Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Breaking the ice... A Spring/Summer Wreath

As I was driving through our new neighborhood, I realized something. The homes on our street are all new builds, but the majority of them have beautiful upgraded doors. I really wanted the granite countertops as an upgrade instead of spending 2k on a door, so we went with the standard plain jane without a further thought. As I drove through the neighborhood, I decided that the severe case of boring that our door had could be cured with a decorative wreath to match each season. We aren't moving in for another five weeks, so I decided to go ahead and make a summery wreath to put up as soon as we move in. I was inspired by this project over at Tatertots and Jello, and I had been drooling over this bird pattern, so I combined the two! Piggy backing off of other people's ideas and making them your own is a great way to get the creative juices flowing! Don't be afraid to use their ideas, but give credit where credit is due! I forgot to take pictures as I made it, but lucky for you, I decided to make my grandmother, Granny, one for Mother's Day. This is my first attempt at a tutorial... So bear with me, and constructive criticism is always welcome!
You will need:
A styrofoam wreath- I got mine with a 40% coupon at Hobby Lobby for $2.90 with tax... FIY, If you can pull up the coupon on your phone from their website, they will accept it at the register! Amazing! I *never* buy anything at Hobby Lobby without a coupon or it being on sale. The wreath I found was back in the craft section with the styrofoam balls instead of up in the floral section where I thought it would be.
Burlap- I had this left from another project, but a 2/3 of a yard should give you plenty to work with! (I am in love with burlap, and it's cheap!)
Assorted Cotton Fabrics- I used four different fat quarters that I had on hand... What are fat quarters? Head to your local Quilting store (Or Joann's Fabrics) to find out. I got these on sale for $.99 a while back, I believe... Basically, a "fat quarter" is the equivalent of a quarter yard of fabric, but it's a larger square instead of coming as a long skinny strip like you would get if you had the fabric cut at the counter.
Stuffing for the Birds- You can buy a bag of this at the store, but for such a small amount, I refused to buy a whole bag. If that tickles your fancy, knock yourself out. I, on the other hand, had an old pillow on hand that was about to get trashed, so I stole some of its stuffing. You could also use cotton balls or even rice to fill them. Get creative!
Straight pins- I bought these at Wal-Mart, because let's face it... Anything you can get at Wal-Mart is probably the cheapest price around. These don't have to be *quality,* so bargain hunt away. If you have a bunch on hand, use what you already have!
Twine or Jute of some sort- this hangs out in my craft box at all ties... I use it for everything... We don't have Christmas ornament hooks? No ribbon for a present? No problem. I just love it.
A stick- I went on a walk with my dog and found one... No need to get stressed about this!

Start with your foam wreath form:
Using straight pins, attach the end of a 3" or 4" strip of burlap:

Wrap the burlap to cover the wreath. When you get to the end of a strip, pin another strip and keep going. I used two strips the width of the piece of burlap I had:

When you reach the end of the last strip, fold it under and pin it:

This should give you a nice, finished look:

Now onto the birds... Cut out the pattern off of the website, pin it to your fabric, and cut away!

The body has to be cut on the fold...

Your two pieces should look like this!

Pin up one side (right sides together) and sew away!

Pin up the other side and sew it up!

Match up the head sides and pin it... Stitch it up!

Almost done!

Turn the little guy right side out and stuff him up! It helps to use a capped pen to form the stuffing how you want it!

To do the tail, turn it under so the ugly rough edges are on the inside and pin...


Next, we're going to hang the stick in the middle of the wreath for your love birds to perch on.

I tried letting it just swing, but it's really better when you brace it at the bottom, too.

I cut 48 2" circles and 48 3" circles. I doesn't really matter what sizes or how you place them together, but I'm a little bit OCD, so there is formula for how I did it.
The breakdown is:
24 2" burlap
24 3" burlap
6 of each from each of the four fabrics I used for the birds

I matched them up, laid them out in a pattern, and then I went for it!

They should be pretty close together if you want them to stick up for volume... Mine are about an inch apart in a zig-zag pattern. The beauty of the styrofoam wreath form is that you can always take them out and put them back in to adjust them.

Here's the process just getting started:

Ta-da! Adorable!

I hand stitched strings of twine onto the bellies of the birdies.

...and then I tied them onto the branch and trimmed the excess. I used long quilters pins to brace them so they'd sit up a little bit straighter, but that's not really necessary, because once it's laying flat against the door, they will naturally sit up.

See how clean our lines are on the back?

Sweet little lovebirds!

Here it is hanging on our apartment door. I tied some extra jute to hang it... This works best if you tie it around the wreath form instead of trying to pin it in.


  1. great job with the tutorial! and the wreath will definitly dress up your door, im addicted to wreaths, if it shows up missing, it wasnt me!

  2. I love your birds! I also copied Jen and made a wreath for my front door. So cute!