Tuesday, 12 December 2017

DIY Christmas Pom Pom Wreaths

Over the last couple of weeks, I've been busy making my own handmade pom pom wreaths, and having so much fun in the process.

I'd never made a wreath before and I didn't follow a tutorial; I completely made it up as I went along. I just got an idea in my head one day, and decided to go with it, and miraculously, it worked out really well. I sure wasn't expecting it to, so I didn't bother taking step-by-step photos for a tutorial, but I'll try to talk you through how I did it at the end of the post.

The idea to turn embroidery hoops in to wreaths came to me out of nowhere last month when I remembered I still had two wooden embroidery hoops left over from making hoop art last Christmas, which I hadn't been able to use because the hoops wouldn't tighten. After almost a year of holding on to them, I suddenly thought, 'hey, maybe they'd make good wreaths', and before I could stop myself, I was wrapping green wool around wooden hoops, and spending my early December evenings making dozens of red and green pom poms to tie on to them.

I borrowed my Mum's pom pom makers and made about sixty in two different sizes. I'd never used a pom pom maker before, but OMG they are such a genius invention. When I was growing up, I always made pom poms using two doughnut-shaped pieces of cardboard, and it used to take hours to make just one. With a pom pom maker you can make one in about three minutes! They're so clever! Where have these gizmos been all my life?

Altogether, I made four different wreaths using pom poms, corsages, felt flowers, and artificial berries, and I'm pretty darn proud of them for a first attempt. I'm going to give you a little peek at them now, and then tell you how you can make one, too!

The first two wreaths I made are my favourites of the four. They're ultimately the same asymmetric design, but one is smaller than the other, and they have different flower corsages pinned to them. After wrapping the hoops in wool, I raided my hair accessories drawer for my two red flower corsages that I hadn't used in almost a decade, knowing they'd be perfect for what I had in mind, and pinned them at 4 o'clock on the hoops. I then tied green pom poms around them, made what I hope look like poinsettia flowers from red and green felt and jingle bells and then attached them, tied some floristry berries in between some of the pom poms, and sewed a red ribbon to the top of the hoops to hang them from. Simple as that. I'm actually really pleased with how well these two turned out, especially as I've never made a wreath or anything like this before. Not bad for a first (and second) attempt, huh?

I then got working on the inner hoops, and decided to turn the bigger or the two in to a full wreath. I didn't have any more corsages to repurpose, so I chose to make two poinsettias for this one, and surrounded them with red and green pom poms in two sizes, and a handful of artificial berries. I then tied a length of red ribbon to the top, and added a tartan bow with a pom pom attached, which I think came off a Christmas present last year. Apparently, I've now turned in to a frugal old lady who keeps random crap to use again... 

Of the four wreaths, this one is probably my least favourite. I don't know why, but I'm a little underwhelmed with it, and I can't decide if I like it or not. Perfectionist problems, I guess. It has grown on me since I made it a week or so ago, though, and I think I'll like it better after I swap the ribbon for a thicker one. (I ran out of wide ribbon, so I had to make do with a delicate one for now), and have it hanging up with my other decorations.

By the time I got to the last hoop, I'd ran out of green wool, and red and green felt to make pom poms and poinsettias from, so I decided to make a simple asymmetric wreath using the last of my green pom poms, and a handful of red ones. Again, I bulked it out with a few berries, and tied a piece of red ribbon to the top to hang it from, and voila, it was complete. It took me no time at all to put together, and even though the design is quite simple, I personally think it looks pretty cute. It's the perfect design if you want to make a quick and easy wreath to hang for the holidays.

The best part about these wreaths is that they were so inexpensive to make. In fact, they didn't actually cost me a penny to make this December because I already had everything I needed, and I just raided my craft supplies and hair accessories box! I admit I was tempted to shop for new supplies, but I had to be frugal and use what I had because I'm skint. If I wasn't, I would've probably gone rogue and added in loads of baubles, decorations, and fancy ribbons, but I'm so happy with the four I made as they are. I honestly wasn't expecting them to turn out so well, and without meaning to toot my own horn, I'm pretty proud of all four of them. I surprise myself with what I can do when I put my mind to it.

If I can make my own Christmas pom pom wreaths, you can, too! Honestly, they're so easy to make, and you don't need to be a skilled crafter to be able to make one. I genuinely think anybody could have a go and end up with a beautiful pom pom wreath. 

As I said, I unfortunately haven't got photos for a tutorial and I've ran out of supplies to create some now, but I'm going to talk you through how I made them, and hope it makes sense. I'll hopefully add in photos at a later date if you wish to bookmark the post, and return to it later.

Christmas Pom Pom Wreath Tutorial 

What You'll Need

♥ Wooden embroidery hoop. (Mine are 7 and 8 inches, but you can use whatever size you like. One hoop will make two wreaths!)
♥ Pom pom makers in two sizes (I used 35mm and 45mm).
♥ One ball each of green and red wool.
♥ Sheets of green and red felt. (An A4 sheet of each colour should make two flowers).
♥ Green and red embroidery threads.
♥ Red flower corsages / hair accessories, or silk flowers.
♥ Jingle bells.
♥ Artificial berries.
♥ Red ribbon.
♥ Scissors.
♥ Sewing needle.
♥ Double sided tape.
Fabric pen.

You should be able to find everything you need in your local hobby shop or haberdashers. Almost all of my supplies came from Hobbycraft.

To Cover The Embroidery Hoops

1. Take your embroidery hoop, and separate the inner and outer hoops. You can turn them both in to wreaths!
2. Take a hoop and wrap a small piece of double-sided tape around a small section of the wood so you can attach the wool. If you're using the inner hoop, you can do this at whatever place you like, but if you're using the outer hoop with the metal at the top, stick the tape at the top beside the edge of the metal.
3. Stick the end of your green wool against the tape, and start winding the wool neatly and tightly around the hoop so each strand sits beside the one before. When you come to the end of the strand, wrap another piece of double-sided tape around the hoop to secure the end and continue with another length of wool. Repeat the process until the whole hoop is wrapped in green wool. When you close in on the circle, wrap another piece of tape around the hoop to seal the wool, and cut the end of the wool to fit.
4. Don't worry if it's a little scruffy in places; you can hide any flaws with pom poms or flowers!

To Make The Pom Poms

Now it's time to make some pom poms! For my wreaths, I made 35mm and 45mm pom poms in red and green, but you could use whatever sizes or colours you prefer. I personally think red and green looks the most festive. I used seven pom poms on the asymmetric wreaths, and sixteen on the full wreath, but the amount of pom poms you need will vary depending on which size hoop you use.

1. Take a pom pom maker and wind two to three layers of wool around each side, being careful not to overfill.
2. Holding tightly on to the pom pom maker, cut the wool down the middle on each side.
3. Tie a long piece of wool through the centre of the pom pom maker, and double knot to secure it. Make sure the piece of wool is long enough to be able to tie easily on to your wreath.
4. Carefully open up the pom pom maker and remove your pom pom.
5. Roll each pom pom in the palm of your hands, and trim off any excess wool with a pair of scissors to neaten.
6. Tie it on to your wreath.

To Make The Poinsettia Flowers

1. Take your sheets of red and green felt and draw two stars of the same size on each, and one slightly smaller star on the red using a fabric pen, and carefully cut them out with a pair of sharp scissors. (If you can't draw a star freehand, find an image of a star online, trace it on to a piece of paper, and cut it out to make a template to draw around). 
2. Score each of the 'petals' down the middle with a pair of scissors to add some shape and texture to your flower.
3. Now layer your stars on top of each other, alternating the angles so the points sit over the gaps between the points of the star beneath. The two green stars should be on the bottom, followed by the two larger red, with the smallest red star on top.
4. Thread a needle with two strands of red thread.
5. Holding tightly on to your carefully arranged stars, turn them over, and using your needle, sew the two strands of red thread on to the centre of the back of the bottom star. Poke your needle through the centre of all five stars to the top, and pull the thread tightly. Now push your needle back through to the bottom just beside where you came up, and repeat the process, as if you were sewing on a button, until the five stars are securely sewn together. When you're done, bring the needle back to the bottom, and sew the thread on to the back of the bottom star to secure. Snip off any excess thread.
6. Take your jingle bells, and sew them on to the centre of the smallest star, the same way you'd sew on a button. I found four small bells or six tiny jingle bells were enough for each flower, and I personally think gold bells look better against the red than silver.
7. Now thread your needle with five or six strands of green thread, and sew two lengths half an inch or so apart on to the back of the flower. This is so you can tie it on to the wreath!
8. Take the flower, and gently give the ends of each petal a twist to add some shape to your flower. Voila, you've made a felt poinsettia!

To Assemble Your Wreath

1. Take your covered hoop, corsage, pom poms, and poinsettias and play around with different arrangements until you're happy with your layout. Once you are, it's time to start assembling your wreath.
2. Tie, pin, or glue your corsage or silk flowers in place. Mine both had metal brooch pins to the back, so I threaded the pins through the wool on the hoop, and clipped them shut, and they stay in place perfectly. 
3. Tightly tie and double knot your pom poms and flowers in place around the corsage, so they sit close together. Once tied, cut off the excess wool and thread, and position them in place. It's up to you if you want to cover the whole hoop, or just part of it. I personally like my asymmetric wreaths best, but that's just me.
4. If you want to add in artificial berries, poke the wires between the pom poms, and bend the wire tightly around the hoop to secure.
5. Take a length of red ribbon, and tie it to the top of your hoop. If you prefer, you can sew the two sides together with a back or running stitch for a neater look, which I did on the two hoops with the metal screws on top.
6. Tie the ribbon in to a loop, and hang your wreath.

Well done, you've just made a pom pom wreath!

I've probably made the process sound more complicated than it is, but I promise you, it's a really simple Christmas craft that anybody could easily make. If I can make something like this without any guidance or previous experience, you sure can! You just need a little bit of patience and a few supplies, and you could easily make one from scratch in a couple of evenings sitting in front of the telly with a Christmas movie on.

The pom pom wreaths will make such lovely decorations to hang in your home this Christmas, and judging by the response I've had from other people, they'd make great Christmas gifts for your family and friends, too.

If you decide to make one, make sure you send me a link to your photos so I can take a peek!

Will you be making your own Christmas wreath this Christmas, or do you prefer to buy one ready-made?

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