If you only do one thing to decorate for the seasons, make it a wreath! Wreaths are a beautiful way to add a dose of festive spirit to your home's exterior. My love of wreaths is well documented; last Winter I rounded up my wreath picks in this post, and the Spring before, I experimented with making the DIY yarn wreaths that were all over Pinterest back then. I've always loved the look of grapevine and silk flower wreaths, but I thought they would be much harder as a DIY project. It turns out, they are not hard at all!
I used my Seasonal Color Scheme as inspiration during my shopping trip at Joann's. One thing I love about seeing Christmas decorations in stores in August is that now we are only a couple of weeks into fall and Joann's stock of Fall florals and decor are all 50% off! I was glad that I went in with a color scheme in mind, because there were so many great options in the clearance bins that it was hard to choose! At the end of this post, you'll find a list of the materials I used, with links to what I could find online just in case you want to replicate my choices.
Since this was my first time making this type of wreath, I definitely had to do a bit of trial and error along the way. Read on to see my 7 tips for DIY wreath making.
1. For a foolproof color scheme, use my 3 + 1 rule : 3 colors plus 1 shade. For example, my main 3 colors are red, white and green, but to add depth to the arrangement I added a darker shade of red --burgundy. This scheme would work just as well if I would have used a darker shade of green as plus one or even a pretty champagne color to act as a darker shade of white. The plus one shade doesn't have to be darker either. Pink would also be a great plus one for this scheme, as long as your are using a shade of pink with the same undertones as the red color you are using. Using this formula will give you a balanced color scheme every time, which is the perfect jumping off point for any crafting or decorating project!
2. Vary textures when choosing silk flowers. You'll want to have a nice mix of stems (the word for single flower blossoms grouped together) and bushes (fuller flowers like hydrangeas or bunches of leafy foliage). You also want to vary flower sizes to add some visual interest. For my wreath, I used large hydrangeas, medium sized chrysanthemums and small red ranunculus.
3. Cut silk flower bouquets into individual blooms. This makes creating a balanced arrangement MUCH easier, since you won't have large clumps of the same type of flower in one place. This seems like an obvious thing to do in hindsight, but I didn't start out doing this when I made my wreath. Save yourself from having to undo all of your wiring and start over like I did! I recommend cutting the wire stems about 2"-3" away from the bloom if you are using a grapevine wreath. If you are planning to wrap the stems around a wire wreath, you'll want to cut them a bit longer.
4. You don't have to cover the entire wreath with flowers. This was another thing that I found out through trial and error. For my first arrangement, I had the burgundy leaves wrapped all the way around the wreath and something just didn't look right about it. If you are using a grapevine wreath, don't be afraid to let a portion of the vines show. My arrangement is about 75% florals, 25% grapevine wreath, but I've seen beautiful wreaths that use the opposite ratio-- 75% grapevine wreath, 25% florals. Pick a focal point and work your way out from there, or create multiple clusters of flowers and arrange them symmetrically or asymmetrically around your wreath form. The options are endless, so just play around with it!
5. Plan ahead. Definitely take the time to layout your arrangement BEFORE you start wiring things down. You may be tempted to just wing it, but believe me; undoing twisted floral wire in grapevine is a pain. If you are layering flowers, you also want to consider the order that you are going to wire your blooms down in. Which pieces do you want to be more in the background? Which pieces do you want to overlap, and which pieces do you want to be front and center?
6. Take a picture. If you are anything like me, you will probably get to a point (about 3/4 of the way through this project) where you cannot decide if you love or hate the way your wreath is looking. Do NOT start unwiring or changing anything until you pause for a moment to do this. Taking a picture is great because it takes your project from life size to miniature. You will get to see your wreath design more as a whole, instead of as a sum of its parts. For me, it is much easier to tell if a composition is balanced from a photo than it is in real life. The other benefit of taking a picture is that you'll get to see your wreath from a vertical position like it will be hanging instead of a horizontal position like it is on your work table, without having to worry about parts that aren't yet secured with wire yet falling off in the process.
7. Know when to stop. I always struggle with this when I am doing any type of creative project. I'm also a perfectionist and pretty intense about my crafting, so hopefully you don't have this problem! Anyway, I remember telling Anthony the night I was making this, "Ok, I'm either done with this wreath OR I am going to keep tweaking it for the next 2 hours. I can't decide." This is the point where I take a break. For 5 minutes, I force myself not to look at whatever I'm working on. When the 5 minutes is up, I am able to look at my project with fresh eyes and 9 times out of 10 it looks so much better than what I remembered. This works similar to the take a picture thing as a way to make yourself see your creation as a whole instead of just focusing on the odd berry that will not lay right or the leaf that keeps getting crumpled.
There you have it! My 7 tips for making your own wreath. Have you ever tried a hand at wreath making? I'd love to hear your tips in the comments below!
Materials I used:
1 grapevine wreath
Wire cutters (I know the picture shows scissors, but I quickly realized trying to cut wire with scissors is a mistake and switched to wire cutters)
1 Red Ranuncula Bush
1 Faux Berry Stem
1 Faux Stem of something I don't know the name of.... comment if you can identify it! It's the grayish stems, I only have a few in there.