It's that time of year when I start decorating our home with all the glorious colors, bounty, and scents of fall. First stop: Embellishing the front door with a vibrant autumn wreath.
I've been perusing wreaths online and in some of my favorite haunts, and many come with a hefty price tag. I saw a wreath at one national chain store for $69.00. This was a wreath that I considered mediocre at best. If I purchased it, I would "need" to "enhance" it (i.e. more $$$).
I just can't justify spending a lot of money on our front door wreath that will be exposed directly to the weather. I gave myself a challenge: make a full, lush, autumn wreath, that looked like it cost $100.00 or more--for a LOT less.
Typically, I keep the cost of my wreaths reasonable by reusing and remaking a wreath from season to season. For example, last year I made this late summer wreath and re-embellished it for our fall wreath 2017, and then deconstructed it and added a few stems and a new ribbon for our summer 2018 wreath.
Summer Wreath 2018. Sometimes I fall in love with certain elements and I use them again and again. In this case, I love the lime green mums and green apples. They make me happy and the color contrasts so nicely with the cherry wood color of our front door. I was fortunate to find this lime green and white striped ribbon to complete the look!
By reusing and updating a wreath I can greatly reduce the cost of each wreath and use the same basic pieces from one season to the next.. For example, when it is time to change out a wreath, I can eliminate florals or ribbons that have faded or are worn, and keep the rest. I can then replace a few florals here and there and get another season out of a wreath. I would say, I am able to get at least 2 seasons worth of at least 80%-90% of the original materials. That's a pretty good deal in my book.
But, for this challenge, I decided I would start from scratch and purchase all new materials. Secondly, all materials must be on sale. Lastly, the end product must be a lush, full, autumn wreath that would have the look of a high-end wreath( aka: $$$) and would be made for a lot less.
Check out the steps in my process.
Step One: Begin with a pre-made decorative wreath.
I began with a pre-made wreath from JoAnn Fabrics. It was adorned with an abundance of colorful, fall leaves and pinecones. I purchased the wreath for about $20.00. The wreath was fine, as it was, but remember, I am going for lush, stunning, unique, and something that no one else has hanging on their door.
Next, I purchased:
I'll be sharing some general tips for creating a wreath, also known as "a method to my madness"!
Tip Number One: Use wire cutters to cut apart floral stems. This gives you more freedom to place florals and leaves where you want them in the wreath. This technique, generally, will allow one to use fewer florals per wreath.
Tip Number Two: Choose elements that will add texture to the wreath. For this wreath, the addition of the cattail and berries enhance the texture of the piece..
Step Two for a Lush Wreath: Wire a second grapevine wreath to the back of the pre-made wreath. This is a trick I learned from Yvonne at Stone Gable. As she says, the added thickness really makes your wreath look high end. It also gives you more choices in your design and materials. You can easily add signs or three dimensional items to it. For example, you could hot glue a birdhouse, bird, scarecrow, or the like to the wreath. Having more surface to attach an item, gives more stability to your wreath. (Yvonne at Stone Gable has many fabulous wreath tutorials as well as a plethora of home decor ideas. Her blog is one of my personal favorites!)
Tip 4: Use Command Hooks that are made to hold 5 lbs.of weight to hang your wreath. The double grapevine wreath creation is heavier and may need a heavy duty wreath hanger. (Yes, experience has been my school of learning on this tip!)
Now for the Fun Part!
Step 3: Add all of the floral pieces and picks to the wreath.
Tip Number 5: Consider forgoing the use of hot glue when working with a grapevine base. The floral pieces and picks can be stuck in among the grapevines and are usually very secure. (This will enable you to reconstruct a wreath and use it over!)
Here's a photo tutorial of the sequence I used to create the wreath.
Add the Cattails and Grass Picks
Add the Berries
Add the Pumpkins
Add the Echinacea
The yellow echinacea are the perfect pop of color to bring this wreath to life! (I think this wreath needs another echinacea flower on the right, just above the white pumpkin. I need to clip one from an existing arrangement and add it to the wreath! There isn't any rule about borrowing from your own stash.)
Add the Bow!
I was hoping to find a black and white buffalo check ribbon on sale. No such ribbon available, but JoAnn's did have this lovely rustic, orange, check, wired ribbon. The entire spool was on sale for about $3.00. I only used part of the spool, so I have enough for another bow for our lamppost autumn decoration. Two bows, for under two dollars each! Score!
Step 5: Step back and kindly critique the wreath. What do you think? Personally, I didn't like the way the cattail grasses stick out on the left side.
Step 6: Play with the design and make any necessary adjustments.
I removed the tallest cattail/grass stem from the left side of the wreath. (I actually auditioned it on the bottom right side, and decided less was more. I eliminated it altogether.) Then I found one more echinacea stem and place it on the bottom right, next the white pumpkin.
My lush autumn wreath, created with a budget in mind, is finally ready to hang on the front door!
Those are the steps I followed to create a lush, one-of-a-kind, welcoming, autumn wreath for our front door. Begin with a basic wreath, wire it to another grapevine wreath, cut a part floral pieces, and begin layering the florals. Don't hesitate to edit florals and picks as you go. Add a fabulous bow and hang your creation! Last, but not least, when the season is over, save the wreath and the good bits. Consider deconstructing it and reusing for another season.
I hope you found the tips helpful. What are some of your tips for creating a fabulous wreath for less? I would love to hear your ideas!
Want more ideas for Fall Decor?