It's November, and that means time to prep for Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, gift wrapping parties, football watching parties, and all the rest. If you're getting tired of that same old Fall wreath you've been using for the past decade, consider changing things up with one or more of the ideas below.
TOOLS AND MATERIALS
As you brainstorm what you'd like to include on your wreath, remember that it will be outside and exposed to the elements, so it's probably best to opt for artificial leaves, pumpkins, flowers, etc. rather than the real things (plus they're much easier to work with). Before making final purchase decisions, remember that Michael's not only has some lovely multi-element arrangements like the one below but also puts out some fairly significant coupons on their website and accepts competitor coupons as well.
If you want to save even more money, swing by your local thrift shop and see what they may have on offer; you can often get a large bunch of fall-colored leaves, flowers, etc. for around $2-$5.
If you don't have a toolbox / tool collection on hand already, a couple of good items to make sure you get before starting are wire cutters and needle-nose pliers. Wire cutters are helpful not only for cutting the spool of wire you use to tie everything together, but also for snipping parts off of the wired picks of berries, flowers, etc. and shortening the "stems" when needed.
Needle-nose pliers (like the ones below on Amazon) differ from regular piers in that they have long, thin tips that taper to a point; regular piers are better for bigger jobs where you need to have a lot of grip on the object and needle-nose pliers are best for when you want to do detail work and get into little spaces (curling the wired stem of a pick, threading wire through the edge of the wreath, etc). Needle-nose pliers are also especially handy for when you want to curve / fold the sharp end of a wire back in on itself to avoid it cutting anyone later on.
Floral or craft wire is another great material to have before you get started, although it's good to decide what the base color of your wreath will be before investing in a large spool (i.e. don't go buy a big thing of green wire and then use it to build a brown wreath-- it will look weird.)
Hot Glue is a great tool for tacking down the edges of leaves, stabilizing the tips of pine cones, etc. It's good to have a wire base when possible, but incorporating hot glue as well for some added stability and those little touches that give it that "extra-finished" look really helps. If you don't have one already, check out these hot glue gun options on Amazon to see which one might be a good brand and size for you.
CHANGE UP THE SYMMETRY AND / OR COLORS
When deciding on what kind of wreath you'd like to do, remember that one size doesn't fit all. You may want to try something asymmetrical like this wreath from Artsy Chicks Rule:
or do a departure from the traditional Autumn color palette of red / yellow / brown / orange by going for something cooler like this gorgeous grapevine wreath at Confessions of a Serial DIY-er based on greys, greens, and creams:
DON'T LIMIT YOURSELF TO AUTUMN
Another idea is to use elements that you think of for other seasons, such as this fun wreath made with sunflowers from The Latina Homemaker:
or this beautiful wreath from Crafting Mom that incorporates handmade felt roses (see the tutorial here):
MAKE A NON-WREATH
If you really want to mix things up, consider departing from the traditional wreath altogether and going for a hanging sign on the door like the one below from Country Living using a blackboard and chalk ink pens like these.
For a truly elegant option, you can create a monogram door hanging like this one by Sunburst Outdoor Decor on Etsy (at first glance it may look complicated, but it's mostly just a wooden letter hanging from a frame with some flowers on the edge-- nothing you can't handle with a little bit of patience and hot glue.) You can find wooden letters at Target, Michael's, Wal-Mart, and on Amazon.
Autumn is not only the beginning of when we start to gravitate more toward home to snuggle up with some warm cider and our loved ones, but also kicks off the holiday season when we're hosting guests as well. Whether you're prepping for a party or just a night in with the family, start thinking about how you'd most like to welcome all those who step up to your door and share the warmth, beauty, and coziness of the Fall season.