I just finished a Christmas project that I really love, and I wanted to share it with you. I know it’s just a week till Christmas, but honestly I kind of like working on Christmas-y projects right up until the big day. That way, the next year I can pull them out and it’s like VOILA! I’ve got a bit of handmade to add to my Christmas decorations right at the beginning of the season!
This wreath is made from felt backed fabric holly leaves, and it’s my solution for a dark front door that doesn’t play well with most wreaths. I’m always kind of jealous when I see the wreaths people make for their front door, because there are few wreaths that will stand out on my dark red door. The dark leaves just kind of fade in to the background.
But when I put the wreath on a stretched canvas, I can have my wreath with dark green leaves and it will still stand out on my dark red door! Or, I can hang it on the wall in my house. Or, if I’m being truly honest here, I can be lazy and just lean it up against the wall at the back of my mantel or hearth.
I made each of the holly leaves and the big red bow at the top from quilting cotton that I fused to craft felt. The fusible webbing and the felt give the leaves and bow dimension and body.
You’ll need 40-50 holly leaves to make the wreath, so it’s not exactly a quick last minute craft. But I think the overall effect is entirely worth the effort.
Here it is on my front door. Nothing fading into that dark red door!
Here’s how you can make one:
20” x 20” stretched canvas
Spray paint (optional)
4-6 fat quarters green quilting cottons
1 fat quarter red quilting cotton
½ yard green felt
¼ yard red felt
Roughly 1 ½ yards fusible webbing (This is just an estimate. The actual amount you need will vary depending on how efficiently you fuse your fabric and cut your holly leaves out)
Frixion pen, or other temporary fabric marker
Prep the canvas
Use spray paint to paint your canvas. I just used some left over chalk paint in a light gray.
Use the circle template to draw a large circle in the center of your canvas. When centered, the circle will be 2 ¾” from the sides, top, and bottom of the canvas.)
Make a small mark at the center top and bottom of the circle.
Make the holly leaves
Follow manufacturer’s instructions to fuse green felt to the back of some green quilting cotton.
My photo shows a small piece of fabric – enough to make just one leaf – but I found it was more efficient to fuse larger pieces of fabric and making the leaves in batches of 6 or 8.
Use a temporary fabric marker to trace the holly leaf pattern to the back (felt side) of the fused fabric piece. Add a small line down the center of the leaf.
Stitch the lines in contrasting thread, going around the shape twice. I used a lighter green thread on the darker green fabrics, and a darker green thread on the lighter green fabrics. Going around the shape twice makes the stitch lines stand out more and also helps smooth out any wonky curves.
Cut out the holly leaf close to the stitch lines.
Continue making holly leaves until you have 40-50 holly leaves in 4-6 prints.
Make the bow
Use the same method you used to make the holly leaves to create the pieces of the bow. (Fuse the fabric, trace the shapes (the bow streamer x 2), stitch the lines, and cut them out.
Lay the Bow Loops piece out flat, felt side out. Glue one side to the center. (Glue just in the center.)
Then, glue the other side to the center to create a basic bow shape.
Wrap the Bow Center piece around the center, with the ends glued to the back.
Complete the bow by gluing the two Bow Streamers pieces to the bottom.
Assemble the wreath
Now to assemble the wreath!
Glue one holly leaf across the bottom center of the wreath. This leaf will mostly be covered with other leaves.
Take two holly leaves and glue them together at one end, with the shapes slightly at an angle from each other.
Glue the pair of leaves to the bottom of the wreath, overlapping the first leaf you glued down.
Continue gluing leaf pairs to the wreath, using the circle you drew as a guide and overlapping them like roof shingles, until you reach the top of the wreath.
Now glue the leaves to the other side of the wreath, starting once more at the bottom and overlapping them until you reach the top.
At the top, glue leaf pair across across the gap. It’s okay if it looks a little weird. Most of it will get covered up.
Finally, glue your bow to the top of the wreath, covering up that awkward space at the center where the leaves meet up.