Thursday, 8 December 2011

How to Make Your Own Christmas Wreath

I set myself the challenge this year of making a Christmas Wreath for our front door. I've always liked the wreaths which are made out of baubles and used that as inspiration.

It was quite difficult to put together but the tinsel was a life saver and makes it look better than I imagined it would! Here's a little snap of the finished wreath!

So I've put together this step by step guide so you can have a stab at making one yourself :)

Just click Read more!

Here's what you'll need to make your own Christmas Wreath:

 -Baubles! I found that 50 was more than enough 
-Florist Wire. I bought that much there from the local florist for £2. Bargain.
-Tinsel. 2 metres of the colour of your choice will be plenty!
-Pliers/wire cutters/scissors. My leatherman was invaluable during this project!
-Cardboard (a cereal box will do).
-Sellotape and double-sided tape if you have some.
-Glue (I used Wickes contact adhesive which is dirt cheap but super sticky!)

So to begin take the lengths of florist wire and twist 2 pieces together. You'll need 3 twisted lengths to begin with - that's 6 pieces of wire in total.
Once twisted together they should look like this:
Make a hook at each of the length and hook together like so.
 And then push them down to secure as below:
  Secure each length so that you make a circle.
Next twist together another 8 pieces of wire to make 4 more twisted lengths. Cut one of these length in half and secure as before, making a circle that is made of 3 and a half twisted lengths. This will be slightly bigger than your original circle.
Twist together a further 8 pieces of wire to make another 4 twisted lengths. Hook and secure these together as before and you'll be left with a third circle that is bigger than the previous two!
Next you need to secure the SMALLEST and the BIGGEST circle to make the base. It took a bit of experiment on my part to get this right but I found that the most effect way of tying them together is to wrap single strips of florist wire in a zig zag along the two pieces so that they are about an inch apart. Loop one end of the wire around the smaller circle, bring it across to the larger circle and loop around before bringing it back across to the small circle and looping again.
Keep going around the entire circle.
 And you should be left with something like this:
 Next is the really fiddly bit. Your middle circle is going to sit slightly above your base. The best way to secure the wire by adopting the same zig zag technique as before. So you will be wrapping the wire from the base, over the middle circle and to the other side of the base. They key here is to loop around each circle to make sure that nothing is going to move anywhere.
Keep going around the entire length of the circles and you'll be left with a sort of 3D prism shaped base.
 Don't worry if it's not a perfect circle and doesn't sit flat - it doesn't matter!
Now for baubles! I got extremely frustrated trying to work out the best way to fix them all on. It took a few days and a few resets but I got there. Because of this, I don't have that many photographs so I'll try my best to explain the best I can!
You'll only need a small piece of wire for each bauble. I found that splitting each piece of wire into 3 was the best away of making sure they were all the same length. Loop it through the hole in the bauble and twist to secure. Turn your wreath upside down so that the middle circle is at the bottom and your base is at the top. Secure your baubles to the smallest circle by twisting them around the frame. As you go around you'll find that you'll have lots of bits of wire poking in every direction so watch your fingers!
You can begin securing baubles to the middle circle at the same time. There will be a lot of guess work as to how many baubles you will need. You'll need to think of this like building bricks. One bauble on the middle circle will need to perch in-between two baubles on the smaller circle. This is the same rule for the baubles on the outer circle as well (Note: Only secure the outer baubles on once you have completely finished with the inner and middle baubles- you'll get in a pickle otherwise!)
When the wreath lays flat you want the baubles to sit in a circle on the INSIDE of your wreath like this:
With your wreath upside-down, secure your bauble together. As you can see I did this by cutting up pieces of cardboard from a cereal box and glueing them together and to each bauble. This will give you a sturdy frame to work on and stop your baubles from flailing all over the place.
 Now this is where my frustration levels reached their peak and I stopped photographing so I'm going to try and explain the rest as best I can!

Now that your inner circle of baubles are secure it's time to focus on the middle circle. Once you've made sure that you can perch one bauble from the middle circle in-between two baubles from the inner circle (you may have to jig lots of baubles about to make them all fit!) use some double-sided tape to secure baubles together. This will make a full circle of baubles in your middle circle!

Now you can start securing your baubles to the outer circle. Using the same technique, make sure you can perch one bauble in-between 2 baubles from the middle circle. Use double-sided tape to secure again or if you've got no inhibitions like me wrap sellotape around and around the edge to hold all of the baubles in place. This will look messy and ridiculous but don't worry! The tinsel is yet to come.

The tinsel: wrap and loop around the frame of your wreath and tuck it into any bits of the wreath where you have large gaps.

Use one last piece of wire to make a hook/loop so you can hang your wreath up! Ta da. You should have a wreath!

Since finishing this wreath I've found much simpler ways of making a bauble wreath. BUT I liked the challenge and heading in blind :) And I think it looks lovely, we've had one or two compliments from the neighbours. 

So good luck to you if you choose to make yourself one of these wreaths. It's certainly a fun thing to do if you're sitting at home during the holidays with Christmas music/movies on.

Merry Christmas!

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