Might Be In Over My Head…Maybe?

So I got this brilliant idea that I wanted to make the majority of our Christmas décor this year since I figured rustic elegance as a theme would be pretty easy to accomplish. I’m starting to wonder where I get these harebrained notions – one of which was to create a burlap wreath on a wire frame for our front door. Mind you I have NEVER EVER created this type of wreath and here I was going to make our Christmas wreath that EVERYONE including the UPS man will see. But seeing as how I was raised to believe and I do truly do mean believe wholeheartedly that could do anything I put my mind to, my internal self said, “Go on. You can do it. Really how hard could it really be?” Mental Note: This type of internal encouragement has gotten me into a lot interesting and sometimes over my head situations.

Oh, well, what was the worst that could happen? After all, its just burlap and loops, right?

Burlap Christmas Wreath

So I really am not exaggerating, it really was my first time and if I say so myself, its not so bad. I actually really like it but I think I’m going back to my curly willow wreaths as my go to wreath style. That said, I do very much love the look, especially my little owl. And as I share how I did it step by step (which most of it was pretty easy), I will also share things I learned not to do and things I would have done differently. One thing I did absolutely love was it was super cost effective, especially shopping sales for Michael’s and JoAnn’s.

Supplies

Wire Wreath Frame

Burlap Fabric or Burlap Ribbon (approximately 8 to 10  yards of 4″ to 5″ wide)*

Various Flower, Animal, Feather, etc. Picks for décor

Scissors

Floral Wire

Wire Cutters

So I bought 2 yards of 54″ burlap for a total of $6. I found 4″ wide by 12 foot long burlap ribbon for $5.19 a roll on sale. I opted to use the burlap fabric in stripes to make my wreath since I needed for additional projects and it was more cost effective. That said, it is time consuming to lace the ribbon as is through the wire wreath form but having to cut the stripes so they don’t fray and are straight added a significant amount of time. To me this comes down to your personal life at the time. If I had more money and not as much time I probably would have opted for the ribbon.

Steps

  1. Since I was using fabric burlap, I first had to make my stripes and you definitely want to precut your stripes – I learned that the hard way. I learned a really cool trip for helping it not fray and to make sure I am cutting a straight line.
    1. First, you find a thread going the length you are cutting at the width you desire the stripe.

      To prevent unraveling yet cut easy find the thread.

      To prevent unraveling yet cut easy find the thread.

    2. Second, you pull the thread out and the fabric will start to gather. Gently, slide the gather down the thread toward the other end. Its kind of like threading elastic through a steam but in reverse.

      As you pull the thread, it will start to gather. Push the gather down in an opposite direction.

      As you pull the thread, it will start to gather. Push the gather down in an opposite direction.

    3. Once fully removed, this will leave you with a slightly larger gap where you can cut. Following this opening, keeps the cut straight and prevents fraying
      You will get a gap that will help prevent fraying and make it easy to cut.

      You will get a gap that will help prevent fraying and make it easy to cut.

      Cut in the gap

      Cut in the gap

  2. Once you have your strips, you can beginning forming the loops. Start by weaving one end through the wire frame as shown in the picture.  I secured this starting piece with wire because I didn’t want it to move seeing as it was the starter piece. However, I only added wire for the first stripe. I didn’t need it on the rest.
    Weave the wire through the one side.

    Weave the wire through the one side.

    I secured the first stripe with wire to prevent moving.

    I secured the first stripe with wire to prevent moving.

  3. Next, I took the remaining end and began stuffing loops of fabric between each of the wire rows. First, a half inch through the inside ring, then the middle, then the outside and back to the middle and the inside ring. I kept doing this lightly pushing the loops together so they would stay full and fluffy. You can make the wreath tighter and more compact by adding more stripes and pushing them together or a softer, way fuller by making the loops bigger and not pushing the closer together.

    Press the loops into each other to form the "fluff" of the wreath.

    Press the loops into each other to form the “fluff” of the wreath.

  4. Keep repeating the previous step until the wreath is fully covered. (This was where I discovered how much fabric was needed and how much time.)

    Keep repeating previous step until you get here.

    Keep repeating previous step until you get here.

  5. Next, is giving the wreath character. In other words, you are adding the picks. And to do so, whenever I make a wreath burlap or not, I always layout what I think I would like to use and where as you can see in the picture. I may not use everything or I could add more but at least I have a general idea of what its going to look like.

    Laying it out gives you a general idea of what to put where.

    Laying it out gives you a general idea of what to put where.

  6. Then I start adding them. I have always wired my pieces to my wreaths instead of glue them to it. That said, by not permanently attaching them, you can use the base for different seasons and just change the picks. For the picks that already had wires, I inserted them where I wanted them in the front, then wrapped the wires around the wire frame of the wreath.
    Make sure to wrap the wire end around the wire frame to secure picks in place.

    Make sure to wrap the wire end around the wire frame to secure picks in place.

    If you don't have a pick, then create one by adding wire and hot gluing it in place.

    If you don’t have a pick, then create one by adding wire and hot gluing it in place.

  7. If a pick had no wire, I added wire with floral wire and hot glue, allowing it to fully dry. Then add them as you would any wire pick (see above step).

    I think it came out really well but it screams paint my door at me.

    I think it came out really well but it screams paint my door at me.

Tip: I have always found the off symmetry angels work well as seen in my wreath here but the key is keeping the upper corner lighter than the bottom corner. I have also found a balance wreath is one the uses evenly spread clusters of décor  – three or five depending on if you have a bow. Three if there is a center bow and five if not.

Also, I am so going to paint my front door like ASAP as you will see in the photo, pretty bland and I didn’t realize how much until I put my new wreath up.

Dinning Table Centerpiece

I have to admit I was super excited about my centerpiece because it was where family would gather AND because of two really cool deals! First, was three metallic glass pillar candle holders I found at the 99 Cent Store for $1.50 a piece. The other were FREE, yep FREE, Christmas tree branches from Home Depot – can’t beat free.

Typically I just show my centerpiece but I thought I would walk you through what I do so you can recreate something similar if you want.

  1. First, I added the table runner, mainly to protect my beautiful dinning room table. I reused my Thanksgiving one since it felt rustic and appropriate.
  2. Next, I set up my candles and candle holders. This acts as kind of a border for me.
  3. Then, I cut off sprigs of the Christmas tree branches and layered them in and around the three pillar candles. Tip: I went to Home Depot and they gave e the branches for free! They would rather I take them, than just dispose of them.)
    By adding the branches after the candles, I know where my boundaries are and am only filling in.

    By adding the branches after the candles, I know where my boundaries are and am only filling in.

    FREE from Home Depot

    FREE from Home Depot

  4. I then position my main features, in this case a buck and doe deer on one side and a pair of birds with a nest on the other. (I got the two deer at Michaels at half off but the birds I already owned and the nest was left by some previous birdie parents and typically sits on my mantle.)

    Put the main elements first to make sure they are given prime spots.

    Put the main elements first to make sure they are given prime spots.

  5. I fill in holes with other accessories always starting with biggest, like my pinecones, and working to smaller ones. As a tip, I always try to weave other area decorative elements in to my décor. For this I added the berries, feathers, and pinecones already present on the wreath. It helps keep things cohesive.

    Pinecones, berries and feathers help connect the wreath and the centerpiece.

    Pinecones, berries and feathers help connect the wreath and the centerpiece.

  6. Lastly, I fill in gap or “open areas”  with small sprigs of tree bow.

    Filled in and finished. (Front)

    Filled in and finished. (Front)

Hope you like it. I love the rustic mixed with elegance and love the price as the entire centerpiece cost me less than $15!!! Pays to pull from nature, use creative thinking and what you already have. Add a few smart purchased extras and its amazing what you can come up with! I can’t wait to show you the rest of the house and décor.

Filled and Finished. (Back)

Filled and Finished. (Back)

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