Straw Form and Laurel Wreath
Padding a wire wreath with straw or hay creates a full, rounded base that can support a variety of materials. Leaves, dried flowers, or even clamshells can then be pinned or glued onto the soft form -- although a straw wreath is so beautiful, you may want to hang it on its own. You'll need several armfuls of straw, which is readily available in bales at garden centers, riding stables, and some farmer's markets.
- For straw form: Straw
- Floral wire
- Double-wire wreath form
- Wire clippers
- For laurel wreath: 350 laurel leaves
- 1 1/4-inch floral pins
- Gold or silver spray paint
Begin by attaching floral wire on a paddle to the crossbar of a double-wire wreath form. Pack a handful of straw or hay against the form: Wind wire tightly around the straw and frame at 1-inch intervals all around the wreath. Repeat until the form is completely covered.
When the straw form is complete, cut floral wire with clippers, and twist ends together at the back of the form.
Use scissors or clippers to trim the straw for a smooth finish. Attach whatever materials to the form you wish. To hang it from a nail, attach a length of wire to the wires at the back of the wreath.
This laurel wreath is just one of the countless applications for a straw wreath form. You'll need about 350 laurel leaves (laurel branches are available at florists' shops). Mist the leaves with water. Make an 18-inch round straw-wreath form.
With 1 1/4-inch floral pins, attach leaves (near their stems) to the straw form in a row. Attach another row of leaves, overlapping half of the first row. Continue until form is completely covered.
Mist wreath, and wrap tightly with plastic for at least 4 hours; this will flatten the leaves around the form. Remove plastic before hanging. To extend the life of the wreath, spray-paint the dry leaves gold or silver.
To make the bows, you'll need 11 feet of 3-inch-wide ribbon and 8 inches of 1-inch-wide ribbon. Cut the wider ribbon into eight 16-inch-long pieces. Cut the narrow ribbon into four 2-inch-long pieces.
Cross two pieces of wide ribbon, then place a piece of narrow ribbon where they intersect. Pinch the intersection, turn it over, and secure with a few stitches. Trim excess.
Make three more bows. Evenly space the bows around the wreath, pinning ends of the wide ribbon to the underside of the form.