Re-visiting burlap wreath making

It’s wreath making time for me again.  Yes, I am STILL trying to use up the supplies that I have on hand; and I’ve been putting off making the wreaths because they are so labor intensive!  Here is my previous post on wreath making.  I’ve come up with a BETTER way to make them this year though!

First, we have the wire wreath forms.  The ones on the left I got at a garage sale eons ago.  The one on the right with four rungs, I bought at Dollar Tree, but you can get them at any craft store if you prefer to pay a lot more for them!

The first few I started with were made using plastic mesh.  Again, I got mine at DT, but you can pay more at any craft store.  AND you can get wider sizes at craft stores.  this size worked just fine for me though.

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(Pardon the puppy paw at the top of the photo.  I had Willow for the weekend and she wanted to help!)  The bigger white mesh wreath was made using a bigger 2-rung form that I had with the batch from the garage sale.  And the picture above shows my new method for making the wreaths: twist your chenille stems onto your entire piece of wreath material (whether it be mesh, burlap or ribbon) FIRST.  Previously I had added the chenille ‘as I went along’, which gets very tedious!

I cut up my chenille stems ahead of time, before starting on the wreath.  That way, I have them all ready to go and can get into a better rhythm when tufting my ribbon.

By doing it this way it’s easier to take breaks if you need them (which I do with my carpal tunnel!) between strips of material and attaching them to your wreath.  Also, the actual construction of the wreath goes by much faster this way.  Overall, it probably takes the same amount of time, from start to finish to make one; but this new way it feels less laborious.

And then it’s time for embellishing.  I actually made ALL the wreaths and left them plain for a bit; then went back and added the embellishments to all of them at the same time.  I just lined them all up and started sampling the different add-ons that I had on hand.  For the sale of continuity though, I will show each wreath, start to finish.

I went super simple on the 2-rung aqua mesh wreath, and just added a simple gold glitter ‘Believe’ ornament.  On wreathe like this, where I am adding minimal adornments, I do not permanently attach the added decor.   I note on the price tag that the ‘Believe’ is removable; and this adds to the value of the piece because it can be used  without the added piece after the holidays.

Next is the fluffier 4-rung aqua mesh wreath.  On this one, as well as the big white mesh wreath, where I am using a lot of smaller adornments, I glue them on with tacky glue.

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That’s it for the mesh wreaths.  I wish I had written down how much mesh I used on each wreath, because I really do not remember.  I ‘think’ the big white one took 7 of the 5 yard spools.  The fluffy aqua one, 6 spools; and the smaller aqua, 4 spools.  When in doubt while purchasing supplies, buy MORE than you think you will need.  No harm in having extra left over.  But if you don’t buy enough . . . you might not be able to find more of the same when you go back!  Especially at Dollar Tree.  If you don’t buy ALL you want of think you will need at the onset, it’s VERY likely that you will never find more of it again.  And yes, I learned that lesson the HARD way!

On this one, I DO remember exactly how much yardage I used.  This is one of the 4-rung wreath forms, and I used a full 50 yard spool of Costco burlap ‘looking’ wired ribbon, and five yards of the ‘Merry Christmas’ ribbon.  The 4-rung wire forms pretty much take twice as much yardage as the 2-rungs.

This one is made from actual 5″ burlap on a 2-rung form.  Bigger, fluffier folds using 10 yards.

The printed burlap banner is just attached with safety pins on the back, so it is removable; allowing the wreath to be used year round.

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Size comparisons of various wreaths.

Another wired ribbon wreath, on a 2-rung form.  This one took about 40 yards in total.  For the two colors, I first added the print ribbon spaced out; then filled in with the red ribbon.

This one was a real challenge!!  I only had 10 yards of the ribbon to work with, and no coordinating colors to fill in with if needed!!  Fortunately this printed burlap ribbon was wired AND very stiff, so I could really fluff up each tuft and space them out more than with the soft ribbon.  I have to very carefully position each tuft ‘just so’ to hide all the attachment wires, and they will shift a bit with handling; but once hung in place is will be fine.

The turquoise burlap ribbon came from DT, the cream colored from the craft store, and the little big of green in the smaller starfish wreath came from who knows where??!  It was just in my supply box awaiting use.  I did both of these on 2-rung forms; and glued on the starfish.  I thought about making the starfish removable, but couldn’t figure out a way to do that without tying them on; and I didn’t like how that would look.  These took about 20 yards each to make.

2-rung form with 10 yards of the printed ribbon and about 6 yards of the red.  The printed was very STIFF (like the music notes ribbon) so I was able to spread it out a lot more than the solid red ribbon.  The red glitter ‘Believe’ ornament is just attached with chenille stems, so it’s easily removable; making the wreath usable other that just for the holidays.

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In the picture, this one LOOK like it’s all one color.  In fact it is two different shades of gold, because I didn’t have enough of either to finish it.   But I thought I had enough, so I didn’t plan ahead to intermix the two colors as I have on other bi-color wreaths.

The two different colors are just barely discernible, but you CAN see the difference in the picture on the left.  The ‘Joy to the World’ ornament is just tied on to one of the ribbon loops.

This one took 8 yards of the striped ribbon, and about 4 yards of the red.  Again, I didn’t have enough ribbon to complete the wreath and had to get creative.  I used some burlap ticking fabric to make a BIG bow at the top to cover up the area that I didn’t have enough ribbon to cover.

I’ve made a pretty good dent in my wreath making supplies!!  I still need to make a few more, but need to give my fingers a rest.  My right thumb is nearly raw from twisting chenille stems.

Burlap wreaths

I LOVE the ‘loose & fluffy’ look of burlap wreaths!P1230233I’ve been ‘intending’ to make one ever since they first started popping up a few years ago.  And I’ve accumulated all the supplies, over the years, to do so!

P1230266I even ‘did the research’ (looking on Pinterest!) for tutorials.  And THAT is as far as I got before discouragement set in and my supplies were left to gather yet another layer of dust.

P1230238Do you love/hate Pinterest as much as I do??  Love all the ideas and inspiration, but HATE all the DIFFERENT tutorials for making the same thing!  aaaaarghhhh!!!

In my burlap research I found tutorials that said to use pipe cleaners, to attach your burlap to your wreath form.  Another said to use zip ties.  Another wire.  Even one that said to use SCOTCH TAPE?!?!?  So, after all that ‘research’ and the subsequent complete confusion, I just went with what ‘sounded’ most logical to me.  Pipe cleaners, cut into 1/4’s,  Wire cuts up your hands too much and scotch tape, just NO!

P1230240So, this is how my first attempt turned out.  And even with having pre-cut all my pipe cleaners to length, it took me a good TWO hours to complete this baby.  And I really was not totally happy with it.  I wanted more ‘fluffed out’ areas. All the folds were just laying too FLAT.

P1230234I tried ‘hand fluffing’ them, but they just flattened right back out.  So I grabbed a roll of brown package wrapping paper and made some ‘wads’ of it and stuffed them into various places.  You can see a few of them in the above close-up photo.   THAT is how I imagined it would look!

P1230235And it breaks up the folds a bit, and looks more ‘random’ to me.  So I waded up a bunch more paper balls.

P1230239Here you can see a few more of the places where I added the paper.  But you really don’t notice it if you don’t know it’s there.  I think perhaps my ‘problem’ with not being able to ‘fluff my folds’ without adding something is that the burlap I used was only 5″ wide.  Wider burlap, folded in half, would probably fluff better.

SO, after I made that first one, I ventured back to Pinterest to look over some more tutorials to see if there was a FASTER way to make them.  Can’t make any money selling them if it’s gonna take me over TWO hours to make one!!

Found a Pin that led me to a you-tube video touting that you could make a burlap wreath in 20 minutes.  TWENTY minutes???  Seriously?  I HAD to watch it.  It’s only a 2 minute video, so worth the time to watch.  Here’s the link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOVJOxmuB-g

Interesting, and most definitely a FASTER way to make a burlap wreath, but personally, I would NEVER make on using that method. Not even just to keep for myself.  Why?  One snag and your entire wreath will come apart!  There is nothing ATTACHING the burlap to the wreath form.  No thank you.  I’ll stick with my more labor intensive, but PERMANENT method; and only make a very FEW of them.

P1230305This is the back of the one with the gold bells.

P1230304Each ‘loop’ of burlap is secured to the wreath form with a cut piece of twisted pipe cleaner.

P1230265This is my second one, on which I used some printed burlap ribbon interspersed.  The printed ribbon was wired and fluffed out nicely.  I did NOT add the brown paper to fluff out the rest of this wreath . .  .yet.

P1230268Still pondering whether or not I need to.  I used MORE burlap on this one, so it’s fuller, and I guess with the printed ribbon ‘breaking it up’, the layers of burlap with no fluff don’t bother me as much.

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Which do you prefer?  The larger ‘fluffs’ or the one with more ‘folds’?

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I really don’t have a ‘favorite’.  Each looks good to me in its own way.

P1230315I decided to embellish the first one with a gold bow and a gold glitter “Noel” ornament.   I just ‘hung’ the Noel over one of the burlap loops, and did NOT permanently attach it.  That way it can easily be removed, and the wreath can still be used beyond the Christmas season.

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Forgot to show you what kind of ‘form’ I used for these.

P1230314I bought this batch of rusty metal wreath forms at a garage sale a long time ago.  To prevent the rust from ‘shedding’ onto the wreath, I spray painted them with clear spray.  And I sprayed one white for an up[coming project.

P1230341AFTER I made those two burlap wreaths, I found these wire wreath forms at DOLLAR TREE!  These are the kind used in the video, twist and tuck method, and should make for a fuller wreath.  I haven’t used them yet, and in fact, I still have several of the rusty ones left.  But I did buy a few of the Dollar Tree ones because I KNOW that if I don’t buy it when I see it . . .they’ll be gone when I DO need them!

P1230976This one has gone to my booth at Stars.  Still trying to decide if the other one ‘needs something more’.  Will probably save it for spring.

P1230975It’s hanging on my re-done ‘holiday wall’.

P1230977Here’s a closer look at some of the other holiday wall decor items.

P1230979Bought these little gold frames at the bazaar last week.  The ‘Merry Christmas’ ornament is just ‘tied on’ with ribbon and can be removed so the frame can be otherwise used.

P1230980Same with this one.