Like I said before, long weekends are for projects, people! Since I’m feeling holiday deprived I decided to start early on my homemade Halloween decor. First craft? A spooky, sparkly wreath using a few store-bought items and random things I found around the house.
This was a cheap craft, mainly because I already owned most of the items. If you want to make something similiar, try looking for BOGO free sales on ribbons (which is how I got the skull and orange glitter trims) and percent-off sales on holiday items. I also used a 40% off one item coupon (popular at Michael’s and Hobby Lobby) to buy the $6.99 wreath form. I’ve heard you can save money by slicing the form in half and making two wreaths out of it. Since I wasn’t planning on adding fullness through flowers or fabrics I didn’t want to cut it.
I am thrilled with the result and cannot wait to see how it looks with my other decorations! Want to try it yourself? Directions below, dollface!
I wasn’t sure what I was going to make at first, so I brought together all the supplies I could find that seemed useful but didn’t use everything. I had my paper products (letter stickers, letter rub-ons, craft paper, colored paper), trims (old zippers, festive ribbons and netting), tools (scissors, hot glue gun, craft glue, pliers, hemostats, tape, a pen), metals (old keys, broken chain, old jewelry), and miscellaneous items that seemed festive (a small frame, brads, a small top hat, googly eyes, decorative black birds with attached wires). And, of course, you need a wreath form and caffeine… Don’t try to be a hero, you know you want the world’s best assistant that is coffee.
Note: The small birds were found in the Halloween section of a craft store. The small top hat was found in the doll section of a craft store. I already owned it (long story) but I believe it was $2.99.
Before I really got started I realized two thing: I was hungry and it was quiet. I put on the “Goth Bride” episode of My Fair Wedding (FITTING!) and made an English muffin jam sandwich. Awesome, I know.
Now back to the wreath. First, I rolled out some craft paper to work on. It caught some of the glue and glitter… Not as much as I had hoped, but it helped. I started playing around with the ribbons and decided to use the skull ribbon as a base. I taped the ends in place as I wrapped, then used brads on the ends to secure it.
Note: Ribbon is tricky to poke through with a brad. I normally cut small slits in the ribbon before putting the brad in. Be careful — brads aren’t meant to be used like pins and it’s a little hard sticking them in place. Don’t hurt yourself, k?
After the ribbon was wrapped all around the wreath form, I used the same brad technique intermittently to keep the ribbon from moving around. If you don’t want the brads to show, put them on the back. Obvious, but it could be forgotten!
Since I only had 3 yards of the skull ribbon, I used the orange glitter ribbon to fill in the gaps. I followed the same technique as before to wrap it in place.
At this point I started to panic a smidge because there were still random gaps and it looked terrible when I tried doubling up the orange glitter ribbon. I took a few cream zippers, slit them down the middle, and sewed (some) of the ends together to form an additional ribbon. Once again, I spun it around the wreath and stuck it in place with brads.
Since some of these trims weren’t laying flat, I took a glue gun around the wreath and placed dabs of glue anywhere the ribbons popped up. I also took out each brad, one by one, and placed a dot of glue in the hole before putting the brad back in place.
Note: The brads get super hot when you put them on hot glue. Them being metal and all, I should have seen this coming. Squeezing hot glue into the ripples in the ribbon, then flattening them, can also lead to burnt fingers. Touching the hot glue or glue gun hurts a lot. Have you figured out that I did all of these things? Damn it.
At this point I took a break to make a latte. Mainly I was mad about burning my fingers. If you want a break, now is a great time as it lets the glue dry.
With the wreath covered, I decided to start working on the details. I took some broken chains of varying length, width and colors and attached them with a small jewelry ring. I then picked one chain to attach to the top of the picture frame. I decided to use one of medium length so some of the longer chains would dangle over the frame.
I decided to keep the picture that came in the frame in its place. If you wanted something similar, you could always print one offline or do as I originally planned and fill the frame with a festive saying, like “Trick or Treat!” I used some stickers to spell “BOO” and attached one of the small birds to the top of the frame with its wire feet and some hot glue. I also wrapped the back of the frame in electric tape to hopefully keep the glass from falling out. My stickers were all bent around the edges (clearance problems, ha!) or else I probably would have left the glass out all together.
I attached the frame/chain/bird combination to the wreath using another brad with hot glue on the back of the form. I then attached my other trinkets and a hanging ribbon using primarily — can you guess?– brads and hot glue.
Note: My nails already looked awful before this craft, but all the hot glue really destroyed whatever was left of my manicure. Embarrassing! Obviously I’ll need to take care of that this weekend as well. Moral? Wait till your nails already look bad before making this.
Ta-da! A festive Halloween wreath that is the exact combination of cute, creepy and sparkly that I wanted. Take a look at a few close-ups of the finished product.
My only issues? I really shouldn’t hang it for a few weeks and there is orange glitter all over my kitchen. Oops! That’s the cost of being spectacularly spooky, I suppose! The long weekend is only half done… What crafts should come next? Time to go dig through the art box! I might as well accomplish it all now while the house is already dusted in sparkles.