Burlap Summer Wreath

I make a lot of wreaths . . .  But I wanted something for summer that I could put up after the 4th of July, and I’ve been wanting to try a burlap wreath, so there you go.

 

So, the key factor here is that I had virtually no idea how you’re supposed to make a burlap wreath.  I don’t know if I did mine the “right” way or not, but I like how it turned out so I guess that’s all that matters.

 

Here is what I started with:

 

 

I should start writing the cost of each item and taking a picture of that because I can’t remember exactly how much these were.  I know the burlap was the more expensive item, $5 or $6, and I think the wreath frame was under $3.  I got both in Walmart in the same aisle as flowers and wreath supplies.

 

 

 

To loop the burlap, I just went through every other space.  I think maybe you’re supposed to loop the burlap through the innermost and outermost slots to get bigger loops, but like I said, I really don’t know.

 

 

Each time I looped the burlap through the slots, I adjusted the material to make it loopy.

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Then I alternated which slots I went through  (that is, if I went over-under-over-under on one pass, I went under-over-under-over right next to it).

 

Again, after pulling the burlap through, I fluffed it up.

 

 

I ended up doing three “rows” of burlap for each section of the wreath (counting the space between the cross pieces as a section).

 

 

Then I just kept going, not really sure if I was going to like the result or not (I think the loops are supposed to be bigger and fluffier than what I did), until I ended up with this:

 

 

There was only a little bit of burlap left so I tied it into a huge bow and made that the top of the wreath.

 

 

 

 

This is how mine looked up close.

 

Finally, I went to the Dollar Tree and bought five bunches of flowers.  I love the dark centers of the daisies.

 

 

 

 

 

I just stuck the flowers right into the burlap.  Eventually I will probably hot glue them to make them more permanent.

 

 

I think it’s pretty good for not knowing what I was doing!    I’ll leave it up until it’s time to change to fall decor . . . such a bittersweet thought.  Summer has gone by way too fast!

Spring Wreath

 

I love my spring wreath!  It was easy to make and much cheaper than buying one.

 

I found lots of different grapevine wreaths on Pinterest, so I can’t point to one in particular that was my inspiration.  These were my materials:

 

  • 2 branches of silk flowers from Dollar Tree
  • 1 bunch of fake grass from Dollar Tree
  • 1 grapevine wreath from Walmart – I can’t actually remember how much it was, but I was surprised at how cheap it was because it’s huge!  I am pretty sure it was under $5
  • 1 bird’s nest from Dollar Tree
  • 1 bird accessory from Walmart (it was right next to the wreath, in the floral aisle)
  • There’s a spool of ribbon, but I ended up not using it.  It’s also from Dollar Tree.

The Dollar tree had several packages of the cute little bird nests, but every one of them had at least two of the eggs sunk in, probably during packaging and transport.  In a stroke of brilliance, I stuck a long needle through the end of each one and popped the plastic back out from the inside.  There was even a little hole in the seam of each egg already, so it wasn’t at all hard to do.

 

Problem solved!

 

 

 

 

The flowers were easy to attach – I just stuck the stems into the wreath.  I didn’t secure them with anything because they’re wedged in pretty tight.

 

The flower branches will stick straight out unless you tie them somehow.  Floral tape would probably be best, and hot glue would probably work to, but I have a ton of thin wire that I use for just about every project so I can get rid of it.  So I wired the flowers to the wreath.

 

Once the flowers and grass are in the wreath you can still adjust them – the grass is kind of covering the flowers in the picture above so I pulled and twisted a bit to get everything where I wanted.  I also pulled a few of the grass pieces apart and stuck them farther up on the wreath.

 

The bird’s nest was tricky to attach without hot glue.  I wired it in very delicately.  Then when I hung it up on my door, I realized it looked weird to have the nest hanging vertically, so I re-positioned it.  If you use hot glue to make wreaths, make sure you know exactly where you want things to go before gluing.  Wire is a lot easier to redo than glue.

 

 

 

Finally, I attached the bird – it actually came with a little clip, but that wasn’t very secure and it fell off, and then the clip broke off anyway and I had to tape it on.  Hot glue would probably be best for the bird.

 

I love the way my wreath turned out!

Miscellaneous Mini Projects

Okay, this isn’t a single project or a DIY tutorial, just a conglomeration of the other stuff I used to decorate, most of which I already had or was left over from another project.

You’ve already seen my Fall Leaf Garland, but the other part of the picture below is my red candles.  They came in a two-pack at the Dollar Tree, and each candle holder was also $1, so that’s $3 for those.

The sunflowers were left over from my Fall Ribbon Wreath, and the bud vase I had on hand.  The roses were left over from hair pieces I made for a group in last year’s Nutcracker production, and I scavenged the leaves last year from decorations my mom no longer uses.  The mason jars were on hand too.

Originally I was going to fill the jars with small nuts, or dried corn kernels, or something like that, but it’s too early to go scavenging for fallen acorns and I never got around to looking at the store, so I found a jar of dried rose leaves (collected over the years from dance recitals and so forth) and used that instead.  That makes the total amount I spent on flower arrangements $0.

 

I found this pumpkin thing last year at Walmart for $8.  They had at least three different designs of this thing. I had real votive candles in it before, but when I put it on my hutch I thought floralytes would be safer.  I found them at a dollar store in a 3-pack.  The leaves were more of what I had on hand or leftover from previous flower arrangements.  Total for this piece: $9.

 

Last, I got these candles at the Dollar Tree for $1 each – they are vanilla-scented so I figure I can use them for multiple seasons.

I was going to put them in mason jars also but they were too big!  So I was going to take them back and get smaller candles, but then I thought they might look nice in my candy dishes.  They used to be my grandma’s . I put more dried roses around them and I thought they looked pretty nice.  Total for these pieces: $3.

Five mini-projects (if you count the flower arrangements as two), and the total I spent on them was $15.  The best way to save money on decorating is to find new ways to use the old stuff you already have.

Fall Leaf Garland

 

A big, beautiful garland is a great way to decorate your mantel, banister, balcony, or (if you don’t have any of those things) hutch.  Buying one can cost close to $30 plus shipping at Afloral (my favorite place to buy silk flowers online) or as much as $80 at Hobby Lobby (which, FYI, has very reasonable shipping prices, last time I checked).  I made mine for $13 thanks to a great tutorial I found on Pinterest.  And I didn’t even have to buy grapevine.

 

Inspiration

(Source)

 

Unlike most of the other DIY garlands I looked up, this one is full, lush, and looks realistic – and it is a cinch to make!

 

Process

You can click the link under the picture for the tutorial, or you can just read on.

 

You will need:

 

– fake leaves (make sure they are the kind with a hole in the stem – see picture below) – I used four bunches that I found at Walmart for $3 each

– twine or yarn

– large-ish needle (it has to be large enough to accommodate your twine/yarn, but small enough to go through the hole in the leaf stems without pulling on the plastic)

– any embellishments you want – I used pinecones from my mom’s backyard and some little foam vegetable things from the Dollar Tree ($1 pack of 5 vegetables)

 

Sorry for the blurriness, but hopefully you can see the hole in between the leaf stems – this is what you need because it’s how you thread the leaves on the garland.

 

Step 1.  Measure your yarn (or twine) – I made my garland about 3 yards long – thread your needle, and knot it.  Make sure the knot is large enough that the leaves won’t slip off the end.

 

Step 2.  Take the leaves off their bunches and start threading.  I had two different colored bunches – a yellowish-greenish-brownish bunch and a reddish-orangeish-yellowish bunch – so I alternated.

 

 

Step 3.  Keep going until you run out of leaves.  Really, it’s that simple.

 

This is the point at which I diverged from the tutorial.  The tutorial above was, strictly speaking, for a garland to put on the outside of a house.  Mine was to put on top of my hutch (someday mantel, I hope), and I noticed that when I strung the leaves tightly together until the stems touched, the resulting garland was very, very thick:

 

Not only did that mean I would need more leaves to make my 9′ garland (remember, the goal here was to save money), but I wasn’t sure it would lay right on my hutch.  So I just spread the leaves out a little.

 

 

It may not look like it in the picture, but I thought it looked better.  So I kept working that way until I was out of leaves.

 

 

Step 4.  Add your embellishments.  I used Tacky Glue to add my pinecones directly to the yarn, but to glue the little vegetables to the leaves, hot glue is a better option.  I also coated my vegetables in Mod Podge and sprinkled them with green glitter for a little sparkle.

 

Result

I’m very proud of my garland!  And it was so easy to make, there’s no reason why you couldn’t do it too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall Ribbon Wreath

 

Fall is coming, and as I browse Pinterest I am getting more and more excited about decorating my small apartment for the season and its holidays.  I thought I’d start by trying my hand at making a ribbon wreath.  Since I didn’t actually look for a tutorial, I completely made up my design, and although I’m happy with how my wreath turned out, I don’t recommend you follow my method.  Instead, I recommend this step-by-step tutorial.

 

A beautiful wreath can cost a minimum of $20 and upwards of $100 if you buy it.  My wreath cost less than $10 to make with the following items:

 

– wreath form from the Dollar Tree, $1

(I used a wooden form because I didn’t know what I was doing; you should use styrofoam for a ribbon wreath, and they sell those at the Dollar Tree too)

– four spools of wide ribbon,  also from the Dollar Tree – $4

(You will probably need more ribbon than this if you use the tutorial I posted – the more ribbon you have, the fuller and richer your wreath looks.  The spools at the Dollar Tree only have 3 yards of ribbon each, so look for spools that have more than that.  If you want to order online, I highly recommend JKM Ribbon – and BBCrafts – great selection and amazing prices).

– sunflower bunch from Walmart, $3

– one spool of goldish 3/4″ ribbon from the Dollar Tree, $1 (I later took this off to use elsewhere; it didn’t add much)

– thin wire I had on hand

(the tutorial I posted uses straight pins – trust me, don’t do it my way)


Total: $9

 

In case you want to know, what I did was I wired loops of ribbons together and wired them onto my wreath.  It was time-consuming and poky, and while again, I’m happy with the overall result, I think it would have been much easier and less painful if I had used a styrofoam wreath form and pinned the ribbons (in bunches) onto the wreath.  I’ll try it that way come Christmas.