And this post was just going to be a "oooh, look at the pretty wreath I made, here's the link to the instructions" kind of post. But honestly, the instructions kinda suck, so I figured I might as well go into some more detail, in case anyone else pinned this wreath and is interested in making it themselves.
But first, this was what I had pinned:
Adorable, right? The color scheme is my favorite part, since it's less traditional, and so bright and cheery. Perfect for contrasting on our black colored front door.
So, I glanced at the directions, to see how much felt I would need, and proceeded to buy a 16 inch door sized foam wreath and four colors of felt. Luckily though I had bought an extra sheet of each color (and even more of the red to make the poinsettia)....remember how I'd said above that the instructions weren't great?
Well, you can find the instructions here, but this is all it said:
Cut seven 1x8-inch strips each from turquoise blue, light blue, red, and lime felt using pinking shears. Referring to the photo, wrap strips around a foam wreath with each strip slightly overlapping the previous strip; pin strips to back of wreath. Follow the instructions below to make the poinsettia flower; pin the felt poinsettia to the wreath.Notice anything missing? Like, uh, what size of wreath to buy to accompany your seven 1x8-inch strips of felt? Yeah, thank goodness I was smart enough to think about it when I got out all of my supplies. No way was 7 strips that are 1 inch wide x 4 colors of felt going to cover a 16 inch wreath. They must have used a 10 inch wreath, to allow for overlap.
And this really ticked me off.
Isn't it the jobs of whoever is publishing these tutorials to be thorough and accurate? It's not like this is on some random blog, it's on a major magazine's website! I really enjoy making tutorials myself, and this just really annoyed me, to leave off something so simple as the size of the wreath. And of course, this comes after I was just burned on the last project I worked on, which came from a Martha Stewart tutorial, and the measurements given were completely off. Like, off by double. So I'm feeling a little bitter about the integrity of the inspiration projects I've been finding lately.
Oh, and by the way, I totally plan to write about my other failed project, I just want to figure out a way to redo it so it works first. You know, provide anyone reading this with something accurate!
So anyway. Back to the wreath.
I had to figure out if I could even still make it, given the amount of felt I had on hand. So instead of doing math, I took the shortcut, and just measured the circumference of the wreath with a tape measure. Rounding up, it was about 51 inches. So I figured I could do seven strips of 2 inch wide pieces of felt, which would equal 56 inches, and give me enough room for overlap.
Once I figured out the correct amount and size of felt I needed, the rest was mostly smooth sailing. I used a pen and a 2 inch piece of scrap card stock to mark my cut lines on the back side of the felt.
(Yep, circle punches and dark wood grain paper are involved in yet another in progress project I've got in the works!)
Pinking shears were kind of a pain on the felt, but it worked best if I cut shorter sections at a time.
Another note about the instructions on the BH&G site...I'm not sure what is up with the directive to pin the felt to the foam wreath. I guess maybe if you want to reuse the wreath for something else in the future, it makes sense. But I sure know myself--after all this work, no way am I going to want to take it apart! Spending $8.99 on foam the next time I want to make a wreath sounds a whole lot easier in my book, so I just went ahead and hot glued the felt on the foam wreath.
Also, yet another note, the 8 inch long strips in the original tutorial don't work on a 16 inch wreath either. I cut my strips to the full 9 inch width of the felt, and they barely overlapped in the back. Just one more measurement issue to keep in mind!
Completely wrapped and glued into place:
Requisite cat photo. She was "helping" by nestling in my scrap garbage bag on the floor next to me.
The poinsettia tutorial wasn't quite as bad, although it lacked photos to really illustrate the steps. But at least it came with a PDF template (found at the bottom of the tutorial page I linked to above) for you to cut out to make your shapes. The main issue I had was, and maybe this comes down to just being lazy, but I more think it's my need to not deal with overly complicated, unnecessary steps, but they wanted you to cut out the patterns on paper, then iron something called freezer paper (WTH even is that?!?) onto your felt, then trace the patterns on the freezer paper, and only then can you cut out your felt and remove the freezer paper stuff.
Ok, I'm not exactly a genius or anything but....nobody is gonna see the back side of these. And who the heck has "freezer paper" handy, or even knows what it is (hmmm, I'm beginning to think I should probably Google it).
So chalk it up to laziness or whatever, but I just traced the pattern on the back of the damn felt, cut it out, and called it a day. No freezer paper required (for inquiring minds).
Then, making the poinsettia was pretty easy, although like I said, I would have enjoyed more photos to illustrate the steps. You're welcome. This is how you pinch the leaves and glue them (except again, I simplified their instructions, and instead of using fabric glue and a clothes pin to hold the pinched part, I just went straight for hot glue that dried in 10 seconds, and didn't have to worry about holding anything in place).
Glue the leaves to the bottom star shape, add something for the center of the flower (I used pearls, since I thought they looked prettier than the recommended circles of white felt. Also, I did not have white felt on hand).
Sigh. Is anyone else getting tired of my complaints? I am. And I sure was when following the steps to make this wreath. The last thing they left off was that you need a way to hang it. Unless of course you're just going to shove the nail on your door straight into the foam? Not a good solution to me, but hey, whatever works I guess! For my wreath though, I just made a little loop out of scrap felt and hot glued it to the back, top of the wreath. Instant hanging hook.
Thank goodness, I was done! Ready to hang it on the front door.
I really hope the rest of the projects I'm planning on working on over the next couple of weeks don't turn out to be so incomplete or a pain to figure out. Last night I came out of Michaels Crafts $90 poorer, so I've got a lot in the works!
Have you ever come across poorly done or incomplete tutorials online? Does it annoy you as much as this one annoyed me? :)