Essence of DIY: Autumn Wreath

DIY Autumn Wreath Tutorial

Here's the front door this year!

Here’s the front door this year!

Fall is probably my favorite time of year to decorate. I love it more than Christmas. The variety of mums, all the different pumpkins, apple baskets, corn stalks…ahhhh.

This year I was feeling especially thrifty (I was also out of work for five weeks when I moved back from Baltimore, so my budget was definitely tighter than usual) and I wanted to make a wreath to add to this year’s decor.

Last year and the year before, the bale of straw didn’t do wonders for the lawn the following spring, so I decided to move the decor from in front of the lamppost to the front door, but I still opted to leave the straw bale out. 

Anyway, back to the wreath! I was inspired by this wreath and this wreath and opted to make my own combination of the two. I saw the chevron painted burlap, but had decided on a medium-sized, chevron painted letter B (which I also DIYed) and thought that double chevron would look weird, but you can obviously customize this however you choose.

Here’s what I bought:

Supplies

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The supplies!

Ashland 14″ Grapevine Wreath ($4.99)

Art Minds 9″ Wood Letter ($3.99)

-A pre-made burlap bow, which is no longer available on Michaels website. Here is a tutorial for a very cute, easy bow and a link to wired burlap ribbon.

-4 medium-sized fall picks with different leaves and fall accents

Rust-oleum 12 oz. Gloss Ivory General Purpose Spray Paint ($3.87)

Rust-oleum 11 oz. All Surface Metallic Champagne Mist Spray Paint and Primer in One ($6.76)

-Painter’s tape of your choosing

You’ll need:

  1. A glue gun
  2. Floral wire
  3. Two small nails
  4. Hammer
  5. A pair of needle-nose pliers
  6. Scissors that can cut floral wire

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Let’s make it!

  1. Start by heating up your glue gun and taking apart the picks. You’ll want to keep as much of the wire attached to leaves, berries and other accents as possible, but individual pieces will make your wreath look less contrived.
  2. Lay out your design on the wreath by placing everything where you think you might want it. I started with leaves on the bottom, and then placed the other accents on top. I covered excess wires and glue with more leaves, so you always have that option.
  3. When you’re ready, you can use whatever wire is still attached to the accents and begin wrapping it through the grapevine wreath. If there isn’t wire, cut a 2-3″ piece and wrap it around the end of the accent and then attach it to the wreath. If you’re having trouble twisting the wire to secure it, use your needle-nose pliers to help pull the wire through and twist it. Once you’re happy with the spot, add a few drops of glue behind the accent to secure it to the wreath.
  4. Repeat until you’ve used everything you intended on, and layer the accents on top of the leaves. I just covered a small section of the bottom of the wreath, but you can certainly add more if you like.
  5. Let the glue set and go get your letter ready!
  6. Paint the letter with the off-white spray paint first (or whatever you want your base color to be). The letter I purchased was actually black, so I used three coats, but if you have a plain wooden or white letter, two coats may be sufficient. Let each coat dry for 30 minutes or more. Be sure to cover your paint area with newspaper or a painter’s tarp, and only spray paint in a well-ventilated area. If possible, I recommend letting the first coat cure overnight so that when you tape your pattern, the paint doesn’t peel off.
  7. When your first color is dry, use your painter’s tape to create a chevron (zig-zag) pattern if you choose. Follow the letter, rather than trying to make the pattern look perfect. The human eye will fill in the missing pieces of the pattern!
  8. When you’re all taped off, spray your second color. Let the first coat dry for 30 minutes and apply another coat or two if you’d like. When it’s all dry, peel off the tape.
  9. On the back of the letter, hammer one of your nails into the center near the top and the other in the center near the bottom. If you have a letter like an ‘A’ you may only need one nail in the very center of the letter, or you might want to use three nails instead–one at the top, and one on each leg of the A. It’s really up to you.
  10. Cut two, 4″ lengths of floral wire. Wrap about an inch of the wire tightly around each of the nails. Use the pliers if necessary.
  11. Position your letter where you would like it on the wreath and then pull the wire through the other side, then secure it. You can use glue again to further secure the wreath once you have it in a spot you like.
  12. When the letter is secure, you add your bow. Wrap the wire through again, find your spot and secure it–voile! You’re done.

 

How easy was that?! Wreaths like this sell for upwards of $70 and $80, but with the amazing sale on fall decor at Michaels, plus a coupon, I spent just $24! Not too shabby…

Are you going to make this DIY Autumn Wreath for Thanksgiving? Let me know how it turns out and send me your pictures!

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