Fall Wreath Tutorial
After a DISASTER of a summer wreath attempt, I decided to give it another go for the fall season. I’m glad I did, because I’m really enjoying this finished product! The options for decorating outdoors while living in an apartment are very limited (can’t obstruct any of the outdoor walkway areas), and I rely on wreaths to give our entrance some personality. This particular design incorporates flowers of the season, giving dahlias the spotlight with a few sunflowers for good measure. The gold ribbon gives it some subtle metallic shimmer to catch the eye and makes the otherwise bare areas of the wreath more interesting. Best of all, it only takes one trip to the craft store and roughly an hour to put together!
I love making wreaths and am so excited to get this fall wreath tutorial started. To begin the fall wreath tutorial you’ll need to gather your supplies.
*18″ straw wreath
*3 rolls shimmery gold ribbon (total of 27′ of ribbon)
*Hot glue gun
*Jute (just enough to tie a loop to hang the wreath)
Selecting your flowers:. When shopping the artificial flower section in the craft store, look for options without cheesy details (like fake dew drops) and that are on a single stem. These will always be the most life-like and be of higher quality. I always like to choose one flower that is larger than the others to be the focal point of the wreath. In this case, I chose a deep red dahlia that is relevant to the season (peonies year round aren’t a realistic choice since they are not a year round flower). Keep in mind whatever shade you choose will be the most dominant of the finished product. Personal example – Sunflowers are a popular option for fall wreaths, but I am not a fan of yellow. I ultimately chose sunflowers to fill a supporting role in the arrangement since the golden shade fit well into the color scheme I had in mind. After you have your “focus flower,” select two medium sized flowers in complimentary shades. Here, I stuck with dahlias, but by no means do you have to stick with the same flower. Color is more important here. Finally, pick two smaller flowers (one flower in a quantity of 2). As mentioned, sunflowers were my smallest flower choice to round out my color scheme.
Once you’ve got your supplies together, you’ll need to remove the long stems from your flowers. Leave 1.5″-2″ of stem coming from the base of the flower.
Snip the leaves from the stem, as well. I didn’t end up using the leaves in this project but hated wasting them. I have a lot of greenery saved up from artificial flower stems and hope to utilize them in some spring decor projects next year. They’re useful to keep if you’re able to store them for future crafts. This should be what you have in front of you after this step.
Now we’re getting into the assembly of the flower arrangement. Before we actually secure anything, we’ll just be laying the flowers on the wreath to get an idea of what arrangement looks best. Place your largest flower off center to the left along the bottom of the straw wreath form. Regardless of where the other four flowers are placed, the largest flower needs to stay in that location. The placement of the next four flowers is really based on what looks good to your own eye. My only suggestion is that you place them from largest to smallest, which your smallest flowers always on the outside of the grouping. Tap into your creativity and try different placements until you find what looks good to you!
To secure the flowers to the wreath, you’ll need your hot glue gun. My hot glue gun is one of my best friends, and it might be something I would list if I were playing a round of Desert Island. Be nice to it, and it will create beautiful things for you. I initially planned to remove the plastic from the wreath, but once even the smallest section was exposed there was straw all around me. Too messy. Leave the plastic on, and simply poke a hole through it to access the wreath. It’s a whole lot cleaner and easier to manage.
The remaining stems on my flowers were thick enough and sturdy enough to push through the straw and remain secure. Seriously, those guys wouldn’t budge. I did have to apply more force than anticipated to make this happen, so make sure your stems can handle it without breaking or folding. The only flower I couldn’t do this with was the largest red dahlia. My favorite method is to apply the hot glue liberally to the stem and the base of the flower, then press into the wreath until dry. This has always held up for me, even through storing wreaths and using them seasonally for multiple years. It doesn’t sound fancy or glamorous, but no one sees this part of the wreath. Don’t worry about it being pretty, just make sure you have that flower as bonded to that wreath as possible. Do this with all your flowers if sticking them in the wreath form isn’t an option. Always hold the flowers in place for approximately 45 seconds until the glue is dry. Here’s my wreath at this point in the process.
Now we’ll wrap the exposed wreath form (should be about 3/4 of the wreath) in ribbon. Start as close as you can get to one end of the flower arrangement and glue the end of the ribbon to the back side of the wreath. While wrapping, make sure you keep the ribbon tight to prevent gaping and only overlap the edges so you have enough ribbon to cover all of the remaining empty areas. I learned this from (a frustrating) experience. When you reach the end of one roll of ribbon, hot glue it in place where it ends, still holding it tight so it doesn’t loosen up. Always glue to the back of the wreath when starting the new role while overlapping the last of the previous role so that no ribbon ends are visible. When you reach the opposite end of the flowers, leave no visible straw areas and glue to the back of the wreath.
To get rid of any gaping in the ribbon, I went through after each ribbon section and pulled, twisted, and glued any loose parts in place. You can see this in the next picture.
The ribbon may be my favorite part of this piece. I started out looking for a tan and white striped ribbon, but there was none in stock. I’m so glad it wasn’t! The metallic aspect makes it so much more intersting.
This step is optional. If you are satisfied with the look of your wreath on your hanger alone, it’s definitely not necessary to tie a loop of jute to hang it on. I actually planned on this, and liked it, but ultimately chose to hang it directly on the hanger hook just based on the size of my door and where I wanted the wreath to hit. If you decide to add this, take your jute out to your door and measure out how long of a loop is appropriate. When judging placement, always center any peepholes or knockers to keep a clean, balanced aesthetic. Tie a cute little bow and place on hanger.
Your wreath is done!
Here are some detail shots.
Side Note: The last picture shows the color of my door accurately. There isn’t a huge difference in the color of flowers between the pictures, but I could not get rid of the green tint to the door no matter the time of day, angle, or setting. I got lucky with the one where it actually looks blue/gray, so if you’ve got tips for making that happen consistently… please send me your secrets!
I hope you enjoyed this fall wreath tutorial as much as I enjoyed making it! How do you make your entrance festive this time of year?
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