Friday, December 15, 2017

DIY Letter Wreath

This wreath is inspired by the scene in Harry Potter where the letters are flying through the air at the Dursley's house. It's such a whimsical scene, but also so heartwarming to watch a little boy realize someone cares for him so much. There's something about the warm fuzzy feeling I get from Harry Potter that matches up with how I feel about Christmas, so I feel like this is a perfect DIY for this season.


Supplies:
envelopes, a floral foam wreath, floral wire, Model Magic
scissors, duct tape, paint, paint brush, wire cutters


For this project you will be making around 30 envelopes, half of them with the front facing front (addresses) and half of them back facing front (wax seals).

Step one: Your "wax seals" will take a little while to dry so it's best to make them first. I chose Model Magic for this step because it dries fairly quickly and the end result is incredibly lightweight. To create the seals, I rolled out a disk of white Model Magic about a nickel wide then squished it with a spray bottle cap. To make the center I used three pieces of a thin strip of dough to form an H and lightly pushed it into the center. 
For my small wreath I used around 15 seals.


Step two:  Time to address your envelopes! You will be addressing half of the envelopes you have (I made 15). I tried to remain authentic to the movie, but it would be so cute to use your child's name instead! If handwriting these envelopes intimidates you, there are ways to simplify it. The first line is the biggest, and the rest are smaller. If you are feeling brave, the H and the P are a little fancier than the rest of the letters. 
Honestly, as long as you get the format of name, specific location (i.e. "cupboard under the stairs"), and then the normal address underneath, it will look great! Once all the envelopes are on the wreath, no one will notice if you've made a small mistake. Believe me, I made plenty.


Step three: Paint your seals! To get the perfect shade of dark red I used a combination of a very small amount of black and a much larger amount of red paint. It took a few layers to get the color right. Make sure to use a glossy acrylic as your final layer to achieve the wax seal look.


Step four: Get your wire ready. For the size of envelopes and wreath I had I cut 30 roughly 3-inch strips. They don't have to be any specific length, so you don't have to bother measuring if you don't want to. 


Step four: Time to finish your stack of envelopes. You'll be hot gluing your seals to the back of the remaining envelopes. Seal the envelope, then dab some hot glue onto your "wax" seal. Place it in the center of the flap, and let dry.


Step five: To prepare your envelopes to be attached to your wreath, you will need to tape a wire to the back of the envelope (which on the seal envelopes will actually be the front.) I used about an inch of duct tape in the center of the floral wire to attach it, then bent up the sides. We are trying to create two points for the envelope to attach to wreath. This will give us more stability and control over the angle of the letters. 
I think it's better to leave a few of the envelopes without wires at this stage so you can specifically place the wires where you need them while you're constructing the project.


Step six: This is by far the most daunting step, but it's not as hard as it seems. First, set out a rough design of where you want the envelopes to go. A few things to keep in mind: you want your envelopes to be a little chaotic, it will make the wreath look fuller. To do this, make sure you are placing them at different angles and even putting some upside-down. Also, remember to alternate envelopes with seals and envelopes with addresses, it will help guide the eye around the wreath when someone looks at it. When you are happy with the layout, all you have to do is push the floral wire into the foam one by one. As you can see, the back will look a little ugly. 
Don't be afraid to add and take away as you go! I even found a few bare spots after I had hung the wreath, so I took it down and added a couple of envelopes.

Step seven: Wrap some floral wire around your foam to give your wreath something to hang on. And you're done!



I'm very happy with how this project turned out. It was much cheaper than a real wreath would be, and I can keep it to hang up for years to come. I love that it's a subtle nod to one of my favorite books, but it would be just as beautiful if it was done with another theme. Love letters could be so cute, and a travel and air mail theme would be gorgeous.



If you were drawn here by the Harry Potter fan in you, 
be sure to check out my Monster Book Snacks!

http://www.hellowildthings.com/2016/11/monster-book-snacks.html


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