Sunday, February 24, 2013

lucky wreath (yes, another wreath!)

Another wreath post, but this one is timely since I'm catching up and actually posting BEFORE the holiday passes!

This is a St. Patrick's Day themed ribbon wreath. The idea of a ribbon wreath was inspired by this blog post and Pinterest find. I really liked the idea of choosing different kinds, colors and patterns of ribbon to convey a theme. I don't know about you, but when I go to the craft store and roam the ribbon aisles, I'm strangely mesmerized at all the choices. Maybe it's this horribly grey winter that make the endless spools of color splash so exciting, lol!

Anyway, my weird affinity for ribbons aside, I decided on a St. Patrick's Day wreath. My husband's favorite color is green, and he's extremely Irish, so I thought this was a nice wreath to display on our front door. Here is the finished wreath - then, keep reading for the DIY! After which you will go and make your own!

  • 12" extruded Styrofoam wreath
  • 7 or 8 different kinds of corresponding types of ribbon. I didn't pay attention to how big the spools were, I'm sorry! I was able to make two wreaths with the amount of ribbon you see below.
  • TIP: The best kind of ribbon for this project is grosgrain. Wire ribbon is okay, and actually is easy to shape into a loop. I do NOT recommend sheer ribbon; that was very problematic for me. Also, variety is good in terms of how thick your ribbon is, but the more thin ribbon you buy, the more it takes to cover the wreath.
  • Dressmaker pins
  • Decorative element if desired (mine was a glitter foam cutout that says "Lucky" and a corresponding glitter shamrock. Only $1 at A.C. Moore!)
  • Glue gun

Step One: Wrap your wreath with one of your ribbon choices. The thicker the ribbon, the less you waste on this part. I say waste because you will barely be able to see this when the wreath is covered in ribbon. It's better than leaving it white underneath, though, which is definitely visible if you miss any spots. I used a solid green grosgrain ribbon because it was cheap and wrapped easily. Use your hot glue gun to glue the ribbon on at the start and ending of your wrapping it.


 Step Two: Cut your lengths of ribbon. I found conflicting posts online regarding how long the strips should be. For my first wreath, I made them 4" long each. For my second one, I did 5.5" each. I think 5" would have been ideal in terms of the ribbon being easier to pin but not too droopy on the wreath. Start by cutting 20 pieces of each type of ribbon you bought. The photo below shows the 4" cut pieces before I started pinning them on.

Step Three: This step is optional. I did not do it for the first wreath. I thought it would be an extra unneeded step. I was wrong. You see, looping the ribbon (especially if it's just 4" long) and pinning it to the wreath can be tricky at times. You get one side pinned and then the loop comes undone. It was maddening at times! So, for the second wreath I decided to glue the ribbon loops shut before I pinned them on. Again, I originally thought this step would be a waste of time, but it saved me frustration and a string of curse words later on! :) All you need is to form a loop with your ribbon and use your glue gun to put a small dot of glue on each corner to keep it closed. It sets quickly. The photo below was taken when I made my second wreath- these are the 5.5" lengths of ribbon, glued into loops before I began pinning. 

Step Four: Place any decorative elements on your wreath in the beginning. You will be working around them with the ribbon loops; you don't want to glue the decoration on top of perfectly nice ribbon loops. It won't be super sturdy and it's a waste of (now flattened) ribbon. Use super glue or a glue gun to adhere your decoration in place.

Step Five: Pin the loops onto your wreath. You need to cover the front, outer circle and inner circle only. The back is left uncovered. Alternate your ribbon evenly. For example, I would pin one of each kind of ribbon, then started over again. This way, there was a fairly equal amount of each ribbon type/pattern on the wreath when finished. I used two pins per loop to keep the ribbon securely in place.

Step Six: Cut a length of ribbon in the same color scheme as your wreath. You will be doubling it over, so make it twice as long as you want your hanger to be. I wanted to use one of the two special St. Patty's Day ribbons I had, so that I could really showcase the theme. I cut it about 12" inches long and folded it over. Then I pinned the open ends to the back of the wreath using 4 dressmaker pins, and I was done!

Below, you will see both versions of the wreath. You can decide for yourself if you like the one with shorter loops (thus more ribbon loops needed), or the one with longer loops (thus less ribbon loops needed). I will say that I like the one with the shorter loops better, BUT I liked that the longer loop ribbon took me about an hour less to complete. Total approximate time for this project is 4 hours.

I went crazy and bought spring colored/themed ribbon, so look for that in upcoming weeks! For now, I'm going to step away from wreaths, though (as promised!)- a couple new posts will be coming over the next 2-3 days, so stay tuned. 

If you make (or have made) a ribbon wreath, please post a link so that we can see it- I love seeing all the different versions that people make! :) 

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