Thursday, June 30, 2011

She's a Grand Ole' Wreath.

I'm ready to reveal this year's 4th of July door candy.  Wait for it...

She's a beaut.  I'll admit here and now that I got the idea for those toothpick firecrackers from Jess at Two Shades of Pink (she put hers on cupcakes, though).  

Making this baby reminded me how much I like making wreaths - it's an odd obsession, I know.  Moving on...

This is a wreath tutorial in two parts.  First, we must make the firecrackers.
You'll need:
Grosgrain ribbon (I used skinny red, white and blue)
Silver and gold crochet thread
Dowels of different sizes
Spray starch
A baking sheet and tin foil
Toothpicks and/or wooden skewers
Hot glue gun
An oven

So, first, you'll preheat your oven to about 250.

Cut your ribbon into manageable pieces.  The exact length doesn't matter - you'll cut them again later.  While you're at it, cut some crochet thread in silver and gold as well.

Use tape to secure one end of a ribbon piece to a dowel.  Twist the ribbon around the dowel.  Secure the other end with tape as well.  You can overlap the ribbon a bit as you go, but don't scrunch it up or wrinkle it.

I used bamboo skewers for the crochet thread, since it it so small.

I used different sized dowels so that the firecrackers would have different sized corkscrews, but that's up to you.  Lay all your dowels on a tin foil covered baking sheet.  Spray them all really well with starch.  Turn them over and spray again.  (Just ignore those thick ribbons with stars.  They're for a different project.)

Stick them in the oven and bake them for about 10-15 minutes.  Don't over bake, you don't want them to burn.  (I swear, I'm not kidding.  I have burned ribbon before.)

Take them out and let them cool.  Then, slide the ribbon and crochet thread from the dowels.  

Snip the ribbons and thread into smaller pieces - I made two sizes of firecrackers, small with toothpicks, and larger with skewers.  You make them both the same way.  Cut a piece of crochet thread and lay it down.  Lay your corkscrews on top, perpendicular.

Tie the thread around the bunch of corkscrews in a double knot.

Add a bit of hot glue to the end of the toothpick.

Lay your bunch of corkscrews on top and tie the same thread around the toothpick, twice, double knotting.

Shake your firecracker upside down a bit to fluff up the corkscrews so they lay nicely.

For the sparklers, you will only use the crochet thread.  Wrap a bunch of it around your fingers, then slide it off and tie a piece of thread around the middle of the bunch.  Then slide a longer piece of thread through the middle of each loop going through one way and then back the other way.  Tie this in a double knot.

Cut both loop and shake the poof out really well.  Then just trim up any extra long pieces.  

Add this to a toothpick or skewer (depending on how big it is) the same way as outlined above.  You can trim it up even more after you've attached it.

Now you've got all your firecrackers made!  We can move on to preparing the wreath form!

You'll need:
A styrofoam wreath form
Red and white striped ribbon
More red and white striped ribbon for when you run out of the first kind
Gold crochet thread for when you run out of the second kind of ribbon
Star-shaped mardi gras type beads from the dollar store
Hot glue gun

I had a BOAT LOAD of this ribbon which I inherited from my Grandma.  (I mean, literally.  When she died, she left the entire contents of her craft room to my mom, and in turn, me.)  So I decided to cover the wreath with this.

I started by hot gluing one end to the back of the wreath.

And then wrapped, and wrapped and wrapped and wrapped... really regretting my decision to use super skinny ribbon.  Although, I liked the look of the super skinny stripes.  When I got this far:

I realized I hadn't inherited as big a BOAT LOAD as I thought.  So I had to improvise.  I began wrapping the second half in red and white ribbon of a much larger stripe.  I soon realized that I would run out of that shortly as well.  SOOOOO, this pattern was born:

That's gold crochet thread on the bottom.  That took a long time to wrap.  I was intending on doing a portion of the wreath in a lighter color anyway, so I think it worked out alright in the end.

Now, you'll disentangle your mardi gras type beads:

And pick out only the blue ones.  Snip each necklace apart into long strands.

Begin by gluing one end of a strand down to the back of the wreath, on the gold threaded area.  Then wrap on a slight angle, gluing periodically.

That's a dab of hot glue.  I found that I was gluing generally twice per wrap - once on the front and once on the back - sometimes more for a little more stability.

As long as you line your stars up so that the point of one line of stars is jammed up into the indent of the one next to it, you should end up with a fun angled pattern, like this:

And the whole wreath now looks like this:

Just stick your firecrackers in by the stars,

Use a red star necklace and one extra firecracker to hang the wreath,

and VOILA!  Very patriotic.

I'd say I'm officially back in the wreath game.

Happy 4th!

*Be sure to check just below for all the fun parties I link to!


Two Shades of Pink said...

I really like your firecrackers. The wreath is really pretty! So festive.

Katie Elizabeth said...

That is such a cool project idea & it looks awesome! Very nice :) Have a great 4th of july weekend!

xo katie elizabeth

Screaming Sardine said...

WOWZERS! That is seriously CUTE! Love those "firecrackers"! They look realistic. And those stripes and!

Happy 4th!

Tracy Screaming Sardine

LP aka A Crafty Southern Chick said...

When I saw the first pic, I thought you individually hand glued each star and I was like...holy jeez! lol :) LOVE. IT. You did awesome.

PS--I love making wreaths too! :)

Whit said...

How freakin cute is this?! OMHECK I love it girl

A mommy's life...with a touch of YELLOW

Ricki said...

What a fantastic wreath! I love it!

Jill said...

I love the stars on this wreath SOOoo much I almost wish I was american...almost! ;)

Crafty Brooklyn Army Wife said...

This is a beautiful wreath and love the firecrackers. Stopping by from Sassy Sites! linky party and your newest follower.

Here is what I shared this week:

Happy 4th!!

Michele {The Scrap Shoppe} said...

I love this wreath! The fireworks are brilliant. (I have a slight wreath obsession also - and this is going into my files!) :)

Kara @ June & Bear said...

This is a really beautiful wreath. Love the firecrackers.

Kaitlin Saenz said...

I love your post and all of your holiday spirit! I'm visiting from Be Different Act Normal! I’m hosting my first ever blog party and its all 4th of July-all Red, White, and Blue! I’d love for you to link up and share with me!

Hope to see you over at my place soon!
Kaitlin-The Not So Simple Housewife

Audrey @ Sweet Cheeks said...

LOVE this! Too cute and SO super festive...thanks for the great tutorial ;)

Lindy@Itsy Bitsy Paper said...

What a fantastic wreath!!

I am having a Red, White and Blue Linky Party that I'd love for you to join in on by adding your link!

Bethany @ A Fish Who Likes Flowers said...

Your wreath is so pretty!! You did such a fantastic job, especially with the "firecrackers"

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