Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Think Fall Y'All

Do you hang some sort of seasonal decoration on your house or front door?  Perhaps a wreath or basket filled with seasonal flowers?  Well, I do and have done so for most of our 42 years of marriage.  To me, it is welcoming and adds texture and dimension wherever you place it and is also a way to celebrate the changing of the seasons.  I am a trained floral designer and have worked with flowers for 30 years.  There is a method to making a wreath and I will show you how.

Last week I made a trip to some of the craft stores and of course, to the local Dollar Tree.  September had begun and we all know that the fall season is upon us.  The aisles were filled with lots of beautiful fall leaves and flowers and it put me in the mood to make a new wreath for the front of the little yellow cottage.  It was time to take down my summer wreath and jump into the wonder of the fall season I love so much.  This is the wreath I took down.
For my summer wreath I had used reds, yellows and a beautiful tiffany blue ribbon.  It had given a cheery welcome to all guests during the summer season, but now it is time to put it away.

I was just in the nick of time with my purchases.  This weekend, our temperatures went from the high 90's nearing 100 down to the high 60's and rain.  Because of the few days of cool weather, there are already hints of red in the dogwood leaves and yellow hints in the maples.  Yes indeed, fall is on the way! Hot dog!!  If you want to make a wreath for your home, here are some suggestions for how to do it.

When purchasing decorations, make sure you do not skimp.  You don't want to be in the middle of your project and discover you do not have enough decorations to fill the wreath and have to go purchase more.   If you have decorations left over, you can always find uses for them to add to the fall flavor in your home.  I had enough left  that I will be able to make a centerpiece for my table and I still only spent $25.00.  Shopping at Hobby Lobby or Michaels when flowers are 1/2 off saves you lots of money and of course everything at Dollar Tree is - your guessed it - only $1 per item or package.  I purchased the mini pumpkins and small gourds at Dollar Tree.  The small gourds were in a package of 6 or 7 for $1.00 and the mini pumpkin were $1.00 each.  That is a big savings over prices you will pay at other stores.

The 18" grapevine wreath was $2.99 at Hobby Lobby.  I purchased one large bush of fall leaves and "weedy" things at Hobby Lobby also for 1/2 price and it was $6.00 and provided me with lots of filler for my wreath.  There were 15 stems total on the bush.

I purchased 3 large yellow sun flowers, a grapevine type garland with fall leaves, a small bush with 5 stems of thistle and two bolts of ribbon at Dollar Tree for $1 per item.   The hank of raffia came from Hobby Lobby for $2.99.  I love raffia because it adds texture and interest and there are so many uses for it!

  These are the things I purchased to make this wreath.  I did not use the packages of individual leaves on this project.  They came from Dollar Tree and I will have another project for them which I will share with you when it is completed.

The tools you need are a pair of wire cutters, a hot glue gun and glue sticks, some chenille stems for making the bow and a piece of floral wire to make the wreath hanger.  Remember, they call hot glue "hot" for a reason.  Be careful with your fingers when placing flower stems covered in hot glue in the wreath.

The first think you need to decide is where you want the flowers on your wreath.  Top, bottom, left or right side?  It's up to you.  You can make the design any way you want. I always visualize how I want the finished project to look and go from there.  Because we are taught to read left to right, we tend to look at things as more balanced when they are made that way.  Therefore, I made my wreath with the flowers on the left hand side.  You choose however you want to make yours, just use the same general method.

First, I placed the grapevine garland with the fall leaves in a reverse "S" shape on the wreath and hot glued both ends to the wreath.   Be sure and use enough glue when making an outdoor wreath so that weather and wind will not make everything fall off.

Next, I pulled the green leaves from the sunflower stems and glued them at different angles along the left side of the wreath.  This makes your "base" working area.  Place your flowers where you think you may want them before gluing them down.  I cut the sunflower stems about 6 inches long.  You want them to stand out from the wreath.  You can move them around until you get the look you want.  I glued two of the sunflowers and mini pumpkins angled up and one sunflower and mini pumpkin angled down leaving a space for filler flowers and another space where my bow would go.

Next, I took the bush with all the fall leaves and filler "weedy" things and cut it apart leaving the stems as long as they could be.  I placed the stems in different places on the wreath, moving them around until I got the look I wanted and cut each stem to the length needed.  Then, I placed lots of hot glue on the end of each stem and up about 3 inches and placed it back in the wreath.

The final step was making the bow and adding long strands of raffia to the back of the bow when I twist tied it with the chenille stem.   Twisting another chenille stem to the one tying the bow and wrapping it around the wreath snuggly keeps it in place along with some hot glue.   I added some more raffia throughout the rest of the arrangement so that there was lots of texture to represent all the dried weeds, pods and flowers of fall.  I made a hanger on the back of the wreath by putting a piece of floral wire through some of the grapevine and twisted it making a loop strong enough to hang the wreath.

Your beautiful fall wreath like the one in the first picture is now ready to hang wherever you like - on the wall, over the mantel, on the door or front of your house.  And you can say "I did that!"  This wreath would cost $50 - $75 depending on where you bought it.  You made it and saved a lot of money in the process!  I hope you try this project and enjoy it through the fall season.  This same technique can be used to make a wreath for any season or holiday!  Let me know if you try this and how it turns out.  Happy Fall Y'All.

Everyday Donna

Things to remember:

Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn.  ~Elizabeth Lawrence

1 comment:

  1. Hmmmm that summer color scheme reminds me of something....

    Love your creativity.