People have hung harvest wreaths on their doors since ancient times. Back then, they were associated with animistic spiritual beliefs. Animism is the belief that everything—plants, rocks, trees, animals—has a soul. Ancient Grecians wove wheat and other harvested plants together with wool thread and hung up their wreaths as amulets to protect against evil, danger, or disease.
Nowadays, wreaths can cost upwards of $50, but you can make one for a buck. Want to find out how to decorate your door without even heating up a glue gun? Here’s a floral wire-free way to make a fall wreath out of fabric and a wire wreath frame.
Choose Your Fabrics
Am I the only one with a duffle bag of scrap material laying around? If you aren’t a textile hoarder, perhaps you have some old clothes and/or linens that have yet to be donated. Even a drop cloth can be transformed into a fabulous fabric wreath.
Pick at least four fabrics that say “fall” to you. I used a burgundy scarf, a yard of harvest yellow scrap fabric, an old yellowed lace curtain that came with our house, and a burlap and lace table runner from my friend’s wedding. Make sure it has a little weight to it—for instance, a sheer curtain isn’t going to achieve the desired effect and will be difficult to cut up. Feel free to use more patterns and alternate fabrics on the same ring.
Having a hard time choosing which fabrics to use? Pets are great decision-makers.
Gather Your Materials
This project uses a 12-inch wire wreath frame, but any wire wreath will do—it can even be pumpkin-shaped. You’ll also need something to cut with. Regular scissors work fine as long as they are sharp, but fabric scissors cut like butter. Before you start cutting, you may want to wash your fabric if it smells musty.
Cut Fabric Into Strips
Get a few podcast episodes queued up or fire up that audiobook because this part can get a little tedious. Know what makes a handy ruler? Your hands. Easily cut the fabric into even one-inch strips, measured by the space between your fingertip (or tip of your thumb) and first knuckle. Then cut those long strips into six-inch sections, using the span between your pinky and thumb of your extended palm as a guide.
The thicker the fabric, like burlap, the fewer strips that will be needed. Thinner fabric, like lace, will require way more strips. Heads up: This makes a mess. You and your floor and work surface will be covered in stray strings.
Choose the Fabric Order
Play around with the fabrics to see which sequence is most appealing to your aesthetic. The order of fabrics may also be determined by the quantity. For example, I had the least amount of burgundy fabric, so I used it on the innermost and therefore smallest hoop and then went from there.
Tie Fabric Strips Onto Hoop
Starting in the center, loop fabric strips right side out around the wire. Make the ends even then tie in a knot in the front. Continue around the ring, scootching the knots over until the section is packed full. I’m right-handed, so I went left to right, but southpaws may prefer to go right to left.
Count how many knots take up one section and multiply it by five (or amount of remaining sections) to see how many more scraps of fabric are needed to complete the ring. Let’s say it took 15 strips to fill the first section. That means I would need 15 x 5, or 75 more strips of fabric or I’m SOL. Count out your strips and put them into piles of the quantity needed for one section. This way, you won’t get almost finished and realize you don’t have enough of a fabric.
Lay Out Strips
Feel free to alternate fabrics or alternate right side out/wrong side out if the opposite side is also visually appealing. If you are alternating, go ahead and lay out some strips in the correct order. This way you can pay attention to your podcast or audiobook and don’t have to concentrate so hard on the task at hand.
Check Your Work as You Go
Once you complete the innermost ring, hold up your project to make sure you like where it is going before you continue. If you don’t care for the look of it so far, you might as well start a new wreath because it would take forever to untie 150 knots. Keep going until you have completely filled all of the rows.