As the Philadelphia region welcomed the REAL arrival of Spring, (none of this one day 20 degree temperature swing nonsense) I found myself simultaneously unusually busy and in need of a Spring time wreath. The glittered shamrock hanging on my door is quite cute, but perhaps time to retire until next year.
Over the span of a month (yes actually a month) I made up my mind on a design, purchased my supplies and completed this very annoying project. It certainly shouldn't have taken that long to complete but c'est la vie. I am THRILLED with the results so the annoyance was worth it. I may declare this my favorite wreath project ever. Let's jump into the tutorial.
You will need:
Wreath form (I used a foam one like this, but pick your poison)
Yarn (the cheapest one available in the color you like)
Mini wooden bird house
Small wooden bird
Silk "branchy" flowers - something akin to a cherry blossom or dogwood branch
Paint - one color for the bird house one for the bird, you pick!
Wire cutters (to cut apart your branch)
Hot glue gun & glue
*I did all of my supply shopping at Michaels. Most craft stores will carry all of the items you need!*
In addition to the supplies, you will need a wheel barrow full of patience and the ability to perform a tedious task for a ridiculous amount of time.
This project can be broken down into three major steps: painting, wrapping yarn, and adding the decorations.
So let's begin with painting our wooden objects. As you can see in the photo, the bird I purchased was originally attached to a dowel. I broke that off with very little effort! The paint colors chosen should coordinate with each other and with the color of the yarn. If your front door (or wherever you plan to hang this) is a bold color, that should be considered in your selections as well.
There is nothing fancy to the painting. I did one coat because I liked the look of the wood grain showing through a bit. If you want something more polished or glossy, do two or three thin coats. My only real tip for this step is to use a skewer (or the broken off stick from your bird) to insert into the small hole on the roof of the bird house. This makes it super simple to use the skewer to rotate your bird house in whatever direction you need, without getting paint all over your hands. The skewer won't stay there, just a useful tool for painting.
|See the skewer? It really is a huge help!|
Slap some paint on your bird and birdhouse and let them dry for a few hours. Or if your me, let them sit untouched for several weeks.
During the weeks that I was letting my items dry, I did several starts and stops on wrapping my wreath in yarn. Mostly because it is the worst. Secondarily because I was busy. My advice for this process is to do it in 20 - 30 minute spurts as you have the time. I've made a yarn wreath in 3 steady hours of wrapping but it was miserable, and who wants to be miserable? I don't know if it takes other people this long, but I am a bit obsessive in making sure that there are NO gaps in the yarn and that it is pulled very tight. It makes all the difference in the final product looking sleek and polished.
The process I use to wrap the wreath is as follows:
- Wrap a good chunk of yarn around your hand and cut it from the spool. It is easier to work with then trying to wrap with the entire spool of yarn.
- Use a straight pin to secure one end of your yarn into the wreath. I came to the conclusion that using straight pins was the best method by trial and error. Using a hot glue gun works, but the stringy glue + fiber-y yarn = nightmare. White glue (Elmers, Tacky, whatever) works, but you would need to wait an hour or more for the glue to dry before proceeding with wrapping -no thanks!
- Make 3 - 5 loose wraps of yarn around the wreath
- Tighten your wraps as you move them closer together. Mind the gaps!
- Repeat 132,856 times. Or there abouts...
|First piece of yarn attached with a straight pin.|
|Loose yarn wraps. Pull them as tight and as close together as possible.|
Once you've wrapped the yarn 132,856 times give or take, un-cramp your fingers and wrists and admire how great your smooth, sleek lovely wreath of yarn looks. Then realize you still have a few more steps until it is officially complete, throw a tantrum, pull yourself together and continue on. Adding of your chosen decoration items (bird, birdhouse and branches for this example) will be sweet relief after the tedious and decidedly unfun ritual of yarn wrapping.
|Check out that super tight yarn wrapping. Skills to add to my resume|
Giving guidance for the placement of your decoration items is a tad difficult because there are an infinite (well almost) amount of possibilities and combinations. In this example, I knew that I wanted the floral branches to curve around and frame the wreath. In my mind, that left only one logical placement for the bird and birdhouse - smack dab in the middle. If I didn't have my mind set on framing the wreath with the branches, perhaps I would have come up with a different layout. In short, play around with your options until you find a layout that you love.
|Birdhouse secured with hot glue on the edges of the base|
I secured my birdhouse and bird with hot glue. I cut apart the floral branch into single stems and created a cluster that looked nice from there. I secured the branches with hot glue as well, and added straight pins in hidden places for extra hold. Silk flowers have wire running through them which works great for bending and shaping the branches. Bend and shape to your heart's content.
I chose to tie a ribbon around the top of my wreath for hanging. I've used sawtooth hangers (glued on), wire and many other hanging tactics as well, so whatever you may have around will likely work just fine!
|A closer look at the floral branches |
|The cuteness just puts a smile on my face.|
That's it! Not the quickest wreath to pull together but it is darn cute. That makes it worth while in my book.
Difficulty level = weekend crafter
Give your own Spring yarn wreath a try. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. Don't feel like making one? Head on over to The Backyard Boutique
on Etsy and I'll suffer the finger cramps for you!
Labels: craft, crafts, she's crafty, spring