Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Flower Power

This wreath simply shouts "Welcome to Spring!"  With its big fabric flowers and jaunty little bow, it helps to usher in the three days of "spring" that we get here in Arizona.  (That isn't a fair statement, but our skin-searingly hot weather is right around the corner.)

I got my inspiration to create this wreath around Christmas time.  We had a craft day at church and someone had designed a wreath like this using Christmas fabric.  The simple design was a set of three concentric circles with a small brad in the middle and a bow at the top around a grapevine wreath.  I modified the Christmas design (which I have not finished yet)  in the following ways:

I changed the circles to flower shapes.
I used larger brads in three sizes, the largest were 1" in diameter.
I added a leaf shape to compliment the flower shape.
I placed my flowers on an 18" diameter wicker wreath.

 Here are the directions for making your own Flower Power Wreath:

  • 18" wicker wreath ($1.00 @ the dollar store)
  • 10 different fabrics for flowers (I purchased 1/3 of a yard of each.)
  • 1 coordinating fabric for leaves ( I used a remnant, but I think you'll need about 1/2 a yard.)
Here is the fabric formula for the flowers:
1 chenille, 3 felt, 2 gingham, 1 polka-dot, and 3 prints
(I did not follow this formula with mine. I used 2 chenille, 2 felt, 1 polka-dot, 2 stripes, 2 prints, and 1 solid.)
  • 60 brads (They can be different colors, shapes, or sizes.  There are buttons in the picture, but I chose not to use them.)
  • 1 1/2 yards of ribbon (double-sided)
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks (I needed 5)
  • Flower patterns
I made the patterns for the flowers by choosing some clip art shapes that I liked and then sized them to what I wanted. I printed them out and then cut them out of craft foam.

I don't think I liked the foam patterns that much.  They tended to slip around a lot.  I would suggest making the patterns out of felt or chipboard like these:
These are for an upcoming project.  The chipboard was again recycled from here.

Next cut your shapes.  I used pinking shears on the leaves and small center circle of the flowers.  I used regular scissors for the other shapes.  I could cut several shapes at a time with the thinner fabric, but I had to cut one at a time with the felt and chenille.  You don't have to be extremely precise when you are cutting because the finished wreath is intended to have a haphazard quality about it.

Here is a quick lesson on pinking shears.  

I have a gentleman that comes to my fabric store once a month to sharpen scissors and knives.  I brought him my truly pathetic pinking shears that I have had since I was about 10 years old.  They did more squeezing the fabric out of shape that cutting.  I thought that they just needed to be sharpened.  He took one look at them and told me that there was nothing that he could do to make them better.  They were poorly constructed.  He told me that I needed to spend at least $45 on a good pair of pinking shears and that even then, I was not guaranteed to have a good set.  I guess they are very difficult to manufacture.  He suggested that quality brands are Gingher and Wiss.  Then he said to test them immediately and bring them back if they don't work.  (I got a set of Gingher pinking shears for Christmas, and they work beautifully.)

Okay, back to the project at hand.  It took me several days to finish all of the cutting, but that is because I have a toddler who is potty training.  You could get it done much faster.  I kept the shapes separated by color in sandwich bags to keep them clean and organized until I was finished with all of the cutting.

There is my helper's leg.
Now it is time to assemble the flowers.  I began by laying all of the large flowers out on the floor.  (You can use the table, but I like the floor.)  Place all of the medium shapes on top of them...  

And the smallest shapes on the top of them.
Don't repeat colors throughout the flowers.  You can see that no two flowers are the same.

You can see the three different sizes I used.

Lay out the brads on top of the flowers. I used the largest brads on the thickest flowers (felt and chenille).

Add a leaf to the flower, and use scissors to punch holes through all four layers of fabric.  Use a cutting mat for safety and to protect your carpet.  (The white bumpy chenille was very difficult to punch through.)

I used my very sharp scissors.

Push the brad through the hole and open the prongs to secure the flower together. 

Mary, Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow?
To finish your wreath, set out your piles of flowers, ribbon, glue gun, and extra glue sticks.  I kept the flowers grouped by the color of the largest flower. 

Slather a generous amount of hot glue on the backs of your flowers and stick them to the wreath.
Sorry for the blur.  If this looks clear to you, see an eye doctor!

I began at one point and then worked out from both sides.  I made sure that no two large flowers had the same pattern next to one another.  Place the flowers close together so that they have a bunchy three-dimensional look.

Tie a simple bow or a fancy one.  Hang up your project and admire your work.

Light off.
Light on.  There is the head of my helper.
Love it!

This would look great on my door, but I decided to hang it from my sconce at the last minute.  Whatever, it is versatile.  Have fun making your own Flower Power Wreath and bringing spring into your home!

I am linking up to Quilt Story and other great parties!  Click here to see a complete list.

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Kristie said...

I L O V E IT!!!!!! This is the cutest and I am going to make one one of these days, it's awesome---and no one up here has anything like it already!!!!Jo-Ann's, here I came!!

Beverly {Flamingo Toes} said...

Wow - those flowers are really cool!! So perfect for spring - the patterns and colors are really fun!
Thanks so much for linking this up to Think Pink Sundays! :)

Little City Farm said...

Oh this is so sweet. I love your fabric choices - this definitely says spring.

Jessica said...

Your wreath is so cute! Now all I need to do is develop the patience to make that many flowers!

Janelle said...

It truly does shout spring. It is gorgeous! You did a fabulous job on it.

Laura @ live.laugh.photograph said...

this is so adorable! I love the way it turned out!

Miss Charming said...

It turned out really cute! Perfect for Spring!

Anonymous said...

Very cute! I love the whimsical style with the nontradtional fabric flowers and all the colors and patterns. I'm sure you had fun making it too. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Esther Asbury said...

Very Pretty!

Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating said...

Very nice! I like that none of the flowers are the same. Makes for a very colorful, very interesting wreath.

the cape on the corner said...

oh my gosh, that is great! it really does say welcome to spring, doesn't it?! it looks like you put a lot of work into it. great job!

42 UFO's said...

What a great wreath and thanks for giving a tutorial with it!

Jill said...

What a beautiful wreath! and great how-to too!

Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
Hope you have a great week!
Jill @ Creating my way to Success

Unknown said...

This is sooo adorable! Love all of the colors and textures of the fabrics! What a beautiful wreath~ Hope you will share with my Pink Hippo party @ http://pinkapotamus.blogspot.com/2011/05/pink-hippo-party-27.html

Fabric Bows and More said...

Very Cute I Love It! Please come and share it at my link party: http://fabricbowsandmore.blogspot.com/

Quiltstory said...

Such a cute wreath! Love this!