Shiver me timbers, today I’ve created a pirate wreath to decorate the front door of my sister’s waterfront home for Halloween.

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It’s part of a Fall Wreath & Door Decor Blog Hop hosted by Rachelle of My Hubbard Home.

To those coming by from her charming Autumn Hoop Wreath, a big ahoy mateys! And, if you’re looking for more seasonal ideas and inspiration, check out all the links at the (dead) end of this post.

I’ve crafted a Halloween wreath to greet trick or treaters. But, it would also be perfect to welcome little buccaneers attending a pirate theme birthday party.

So, batten down the hatches and be on the lookout, as this pirate wreath tutorial contains numerous bad puns. Savvy?

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Davy Jones’ Locker

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A couple of years ago, I made a DIY Nautical Sailboat Wreath to decorate the front door of Sistah B’s then new home.

They live on the water with a dock, motorboat, kayaks, and Moth sailboat, handcrafted by my brother-in-law. Having grown up in Annapolis, MD, he is an accomplished sailor with many racing titles.

When I suggested a Halloween wreath of a pirate shipwreck resting in Davy Jones Locker, Sistah B loved the idea. But, how would I create such a thing? And, where would I find the right materials?

So, I put the idea on hold for over a year, instead crafting a Festive Fall Grapevine Wreath able to hang from September through Thanksgiving. It wasn’t until late summer that I found inspiration to create a pirate wreath. Who would have imagined it would come in the form of a unpainted birdhouse?

Crafting a Shipshape Pirate Wreath

Originally, I envisioned a large skeleton — dressed as a pirate — with his legs dangling below the black grapevine wreath. Sitting in his lap, would be an open treasure chest spilling over with pieces of eight and jewels. But, I couldn’t find a 36″ skeleton in early August when I made the pirate wreath.


 

 

You see, I needed to finish it before Sistah B and her husband came to Pittsburgh to drive mom back home to Charleston.

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While shopping for an unfinished treasure chest, I came across an unfinished pirate ship birdhouse (Michaels). It was just the right size to fit within the grapevine wreath. Most importantly, it was lightweight.

Materials
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  • Black grapevine wreath 
  • Unpainted pirate ship birdhouse
  • Small skeleton dressed as a pirate
  • Piece of fishnet
  • About 5-6 feet of blue deco mesh
  • Assorted black Halloween picks or florals
  • Skeleton motif black ribbon
  • Small seashells
  • Black wire
  • Black pipe cleaners
  • Assorted color acrylic paints

Equipment: wire cutters, scissors, ruler, small paint brushes, glue gun and sticks.

Step 1: Paint Pirate Ship

Back at home, I quickly got to work painting the pirate ship, while outside on the covered porch.

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I already had lots of paints, having taken a Beginning Acrylic Painting class last winter — before the pandemic shut down everything. Here’s the painting of my Sweet Scottie Dog.

After letting the paint dry overnight, I mixed up a grey wash and brushed it over most of the pirate ship. That gave it a bit of an aged look.

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Painting the ship was the most time-intensive part of the project. After that, it went together pretty quickly.

Step 2: Making Waves

For the water, I used a short length of grayish-blue mesh. It was leftover from another sailboat wreath, DIY Anchors Aweigh.

making-deco-mesh-waves

To create the water swells, I simply twisted short pieces of wire around the fabric in several places. I played with the mesh for a bit, until I liked what I had.

Waves roll up on the right, titling the pirate ship at an awkward angle on the bottom of the sea.

3. Attach Ship

To batten down the hatches and hold the ship in place was a little tricky. Thin black wire attaches the shipwreck to the grapevine wreath in numerous places. Masts and railings were wrapped with wire as circled in red below.

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The pirate ship more floats in place (pun not intended!), than is held in a fixed position. It helped to work on top of a large piece of cardboard when securing the ship to the wreath.

For added support and embellishment, I also took a piece of fishnet and attached it between the ship and grapevine wreath.

4. Add Spooky Seaweed

When I was looking through the Halloween florals and picks at Michaels, I found glittery black sprays that resembled spooky seaweed.


 

 

One spray is draped across the “water” mesh, with two others attached upright, on the left side of the pirate wreath. I simply tucked the sprays into the grapevine, and applied a little glue to hold them in place.

5. Add Pirate Skeleton

I had thought I’d have to craft an eye patch, hat and other accessories to turn a skeleton into a buccaneer. But, while running an errand, I found a skeleton already appropriately dressed at CVS of all places — blimey!

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To attach the scallywag, I simply wrapped the thin black wire around the skeleton and grapevine in a few strategic spots.

Halloween-pirate-wreath-skeleton-scream

I also opened his mouth, as if yelling, “aaaarrrrgggghhhh!” It’s similar to the skeleton’s expression in last year’s Jaw Dropping Chandelier and DIY Halloween Decor: It’s a Scream.

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Additionally, I positioned one arm across the top of the pirate wreath, leaving his feet dangling — as if the skeleton was on the lookout in the crow’s nest.

6. Add Ribbon & Black Embellishments

Next, I took some leftover skeleton ribbon and made two “bow” flourishes. Each was attached at a poof point in the mesh water.

left-hand-skeleton-bow

Two different types of twisty black picks were used to embellish the center of each ribbon bow.

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Finally, I glued a trio of small shells along the bottom of the pirate wreath. I thought they created a little pop of contrast against the black grapevine.

Weigh Anchor & Raise the Jolly Roger!

Although I took work-in-progress pictures on my white kitchen door, the pirate wreath was specifically designed for impact on Sistah B’s blue front door.

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I’m particularly pleased with how well the blue of the mesh matches the door. And, instead of traditional Halloween orange, small accents of red contrast against the black grapevine.

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Most importantly, my sister and BIL were absolutely delighted with the surprise pirate wreath gift.

Yo ho ho!

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Putting My Best Foot Forward

As you read this, I have under a week to go before outpatient foot surgery. What will follow, is a hard cast to the knee for about two months, then a walking boot, and two more months of physical therapy. Non-weight-bearing for ten weeks means using crutches, going up and down the stairs on my bottom, and getting around on a knee scooter.

So, I’ve been busy cleaning the house, weeding and preparing the garden beds for winter, stocking the pantry and freezer, and basically getting organized. Unfortunately, grocery shopping, meal preparation, laundry and more are going to fall on dear husband for several months.

black-white-bow-tie-sneaker

Part of my preparations has been to get fitted for a custom orthotic insert. So, I’ve also purchased several pairs of practical, but attractive shoes — even if I’ll only be able to wear one on the right for awhile lol!

What do you think of my new black and white sneakers? Any comfortable shoe brands you’d care to suggest? I see numerous brands advertised online, but am leary to purchase something I can’t try on. For instance, I found that foreign-made label shoes tend to run a half size big.

Spinning Wheels

I’ve been using the time before surgery to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible. That includes going on 6-7 mile rides on my new bike with Mr. Buzz. Yes Rita, I do wear a helmet!

blue-bike-Pittsburgh-Point-fountain

On Sunday we road the Eliza Furnace Trail to the fountain at the Point. That’s where the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers come together to form the Ohio. It also sits across from Heinz Field. People were gathering all along the riverfront and in boats to cheer on the Steelers from outside the stadium — but socially distancing and wearing masks.

We headed back up river and across the Hot Metal Bridge to the South Side. It was a gorgeous, summerlike day for brunch alfresco at the always fun Doublewide (previously a vintage gas station).

Halloween-gothic-glam-table-place-setting

I’ll likely be taking about two weeks off from blogging. Please join me for a Halloween Gothic Glam Table on October 13th. Hope you’ll stop by and keep me company for a spell.

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