I'm a giant hypocrite! I know, I know, I recently professed my traditional distaste for wreaths, but now I've made about 7 different varieties in six weeks time. I'm back on board people! It's a woman's prerogative to change her mind right? I am loving wreaths. There, I said it. I saw this ADORABLE ribbon wreath by Ellen over at The Long Thread before Halloween, and it's been nagging at my 'right brain' since! It's was too easy and too chic to pass up!
When I first decided to do this project, I was going to do the all black Halloween version, but then one day I saw this holiday bad boy at Pier 1 Imports and I was inspired to buy 32 yards of 5/8 inch ribbon at Michael's Crafts in a gorgeous cranberry grosgrain. Yes, you really will need 32 yards. (Don't forget to print online coupons to save 40% on your rolls of ribbon!)
I grabbed a few foam wreaths at the dollar store, I tried both the ten and twelve inch sizes, both work great. I have seen similar ribbon techniques executed elsewhere on a wire base, but my honest opinion is that the 'coat hanger' forms do not provide the fullness that is necessary to make this style of wreath "work" the way it should. It's all a matter of preference, but I find the thin bases encourage a floppy and semi-tragic end result. There are certain things in this world that are better when they aren't "limp" and this wreath is definitely one of those things.I found that strips cut into 12" lengths gave the desired effect for both the 5/8" ribbon on the 12" base, as well as on the 10" version. I was a bit psycho and ironed all of the ribbon out flat prior to cutting, I get really insane when it comes to wrinkles in grosgrain ribbon......maybe 'normal' people won't be compelled to take that extra step. Be sure to use GOOD scissors so the cuts are clean and not ragged. After I had cut the majority of my strips, a certain hot Italian guy pointed out to me that I should make a template with a piece of tape. I did that for the remainder, and will definitely be utilizing that method for measuring as I plan to make a few more for gifts.
BEWARE: I have seen some interpretations where the ribbon length appears to be longer than necessary, and it turns into a full on tragedy if one is not careful. Too much length will cause the hole in the center to shrink resulting in an odd silhouette I think less is more on this piece, and at least for me, there is a fine line between classy and trashy on this one. I think one could execute this with alternating ribbon colors, but for me it's all about the simplicity. I suggest cutting your first ribbon length a little longer than 12 inches, and then adjust to meet your desired look.
What other tutorials won't tell you is that there is the potential for the wreath foam to peek through if one is not cautious to really tie the ribbon tightly and 'scooch' it together after every knot. If you are not interested in being tedious with the overlaying of layers (I used a 'technical' combination of a single random drywall nail and fingernails to tuck the backside layers after each bow so they would lay flat), then it might be a good idea to spray paint your form the same color as the ribbon prior to your tying.
I am not going to win any awards for tying bows or knots, and this stressed me out for quite a while on this project........but eventually I got over myself and found that the key is to be consistent. I just used a basic double knot, right over left, and right over left again. Upon completion, trim the loose edges because some fraying is completely inevitable. A product like Fray Check could be used at this point, however I don't like the little stains those products sometimes leave, and I was feeling daring and decided to live on the wild side and not seal every edge.
I chose to leave this wreath plain, but one could certainly embellish with holiday berries, bling, etc. Save enough ribbon, or buy a complimentary ribbon like they did at Pier 1, for a big sexy loop in order to hang and approximately one hour later you will have a gorgeous holiday piece for under $10.00. Take THAT Pier 1 Imports $49.99 Blooms and Berries Wreath! You've just been OWNED!