Monday, November 14, 2011

Chandelier Wreath Tutorial

I know what you're thinking.

'I haven't even gotten my burlap wreath made yet and you're giving me ANOTHER wreath project to do?!' 

Well hurry up already, because everyone knows that the Christmas season officially begins in 11 days!!  For some of us, it has already started - YIPPEE!!  You may have already noticed, but in case you just stopped by, I LOVE wreaths!!!  Because they can pack a BIG punch for just a little time and dinero . . . . and they are generally SO EASY to do!!  And how fun to find a wreath in an unexpected place - like your chandelier!!  Genius!!  (Not mine, but Martha's - ha!)  You can check out my 'inspiration' before we get started . . .

Don't worry, I'll wait . . .

And now for mine!  Can you say fabulous!!  Honestly, it's even better in person!  Trust me.

To make this awesomeness, you will need:

1.  A pre-made greenery wreath OR a wire wreath form that can be wrapped with your old garland that's shedding like Charlie brown's tree but you can't bring yourself to throw out 'just in case.'  You can probably figure out which one I used.  Any-hoo . . .
2.  A roll of 21" deco mesh in your favorite Christmas color(s) - my theme this year is 'Peppermint Kissmas,' so I chose red, but all of the deco mesh colors are STUNNING!!
3.  A smaller, patterned, wire ribbon.  The ribbon I used was 2.5" wide.
4.  Coordinating shatterproof ornaments in various sizes.
5.  A spray or two of berries or other 'filler.'
6.  Hot glue OR wire, depending on how permanent you want your wreath to be.
7.  An extra set of hands to help with the hanging is nice, but not absolutely necessary.

Step 1: 
Measure the diameter (from side to side at the base) of your chandelier and purchase/make a greenery wreath that is large enough to slip OVER the lowest portion of your chandelier, coming from BELOW.

Step 2:
Lay your wreath on a flat surface and use the individual sprigs of the wreath to gather and wrap around the deco mesh, creating fluffy poofs.  At this point, you are basically working on your wreath as if it's going to be hung on a door, with only one side showing.  IF you are using a pre-made wreath, make sure that you are decorating on the front side of the wreath.  You will slip it over the chandelier from below later on, so you will want your fluffy side pointing down toward the table so your guests see only the pretty side when they glance up (and are awestruck)!  I always alternate my poofs from the inside edge to the outside edge, so that essentially three sides of the wreath's surface are covered by the poof.  Since this will eventually be hung facing downward, I tried to go very deep form side-to-side so that some of the poofs would be on the back surface as well.

Step 3:
Once you have done your initial poofs, follow up with your coordinating ribbon or ribbons using the same techniques, but gathering and twisting stems underneath the mesh poof.  Once you have completed this step, your smaller ribbon will have completely covered the gathered portions of the mesh below.  A third, thinner ribbon would have been great to add as well, but I'm on a budget!

Step 4:
Before you go any further, you will need to hang up your wreath.  I decided to cut my deco mesh in half, and use that for my suspension, but you could add another ribbon here as well, so don't be afraid to get your creative on!!  Tie the end of your ribbon to one of the wires on the back of the wreath, then thread your wreath onto your chandelier from below with the mesh and ribbon side facing downward to figure out approximately how long you need to cut your ribbon.  Remember to leave plenty of room for tying at the top - you can always trim the tails later!  Cut your ribbon at your mark AND cut two more ribbons the same length.

Step 5:
Tie your three cut ribbons to the back side of your wreath, evenly spacing them around the wreath.

Step 6:
OK - this part's a little bit tricky - not gonna lie!  Pull your wreath back up over the base of your chandelier and hold in place at the desired height.  I decided to cover my chandelier far enough up that the candles would look like they were coming straight out of the wreath.  You've probably figured out that the extra set of hands comes in handy right, about - NOW!!   Have your designated extra hands hold the wreath at the desired height while you thread the three support ribbons up through the eyebolt at the top of your fixture.  Alternatively, you can simply tie the ribbons around the cable, but I was worried that it might not be as sturdy that way, so I crammed them all through the eyebolt on the medallion.  You can use additional ribbon here to cover your knots with a cute bow if you wish!

Step 7:
Add your ornaments, clustering them at intervals around the wreath and securing them with wire or hot glue.  Since I wasn't sure about the permanence of this wreath, I actually took thin wire and wired my ornaments to toothpicks and then stuck the toothpicks into the wreath to secure them.  Make sure you are working all sides of the wreath since all 4 sides will be showing to some extent.

Step 8:
Add your sprays of filler.  I cut up one spray of berries and used it around the wreath.  It was something I had on hand, but I'm on a budget, remember?!  Besides, it was enough!

Step 9:
Step back and prepare yourself for ooohs and aaaahs this season!!  Merry Christmas!!

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