Monday, October 12, 2015

DIY: Gothic Halloween Wreath Tutorial

     Hi everyone!  And welcome to my favorite time of the year!  Yes, it is October and I can officially put up all my Halloween decorations without making the neighbors wonder if they need to put me on the neighborhood watch list (ha as if I am not there already).

     Today I wanted to share my tutorial for this Gothic Halloween wreath.  I was inspired to create this look by (surprise surprise) my time spent in Pere Lachaise.  Many of the monuments there had wreaths, both temporary (comprised of flowers) and permanent (carved into the stone, or cast in bronze).  I really wanted to keep the monotone look of the wreathes carved into the stone, but seeing as I am not a mason and my front door would not support a granite wreath... grapevine and flowers it was.

     So I settled for this kind of rotten, decrepit looking thing.  If you like what I have done, please feel free to share, or to take this idea and expand on it in your own unique way. The only thing I ask is that you share your creation back with me as I love seeing how people expand on ideas.

What You Will Need:

  • Grapevine wreath - any size, this is a 22" available at Hobby Lobby (remember your coupons and shop when floral is on sale)
  • Flower/Leaf stems - any kind, I chose 2 leaf stems and 2 Hydrangea looking ones.  Also available at Hobby Lobby or any craft store
  • "Scary Fabric" - this is literally what it was called, I got it in the Halloween section of Walmart.
  •  "Trick or Treat" sign - I think I picked this up at Homegoods for like $4, but you can find this or similar signs everywhere.
  • Plastic skeletons - picked these up at Target last year on clearance after Halloween.  I know they have something similar again this year. 
  • Flat black spray paint - you could use a gloss or a satin to achieve a different look, for this I chose the flat. 
  • Black zip ties (not shown)

Step 1: Spray Paint the Wreath and Flowers Black

    My motto when dealing with spray paint: don't be stingy and take your time. 10 super light coats will look better than 1 thick coat that drips or streaks. I probably could have gotten away with using just one can of spray paint, as I barely tapped into the second can.  However, I wanted to make sure I got everything coated evenly on the grapevine wreath so I went over it a few extra times. 

     For the flowers I used quick succession pulses of the spray paint, instead of one continuous spray. It kept the petals from sticking together too much.  Also while I was painting, I liked how a really light layer of paint would still allow the original colors through, it kind of gave the flowers a more rotted look, so I kept the paint light.  

Step 2: Drape the "Scary Fabric" Over the Wreath

     I only ended up using a fraction of the fabric that actually came in the package, so have a knife or a pair of scissors handy to cut off the extra.  There was no rhyme or reason to how I cut the fabric, or even how I draped it.  I just tried out a few different placements and stopped when I thought it looked cool.  Remember to keep the remaining fabric!  I'll probably re-purpose mine for our mantel decor.

Step 3: Attach the Sign

     My sign had these handy little wall hangers.  If your sign doesn't have them,  they are super cheap and easy to apply.  Or you can use hot glue to attach the sign.  I'd personally go the wall hanger route, as it was super easy to thread the zip ties through the hangers, and then just tie them onto the wreath.  

Step 4: Add the Flowers

     Just as I did with the fall wreath tutorial (you can find that post here), just shove the stem part of the leaves and flowers right into the grapevine. There should be enough braided material in the wreath to grab hold of the stems and keep them in place.  If you find yours is falling out, you can use a dot of hot glue to secure it.  

Step 5: Secure the Skeletons with Zip Ties

     I wanted to keep the skeletons pretty loose and pose-able, so I used a single zip tie around the spine.  If you wanted to keep the skeletons posed in a particular manner, you could easily use more zip ties to keep their arms and legs in one spot. It's entirely up to you. 

Step 6: Hang Your Wreath 

     I am assuming you already know how to do this, but it seemed like a good way to end the tutorial.  In case you are interested, I have a dual sided wreath hook that hangs over the top of our door.  I love these types of hooks as I can easily remove the hook when necessary.  Also it makes a convenient location to "store" whatever permanent sign or wreath you usually have displayed on the interior side of the door.  I currently have the fall wreath I created hanging inside, as I will put that one back out once Halloween has passed.

     Thank you all for visiting!  I'd truly love to see what you all come up with for your own homes!  Please feel free to share your comments and include links to pictures or blogs showcasing your designs!  See you next week!  


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