Kicking off the season with a new fall wreath. It’s actually one of two I made recently as gifts for family members.
As regular followers know, I love crafting holiday, seasonal and party decorations — wreaths and door hangings in particular! Because of that, my home is decorated to the nines and there is simply no more display space, or room to store them.
For several years, I sold my creations via DebbeesBuzzBoutique. Last fall, however, I decided to close the Etsy shop. Offering domestic free shipping and packaging became prohibitive for a small time operation like mine. Add to that the pandemic and foot surgery curtailing shopping for supplies, and it just didn’t make sense anymore.
Instead, over the past year I’ve made wreaths for family or friends; either as gifts or by special request.
Let me show you how to make a pumpkin truck wreath in seven easy steps, using some inexpensive materials found at Dollar Tree.
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Inspiration & Finds at Dollar Tree
I’m featuring this autumn project earlier than originally planned — in case you’d like to use the same Dollar Tree craft supplies to create a fall wreath. After I shared Fun Flamingo Table Kicks Off Summer in early June, many readers said their stores were already out of the melamine plates. So if you like something, head thee to the store ASAP!
Primary inspiration for the DIY fall wreath came was this cute vintage red truck sign found recently while shopping at DT for faux florals.
Not only was it only a bargain, but the sign was the perfect size and weight to incorporate into the center of a mesh and ribbon wreath.
Also at Dollar Tree was matching wired ribbon featuring a red truck filled with pumpkins.
So for only two bucks, I had the central focal element and large bow for a new fall wreath design.
A couple years ago, I made another wreath featuring a vintage truck carrying pumpkins for Sistah B’s waterfront home.
What’s nice about all three designs, is that you can hang them for the entire fall season — from September through Thanksgiving.
How to Make a Mesh & Ribbon Fall Wreath
First, you need to gather together all the materials and tools for the seasonal project on a large flat surface, with good lighting.
Supplies for the DIY fall wreath came mostly from my craft stash and cheap finds at Dollar Tree.
- 18″ wire wreath form
- Black & tan pipe cleaners
- 20″ wide black & tan buffalo check mesh
- Clear packing tape
- Assorted 2 1/2″ wide wired ribbons
- Grateful pumpkin truck sign
- Assorted faux florals & 5′ leaf garland
Using the supplies listed above, the completed dimensions of my fall wreath are about 24″ tall by 21″ wide and 8″ deep (where the bow is at the top).
Craft Tip: Finished wreath size is based on the wire form dimension and mesh width. If you wanted a slightly less full or deep wreath, consider using ten-inch wide mesh. With 20″ mesh you can also use a larger wire frame for a big wreath hung over a mantle, or in a room with high ceilings. I don’t recommend going with a larger frame if the fall wreath will hang on a door. But, if you go bigger, you’ll need more ribbon, florals, and a bigger bow too. Remember, size matters!
Equipment: scissors, ruler, wire cutters, and possibly a glue gun and sticks.
Step #1: Prep Wire Wreath Frame
Instead of spray painting the green wreath frame a different color, I left it as is. Seldom is the frame visible after attaching all the mesh, ribbon and floral embellishments.
Normally, I don’t detail how to attach pipe cleaners when making a wreath. But a number of readers have asked, so here goes:
Make a Hanger Loop
Rather than floral wire, I use chenille-covered pipe cleaners when making a hanger for a mesh and ribbon wreath.
Begin by folding the pipe cleaner in half. Insert it at one of the “junctions” of wire from the front side of the frame. Now wrap each of the two ends of pipe cleaner around one of the lower wire rings. Twist the pipe cleaner ends twice around the vertical wire pole.
Next, take the two ends underneath the next ring, and twist twice around the pole.
Finally, take the pipe cleaner ends underneath the top ring. Overlap and wrap the remaining pipe cleaner ends to form a secure closed loop.
Wrap & Twist Pipe Cleaners at Wire Junctions
For the fall wreath, I staggered the black and tan color pipe cleaners around the frame. These are used to attach the mesh, ribbons and embellishments to craft the fall wreath.
Start by folding each pipe cleaner in half. Then slide one under each wire “hook” at the bend, on the front side of the frame. Do this all around the wreath, at both the outer and inner wire junctions.
On an 18″ wreath form, that makes nine cross junctions, or 18 hooks/pipe cleaner positions. A larger or smaller wire form will require more or less.
Now wrap the pipe cleaner under the outer wire and back around- in the opposite direction. Cross and twist the pipe cleaner ends three times.
Anyway, that’s how I make a hanger loop and attach pipe cleaners to the frame. Not exactly rocket science, lol!
Step #2: Attach Mesh to Frame
Since this fall wreath will have a large bow at the top (where the hanger is), I started attaching the mesh there. The bow helps to hide the start and end points.
Craft Tip: Take the first 6-9″ length of mesh from the roll and twist it to form a cylinder with a pointed end. Using clear packing tape, wrap the frayed tip and a few inches of mesh tightly. This keeps the mesh from fraying and unraveling.
Simply tuck the end of the mesh into and between the two middle horizontal rings in the wire form. Start attaching the mesh at the pipe cleaner points on the inner most ring of wire.
The start point is circled on the lower right, directly below the wreath loop hanger.
Depending on the width of your mesh, take 6-9 inch lengths of mesh at a time. Then roll it under and gather together forming a “poof.” Twist the pipe cleaner around the pinch point three times. Repeat around the entire wreath, alternating between the inner and outer rings.
In the picture above, I have completed one rotation and am about to begin the second. Using this method takes two rotations to attach the mesh.
Craft Tip: Alternating between inner and outer rings produces a nice full wreath, eliminating open space between the frame and mesh.
Leave another length of 6-9″ of mesh before cutting it from the roll. Then tape the frayed end and tuck the tip into the backside of the frame.
FYI, the roll of black and white buffalo check mesh was already in my craft stash (Amazon).
Step #3: Attach Leaf Garland
Now take the DT leaf garland and arrange it over the mesh wreath. At only 5′ in length it won’t completely encircle the wreath. That’s OK because there will be a large bow covering the top anyway.
I attached the garland in about seven places — alternating inner and outer — by simply twisting the pipe cleaners around the vine. Later, ribbons covered up most of the vine.
Step #4: Make Central Bow
Because the pumpkin truck spool of ribbon was only 9′ in length, I incorporated a second ribbon into the bow. Although that burlap ribbon with black and white check edges (also from my stash) was narrower, it allowed me to add more loops and heft to the bow.
As I unrolled both spools, I simply laid the narrower on top and down the center of the one-sided truck print ribbon. Then I fashioned five large loops, being careful to twist and turn so that the truck print was always in the same upright position.
Another chenille pipe cleaner was used to hold the alternated loops together in the center, Be sure to twist tightly, about five times. Later, I used the remaining ends of pipe cleaner to attach the bow to the wreath.
Spreading and shaping the two ribbons apart made for a large 10-loop finished ribbon at the top of the fall wreath. You can find the black and white edged burlap ribbon on Amazon.
Step #5: Plan, Cut & Attach Ribbon to Wreath
Now that you’ve completed the fall wreath base, it’s time to attach lengths of ribbon. But, before you cut, be sure to do some measuring and math to determine the number and size of each piece.
Do the Math
First, determine the number of pipe cleaner spots and ribbons to be attached at each. For this fall wreath, there were 18 points minus two where the bow and truck sign would be attached and cover. So 16 total points times two ribbons at each spot = 32 lengths of ribbon needed.
Another consideration is how many different types of ribbon you’ll be using and how much you have of each. I used six ribbon colors/patterns in all.
Both the truck and orange spools came from DT and were only 9′ in length. Minus what I used to make the bow, left only four 9″ lengths, but eight of the orange. Most of the others were in my craft supplies; leftovers from other projects. Only the trimmed burlap ribbon was from an unused spool.
I made four pairs, using six styles of ribbon cut in 9-10″ lengths. Each was repeated four times around the wreath, to cover the 16 pipe cleaner spots. It was a practical way to use odds and ends from my craft room. Obviously, you can greatly simplify this by using only a couple of ribbon styles.
Craft Tip: Cut a “V” shape at both ends of the lengths of ribbon for a nice finished look.
Twist & Shape
For this step, I usually lay the ribbons out in cut pairs on the coffee table in front of me, while the TV is on. With the mesh wreath on my lap, I attach the ribbons individually by twisting the pipe cleaners two to three times.
Then I took the top ribbon in the pair and lay it the opposite direction, before twisting the pipe cleaner another few times. Afterwards, I moved onto the next pair, repeating all the way around.
Here’s what the fall wreath looked like after all the ribbons were attached. Repositioning and shaping the ribbons isn’t done until the very end of the project.
Step #6: Attach Sign
Now it’s time to incorporate the pumpkin truck sign in to the center of the fall wreath. I waited because I didn’t want the shape of the truck obscured by the ribbon.
To secure the sign to the wreath, I simply twisted the two pipe cleaners at the top around the string hanger. Then I let the truck “float” on top of the mesh, tucking several pieces of ribbon underneath the sign.
Step 7: Attach Faux Florals & Leaves
First, I clipped the flowers and leave clusters into smaller sections using wire cutters. Then, I arranged them around the fall wreath until I was satisfied with the color and texture balance.
A flower or leaves were positioned near the center of each ribbon pair with stems extending to the back of the wreath. There, I bent the end of the stem under one or two rings of the wire frame. I struggle a bit here, as arthritis in my hands can make this challenging.
On the front side, pipe cleaners were twisted three times around the base of each flower or leaf cluster.
Craft Tip: A hot glue gun can help to hold the faux florals in place. Particularly where a flower may pop off the top of a stem.
All the flower and leaf clusters came from DT, with the exception of the cascading orange Amaranthus (Michaels).
You might remember the pink version I used in Charming Watering Can Wreath Project for Spring?
There, I had the flowers flowing out from the spout to imitate water.
Although the large floral spray was pricey, it was leftover from the grapevine cornucopia wreath I will share with you next month. That spread the expense across two fall projects.
The long stems of the Amaranthus were tucked into the wire frame and reinforced by twisted pipe cleaners. Lastly, the bow made earlier was also attached at the top.
All that was left to do was position and shape ribbons until I was satifified with the final look of the fall wreath.
Grateful for Family & Friends
Next weekend I’ll be taking the pumpkin truck wreath to a “welcome back to Pittsburgh” party for my cousin and her family. I can’t wait to see everybody!
I purposely designed the housewarming wreath so it’d be lightweight to hang, with colors that would work on either a light or dark wall or door.
What do you think?
Last year I made another housewarming gift for my youngest son who had just moved into a 100-year row house in urban, historic Philadelphia.
I had thought of the Wine Cork Wreath DIY Tutorial as perfect for the fall. But he likes it so much it hangs above his bar cart year-round.
Have you started or made any seasonal decorations for fall? Made any great craft or decor finds?
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