Jon got a little nervous when I excitedly told him that I planned to make a new wreath for every season and holiday. He handled it quite well, all things considered; I know he was picturing explosions of festivity on our front door, which are, for the most part, terribly un-British. (I think he might also have been slightly confused as I swore off crafty projects after our wedding, but brides say a lot of crazy things so let's just leave that one there.) Luckily for Jon and our neighbors, though, I'm not skilled enough with DIY to go totally over the top with my creations, and most of the "wreaths" I've made have been relatively restrained.
When it came time to make a Valentine's Day wreath, though, I was faced with a challenge. After all, it's a totally over the top holiday! How could I keep my decorations subdued while still being festive and exciting while not exceeding my skills? I searched Pinterest for ideas, and my options seemed to involve either eruptions of red and pink and glitter or more minimalist and yet somehow more complicated designs. I wanted something in the middle, something easy enough that I wouldn't give up on in frustration, something basic enough that I wouldn't get bored halfway through, and something festive enough that it still felt worth making. So, armed with a few inspirations - this one, this one, and this one - I hied myself to JoAnn, hoping to find bits and pieces that would come together to spark an original idea.
The way I imagined I'd combine my favorite pins was by using a red or pink ribbon with rosettes on it and then making an arrow to cut across the middle of the wreath, incorporating "love" or "xoxo" somewhere on the wreath. In the end, though, the rosette ribbon I found was so narrow that I'd have needed 10 yards of it, bringing the cost of the project up dramatically, so I just bought a pretty shimmery red ribbon - at 1 1/2" wide and $1.98 per yard, it was much more economical. I realized that it would be simpler to make the text part of the arrow rather than to curve it around the circle and, because I didn't want to use too many competing patterns or textures, I decided to use the same gunmetal cardstock for the letters as for the point and fletchings of the arrow. And to jazz the wooden dowels for the arrow up a bit, I bought silver metallic paint and a sponge brush. The total for the project was about $25 and it took less than an hour from start to finish. It's not yet hung on my door, but do you want to see how I made the final product?
1. Cut the dowels to size; I measured the inside diameter of my wreath and cut one dowel down to that length and then cut a second dowel into thirds, so I had three 4" long pieces.
2. Paint the long dowel plus two of the 4" dowels. (It took about 4 coats for me to be happy with the strength of the color.) Set dowels aside to dry.
3. Wrap the ribbon around the styrofoam wreath, using a dab of glue on the back of the circle to secure the beginning of the ribbon and then again every few wraps to make sure the ribbon doesn't slide around. When you've wrapped the whole thing, cut the ribbon so that the end is at the back of the circle and secure with another dab of glue.
4. Using the ruler, trace out a triangle on the cardstock for the arrowhead and two rectangles for the fletchings. Cut them out, then cut the two fletchings in half with a diagonal stroke. Trace out the letters and cut them out as well. (I practiced on scrap paper first to make sure I had the right size for the diameter of the inside of the wreath.)
5. Wedge the longer painted dowel inside the wrapped wreath. (I didn't use any glue here; it fit securely enough.) Using dots of glue on the back of the letters, adhere them to the dowel, spaced however you want.
6. Draw a line of glue the length of the short diagonal end of one of the four pieces of fletching on one of the 4" painted dowels and hold the fletching to it, diagonal end to the wood, until it dries and holds. Repeat three times so you have two pairs of fletchings.
7. Glue the arrowhead on the top of the second 4" painted dowel near the end.
8. Adhere the non-fletching and non-arrowhead ends of the 4" dowels to the outsides of the wrapped wreath with the glue gun so that it looks like one long dowel is going directly through the circle. Hold firm until dry.