Wednesday, October 23, 2013

3 Inexpensive Holiday wreaths + an Embellishment tutorial {Part 1}

Last week I was invited to teach a Women's class at my church. I taught about how to make decorations for your home on a dime. I shared 4 ideas, a faux boxwood (go HERE for that post), a two toned burlap wreath, a Halloween tulle wreath and a paper book page wreath.
I love all of these because there can easily be variations for all of them if you want to change the look a little, OR you can simply switch up the embellishment for each Holiday season to change the theme.
Here is the list of items you will need to buy for these wreaths.
I bought all of my items either at the dollar store or Walmart.
Tulle wreath:
  • 4 yards (for small wreath) 8-9 yards (for large wreath) Black Tulle. Its about 1.25/yard at Walmart.
  • A foam wreath from Walmart or the Dollar store.
  • Embellishments for your wreath. These can be anything found at the dollar store or Walmart! Examples are: a which, cat, candy, pumpkins, witches boots, dried or false leaves, cupcake papers in seasonal colors or raffia. 
  •  Felt for rosettes.
  • Hot glue gun
Book Page wreath:
  • 1-2 old books from your basement or a thrift store.
  • A large or mini foam wreath from Walmart or the Dollar store.
  • Elmer's glue or a hot glue gun with extra glue sticks
  • Ribbon of your choice to hang the wreath. Red looks so pretty on this wreath... Just sayin!
Now for the fun part!
I will first start with my book paper wreath. I love this little wreath because my home is decorated in the vintage style. The pretty "antiqued" book pages match almost anywhere, and you can change the color of the ribbon for each season. I think red looks beaut-y-mus against the colors of the pages.
You will first want to take your old book and start ripping out some pages.... yep I know, it feels almost like your 4th grade librarian is going to pay you a visit and give you a major spanking! Just go ahead and do it, after all, we are giving an old book a second life!
Now cut some of those pages into long strips. You will need to glue paper around the whole wreath so that you don't see the foam through any bald spots.
Note: If you hot glue directly on your Styrofoam wreath, it will melt the Styrofoam and not stick. You must glue paper to paper around the wreath.
For this mini, I used a foam wreath from the dollar store. It had a hard edge instead of being totally rounded. This made it a little harder to wrap with paper, so for this one I would suggest purchasing a rounded "no edges" wreath form.
Now take some of your pages, and cut some paper hearts. Try to only cut out the part of the page with words. You can layer 3 or 4 pages so that you don't spend all afternoon doing this. DO NOT BE WORRIED ABOUT CUTTING THE HEARTS PERFECT. They don't need to be exact, just so long as they are pretty even and uniform in size.
Hot glue the hearts in all directions around the wreath. I made the hearts bigger on this wreath, but I think the smaller hearts in the picture shown below are very cute. I think they have a light and beautiful look to them almost like butterflies. Cover the entire wreath with the hearts so it looks full and thick.
I love to use older books that have "yellowed" pages for a more antiqued look.

Variation: This wreath can also be made larger by rolling the book pages and gluing them into funnels. You will need lots and lots of layers of small and large funnels. See photo below for inspiration.
Next up the Tulle wreath
I cut my yards of tulle into a gazillion strips of 6"x17" before I realized that I should have purchased a spool of tulle instead. That would have made my job a lot faster and easier. NOW YOU KNOW at least! :)
For my class, I made 1 mini wreath and one full sized.
They were both very cute! I just loved the darling look of the mini, so that is the one I am showcasing here.
First thing first, wrap the entire wreath with tulle.
Take your strips (they can range anywhere between 15-18 inches in length depending on how long you want the fluffy part of your wreath) and wrap them around the foam. I used two strips at a time. Tie a square knot and just continue doing this around the whole ring. I like to push my tulle together so there are no see through spots on the wreath, and it looks nice and thick.
Keep tying tulle around the entire wreath, it should look full and fluffy when you are done.
Add any embellishments you want for Halloween, such as, a which, cat, candy, pumpkins, witches boots, dried or false leaves or raffia.
For this tutorial, I used a couple of cupcake papers, turned them inside out and added a fall flower in the center with hot glue. Then I made a little bow out of raffia and glued it underneath the embellishment.

Poke a small hole in the center so you can add the stem of your flower.

This can be hung on your door, set on a shelf, or hung on a chalkboard with a Halloween quote around it. Use some bright orange or purple ribbon to hang it!

For my large wreath, I made a quick and easy felt embellishment.... isn't it pretty? I'll show you how I did it....
Take a square of felt and cut a long strip about 2 inches wide.
Fold the strip in half, and then cut 3/4 of the way up (on the uncut edge) little slits. 
Now, roll up your strip like a sleeping bag, and as you roll it you will create the cutest little "flower" looking embellishment.
Glue the end. Then cut a small piece of felt in a circle, and hot glue it on the bottom.
As for the rosettes, take another long strip of felt. Make this one about an inch wide. Fold it in half and roll it up as well. You can twist the strip as you roll it to make more of a rose looking embellishment.
I like to hot glue the ends together instead of hand stitching them. Then I cut a small circle and glue on the bottom so it won't come unraveled.
VARIATION:  an idea for a variation of this wreath would be to use different colors of tulle such as yellow brown and red for a fall wreath, red and green for a Christmas wreath with pretty sparkly bulbs or a poinsettia for an embellishment, or purple tulle instead of black for the Halloween wreath. You could also make a sweet little Easter wreath out of turquoise white and pink and glue on some pretty speckled plastic eggs. Endless possibilities!
GO HERE for Part 2 of this wreath making tutorial, to learn how to make a two toned burlap wreath!
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