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Winter Sweater Wreath

by Grace Bonney


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Two things to tell you about the inspiration for this project before we begin. First, I love the holidays. Especially all the decorating that goes along with it, and, truth is, I usually go a bit overboard in that area. But…I’m also a bit lazy. I love it when my parts of my holiday decor don’t look so out of place immediately after Christmas Day, that way I don’t feel pressure to take them down. That thinking inspired the colors I used in this project. The other thing is that I love to use felted sweaters in projects. I recently did a whole slew of DIY holiday projectsfor Value Village/Savers, and rediscovered how much I love using them. If you find a good color in a wool sweater at a thrift store, bring it home, felt it (there are some good basic directions here) and you’ll have the perfect “cloth” to use for a project like this wreath. (I also added in some woolen scraps from previous projects, you could easily use leftover pieces from your party flowers for this project, plaid would be lovely in this!)

CLICK HERE for the full wreath how-to after the jump!

Materials:

*A 12″ wide wire wreath form (I used one similar to this one, except slightly smaller. You could probably use a styrofoam one also, just hot glue instead of stitch the leaves on).
*a sheet of paper or cardstock to create a template
*Several pieces of wool felt (craft felt, felted sweaters you can cut up, woolen scraps of fabric), vary and combine your colors and patterns as you wish (I used 5 different colors- dark charcoal gray, light gray, olive green, a greenish/blue, and a periwinkle blue)
*pencil
*scissors
*Small pearl beads you can sew on. (Something like these)
*fabric glue
*handsewing needle and coordinating thread

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How-to

1. Make yourself a simple oak leaf template from paper or cardstock (pick a shape you’d prefer from the many sources available on the internet, search for “oak leaf template”). My version is approximately 3″ long and 2 3/8″ across.

2. Trace the template and begin cutting out leaves from your various fabrics. Don’t think too much about getting a certain number from each color, the fun is keeping it completely random. I cut and used 38 leaves for my frame.)

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3. Using your needle and thread, sew the leaves together in pairs, mixing up the colors and patterns. You’ll want to fan them out a bit as I’ve shown in the photo to be sure they will completely cover the wire wreath form from the front.

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4. Now begin sewing your leaf pairs onto the wire frame, just sewing the leaves down onto the frame, looping around the wire in back, keeping your stitches as tiny and as hidden as you can. As you add a pair on, lay them over the bottom of the leaf pair you just sewed on and it will hide the stitches. Keep adding and sewing down until you are pleased with the look.

5. To add the pearl beads (the “acorns” for the oak leaves), decide if you want them evenly spaced around the wreath, or random (both look great!), then sew them on going through the bead and through the back of the wreath form, keeping your stitches small and hidden.

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6. If any of the leafs want to flop over and not lie flat, hold in place with a bit of fabric glue.

And that’s all there is to it. Now you’ve got a wreath that will take you through the holidays…that New Year’s snow storm… you could probably keep it up until Valentine’s Day!

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