Tuesday, November 26, 2013

No, It's Not A Slinky! DIY Wire Wreath

 Don't know what the weather is like where you are, but it's a very gray, gloomy day here in Nashville. We are two day's away from Thanksgiving and I have my menu planned and shopping done.  Whew!  That is a big relief.  It gets downright crazy at the grocery during the holidays and I am all about relieving any and all stress if and when possible.  How about you?

Since it is gloomy, I thought I would share something bright and cheery with you today.  Yes, we know that Christmas is coming.  I have not begun to decorate, but I have begun making things for this year.

I saw this wreath on a site called patinawhite.com.  She was showing her studio (which is amazing and gorgeous if you want to go sneak a peek) and all the things she had for sale for Christmas.  One of the pictures was a wreath made of wire and my heart jumped for joy when I saw it.  Do you ever see things and just immediately know you want one?  Must have one?  Will do most anything for one?  Sadly, there were no instructions for how to make it because it was for sale.  I looked at the picture and in my usual fashion thought "I can make that."  Yeah, right.

Oddly, I had bought a package with 50 feet of anodized wire one day at the Habitat Re Store for $3.00.  I just liked the way it looked and thought I could make use of it some day.  Well, someday arrived and I knew it was the perfect thing to use for making this wreath.  The wire was coiled in it's package so I knew it would uncoil like a big slinky - hopefully.  The wire did not let me down.
I needed some kind of heavy wire to make the wreath form so I went on my proverbial hunt to Home Depot.  In the electrical section I found this 16 gauge dark annealed wire.  It was the right color and weight that I needed.  It cost $10.00 which was not too bad because I can use it for a lot of projects.  I didn't use much at all for this wreath.   This is how it looks.
There have been many, many wreaths in my past since I worked as a floral designer for many years.  I had never made one like this, but I jumped in with both feet (and hands) to see if I could conquer this one.  There were moments of sheer frustration while I "figured" it out, but I know how to do it now and will be making more.  Here is what you do if you would like to make one.

First, make a round wreath shape the size you want.  My base shape is 18 inches which may be a bit big because it is heavy when you put all the stuff inside the wire and it caused the wreath to droop a little.  But, I have a solution for that!  Fourteen or 16 inches may be a bit more workable.
Twist the wire together where it meets to form a ring.  I made a fancy little hanger, but ended up not using it, so that is your choice.  *When the wreath was finished, it was too heavy for one ring of wire, so I went back and added another ring.  For safety, just make two rounds of wire to start with and attached them together with thin wire.*  (see instructions below)

Next, pull the wire coil out and start attaching it to the wreath form.  It took almost the whole 50 feet for the 18 inch wreath because of the coil.  I attached the coils to the base by using 30 gauge floral wire and twisting it around the coiled wire and the wreath form like this.  Use the same process for attached two rings of wire together to make the wreath form.
Do this every 4-5 inches to make sure the coil does not come loose from the wreath form.  It takes a little time, but is a must!  Go all the way around the wreath form and attach the coiled wire where it meets.
Now, it's time to fill in the coiled wire.  I made balls of yard by starting with a styrofoam ball and wrapping it with yarn.  It does not take as much yarn as if you were making a solid yarn ball and is not as heavy as a whole ball of yarn would be.  Just hot glue one end of the yarn to the styrofoam ball and then wrap in different directions until the ball is covered.  I used white, cream, tan, and dark red yarn.  You could use all one color or any colors you like.

Now for the fun part.  Using some different sized ornaments and the yarn balls, place them inside the coiled wire by separating the coils and pushing the yarn and ornaments inside.  I worked with mine until I got a look I liked.  Now for the "be careful" part.  I hot glued the ornaments and yarn balls together because the small ones will slip through the coils.  After they were all glued together, I used the 30 gauge wire and put it through the backs of the yarn in the yarn balls and wired them to the wreath form.  Just another "safety precaution" to keep them from falling through the wire.

I had some burlap ribbon that I used to make a bow and thought I was done.  I hung the wreath up to admire it and it sagged slightly causing it to pull out of round.  OH NO!  My OCD kicked in.  That was not acceptable, so I needed a quick solution.  It was really quite simple.  All that anxiety for nothing.  I used the 30 gauge wire and wrapped it around the center bottom of the wreath form and pulled it taught leaving a few inches more than needed and wrapped that around the center top of the wreath form.  The wire is behind the bow and not visible in any way. The wire is super thin.  The wire goes from top to bottom and holds the wreath in shape.  Ta Da!  Whew!  I was getting anxious there for a minute and that is why I think a slightly smaller wreath would not be as heavy.  Feel free to do whatever you want since there is a remedy to the saggy wire dilemma.

I plan to hang this wreath in the center of my tobacco basket during the Christmas season.  It is going to look awesome there.  I would not recommend this wreath for outdoor use because of the yarn and styrofoam balls and hot glue.  Hot glue will contract on the ornaments when they get cold and they will fall out of the wreath.  It's probably better as an indoor kind of wreath.  Just sayin'.  Do whatever you like.

This is a lovely wreath with a slightly industrial look or country vibe and appealed to my "down home" side.  It has many possibilities for year round use by using all yarn balls instead of some Christmas ornaments, or wrapping the styrofoam balls in different colored twine. Hmmm.  Another idea!

 I am making one of these wreaths for my friend Joyce for Christmas as a gift.  Try making one for yourself or as a gift.  Let me know how it turns out.  I'm ready to make some more!

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

You can't use up creativity.  The more you use, the more you have.  Maya Angelou

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