Sunday, May 22, 2011

Spring Wreath

The Windham Newcomers Club has a craft group that meets a couple of times a month. Sometimes they just get together and work on individual projects, but sometimes someone agrees to lead a group project. This month one of the ladies volunteered to show us how to make spring wreaths out of grapevine wreaths and silk flowers, and I decided to sign up.
Unlike my daughter, I am not crafty. I do needlework, but follow a pattern. I get intimidated by projects that require creativity. It’s funny, because I don’t have the same feeling about writing, or even photography. Both of those activities just seem to “flow” for me. But when it comes to making something out of wood, cloth or paper I get nervous. 
So at first I felt very uncertain about how I would go about creating a wreath that didn’t just look stupid. We had specific instructions about what to buy – 2 large focal silk flowers, 3 medium-sized complementary colored flowers, 3 or 4 smaller sized flowers in another color, greenery such as ivy, and filler flowers like baby’s breath.

On the day of the wreath project I was running late, so when I arrived the other ladies had been working on their wreaths for a little while. At first I felt very confused. I wasn’t sure how to start, how this was going to work. I thought for sure I had just spent $80 for a bunch of silk flowers and was going to end up with a big fat mess.
But, we had a basic diagram to follow, and the lady in charge was very good. She had owned a flower shop for many years and she knew how these things were done! Slowly my wreath began to take shape.
The first step was to decide on a basic design. There were different ways to design a wreath. The first step was to decide where you wanted to put the bow. It could be at the top, the bottom or even on one side. Where the bow was situated affected the rest of the design. I decided to put my bow at the top of the wreath. 

My bow, with the focal flowers

Of course when it came to making a decent bow, I was all thumbs, but again, there was a system. By making a series of loops and using wire, it turned out not to be that difficult at all. My focal point flowers were large pink roses, which also had tinges of yellow and white. My bow picked up the shade of pink in the roses.
Focal flower - two big pink roses

Next the greenery was placed on the wreath. I was lucky because I had chosen ivy that came in a ready-made chain, so it was easy to place.   We used hot glue guns to attach the flowers to the grapevine. This was sort of fun. At first I was cautious and sparing with the glue, but as time went on I got more aggressive. I didn’t want things falling off my wreath! The glue gun is kind of an amazing little tool, but you have to be careful; that glue is hot! I have a small burn on one of my fingers now. Oh well, a craft war wound!

Next, the focal flowers were placed. If the bow was at the top of the wreath, then the focal flowers went at the 10 and 2 positions (like a clock face). First you positioned the flowers and decided where you wanted them to go; then you glued them in place.
Complementary flowers

Now the smaller flowers in a complementary color were placed on the wreath, followed by smaller flowers in a contrasting color. Again the lady leading the project was very helpful. She showed us how to place the smaller flowers so that they looked natural, sometimes hanging downward, sometimes facing upward, like a flower would normally grow. Some of my smaller flowers were a dark pink, and some were a contrasting yellow. She also suggested that I group the yellow flowers in several bunches. She had a lot of good ideas!
Contrasting Flowers

Finally the filler flowers were added to the wreath. She suggested that some of my filler flowers be connected to the bow. I would have never thought of that myself. I had two different types of filler flowers. Some of them I added to the wreath in small sprigs; others I cut into individual flowers and placed on the wreath that way.
Contrasting Flowers bunched and hanging down

This project turned out to be lots of fun! I was very pleased with my wreath. All of the ladies’ wreaths came out beautifully and they were all so different! I was so absorbed in my project that although I intended to take pictures, alas I did not. But one of the other ladies did, so when she posts her pictures I’ll try to include some of them here if I can.

This project was not that hard. Now I’m thinking I could do this again on my own. It would make a good present for somebody. It would be fun to make wreaths for different holidays, or seasons of the year. Just spread out lots of newspaper, heat up that glue gun, and go!

The Finished Product!

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