DIY Craft Decoration: How to Make a Folded Ribbon Welcome Wreath
This colorful wreath features a special folded ribbon detail that makes this decoration both eye-catching and unique. This design is surprisingly easy and you can use any combination of ribbons to match your décor or the season.
I'm calling my decoration my "After-Christmas Wreath." I made it for that period after the winter holidays are over, when my Christmas decoration seems out of date, but before it's really for time to put up my spring wreath. And by waiting to put this wreath together until after the holidays, I was able to buy most of my supplies at the after-Christmas sales! For my wreath, I chose colors and ornaments that were still associated with winter, but avoided anything with shine or glitter.
Choosing a Wire Frame for Your Wreath
I originally wanted to get a single rail wire wreath form for this project. This is really just a round frame made of 12 gauge wire, usually used for making wreaths with natural greenery. The form can either be smooth or have a crimped edge. I think either would work for this Folded Ribbon Wreath. I've seen these frames in craft stores in the past, but when I needed one, I couldn't find any. You can order them online, but you usually have to buy a package of them.
So instead, I bought some 16 gauge wire and made my own frame. I cut a length of wire off the spool and formed it into a circle. You can bend the wire around a trash can or pail to help form the circle. It does not need to be perfectly round.
Another option would be to buy a multi-rail wreath frame (these are commonly found in craft stores) and just cut off the inner rails with wire cutters. I think this would be fine too.
I bought 16 gauge wire because it was the heaviest gauge that I could find in my local home improvement store. I should have either bought heavier gauge wire or one of the wreath forms above. I originally made my wire form to be 18 inches in diameter, but it drooped under the weight of the ribbon, making my wreath shape more oval. I trimmed it back to be only 16 inches across, but it still drooped a little.
This wreath is meant to be an indoor decoration. I have my wreath displayed on my front door, but it is covered by a portico. You should consider the environment it will be displayed in when choosing your wreath materials.
Wire Edged Ribbon - I used 60 feet of 2 1/2 inch wide ribbon in varying designs. I planned to use 2 inch wide ribbon, but fell in love with the colors and design on this wider ribbon. Either works, but I would not use ribbon that is thinner than 2 inches. I used almost all of the 60 feet.
Your ribbon probably does not need to be wire-edged, but I think it helps make a crisp folded edge on your wreath.
Decorations - You can decorate your wreath as you choose with Christmas ornaments, bows, artificial flowers and other ornaments.
An awl, screwdriver, or a pair of sharp scissors to punch a hole in the center of your ribbon.
Needle nose pliers and wire cutters
Thin wire to attach decorations
Directions for Making a Folded Ribbon Wreath
If you are using a pre-made wire form, make a cut in the form using wire cutters to open the circle. If you are making your own form with wire, leave the two ends loose and unattached.
Taking one of your spools of ribbon, use your awl or sharp tool to put a hole through the ribbon at the point that is equidistant from the two sides and the starting edge of your ribbon. You can estimate the placement of your hole. It does not need to be in the exact center. I folded over my ribbon to make a clean edge before beginning.
Feed your ribbon on to the end of your wire wreath frame. Place the ribbon "face first" or "face down" onto the wire end so that you are looking at the wrong side of your ribbon. (If your ribbon is the same on both sides, then it doesn't matter which side is fed onto the frame first).
Position the ribbon so that it is in an east-west direction on your wire.
Take your other spool of ribbon and puncture a hole through it in the same manner. Feed it onto your wire frame, again face down, but position it in a north-south direction.
(Since I was using a burlap ribbon, I found I could just work my wire through the ribbon without first putting a hole in it.)
Now take your first ribbon and feed it back on the wire, folding it over your second ribbon. Then take the second ribbon and fold it back over the first.
Continue working this way with the two ribbons to build an interweaving accordion pleat design. You can change your ribbons as you want. I used the red and green ribbon throughout, but switched from the red polka dot ribbon to the white chevron design about half way through.
As you are working, consider where you might want to put breaks in the ribbon to add decorations. Depending on the ornaments you are using, you might be able to feed them on your wire frame as you work, or wire or tie them on after your ribbon design is complete.
Finishing and Decorating Your Wreath
Once you have the ribbon fed on your wreath, take your needle nose pliers and bend the two wire ends into hooks. Hook the ends together to close your wreath and tighten them using the pliers.
Then you can finish decorating your wreath as you choose. I tied my two bird ornaments onto a piece of twine. (These birds are particularly appropriate because we have a pair of cardinals that nest in our rose bushes.). I then tied the twine to the top and the bottom of my frame. I was able to pull up the bottom of my frame and make it more round by tightening the twine. Adding a bow made from one of your ribbons would be a nice finishing touch!
© 2014 Donna Herron