4th July Wrapped Wreath

If you read my post about the Layered Flag Dip, you’ll know that this weekend, we had a BBQ. But not just any old BBQ. My great friend, Bethany, comes from Pittsburgh, in the US and despite living in the UK for 10 years, still misses some of the traditions of home. So this year we decided to host a 4th July BBQ for her, partly so we could experience a true All American Cookout and partly to give her an excuse to make her favourite barbecue beans and Chocolate eclair Cake. Tastes of home on Independence Day.

So between us we had the food covered, but I wanted to try and give her a few little surprises in the decor, turning this event from just a BBQ to a real 4th July celebration. I got some flag bunting and chose a colour theme for the table, but after hitting Pinterest pretty hard, decided I really wanted a wreath to welcome Bethany and her family into our home. While wreaths for every occasion seem popular in the States, they are thin on the ground in the UK. So after searching online I found a few that I liked the look of (like this one) and decided I could make my own.


Isn’t it pretty? I was so proud of it, that I thought I’d share just how easy it was to make.., err actually if you’re reading Bethany it was tres hard and very fancy, OK?

So I bought everything I needed to make the wreath online (from Hobbycraft as it goes, although I saw similar on eBay and Amazon).

You’ll need:

1 x 350mm polystyrene wreath
591580_1000_1_3401 ball each of red, white and blue yarn


1 sheet of self adhesive white felt

572837_1002_1_340I started by marking three inch sections around the wreath, for the red and white ‘stripes’, leaving almost a quarter of the wreath for the blue. Then I started wrapping. I attached the loose ends of yarn with double sided tape, but you may find another way works for you.

I found it easiest to cut sections of yarn before wrapping it round the wreath and be prepared for the bottom of the section to be narrower than the top. This meant I either had to overlap some of the yarn, or ensure I pushed it closer together at the bottom of the section as I went along.

Gather the yarn at the bottom of the section as it's shorter than the top.

Gather the yarn at the bottom of the section as it’s narrower than the top.

If I’d had a child free environment it probably would have taken less time to do, but even so it only took a couple of evenings wrapping, alternating red and white and finally the navy blue.


I went back and redid the little bit of white that’s coming lose in bottom section, but that was the beauty of this, as each section was small, if you messed up, it took very little effort to put it right

You could use anything you have to hand to make the stars; buttons, stickers, craft shapes. As it was, I had none of these so bought a sheet of self adhesive felt. I used one of the boy’s small cookie cutters as a template for the star, drawing the shape on the paper side of the felt and cutting it out. Once I had the star shape, I just peeled off the backing and stuck it to the blue yarn. Et voil!


I didn’t hang it on the actual door itself as we already had a nail sticking out of the wall at perfect height next to the door. As there was a breeze up when I put it out, I stuck the nail into the polystyrene itself to secure it. Perfect.

Bethany loved the decorative touches and particularly the wreath! Woop woop. Get me! Seriously though I’m so glad I took the time to make it and realising how easy it was has made me want to make wreaths for other occasions. Why just Christmas?

Do you use wreaths for occasions other than Christmas?

I took it down from the door once the party was over, but it's so nice I can't get rid of it just yet. I may even keep  it for next year ;)

I took it down from the door once the party was over, but it’s so nice I can’t get rid of it just yet. I may even keep it to use next year 😉


Christmas Wreath Workshop

Ok, ok I know, this is waaaaay too late. I promised and I promised I’d get this out, but hey it’s been Christmas. Good will to all men n’est pas? Well men or bloggers who’ve been a bit slack

So about a month or so ago, I saw a question pop up in my newsfeed (Facebook, Twitter somewhere like that) asking whether anyone would be interested in a Christmas Wreath making workshop if Dylan’s Ice Cream held one. Ok two things; one I’ve wanted to learn to make my own Christmas wreath for years (I’m not great at following written instructions so was baffled by the tutorials I’d seen in books and online) and two, it was being held at our local ice cream cafe. Yes it’s December, yes when they opened everyone said they’d be lucky to make it past September, but boy oh boy do we love Dylan’s Ice Cream. So really it was a no brainer. Despite having no one to go with I signed up as soon as they confirmed they were going ahead with them.

I was welcomed by Ben, the owner proprietor, when I arrived. He asked if I’d like a mulled wine. Only I wasn’t expecting the beaker full of warming deliciousness I was handed. I didn’t mean to be feeling quite so full of Christmas cheer before we got started but there you go. I’m sure it helped the creativity to flow!

The biggest mulled wine I've ever had. And so nice I had two!

The biggest mulled wine I’ve ever had. And so nice I had two!

The chap leading the workshop was Peter Clarke of local company Cracking Gardens. Peter has been a gardener for most of his career and when he told us he used to work as Head Gardener for various National Trust properties and made wreaths for the doors of stately homes, well I knew we were in good hands. He started by explaining the different wreath bases available. The foam oasis, the metal ring and the branch ring made for something bendy, like Hazel. Peter likes all three but for us he’d decided metal rings were the way ahead.


We started by filling our rings with moss and bracken, securing it with florists wire. Then began the most enjoyable process of attaching foliage, in small ‘bouquets’, all provided by Peter (some I later found out from my friend Louise’s garden – with her permission of course!!!) I chose to make mine completely out of ewe branches, with fruits and various pieces of foliage added for decoration. At the time it looked wonderfully neat, however as time (and the weather’s) worn on I wish I’d made it more full, more diverse. The Ewe’s gotten pretty flattened by our British winter, as have the delicate pieces of fruit.


None the less I found the whole process completely absorbing. It was so much easier than I had previously imagined, although what I had imagined Im not really sure! The rings and wire are easy to get hold of both at florists and online and from there you can (if you so wanted) make the rest for free. It’s made me look at my garden in a completely different way (it’s also made me think about my friends gardens too – Claire Dennis I might come a knocking next year!) because thats the other beauty of the metal ring, once the season is over, the filling can be removed and the ring used again next year. Winner!


My first ever wreath! So proud!

As it goes I was fairly thrilled with my first attempt at wreath making and am so glad I chose to do it with some guidance. Ben and Peter also ran a children’s workshop the following week. This would be a wonderful activity to share with a child, although probably one older than my boy! The sense of achievement at creating something so unquie and festive is wonderful as is evident in the smiles in this photo!