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March 05, 2013

How To Create a Spring Wreath

We moved into our first house last fall and I'm excited to do some decorating for spring. Since it's a bit too early for pots and flowers (just because it's May, doesn't mean it won't snow in Alberta) I thought I'd start with a wreath to hang on our outside door. This can be used year round but the apple green colors I chose said spring to me. Read on for an easy tutorial on how to create your own...

MATERIALS:

I bought everything at Michaels and it came out to around $80 - you could definitely do it for less but I didn't feel like shopping around ;)

You will need to buy:
-Twig Wreath
-Door Hanger
-Artificial Flowers & any other decoration you'd like to incorporate
-Complimenting Ribbon (I like wired ribbons so you can give it some fullness)
-Wooden Letters
-Paint for Letters

You will need on hand:
-Paint Brush
-Wire Cutters
-Glue Gun & Glue

STEP 1:

Paint your wooden letters first as they will most likely need more than one coat and generally need 1 hour between coats (wrap your brush in saran wrap so you don't have to clean it in between paintings). There's several different techniques of painting you can use, I thought after I bought my supplies that a crackle paint would have looked good. See instructions for the paint technique I used at the end of the post

STEP 2:

Hang your twig wreath on its hanger and mark where you want the top of it to be. You don't want to glue flowers or letters where the metal hanger hooks around the wreath.

STEP 3:

Figure out the layout of your decorations. For the letters I chose "welcome" but you could do your last name, the initials of the resident/s or even your address.

STEP 4:

Cut the stems off your flowers with your wire cutters, leaving just enough to put some hot glue on and stick between the branches of your wreath. Some artificial flowers you can just pull the flower part right off of the stem but if you have to cut it, cut through the plastic and bend the metal back and forth to eventually snap the metal in half (these flower stems were too thick to actually "cut" through)

STEP 5:

Get your glue gun ready and lay everything out on the wreath exactly where you want it so all you have to do is pick up a decoration, put some glue on the back and place it back down.

Gluing the letters on was a little trickier than I thought it would be to get them to somewhat sit flat. I found the best way was to hang my wreath up on the back of a door, start at the top and put glue just in the places the letter touches the branches and hold in place for a few seconds until the glue cools. I did have to pull some letters off once they dried and re-position them, which worked out fine.

STEP 6:

It's usually best to tie your ribbon on last, using it to hide any stems or ends you don't want showing. You can either cut a clean edge and create a bit of a wave with the ends (this is where the wired ribbon comes in handy) or weave the ends around the letters or flowers. I chose to cut the ends off short and just glue them to the back of the wreath. I also pulled a couple leaves off the stems and glued them around the ribbon.


PAINT TECHNIQUE I USED:


STEP 1:

I put two coats of an off white color on the tops and sides of the wooden letters. If I were to do it again, I would give the letters a light sanding before I painted them to get them a little smoother.

STEP 2:

Once the two coats had dried, I used my apple green and a rag to apply the color to the sides. I used an old pillowcase as a rag, whatever you end up using; make sure it isn't going to leave lint in the paint. Dip your rag covered finger into your accent color and rub it along the sides of your letter. I made the color more concentrated in some areas and then just blended the color out to give it some variation.

STEP 3:

When you have rubbed most of the color off your rag onto the sides of the letter, you can use the last little bit of paint left on your rag to add a bit of color to the top of your letters. I mostly rubbed it along the top edges and then went a little heavier in certain spots I wanted to accent a little more, like the loop of an "e".

You can always sand the letters down and repaint them if they don't turn out the way you like. Have fun creating your wreath!

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