A Year of Wreaths: January Rainbow Wreath by Laura Howard

We’re practically giddy about our new blog series with Laura Howard: A Year of Wreaths! I dreamed up the idea while sadly putting away our Christmas wreath and wishing I had something new to put up – but it’s not super common to put up a wreath in January. And why not? Wreaths are the best! And Laura’s ideas are so much fun. This happy wreath now hangs proudly on our shop door.

Read on for her January tutorial and if you’d like to take a class with Laura at our West Hampstead shop, you can sign up for her Felt Weather Mobile class on 28 January! Take it away, Laura!

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes

Every month this year I’ll be sharing a tutorial for making a seasonal wreath. First up: a bright and cheerful rainbow wreath to banish the January blues!

These happy colours are perfect for brightening up dull winter days and I’ve added a bit of sparkle too. All the supplies you’ll need are available from The Village Haberdashery – follow the links below for individual items or click here for the January wreath kit.

You will need:
The template sheet provided (click here to download and print the PDF)
*A 30cm polystyrene ring wreath base
*Wool blend felt in seven rainbow colours: Red, Hallows Eve, Banana Cream, Chartreuse, Blue Bayou, Wisteria and Cotton Candy
*Black and White wool blend felt
*Gutermann Metallic Effect Thread #41
*Sewing scissors
*Embroidery scissors
*Sewing needles and pins
*Glue gun and glue
*A heat-proof mat for the glue gun
*Newspaper to protect your workspace from any glue drips
*Optional: a piece of string or co-ordinating ribbon for hanging the wreath

To make the wreath:
1. Use the templates provided to cut out 7 small felt circles (one of each rainbow colour), 7 large black felt circles and 7 white felt letters spelling out the word “welcome”.

Tip: embroidery scissors are perfect for cutting out small felt shapes!

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes

2. One by one, sew each small circle to a backing large circle. Use Gutermann Metallic Effect thread and whip stitch, keeping your stitches as even as possible.

Tip: this metallic thread is easy to sew with, but I’d recommend cutting a shorter length of thread than you’d usually work with to make sure it doesn’t tangle.

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
3. Add one letter to each circle in colour order: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink. Use more of the metallic thread to sew each letter in place, sewing around the inside of the letters with backstitch as shown.

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes

4. Use the templates provided to cut the felt strips for wrapping the wreath. Cut 4 standard strips and 1 wide strip from red felt. Then cut 5 standard strips from each of the other 6 rainbow colours.

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
5. Beginning with the wide red strip, position the felt pieces on top of the wreath base as shown. Add the pieces in colour order (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink), overlapping them slightly so that none of the polystyrene ring base will show through at the edges of the wreath.

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
6. When you’ve added all the pieces and are happy with the arrangement, insert pins to hold the felt in position.

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
7. Turn the wreath over. One by one, wrap the felt pieces around the wreath and pin the ends in place.

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
The back of your wreath will now look something like this:

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
8. Use a glue gun to secure the ends of the felt at the back of the wreath. Work on one piece of felt at a time, removing the pin(s) holding it in place and folding the felt back slightly. Carefully add a dab or two of hot glue to the wreath base, then very carefully press the felt down into position,.

IMPORTANT: take care when working with the glue gun as the glue gets very hot! Always place it on a heat-proof mat when not in use, and use newspaper or other scrap paper to protect your workspace. Work slowly, squeezing the gun with care to control the amount of glue you’re using and keeping your fingers out of the way of the hot glue.

Tip: you may find it helpful to test glue a couple of scrap pieces of felt before you start, so you can see how much glue you need to use to hold each piece in place.

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
9. Once the glue has dried, turn the wreath over and remove the pins from the front. The front of your wreath will now look something like this:

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
10. Arrange the felt circles on the wreath as shown, spelling out the word “welcome”. The edges of the circles should touch but not overlap each other. When you’re happy with the layout, pin the circles in place.

Tip: position the circles so they help hide the join where you started and finished wrapping the wreath.

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
11. Use the glue gun to attach the circles to the wreath. One by one, remove a pin and set aside a circle. Add two or three dabs of glue on the wreath then carefully press the circle back in place. Make sure to keep the letters neatly aligned as you glue them in place!

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
12. If needed, cut a length of string or co-ordinating ribbon and knot it securely around the top of the wreath. Use this to hang the wreath in your chosen spot.

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