29 September 2011

DIY: address wreath

Now that I’ve confessed my lack of outdoor skills, let me back up and say that not all of the outside of our house looks awful! You’ve seen already that I at least have something hanging on our front door, which was an upgrade from the empty-door-except-for-Christmas. But as I mentioned yesterday, we had a lot of monogram going on in our front yard between the front mat, the front door, and the mailbox. So I was hankering for something different on our front door.

Yesterday’s project may have been the worst, but today’s is the one you have probably already done yourself. At the very least, it’s one you’ve already seen, because it has been re-pinned on Pinterest approximately eleventy billion times. Including by me.

Yes yes. You have seen that. Yawn.

But! In the spirit of not pinning things I won’t actually do (a sentiment I detail here, in this comment), I now present my own version of a front-door address wreath!

One of the most important features of this wreath, as with many of my projects, was that I wanted it to be cheap. We aren’t going to be living in this house for much longer and the chances that our next address will have the exact same numbers are slim to none. Still, it also seemed like having an address wreath would be good while selling the house – no question which house is for sale! So I went for it, but for cheap.

Cheap supplies, then:

A grapevine wreath, a bunch of fake flowers, and wooden numbers, all from Hob to the Lizzob. Oh, and my mini hot glue gun. Easy peasy.

Actually, before I even took that photo, I painted the wooden numbers with some beige paint from a sample pot of a too-light color I never actually used. They ended up looking basically the same as unfinished wood, but... hey, neutrals. Can’t go wrong.

Then I started cutting up the faux flower bunch. For this, I used the wire cutter in the back of my needle-nose pliers. Regular scissors wouldn’t cut it. Pun intended.

I also made the stems fuller, and reduced the number of stems, by taking the little leaf and flower bits from several stems and sliding them all onto one. The one on the left is what it looked like after I cut it from the bunch, and the one on the right is the same size stem, but with leaves from several stems added to it.

I think it made it look better, but playing with those rough wire edges was a bit hazardous. Be warned.

After dismantling the bunch and creating fewer, fuller stems, this is what I was left with:

Then it was time to figure out how to attach the numbers. First attempt: squirt a whole bunch of hot glue on number and try to mash it to the wreath. Not so successful, actually. It slid off in about two seconds.

I tried to think of other ways to do it – attaching wire, gluing teensy strips on the back – but all seemed more cumbersome than just trying the hot glue again. Only this time I moved it to a position where the number had multiple contacts to the wreath, and I used even MORE hot glue. Like everywhere, all over the back. And then once the number was attached? MORE GLUE.

It’s hard to see, but the arrows are trying to point out how I stuck the hot glue gun in there and just globbed it anywhere it looked like the number was touching part of the wreath. And it worked! There's little hot glue spiderwebs all over it and it’ll be a mess if/when I try to switch out the numbers, but... not my problem today!

Then I added the flowers. Basically I just stuck the stems into the wreath and moved them around until I liked the way it looked. No method to that madness.

(Please don't burglarize my home now that you know the house number. Pretty please?)

Once I was satisfied, I pulled each stem out one at a time, added hot glue, and then stuck it back in. And then did the same “stick my glue gun in there and squeeeeeze all over the place” trick as I did with the numbers, just for good measure.

Now to attach it to the door! I spent a good while playing with some leftover damask ribbon from our wedding, but it just never made a nice-looking bow. I don’t know if it was the grosgrain texture or my amateur ribbon-tying skills, but every attempt was fugly. So I went with a simple loop on the back with some craft wire I had on hand:

Which, again, hazardous. I seem to have a problem with fine gauge wire.

But it was free and looked better than the ribbon, by far! And speaking of free, here’s the breakdown:

Time spent:
Under an hour to cut apart and rearrange the flowers, hot glue everything to the wreath, and craft a hanger out of wire

Grapevine wreath: $5 (half price)
Flower bunch: $5 (half price)
Wooden numbers: $1 each, $3 total
Paint for numbers: already owned ($3 at the store)
Craft wire: already owned ($3 at the store)
Hot glue gun & sticks: already owned
Total cost: $13

Worth it for a custom front door wreath!

Which, by the way, prompted an unsolicited comment from Mr. P that the new wreath looks nice. First of all, he noticed the front door? And then he commented on it? And then he told me it looked nice? I mean, I was mostly just making it so I could check it off my Pinterest list. A compliment from Mr. P was a pretty great bonus.


Rachel C said...

I love it! And I love how easy it was to make. But, how is it attached to the door since you aren't using a hanger? Do you have a nail or hook on the door?

Sarah said...

Thanks Rachel! Our front door is metal, so I have a magnetic wreath hanger (Google that phrase and you'll see lots of options, if you're in the market for one). Except... it's been up there quite a while, and I think the vinyl may have become one with the door paint... oops.

Miles said...

It's beautiful and looks easy enough. I love that you post all your pinterest faves. I've been avoiding it since everyone talks about how addicting it is so it's nice to be a pinterest poser!

Tina said...

I've learned (since I believe I may yet have the other half of your door magnet on my front door - that the vinyl coated halves were actually for backing each other to hang wreaths on windows... the vinyl prevents sliding on the glass... whatever)to cut a circle of wax paper to back the vinyl-coated magnet on the door and thus prevent the melding and then ripping the paint off. This idea came to me after seeing that moving the magnet on the door each time required repainting. It only took me three repaintings to figure this out...:-I

Rachel C said...

Oh! Thanks for the info and the wax paper tip. I've always used the ugly plastic ones that hook over the top of the door, but this is so much better! I'm off to find one so I can hang my fall wreath this weekend!