking and breaking at that point.

I don't really have much of a tutorial for this one since it's kind of something that depends on the weeds, what you want it to look like, your own personal esthetics, yadda yadda. I will say that it's super messy and as grasses dry, they like to pop out their seeds. So if you think my table is messy, you should see the floor. Work on this project outside or somewhere where you can do easy clean-up (i.e. not on a carpeted floor like I did).

just a reminder

My first thought was to use sturdy branches as the base, but that quickly changed since I found them too floppy and they wouldn't attach to each other very well. I still had a metal coat hanger leftover from the fabric wreath, so I did exactly the same thing. Bend, pull, push, shape the hanger into the best circle you can. This time, I left the hook part intact so that I'd have something to hang the wreath with (just use a pair of pliers to bend the hook around into a closed circle). But if you'd like to add a nice ribbon instead, feel free to use the hanger part in your form as before.

Next bend your collected branches, berries, and grasses around the wire frame and attach them as you like. Initially I attached mine with twist ties, but once I was done, I went back through and tied everything on with brown and green string and then removed the twist ties so the attachments would be less noticeable (am I the only one who longs for the days of paper twist ties when you could easily strip it all off with your fingernail to reveal the bare wire? Or the ones that were orange or brown or just clean white without a bunch of printing on them?).

Now if you were smart and planned ahead and wanted to spend just a tiny bit of money on this project, you could buy some floral wire and you'd be able to skip my extra step. I'm still happy I started with twist ties since they're a lot easier to use when attaching with one hand while holding branches with the other. I definitely wouldn't suggest you start with string. It's a little too fussy and I think you'd get frustrated trying to hold and tie at the same time. Otherwise, this project cost me exactly zero dollars and I think it looks pretty amazeballs.

Note to future self: please please paint the door hook the same colour as the door! (The hook has been digitally enhanced -- for now.)

I love the red berries against the turquoise on the door. So pretty! They've now turned a deeper shade of red which makes this a nice evolving look. I've also since rounded out the branches in the middle a bit more so our peephole actually functions. Be wary of that if you're a peeper like we are!

I constructed the wreath about three weeks ago and it still looks pretty fresh. The leaves have drooped and dried a little more now that it's gotten colder, but it still looks pretty good from the sidewalk. I'm hoping it lasts at least into November. I'm kind of entertaining the idea of adding some Halloween charm to the house, but I'm not completely sold on that idea yet. (gah I've always wrinkled my nose at Halloween decorations cuz it's not technically a holiday I feel needs decorating for but there're so many cute and whimsical dark and macabre ideas about now, it's terribly tempting.)

1 comment:

Laeli said...

It looks nice up against your door!
I just made a Christmas wreath, out of metal scrubbies. I think I'll try my hand at something like yours,more natural.