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Crafts for Terminally Uncrafty: Gothic Halloween Wreath

I was browsing through a copy of “This Old House” magazine, again dreaming of the wonderful improvements I’m going to make to my own house, when I happened across this Halloween wreath for the front door.

I love Halloween. The decorating is so much fun and I have at least two boxes full of really good decorations that we pull out every year and go to town. The kids love it and are already asking when we’re going to get started. Well, we already have, because when I saw this wreath I immediately thought, “I can do that! That’s EASY, and it’s different, too.” Off I went to the store to get the needed supplies for the Gothic Halloween Wreath.

Yep, I made it and it only took me one trip to Michael’s, three trips to Home Depot and — because of the numerous trips — two days. I’ll lay it out for you so you don’t have the same pitfall I did. ut rest assured, it is a pretty easy wreath to do.

Here’s what you’ll need:

• A round styrofoam wreath base. There are some that are round in shape, but the edges are flat. Get the rounded-edge one.
• Flat black spray paint.
• A spool of wired ribbon that goes with the decor. Your choice of how creepy.
• Some kind of scary varmint to put into the wreath. I picked a buzzard, but the magazine used a raven. An owl would be good too.
• Black cable ties from the hardware store. You’ll need about 50 each of the 8-inch and the 11.6-incf.

Step one: Spray paint the wreath black. I used an opened coat hanger and stuck one end of it slightly into the foam then looped the other end over a plant hook in the backyard. I did two coats and it dried in about 10 minutes.

Step two: While it dries, make your bow. I used just about the entire spool of ribbon for mine. I have finally figured out how to make a fluffy bow which I will detail below, but you can make any kind you like. The one in the magazine picture was not as fluffy nor as big, but I like mine better, personally! I also plan to go back and add some red ribbon hanging down (hot glue) for blood!

Step three: Wire the bow and the critter onto your wreath at the bottom with some florist’s wire. Just twist it tight and it should stay.

Step four: The cable ties. Simply wrap them around the wreath in different clusters to make scary spikes, whatever kind of pattern, or non-pattern, you like. Not getting the right size nor enough of the cable ties is what threw off my wreath-making schedule. As I was wrapping the cable ties, I took one and slid it underneath two others I had already wrapped at the top, then cinched it loosely to make a hanging loop.

That’s it! Enjoy your gothic Halloween wreath. You’ll be the terror of the neighborhood!

How to make a fluffy wreath bow

Take the end of your ribbon and make a small loop. Pinch it together in one hand with the rest of the ribbon trailing out past it with the decorated side face-down.

Here’s the trick: Behind the loop, twist the ribbon over so the decorated side is now face up. Hold it tight.

Make a loop and bring it back behind to meet the clump. Grab it, then holding tight again, twist to get the decorated side face-up. Repeat this, going from side to side until you have the number of loops you want.

It gets a little hard with all the twisting and holding in place, but practice makes perfect.

Finish off with a pipe cleaner or wire twist. You’ll only have one tail hanging down at this point. I cut another and just wire it in. Cut the tail ends on an angle or chevron pattern to finish nicely, adjust the loops where you want them and voila!