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7.19.2009

DIY Monogram Wreaths


I wish that I could say that the few days prior to our wedding were spent relaxing and having fun with family that had flown in from all over the country because everything was done. While most of the major things were indeed taken care of, there were a few unfinished projects that I needed to wrap up. One of those projects was our DIY monogram wreaths.


Inspired by a lovely project featured on Once Wed, I adapted these wreaths for their little carriers (two of my youngest cousins) by using sturdy silk flowers and personalized them by adding our glittering first initials.

Here's what I used to make each one:

Materials

- 12" Styrofoam wreath form
- Sphagnum moss sheets (about 1.5 packages)
- Assorted silk flowers (I used ranunculus, hydrangea, and tea roses)
- 2" wide satin ribbon
- Green floral wire
- Aluminum letter-shaped ornament
- Martha Stewart Crafts fine glitter in Smoky Quartz
- Spray adhesive
- Low-melt glue sticks
- T-shaped pins (or heavy gauge pearl-head pins)

Tools

- Wire cutter
- Scissors
- Glue gun

Here's how I made each one:

1. Prepare the letter-shaped ornament by removing its hanger and folding back the loop-shaped tab.

2. In a well-ventilated area, with newspaper protecting your work surface, evenly coat the front of the letter with spray adhesive. Carefully transfer the letter, sticky side up, to a clean sheet of paper. Liberally apply glitter to the letter (bury it, in fact!). Lift the letter and tap lightly to remove any excess glitter. (You can reuse the glitter. Pour it back into the jar by using the clean sheet of paper as a funnel.) Repeat process, if desired.

3. Cut a 3' length of floral wire, fold in half, and twist several times. Fold the wire in half again and twist several more times, leaving a 1" loop at the folded end. Trim to approximately 6". (You should end up with something resembling a crude sewing needle.) Repeat so that there is one twisted wire stake for each "foot" or base on your letter. (I made two stakes each for the letters "M" and "K".)


4. Working on the back side of your letter, flood the lower "footed" portion with hot glue. Insert the looped end of a wire stake into the glue, allowing at least 3" of the wire to extend beyond the bottom of the letter. Layer a bit more hot glue over the flooded wire loop. The metal will be hot! Allow it to cool, then repeat for the other side. Trim the stakes evenly if necessary.

5. With the wire cutter, cut 2" pieces of floral wire. Form each piece into a U-shaped pin by bending the ends toward each other. (I used at least 150 pins on each wreath. It really pays to find a comfy spot and crank out a bunch of them at once.)

6. (Warning: There steps create quite a mess. I chose to work outdoors.) Unfold the moss sheet and cut a strip approximately 2" wide along the short end of the sheet. Using the U-shaped pins, attach the moss to the wreath. Continue attaching moss until the entire wreath is covered and no Styrofoam can be seen. (Hint: This process can be rough on your fingertips. A thimble may help when pushing the pins into the foam.)


7. Remove the ranunculus, hydrangea and leaves from their stems. Using the wire cutter, trim the ranunculus stem approximately 1/2" below the flower. Whittle away about 1/4" of the plastic stem to reveal its wire. The hydrangea and leaves should easily pop off of the stem with a gentle tug.


Attach the hydrangea by wrapping it to the wreath a couple of times with floral wire, tucking in the wire ends at the back of the wreath.
8. Attach the ranunculus by sticking its wire end into the wreath like a push pin. If necessary, open a small hole in the foam with an awl or the tip of your scissors.

9. Trim the tea rose branches to size and attach by wrapping the cut ends to the wreath with floral wire. The individual blooms can be arranged and held in place with a few U-shaped pins.

10. Use the leaves as filler. To attach, poke a hole on either side of the center "vein" near the base of the leaf. Insert the ends of a U-shaped through the holes and into the wreath.


11. To make a handle for the wreath, cut a 14" length of ribbon. Fold the ribbon in half and tie a knot about 4" below the fold, creating a loop. Wrap the loose ends over the top of the wreath and secure in the back using T-shaped or pearl-head pins. Hide the pins by covering them with bits of moss.


12. Cut about 2' of ribbon and tie into a bow. (I followed these instructions for Martha's favorite.) Secure the bow to the ribbon handle using a piece of floral wire. Trim the tails of the ribbon to your desired length and notch the ends.


13. To finish the wreath, add the glittered letter to the center of the wreath by inserting the twisted wire stakes into the Styrofoam. Again, it may help to open starter holes in the foam with an awl or the tip of a pair of scissors.


Here are the wreaths in action at our wedding! :o)

7.02.2009

We're Back and We're Married!




Well Hive, we're back! Officially Mr. and Mrs. Yorkie now for 19 days, with the honeymoon behind us, we're just beginning to settle into married life. The wedding went beautifully (it was a Plan A day!) and even featured a few surprises, like thunder rolling overhead during Mr. Y's vows to add a little emphasis.

I'd like to give special thanks to everyone for the well-wishes regarding my aunt. I'm happy to report that she recovered fully and was celebrating with us at the wedding!

I can't wait for our professional photos so that I can start sharing all of the details from our special day with you. In the meantime, though, here's a little taste with these great highlights from the ceremony captured by our very talented friend, Laurel.













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