My project wreath is about 15" wide and 13" tall, without the length of the ribbon for hanging. I was inspired to make this wreath for the month of February in the spirit of Valentines day, making little pouches with poetic verse for family member and blessed by Valentine Wee one and her baby. Please let your imagination run wild with seasonal celebration and other holiday decorations too. If you do not glue the dried things and decorations on, you can take them off to add new ones easily.
The materials for this project were determined by what was available to me in the January landscape and what I had on hand.
1. Virginia Creeper vines (found still alive but without leaves, on my front fence.
2. Bits of the Curly willow branches that I had on hand, which I used for winding around the other vines, to give it more thickness.
3. Dried flowers, I was looking for roses and white flowers.
4. Florist wire or twine, to secure the wreath in its desired shape, prior to wrapping smaller vines around it to hold it together and thicken it.
5. A variety of ribbons , lace or what ever else you think you might need. In the end I also used tiny gossamer pouches also.
6. Some kind of non-toxic glue is always useful.
7. Materials to make a Wee folk or gnomes if you choose to add this. I have a tutorial on making these here:
I also always have useful tools, scissors, small needle nose pliers, embroidery thread and that kind of thing.
The roses I had left from summer were a little old and fades, so
I went to a flower shop and spent $3.00 on a stem of small roses and some Baby's breath. I also dried some of my Lily of the Valley.
I hung these on the pot rack in the kitchen and they dried in a few days.
This is my work table as I commenced making the Wee Folk. I
made small hearts too. I was not sure how many Wee Folk I wanted, so made extras. When I work on a felt/wool project, I gather all my materials that are the colors I want , and this inspires me, these pinks were very lovely to work with.
The heart itself begins with a pattern I make from paper and then trace onto my plywood board with pencil. Here you see some copper nails that I will use around the heart shape to establish a guide for the wreath.
Heart wreaths can also be made without the guide. Many times when I was out walking and found vines or wispy branches that were in a "Y" formation, I just pulled the ends around and secured them at the bottom to form a heart. This works if you have nippers and wire or twine with you in the garden and you can just make it out of doors, which is really nice to do. The indoor way with the guide usually produces a more symmetrical wreath. I like things to have a sense of balance in shape, but do not need to be perfectly symmetrical.
Here is how the guide or template looks after I have nailed the nails along the pencil line , about 3 inches apart.
This shows a "Y" shaped vine piece that I have started at the top of the heart. If you look closely, you can see that the vines are joined at the top part of the template. The main thing I am doing is making the vine conform to the nails, whether it is put on the inside or outside of the nails does not really matter, it is just what makes it take the best shape.
This shows the second round of vine, which was long enough to down the middle. I love making a cross inside the heart. If that is not desired, you can just keep wrapping the vine around the outside and securing it along the way with twine or florists wire.
As I am adding a third layer of vine, I wanted to show more about the forked or "Y" shaped limb that really helps make the heart shape. Here I am about to set it on the template and wrap it around.
This shows tying the vines as you go along, I use a twine coated with beeswax. I have also now added the cross piece inside the heart.
I have added about 4 or 5 rounds of the vine and knotted twine in places it needed securing. This creates the basic form and is ready to take strands of vine and wrap them in twisting spiral around the basic shape. I put the Gnome ornament there for fun, but it is not secured yet.
Here wrapping vine and small Curly willow twigs around the wreath has begun. The main reason this is done is to provide places to push the stems of flowers and such into the wreath to secure them. I go one direction and then other around the the wreath providing lots of places to poke flowers, leaves or anything I might decide to use. I do not use hot glue guns, which if you did , this might lessen the need for the twig wrapping some. I makes a lovely texture and look. I do you the tacky glue at times on things that I cannot secure well any other way.
You can see the willow and smaller vines now wrapped around the original heart shape. How much to add is entirely up to the maker. I Have made these very thick, with three times as many vines as you see here or just a little thicker. I am choosing to keep this wreath simple, because of its size and use.
I have now added some ribbon, wrapped around the upper center that will be what I hang the wreath by. The length of this is about 7 ", this is a personal choice. You can also knot the top with enough left over to tie a small bow at the top. I have used some green velvet and narrow light pink ribbon. I think the touches of green in the wreath are nice. I love greens and pinks together.
Her I am starting to add the dried flowers. I am also going to keep my flowers simple and more airy feeling, as the wreath is.
Like the thickness of the wreath, the amount of flowers, leaves or other , is entirely up to the maker and what kind of effect they are looking for with the project.
Now I am adding some white, some dried hydrangea from last summer and the bits of Baby's breath I dried with the roses. I am mostly poking the stems into the vines, occasionally putting some glue on stems that will not go very far in.
I have also added a few rose hips that I collected last November, as I like to have them as a different phase of the roses and nice texture. I am satisfied with this start on the flowers and am going to add my Wee ones, a mother and baby in pink!
I have tied the figure in place with the ribbon in the top of the gnome for hanging. I have also tied another bit of ribbon around the figure further down and knotted it on the back. This cannot be seen because the ribbon slips inside the cone. I have also added silk wings that are glued on the back. The baby is tied on with ribbon that you cannot see, also a dab of glue. Instructions for these gnomes are listed on the link at the beginning of the tutorial, on my tutorial to make Pinecone Angels.
This shows the making of the hearts for the pouches. They are two hearts, of different color, a bit of green wool and some Romney wool that is wavy, dyed pink, to coil into a rose. A stack is made of the two hearts and the Romney wool , needle felted in the center and then a bit of green added to suggest leaves. These are glued onto the bags, with a bit of plastic inside so the bag sides do not stick together.
Here the bags are drying. They will be tied onto the heart wreath along the cross bar in the middle , with tiny pink ribbon. They will have a poem inside for each family member reflecting things we love about them.
Here is the finished Heart Wreath! I have added the pale pink bow at the top, a second layer of Spring green silk wings on the Wee One( I love the accent of green with the pinks) and just a few more flowers. It is now ready to hang on the wall.
It is now hanging on the wall radiating a heart full of love and beauty. It can be added to and changed for years to come~
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