Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Tutorial: Ruffled Heart Wreath

Remember the florists’ hearts that I posted about recently?
Today I was inspired, and used one to create this heart-shaped wreath.

This was made with items I already had (or scrounged), but everything is cheap to buy so this little project won’t break the bank!

Here’s a tutorial for how you can make your own ruffled heart wreath. Of course, you don’t have to put a heart in the centre--it can be anything you wish! 

Time needed: 45-60 minutes

You’ll need:
Heart for centre of wreath--why not make your own (tutorial coming soon!), or buy one of these cute hanging hearts?)
Wire or wire coat hanger
Broad ribbon (you’ll need a lot) or fabric to make ruffles
Thinner ribbon for hanging
Dressmaking pins or needle & thread/glue
Side-cutters (if using coat hanger)

1. Make your wire into a circle, winding the ends around each other. Cover this part with tape to keep it more secure (and to avoid scratching yourself on sharp edges!)
If using a coat hanger, cut off the hook and reshape as described above (or use the hook to hang your wreath)
Shape the circle into a heart.

2. Set your heart in the centre of the wire frame and cut a piece of thin ribbon that is just over twice the length between the top of the heart and the wreath. (Skip this step if you bought/made a heart with a loop already attached)

3. Loop the ribbon over the top centre of the wreath frame and attach to the heart. Since I had an attack of the lazies, I simply used a couple of dressmaking pins, but glue is just as good an option!

4. Make a second loop for hanging your wreath by cutting another length of the thin ribbon. Loop this over the top centre of the wreath and the ribbon you already attached.

5. Ruffle your ribbon! For my wreath I used some previously ruffled fabric left over from a costume project. The wreath took approximately 2.9m of this. 
To ruffle ribbon, sew a running stitch down the centre and pull to gather, then stitch again on a sewing machine to secure.
For ruffled fabric, sew a long tube (right side in), turn inside out and then ruffle as with the ribbon. You’ll need 2.5-3 x as much ribbon/fabric as you want the resulting ruffles to be (e.g. For 3 m of ruffles you’ll need 7.5-9m of ribbon).

6. Tape one end of your ruffled ribbon to the top of the wire frame, one side of the loop. Wind the ribbon over a few times to hide the tape.

7. Wind the ribbon over the wire frame until no more wire is visible. For a thinner wreath, wind the ruffled ribbon tightly and sparsely; for a broader, more ruffled look wind it looser and bunch it together more. 

8. Wrap the end of the ruffles over the top centre of the heart to hide where the loops are attached. 

9. Secure the end at the back of the wreath with a dressmaking pin, or sew/glue.

10. Find somewhere nice to hang your shiny new heart-shaped wreath!

For a variation on this, attach some artificial flowers to points of the wreath.

This wreath-making method can of course be adapted for any occasion!

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