Saturday, July 2, 2016

Red Beaded Wreath

Beautiful Christmas wreath made from thrift store garlands.  This will take some time to put together, but it will last and not break apart like the foam berries on store bought cranberry wreaths.  This project took me about 3 yrs to finish because I just couldn't figure out the best way to get the beads on the wreath.  So the supply list is approximate because I can't remember that long ago.  Once I figured it out, and had all the beads strung on wire (with the help of my daughters and grand children) it went together fairly quickly.

3/8" bead garland about 5-6 lengths
1/2" bead garland about 4 lengths
5/8" bead garland about 3 lengths
large package of clear red pony beads
14 inch Styrofoam wreath
.5 yard red cotton fabric
6 packages of red craft wire, 26 gauge?
14" piece of red felt
glue gun

Tear cotton fabric in 2" strips and wrap around Styrofoam wreath. Secure end of wrap with hot glue or a few stitches of thread.

Start wrapping the 3/8" garland around the wreath.  Secure ends to wreath with wire.  Connect another garland to the end of the last one with a piece of wire. You may also want to make a loop for hanging the wreath at this point or at the end.

Once wreath is completely wrapped in 3/8" garland, cut a package of red wire in 24" lengths and start stringing beads on in random sizes.  Make sure to use pony beads in the middle 1/3 part of the strand since that will be where it wraps on the inside of the wreath (smallest circumfrence). Leave 1.5-2 in wire on each end.  Stringing the beads on wire is what takes the most time.  If you have some friends or family members to help you, it goes much quicker.

Once you have all the strands of beads loaded, take 3 strands and twist the ends together.  We are going to braid them together.

Loosely braid the 3 strands together, twist ends together when done. 

Repeat with remaining bead strands.

Use one braided strand at a time to wrap around wreath by threading about a 12" piece of wire thru 2 of the beads on one end.

Wrap braided strand around wreath so it is snug and twist the opposite ends of wire together.

It hard to see red on red. This is showing 3 braided strands attached to wreath.

This is the completed wreath from the backside.

close up of back side.

Lay wreath on felt and trace around.

Cut out felt by trimming 1" or more from each side of traced line. (You don't want to see any felt from the sides of your wreath.)

Fold felt circle in half and lay on the back of the wreath.  Apply hot glue to both edges of this half of the felt circle (working quickly before glue cools.) then fold over and press on wreath.  Repeat with other side of felt circle. Now you're done and have a beautiful lasting decoration! Enjoy :)