Friday, August 24, 2012

DIY Yarn Wreath with Felt Flowers

Welcome to my very first Fabulous Friday!  (Or, in the case of this week's post...a Fabu-LESS Friday) On Fabulous Fridays you will find posts that are geared toward making yourself or your home more fabulous.

This week's Fabulous Friday post is a DIY project to make your door or wall more fabulous.

Here is what you will need:
1 tube of 1" pipe insulation foam ($1.36 at Lowe's)
1 ball of brown yarn ($2.77 at Walmart)
scrap piece of yellow yarn (optional)
1 sheet dark green felt (23c at Walmart)
1 sheet brown felt (23c at Walmart)
1 sheet yellow felt (23c at Walmart)
Duct Tape
A good pair of scissors or kitchen/garden shears
Pinking shears (optional)
Hot glue gun or other craft glue of your choice
Needle and scrap thread (for sunflowers)

Glue gun, needle and thread not pictured

I had a lot of this on hand, but assuming that you only have scissor, glue, and tape this project would only cost you around $4.50 with a leftover wreath form and yarn for another project! I don't know about you, but that is MUCH better than the $30-45 it would cost you to buy one pre-made.
So now that we have all of our materials gathered, let's get started.

There are two preferred methods out there for making your wreath form.  I didn't have much luck with either one, but I did a hybrid of the two and had success.  I'll tell you about all three and let you see what works out for you.

For any method, you are going to start by measuring the halfway point on your piece of insulation.  This should leave you with two 36 inch pieces.  You can use your second piece for another wreath or project.
For method one, you are simply going to hold the piece in both hands.  Twist one end away from you one full turn (the scored mark in the tube helps you see when you have gone all the way around).  Then bring the ends of the insulation tube together and tape securely with the duct tape, making sure to keep the twist in the tube.
For method two, you will have a couple of extra steps.  First, you will cut with your scissors along the scored line, making the tube completely open.  Then, you will roll one side of the tube into the other like you would roll up a newspaper.  It won't appear to be one smooth circle, but once we finish, it will still look smooth.  The cut will allow for one side of the cut to extend out past the end (you will see this better in the pictures).  Take the ends and pull them together into a circle.  Then trim the longer ends with your scissors or shears to make a smooth end.  Tape together securely with duct tape.

My hybrid method...used for this project combines the two pretty well, I think.  You start out by cutting along the scored line as you would in method two.  Then you will roll one side into the other like newspaper.  When you start to form your wreath shape, you will place a twist in the tubing as if you were doing step one.  You should end up with little ends that poke out (you will see this in the picture).  Trim those ends to make smooth edges.  Tape securely with duct tape.

This is how we roll.  :o)

these are the pesky ends I am talking about trimming

You can tell in this picture how I have twisted the form

If none of that works out for you, feel free to spring the extra cash for a styrofoam wreath form.  :o)

So, now you have your completed wreath form and are ready to begin decorating.

Use your glue gun or other craft glue to secure the end of your brown yarn to your form.  I recommend starting on one end or the other of the duct taped area so that all of your seams are in the same area.

Begin wrapping your yarn snuggly around your wreath form, but not so tightly as to crush the tube.  Continue this method all the way around until your entire wreath form is covered to your satisfaction. I like to place a small bead of hot glue or craft glue on what I know will be the back of the form a bit ahead of where I am working so that the yarn is secure, but this is completely up to you.  If you have used method two for making your form, you will want to make the side with the seam showing the back of your form so that your wreath will have a smooth appearance when you are finished.  If you use my method just eyeball whichever side looks smoother.  Once you have reached the beginning/ending point, you will secure your yarn with another dab of hot glue or other craft glue.

Now it's looking more like a wreath!

If you choose to use the contrasting scrap of yarn, keep reading.  If you chose to omit that, please skip down to the felt flower section of the tutorial.  I am going to include the scrap yarn in yellow for my wreath because I like the character that it adds. 

Once again, you will want to begin in the same area that you have the duct tape and beginning/end points for your yarn.  Secure one end of your yarn to the wreath.  Then begin wrapping the yarn in a loose pattern all the way around your wreath, twice for a nice layered effect.  You can adjust these strands to look the way you want them to.  Once you have achieved the desired look, secure the other end of the yarn to your start/end point and trim any excess.

You should have something looking very similar to this. (unless you march to your own drum and did something completely different)

Now that we have our base wreath completed, we are ready to add our sunflowers.  This also looks great with little felt spiral rosettes, but I will post a tutorial for those another day.  For this project, I chose sunflowers because they are great for fall and easy to make.  If you are not all about the effort involved in making little hand made flowers or you like a different look, these wreaths also look great with silk flowers attached in place of the hand made ones.

Clear away any scraps and snippings in your area, because cleaning as you go is definitely easier than cleaning up one big mess at the end. 

Take your felt sheets, scissors, and pinking shears if you have them and/or choose to use them.  From your yellow sheets of felt, you are going to cut circles of differing sizes.  About 5-7 should do fine, but do as many or as little as you want.  ATTENTION: These DO NOT have to be perfect!  I think they are much cuter with a little character.  If you have used pinking shears, you already have adorable little jagged edges.  If you used scissors, you will want to cut little zig zag edges around the circles.  I'm going to just hand cut in some little zig zags this time because I want it to have that homemade feel.

Now that you have your circles, you will need to take your needle and thread and use it to weave in and out of the felt in a small circular pattern in the middle of each circle.  Once you have made it all the way around, you will pull the thread just snug enough to make cute little puckers in the felt.  Secure your thread with a knot.

For the centers of your sunflowers, you will cut small circles from your brown felt with your regular scissors.  These don't have to be tiny or huge or any particular size.  Just make sure that they are large enough to cover your stitch work.  Use hot glue or other craft glue to attach these to the centers of your sunflowers.

What would adorable little sunflowers be without some green leaves to sit on?  You will now take your green felt and cut out leaf shapes.  These can be all different sizes.  Once again...these do not have to be perfect!  Perfectionism kills great projects!  Have fun!  Once you have cut the amount of leaves that you want for your wreath (I have cut two for each flower) you will affix each flower to its corresponding leaf or leaves.

Now affix your assembled flowers to your wreath using your craft glue or hot glue.  You want to make sure to do this at your starting/ending point from earlier so that the flowers will cover any visible seams.

Shown hanging directly in the wreath hanger.
Would also look nice hung by a ribbon.

Voila!  Look at your awesome wreath!  Give yourself a hand!  You can now hang this directly on a wreath hanger or use a scrap piece of ribbon to hang it from the hanger.

Note: While I was doing research to compose this post, I saw so many adorable yarn wreath ideas that I will probably post another one later in the season.  How precious and easy (and inexpensive) are these? 

I would LOVE to see your completed project.  Please comment on how yours turned out and post pics if you can.  Did you do something a little different? Tell me all about it.  If you have any questions, ask away and I will do my very best to answer them.

Thank you for crafting with me on this Fabulous Friday.  I can't wait until next week's post.

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