A Year of Wreaths: September Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath by Laura Howard
This month’s wreath design celebrates the arrival of autumn! It features berry red yarn, a bit of sparkle, and a cluster of felt oak leaves stitched with the opening line of John Keats’ famous poem ‘To Autumn’: “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”.
You’ll find all the supplies you need to make the wreath in The Village Haberdashery shop – follow the links below for individual items or click here for the September wreath kit.
You will need:
*The template sheet (click here to download and print the PDF)
*A 30cm polystyrene ring wreath base
*Two balls of Rico Essentials Soft Merino Aran yarn, in Brick Red
*Beige wool blend felt
*Dark red stranded embroidery thread
*Gutermann Metallic Effect thread (I used shade 36)
*Some sewing thread (any colour will do)
*White tissue paper (or tracing paper, or baking paper)
*Optional: embroidery scissors (these are great for cutting out felt shapes)
*Sewing needles and pins
*A fine dark pen
*A glue gun and glue
*A heat-proof mat for the glue gun
*Newspaper to protect your workspace from any glue drips
To make the wreath:
1. Wrap the wreath base with Rico Essentials Soft Merino Aran yarn in Brick Red, or another dark red yarn.
Secure the yarn with a knot at what will become the back of your wreath. Begin wrapping the yarn around the wreath base, passing the ball of yarn through the hole in the centre of the wreath as you wrap the yarn around the outside. Hide the loose yarn end under the yarn as you wrap, and make sure that you’re not leaving any gaps where the white wreath base shows through. Continue wrapping, gradually covering the whole of the wreath base, and switch to the second ball when needed. Wrapping the wreath takes a while, so I highly recommend wrapping your wreath while watching a film or some episodes of your favourite TV show.
Once the whole wreath base has been covered with yarn, tie a knot securely at the back and carefully trim the loose end so it won’t be visible when the wreath is hung up.
2. Use the templates provided to cut out the leaf shapes from beige felt.
3. Trace the words on the template sheet onto pieces of white tissue paper (or tracing paper or baking paper) with a fine dark pen.
4. Position one of the words on its corresponding leaf and secure it with large tacking stitches.
5. Embroider the letters with dark red embroidery thread and backstitch, using half the strands of the thread (so for six-stranded thread just use three strands).
6. Remove the tacking stitches then carefully tear away the paper – you may need to use a pin to remove any remaining small pieces.
7. Use Gutermann Metallic Effect Thread to stitch veins on the leaf, freehand. Sew a line up the centre of the leaf, sewing between the lettering. Then add lines to each “point” of the leaf, as shown. You could use backstitch for this but I used running stitch, sewing a line and then sewing back along it filling in the gaps between the stitches.
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.
8. Repeat steps 4-7 to embroider all the leaves, as shown.
9. Position the leaves on the wreath and pin them in place.
10. Use a glue gun to attach the leaves to the wreath. One by one remove the pins and add a small amount of glue to the back of each leaf, pressing it carefully in position on the wreath base.
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.
Hang the finished wreath directly from a hook or a nail, or hang it using a leftover piece of the dark red yarn.