Thursday, September 11, 2014

How I Make Fall Wreaths

It's tag sale week here at Elizabeth & Co. and if you've been here before, you know that a wreath making frenzy takes place before every tag sale!

I don't know why I call it a frenzy. I actually find making wreaths to be very relaxing and I look forward to it every season. It's really more of a marathon. I pick a rainy day (or two) and just make wreaths all day long. And I mean ALL day long! I just kind of get in a groove and it's really hard to stop!

This time I took a few pictures of the process. Every wreath is different and it happens mostly by feel, but I think you'll get the idea. ... Since I make wreaths all year round, I buy my supplies (mostly at Michaels) when they are on sale and store them in totes by season. The ping pong table in my basement makes a great work surface where I can really spread out. I used to make wreaths at my kitchen counter, but that was a bit messy! Now I can walk away from the mess when I need a break. I just cover the table with sheets to protect it from scratches and hot glue.

The first step is to look at the wreath and decide where the top will be. Since grapevines are a natural material, they are rarely perfectly round. I try to pick the best shapes, but sometimes that's hard when buying in bulk. This one is pretty lopsided, so the full side will be the exposed area on this wreath. This works especially well for a fall wreath where the grapevine adds to the rustic feel.

I use hemp to tie a loop at the top on the back side so I don't loose track of the best orientation. It also helps to hang the wreath from time to time during the process because it looks a little different hanging than it does flat on a table. You'll immediately see where you need to fill in gaps or balance colors.

I don't have a specific plan for each wreath, it's just a process of adding things that look good together. Sometimes I start with a group of elements that I think play nicely together.

So on this wreath, I picked my starting point and added some fern leaves as a base.

Then I just started layering the different elements beginning with the larger pieces. In this case that was the red flowers. Then I added the smaller flowers and the berries. I usually work in odd numbers and just keep adding little bits and pieces until it feels just right. The stems stick into the grapevine and everything gets hot glued into place.

This wreath ended up with three big red flowers, three green flowers, five white flowers (odd numbers), and berry sprigs in between.

This is a very similar color combination starting with the same big red flowers.

The starting point of this wreath was a bow.

And the base here was some greenery and fern leaves.

With a large bunch of flowers, I like to slide all the leaves to the top and clip all the flowers apart. If the leaves don't slide, I snip them off and hot glue them into little gaps. And sometimes I bend the flower head a bit to make it face out instead of straight up.

Again, just start layering. This time I placed the hydrangeas and the berries close to the bow to create a focal point.

And here is the finished wreath.

This wreaths has fruits, berries and a mossy bird's nest. Moss is great for filling in little gaps and odd spaces.

A great big sunflower makes the perfect focal point on this wreath.

Okay, that's as close as it gets to a wreath tutorial. When you get caught up in a frenzy, it's really hard to take pictures. But I hope I've inspired you to try making a fall wreath of your own!

You can check out the 2013 fall wreath frenzy here with an explanation on how the wreath frenzy began!
Hope to see you at our tag sale this weekend!
You can check out the preview post with complete details here!
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Chrissie said...

These are gorgeous. I think my favorite is the one with the birds nest.

NanaDiana said...

You make beautiful wreaths, Sharon! And GREAT bows, too. Thanks for the tutorial. You make it look simple- xo Diana

Our Hopeful Home said...

Wow, they're all gorgeous! Thanks for sharing your tips. That's a lot of wreath supplies! You really do stock up, but that's the best way to do it. Then you have so many options at your fingertips. I'm sure they'll all go to good homes! Wish I lived closer so I could be a the sale!
xo Kathleen

Cassie Bustamante said...

like you, i always like everything off center- they look fabulous and warm, sharon!

Hetty said...

They all look gorgeous Sharon, I will try to make one this fall. Thanks for your great tutorial!

Laurel Stephens said...

I'm in awe of your gorgeous wreaths, Sharon. I think you have broken down your creative process perfectly in this tutorial. It now feels like something I might be able to manage and would love to try. I'll be watching now for a sale on flowers at Michael's. Thanks!

Susan - Uniquely Yours or Mine said...

They are all so gorgeous! You may want to consider making 2 of a kind sometimes though, as some people, like me, have double front doors and finding 2 of the same kind of wreaths is important. Love them all!

Simply Suzannes at Home said...

Wow, Sharon!
Your Fall wreaths are so beautiful!!

Maria said...

Beautiful wreaths and great tips!! Thanks for the inspiration! Beautiful! :)

Dayle ~ A Collection of Days said...

Very pretty wreaths. I need to find a new fall one for my front door.

The Painted Drawer said...

I love these. You have given me inspiration to make one with my girls!

Janet, said...

very pretty!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Your wreaths are beautiful, Sharon! Thanks for sharing how you put them together. I can always use some tips on doing this.

Unknown said...

Thank you for showing your creative process! Your wreaths are beautiful and inspiring!

Shabby Marilyn said...

Great inspiration, lovely wreaths!