This simple, modern wreath takes little more than some scrap fabric, wire, and safety pins. You don't even need to sew a single stitch! It can also be disassembled to reuse the materials after.
I'm not really the type to go all out on handmade holiday decorations, because every year I get sensory overload on all the commercial stuff out there already. All those colors...and the glitter...and the artificial scent of apple cinnamon...puke. But I still wanted to show holiday spirit. So I thought for a while about making a wreath that wasn't too fussy or tacky. I thought about everything from origami to light wire spirograph, but those were all too much work for such a temporary piece of decor. So I happened to find some stretch velvet in this luscious dark teal that I thought would make an interesting departure from the usual pine green. And what easier way to use it than to simply cut it into strips and braid it?
Most are common household items. Discount fabric shops are great for finding inexpensive luxurious velvet.
At least 4 feet (or ~1.5 yards) of medium-weight fabric.
- Heavier and wider fabric ⇒ thicker braid
- Longer length ⇒ bigger diameter of the finished wreath
- Two rubberbands / hairties
- Stiff multipurpose wire at 14 gauge - easily found at hardware stores
- Handful of small safety pins
Big fat pretty ribbon and whatever decorative elements you wish to add
Cut fabric along its length into three equal strips. For example, if your fabric is 4' long and 54" wide, then cut into three strips 4' long and 18" wide. You can just roughly approximate this by folding it into thirds. No need to be real accurate.
With each strip of fabric, fold it into thirds lengthwise. This hides the wrongside of the fabric, so it won't show as easily as you're braiding. Then stack all three folded strips on top of each other. Tie a hairtie to one end to secure them together, as shown.
Put some weight over the secured end so you can braid it. I stuck it under a chair leg on the ground. Braid it nice and tight all the way to the end of the fabric. Then tie another hairtie to this end to secure it. You'll have one fat chopped-off Rapunzel braid.
Place the braid in a circle. Cut a length of wire that is long enough to wrap around the center circumference of the braid. Set the wire aside.
With the safety pins, start pinning all around the backside of the wreath. (Pick the less pretty side for the back.) Pin towards the outer side of the wreath, spacing each pin a few inches apart. This will be used as eyelets to thread the wire through.
With the cut wire, make a small closed loop at one end with some pliers. Gently bend the wire so that it is in the general round shape as the wreath. You can wrap it around a pot or something to get a nice circle. Then thread the wire through each safety pin until you get a full loop. Shape the wire to your liking. Then, loop the straight end of the wire through the loop end made earlier. Loop the straight end to close the circle, then cut the extra wire off. The ends of the braid should overlap as much as possible, so that they can be hidden with ribbon.
Take the ribbon and use it to wrap around the braid ends to conceal them. In the photo above I initially used some skinny red trims. But I later decided the fat gold ribbon was much easier to use and looks better. You can wrap ribbon around the braid ends first and secure it with some safety pins, and then pin on a bow separately, so it is easier to keep it looking straight. Finally, add any additional accents you want to jazz up your wreath. I just stuck in a few ostrich feathers into the braid. I think it adds a nice, simple touch.
If you make one too, please show it off to us!