Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Halloween "Trash" Wreath Tutorial

Wow, I've eaten way too much of my husband's candy corn & peanut mixture (I really need a better name for it)'s so easy to eat too much because it's not as sweet as candy corn alone. I.CANT.STOP.

After seeing a couple coffee filter lamp shades and wreaths, I was inspired our current season to create my own. 

My camera battery died the night I started this project, so I don't have any pictures for the first part, but it's very easy! 

I started by dipping coffee filters in a mixture of black craft paint and water.  If it's important to you that you get a very consistent color, make sure you mix the paint and water really well.  Otherwise, you'll get big globs of paint on some pieces, though it doesn't seem to make much of a difference in the end.

I just dipped a pile (1/2" thick or so?) in and pulled them right out and wrung out the additional paint/water.  (You may want to wear gloves if you have pretty finger nails - the paint washed out of mine pretty easily though.)  I did about 3/4 of a package of the 1-4 cup sized filters (because my husband bought them by mistake).  I wish I would have let them soak longer to get a darker shade, but they looked really dark when they were still wet.

I separated them into smaller piles and spread them on newspapers on top of a piece of card board.  I put them in the garage overnight, thinking the cool dry air would dry them quickly.  Uh, no.  So, they were still pretty wet the next morning. 

I brought them inside and started separating them out into single sheets and layering them.  Every 30 minutes or so, I'd pull out any dry ones and  sort of shuffle them up.  It took about 2 days for them all to dry, but I think it would have gone much faster had I left them in the house the whole time.

I learned that they were easier to separate as they dried.  By the time they were all dry, I thought I had dyed way too many, but I ended up using all of them.

See how some of them have dark blotches, that's from where I didn't mix the paint and water together well enough.  I thought they looked neat, but you really couldn't see them with the finished product.

I didn't have a Styrofoam wreath form...or really any type of wreath form, so I decided to try making my own.

I started by tracing a large and small plate onto a piece of cardboard, but I thought it was too small, so I added a couple inches all the way around the larger circle.  My outside, largest circle was 15" across.  The interior circle was 8.5" across, and the actual wreath was about 3.5" wide.

Here she is, all cut out.  I wanted my finished product to have some shape to it, so I decided to add some padding to it to give it some depth.

Using plastic grocery bags, I folded them and then taped them to the cardboard.

I started with 3 standard sized plastic grocery store bags, in a pile.

I folded the handles into the center.

I folded them over about an inch, just trying to make a straight edge.

Then, I folded it over, trying to make the fold about the same width as the wreath.

And then I folded over once more, being sure not to pack too tightly (you could probably use more bags if you wanted to pack more tightly, or a more curved wreath)

I then lined it up where my last bag left off.

...and duct taped to the cardboard.  Make sure to cut your strips of tape long enough and don't tape the bags down too tightly, or you won't have "puff" to your wreath. (I learned this the hard way)

Ta-DAHHH --- 2 sections completed, 1 to go.  I shoved some excess bag pieces in places where I felt it looked a little flat.

And just to be obnoxious, I covered the whole wreath with black duct tape...just in case any of you are looking for a dominatrix-style wreath.  Teehee!

Moving on.....time to plug in the glue gun.

So, for the coffee filters, I took one at a time, scrunched in the middle... make a little flower shape.

and attached to my wreath form using my hot glue gun.  I applied a line of hot glue directly to the form, and then I'd stick 2 or 3 "flowers" in that one line of glue.  It moved pretty fast - faster than I expected.

If you're looking for a floral-style dominatrix wreath, you could stop here.

I made sure to pull back the already attached "flowers", so that I could attach the next ones as close to them as possible, avoiding any bare spots.  Also, every couple inches, I'd hold the wreath up, and make sure the outside and inside edges of it were all covered.  It's easy to miss them, especially as I got to the end, but the wreath will look very mis-shaped if all the edges aren't completed in the same way.

And in it's completed form...I really liked the texture, but I wasn't too keen on the least as far as my original vision was concerned.  It could have made a pretty winter-y wreath, as it was a dark silver-gray color.

As you can see, the edges aren't perfect, but you can fluff and bunch as needed to make it look more symmetrical.

In an attempt to make it "spookier" - I decided to spray paint it black.
I didn't take pictures of this part, as I assumed that many of you are better spray painters than I am...but make sure to take ID, passport and blood sample when you go to buy the stuff.  Some stores even have it locked in a glass case!  (I know why, but it was a surprise, as I haven't bought it in a couple years)

Now black, with a little silver spider friend.  (I bought them black and added glitter) 

Before making him silver, I put him on my poor, sleep-deprived, husband's shoulder and scared the ____ out of him (insert any word you wish!) tee hee.

Our "front" door is actually double french doors, which really isn't my style for a front I wasn't very happy with the pictures I was getting.

So I moved it to above the piano.  If you saw my piano-mantle post, you'll see I added some drift wood per a suggestion from Courtney from French Country Cottage.  Obtaining the drift wood, was an adventure in itself...I'll share another day.

And one last thing before you go - just wanted to show how I added some bark (that fell off a beautiful, but dying, tree in our back yard) to the bottom to cover up the mess of branch stems.

Well, that was fun...
I shared this at:

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Lauren said...

Wow. When I first began reading this post I was like, pffft, that IS a garbage wreath. But the end result? HOLY CRAP! Freaking amazing!

The Vintage Farmhouse said...

WOW! Would've never guessed you didn't spend a lot to create that! I hope you will come by and link to my Halloween party!

Robin Johnson said...

That. Is. So. Cool! I love it.

Miss Kitty said...

I've seen the coffee filter wreaths but never made one myself. Thanks for sharing all the good tips on how to make one. I saw your post over at "Common Ground".

Anonymous said...

So cute! I'll be pinning this one!!

Decor To Adore said...

Your wreath is spooktacular!

Have a blessed weekend.

Vicky @ Mess For Less said...

Love this! Aren't coffee filters great? Great use of them on your spooky wreath! I did a similar project with my kids

I am a new follower from The Shabby Nest.

Debra@CommonGround said...

wowwy, this is so cool, great job, I never would have thought of this!! thanks for linking up at VIF! xo

Anonymous said...

Sooooo love this!!! I may have to try one for myself! If only i could find black coffee filters!

Paula@SweetPea said...

Your were smart to make your own wreath form with cardboard, bags, and electrical tape. I like how you added a Halloween touch with the spider.

I found your post through participating in Amanda's party at Serenity Now.

Catie @ Catie's Corner said...

Wow, it looks great!! Nicely done. I love the ruffley look the coffee filters make. I made a Halloween wreath too and used pipe insulation for the wreath form. Stop by and check it out if you like. =) Have a great weekend!

~ Catie

Patricia said...

Just to let you know.. my daycare kids and I are making some of these for our doors. I love that you made your own wreath form for free!

Patricia said...

Just wanted to let you know that my daycare kids and I are starting 3 of these this week. I have a huge Costco stack of filters and after buying them I changed coffee pots. We've been trying to use them in crafts ever since.

I love that you made the wreath form for free.

Hugs, Patricia

CLD said...

Thank you for your visit and kind comments. And what a surprise....sending me an award. Wow! Thank You!!! you...oh my gosh this wreath is awesome. From start to finish. Plastic bags and duck tape. Have you not me. I have been meaning to pick up a straw wreath and can't seem to need now..since it will be covered with burlap anyway...I can just create one like yours. Thank you for sharing this wonderful idea. P.S. Keep holding that precious baby .... your typing and blogging with the one hand is just perfect. :) Bobbie

The Charm of Home said...

You did a great job on this wreath. I love the sparkly spider too. Thank you for linking up with Home Sweet Home!

Christine@ Projects Around the House said...

I love this wreath! I found you from Copa Cabana. Congrats on your award. I am now following you too :)

Christine @

Andrea said...

I have seen coffee filters used before but never this way, wow, amazing and intelligent!

Anonymous said...

I love your writing style, you made me laugh :) Thank you!! And this is a beautiful wreath too ;P

Kristina @ ReMadeSimple said...

Ok, I'm smiling as I see how you made your wreath base--I just did this exact same thing last week with a pizza cardboard circle, plus the grocery bags and duct tape. It looked lumpy under the fabric I was gonna use it for so I threw it away. Dang it! If I knew I could make a wreath like this it wouldn't have mattered. Oh, well,I can try again :) Glad it worked out well for your project!

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