It’s time for the first Do-It-Yourself (DIY) project of 2014! And because Gasparilla is the big holiday happening in my neck of the woods, I decided to tackle a project that I’ve long
ed to do for years. I’ve been accumulating Gasparilla beads for years (literally)…
So I figured I’d put them to use to create one of the most festive of Gasparilla decorations…
The Gasparilla Wreath.
You see these all over Tampa in late January, especially on the big houses in South Tampa. When I searched online for a place to buy one, I found crazy prices (like $150-$250 per wreath). Granted, the ones I liked were a bit more on the elaborate side and therefor accordingly more pricey, but I still knew I’d never pay that for one decorative item.
Thus, my decision to take on the project myself! And it truly is a DIY that can be as easy, or complicated as you want.
I used all my online wreath research to compile a list of the basic items I would need:
- Wreath form
- Ribbon (3-4 colors)
- Feathers (peacock)
- Adornments (pirate-themed)
- Something sparkly
- Hot glue gun & glue sticks
- Floral wire
Basic list right?
Well, I took a trip to Michaels craft store to select the items, and this is what I found…
After realizing that single feathers was going to be more costly, I stumbled across this peacock feather covered wreath form. It turned out to be way more economical and it guaranteed it would lush and colorful. I then just picked up three long feathers and a little cluster of fluffy feathers to add some length.
I also spent a good 15 minutes in the ribbon section picking through the sale items and then raided the jewelry department for embellishments AND sparkles…
Since I didn’t have a glue gun, I needed to pick one of those up with some glue sticks.
I also picked up some floral wire as an always handy craft helper.
I was already set with beads of course…
I waited until actual Gasparilla Day this past weekend to dive into my craft. But not to worry, it did not take all day. Actually it took me longer to photograph all the steps than to actual put it together.
So here we go…
The first step is to wrap the predominant ribbon around the wreath form. (This just refers to whatever color/s of ribbon you want as the main colors.)
I started with the pink and wrapped it at a angle around the wreath form, just tying the two ends together in a knot. I left the extra ribbon length be, instead of cutting it all off, so that I could use it in the next step. I then repeated the same wrapping process with the purple, laying it almost right over the pink, and then tied it off.
The next step is to wrap a contrasting ribbon/wrap around in the opposite direction/angle, just once.
Then, it’s time to keep rolling with the glue gun, and just glue the other ribbon into place so it doesn’t slip and slide on your wreath form.
Now, it’s time to take that extra bit of ribbon length (the pink and purple for mine) and make some bows!
I just made big loops, while pinching the center, then fastened it with floral wire to the ribbon on the front. I had the pink in one corner and the purple on the opposite corner just so they balanced out the wreath.
Then I took some additional ribbon and made one big pink bow, and one big purple bow. Then using the handy dandy floral wire, I twisted the bows onto the opposite color bow that was already on the wreath.
I left some length on the ribbon end that was going on the bottom so that there was some hanging about a foot down off the bottom corner. The reason is to balance out the tall feathers going on the top opposite corner in the next step…
So, next it’s time to add on the additional feathers.
I just placed the feathers I wanted to show up on the back of the wreath, before sliding them in between the ribbon on the back of the wreath form, and cutting off the extra ends on the feathers. You can hot glue them in place as well for extra staying power.
Next, insert additional feathers on the bottom of the opposite corner.
I used the glue gun for a strip of coin “fringe” I found. I just glued it along the bottom so it could hand down. I also left some extra to dangle down alongside the long ribbon pieces.
For the “bauble” adornments that were more jewelry-like, the good and trusty green wire is perfect…
Finally, it’s time to add the beads onto the wreath!
I took a few different colors of beads and laid them across in groups so I could tie them with floral wire (again, it just works so well) in three opposite sides of the wreath. This way, the strings of beads sort of drape when it’s hanging on a wall.
And the… that’s it!
I hung the finished wreath on my door with some more of beloved wire, and it looked pretty awesome!
Overall, it took me approximately two hours from start to finish, but, as I mentioned before, I spent most of my time photographing each of the steps. So I’d give yourself an hour or an hour and a half to complete this DIY.
The end result though, was something I think would easily compete with the wreaths I’d been lusting after.
The best part is that I could change or add to this in future years because so many of the pieces aren’t permanently stuck on. I tried to avoid an excessive amount of glue to minimize the damage if I did decide to modify it in the future.
This could be done without the beads and extra feathers, perhaps in some different colors if you want to create a Valentine’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day wreath too!
It all comes down to what you like and what kind of results you want. The possibilities are really endless.
Embrace your creativity, give yourself some freedom to have fun, and of course, include a dash of sparkle!