Monday, 2 April 2012

Burlap Wreath

I love making gifts! I guess this love for creating things for other people started when I couldn't afford to go out and buy everyone really great and thoughtful Christmas gifts. I have an issue with Christmas in that I take choosing gifts for people REALLY seriously! I research online for everyone on my gift giving list, I visit various stores and attempt to get each person something that is PERFECT! Nothing less than perfect will do for me. I have been known to spend days out shopping for just one person. I know, its ridiculous but I'm not happy unless I find something that is as perfect in real as it is in my head! My husband tells me I have a problem, but he has never complained about any of the gifts he has received!

Last Christmas was particularly tough for us as we had just purchased a house a few months earlier, and we had to plan and save for our wedding in February. Suffice it to say, everyone got handmade gifts! My Mother is a self proclaimed "wreath whore." She needs to have wreaths for every occasion, and for every door in and out of the house. I thought this was the perfect opportunity to create something for her that was both satisfying my need to craft, and give people thoughtful and personal Christmas gifts, and her addiction to wreaths. So this is what I ended up creating for her!

She loved the rustic, handmade look and feel of them and she was thankful that it was made with colours that complemented her exterior finishings. She has always talked about how difficult it is to find nice wreaths for winter that are not Christmas-y, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to use some of the materials I had hanging around the house, and create her something that she can put up for the end of winter after the holidays. 

It was so simple to make and literally took about an hour to create both wreaths! It is something that anyone can do with any level of crafting experience. Here are the following materials used and step by step instructions. :)

I purchased 2 straw wreaths because I wanted them to be heavy enough to not blow around on a super windy winters day. Next I just found a roll of burlap at a hardware store, a nice roll of burlap ribbon, and a glue gun to put it all together. The burlap ribbon was wonderful because the weave was tight and it had wire on both sides that allowed me to shape the ribbon any way I needed it to go (very handy).

The first step was to wrap the straw wreath in plastic wrap (sometimes you can buy the wreath already wrapped in plastic which would make this step a whole lot easier). The plastic makes it easier to work with and it made me feel better knowing the straw was secure so it wouldn't fall apart and start sticking out of the wreath once it aged. I then cut the burlap into long stripes and wrapped the wreath with them securing every little bit with some hot glue. Your wreath should then look like the image below. Be really careful when gluing! The burlap that I used was a very loose weave and so when I applied the glue I came out all the little holes. Keep your fingers out of the way and let the glue dry before moving on.

Don't worry if it isn't this neat and tidy as the image suggests. Mine looked like a disaster because it didn't have the nice edges. There were pieces of burlap everywhere but I actually liked having it that way because it gave it more of a handmade feel. After the foundation of the wreath is set, I got the ribbon out and started pleating it. I would fold it over half an inch, about every 2 inches... if that makes sense. I would check every little bit by holding it up to the wreath to see how much I need and then cut it off the spool. At this point you should have a long pleated ribbon. I secured the pleats on ONE SIDE ONLY with a thick bead of hot glue and once it was dried I could play around with the positioning on the wreath. I finally decided on placing the pleated, glued side, a little on the inside curve of the wreath. That way when looking at the wreath straight on you could see a little bit of the burlap around the ribbon. I then secured the glued side of the pleated ribbon down again on the wreath with more hot glue. Once again make sure that you are only gluing the one side. When you get to the end of the ribbon just fold it over a little to hide the messy edge and try you best to match it up with the first part of the ribbon that you glued if the ribbon has a pattern. Once the ribbon is secured down and the glue has dried, you can stretch out the outside of the ribbon (the side you left without any glue) and you can curl it around the wreath or have it sit straight up. Whatever you decide you like better. I had a little extra ribbon left over so I created a long loop on the top to hang the wreath from but you can decide to go without this extra detail.

My next addition was the flowers which I made with some burlap from the large roll, and some from the leftover ribbon (refer to the image below). I simply cut off about a 2 inch wide by 2 foot long piece. I folded the piece in half and rolled it up. It doesn't have to be neat, in fact the messier the better in my opinion. Secure it down with hot glue every little bit so the flower stays tight and glue it down on the wreath wherever you want to position it. I did 4 (two plain burlap flowers and two with the remaining burlap ribbon) but feel free to do as many as you like. 

TA DA! You're done! Super easy! Now hang and enjoy!

It's great because you can do this with any kind of ribbon and make it for any season or holiday depending on the materials you use, and its easy enough to do with your kids! I hope you like the tutorial and please let me know if you have any questions!



  1. They are beautiful and have stood up to the windy days that we have had. They are one gift that I will treasure forever!!!
    the Mama

  2. that's so pretty! Love creative people.. y'all make my life so easy!