Decorating your home with a wreath has its roots in history. Called diadems by the Persians, the word was derived from the Greek word diadem, meaning – to bind round. Those of imperial stature began wearing diadems made of bands of fabric and later from laurel leaves. The most famous of diadem wearers was Julius Caesar. The diadems worn as symbols of authority or presented as accolade were much later replaced by elaborate headdresses or crowns.
Crowns made of laurel leaves eventually were often hung on walls and on doors to display the victory or celebration. Around the fifteenth century the display of wreaths to honor religious holidays and give tribute to special occasions began to appear. Although the word wreath often evokes a vision of fragrant holiday evergreens hung over a mantel or on the front door, wreaths today can be made of almost any material. They are especially easy to adorn with easy-to-sew decorations.
Hand-stitched felt ornament wreath
Large cookie cutter shapes can be useful as templates. Cut out two pieces of your choice of colored felt from the template, blanket stitch around the edges with contrasting color embroidery floss, lightly stuff with fiberfill and glue to a straw or grapevine wreath. Add some pine cones or dried flowers collected from a nature walk to complete.
Burlap ribbon wreath
Popular now are wire wreath frames woven through with a continuous strip of natural burlap ribbon, non-wired on the edges. The burlap ribbon comes in a variety of widths on a spool. Choose a width that will allow for the ribbon to be folded over, then pushed into the wire frame sections several times, then twist a few times from behind the wire frame to secure and continue pushing the burlap ribbon into the wire frame and twisting behind in sections until the wreath is full. Add any scrappy fabric ornaments. Those made of bits of lace are especially charming. An alternative design choice, for added color, is to alternate the burlap ribbon with any seasonal fabric cut as the same width as the burlap ribbon and woven along side the burlap ribbon.
A great way to use up fabric scraps is to cut the scraps into uniform lengths and tie around a sturdy foam wreath form. Cutting the fabric scraps using pinking shears adds dimension. Alternate the fabric strips with coordinating strips cut from six inch rolls of tulle for an added ethereal effect.
Wrap a sturdy foam wreath with satin ribbon. Decorate with folded fabric flowers. Easiest way to make fabric flowers is to create a daisy shaped template to use. Cut out several shapes from chosen fabric, using four to six shapes for each flower. Fold each cut shape in half, then in half again, stack together in a circle on a round piece of felt for backing. Stitch to hold them securely. Add a covered or interesting button for the flower’s center. Attach several to the wreath, grouped together for effect. Fabric yo-yo’s also make great decorations to adorn the wreath.
Today, wreaths are a common custom adorning many a door, with a different wreath for each season or announcing a special celebration.
Sew happy, sew inspired.