Five biggest burlap wreath mistakes
(And What You can do to fix them)
If you’ve been on Pinterest for more than a few seconds then you’re more likely than not to have a seen a burlap wreath. Puffy, evenly full, and tastefully decorated you begin to think “Hey, I can make that”, and then begin to pin a multitude of wonderful tutorials on how to create your own burlap wreath. After a short trip to the craft store you have your rolls of burlap garland and wire wreath frame ready to go. Then you finally get to making it and… things happen.
Today I’ve rounded up the top 5 biggest burlap wreath mistakes that all DIY-ers should be aware of and how you can fix them.
Not using enough BURLAP in your wreath
This is the most common burlap wreath blunder I see, and the mistake I tend to make the most. It happens when you’re alllmost done with that wreath and you try and stretch it out just a little bit more. Sure, some of the puffs might not be as fluffed as you like but it’s not that big of a problem is it?
It is. Not using enough burlap in your wreath will leave it without the structural integrity it needs and can leave it limp when jostled the wrong way, i.e. when doors are opening and closing. Having enough burlap in your wreath will keep it from de-poofing when moved and looking fresh and fluffy for years to come.
If you find yourself without enough burlap then continue to work using the same consistent amount of burlap throughout the wreath and stop when you are finished and get more burlap another day. Next time you make a wreath you’ll have a better estimate on the amount needed to complete your design and won’t have to sacrifice structure for completion.
lack of BALANCE
After finishing the base of your burlap wreath you may begin to embellish with a contrasting color of burlap, thick ribbons, floral, little animals, etc. Then sometime after you’ve been working on your wreath you pick it up and something just looks… Off. In the above picture you can see one of the first burlap wreaths I made. It took about three or four tries to get the flower positioning correct relative to the ribbon. The wreath is appropriately balanced as evidenced by how your eyes go to the center top and sides of the wreath at the same time, e.g. there’s nothing distracting you in one dramatic way.
Fix: If your wreath has this problem try redistributing the wreath’s decor beginning with the bulkiest items, typically thick ribbon and contrasting burlap. Then, move to smaller items. If your wreath is more basic, like mine above, step away from the wreath to see if your eyes go to the right places. If not, redistribute and step away.
Failing to finish the back of your burlap wreath
Once you’ve completed the base of your burlap wreath how does the back look? If it looks kind of “meh” then you’ve likely failed to finish the back. Finishing the back of your wreath gives it a polished, tied together look regardless of the view. Keeping the burlap pulled tightly to the frame at the back adds to its structure and provides it with greater security against being knocked around or having the lovely weaving come undone. This is probably the most common mistake I see in wreath tutorials and in those store made wreaths found in many craft stores.
To finish your burlap wreath, take a large blunt needle (eg: tapestry needle, yarn needle) and thread twine through the needle with a knot loosely tied behind the eye. Weave the needle and twine throughout the back of your wreath until you are satisfied with the appearance. Click on the picture of yours truly finishing a burlap wreath for greater details.
Leaving your burlap wreath outdoors with high pollen
Pollen can change the color of your wreath dramatically. Taking that lovely light brown fabric to a terrible, drab yellow color.
During that first big burst of pollen that comes with spring time in the South I bring my burlap wreath into the garage and hang them from the studs using a single, large nail. If not, your wreath will end up covered in pollen and very difficult, if not impossible, to clean and return to being like new.
After the first week or two of the pollen being bad, when I can go outside and not see my car completely coated in the stuff, I bring my burlap wreath back outdoors.
Cleaning your burlap wreath
If your burlap wreath has become worse for wear as time goes by you’re not alone. Craftaholics Anonymous has a great set of tips on how to prevent burlap from fading that include scotch guarding your burlap, washing before using the material, etc. Almost all the tips are preventative, similar to my tip above about bringing your burlap wreath indoors during high pollen. Whatever you do, DO NOT try to wash your wreath on the wreath form itself!
The only effective way I have found to clean a burlap wreath is to use a vacuum an upholstery attachment on the lowest suction setting. Then gently brush the vacuum against the burlap only, not the decorations. This allows you to remove a little bit of the pollen and dust/dirt from the burlap wreath without creating sagging or grinding the dirt in further.