Halloween Wreath

Halloween is one of those holidays you either love or hate.

Unless you’re me, in which case you both love and hate it. In a related note, I also both love and hate exercise, John Grisham novels, Spanx and America’s Next Top Model.

When it comes to Halloween decorations I’m not big on the cartooney, cutesy stuff.  Think more Addams Family, less Munsters.  For one thing The Addams Family were infinitely more elegant than the Munsters.  Candelabras, smoking cauldrons and marble floored ballrooms.  They had better taste than the Carringtons when you think of it.

Creepy really can be beautiful if you’re focused. And creepy but beautiful was exactly what I wanted for the Halloween wreath I planned to make this year.

So when I eased my way past the people wearing slippers as actual footwear in the Halloween aisle of my local Dollar Store, I had to keep a sharp eye.  Only look at things that had qualities I would have in my house on any given day, let alone Halloween.

What I came away with were some black skulls covered in sparkles, 8 black feather boas and some black cotton gauze.

The Dollar Store didn’t sell any styrofoam wreaths big enough for what I wanted to do, so I hijacked a garbage bin behind a furniture store and grabbed 3 sheets of styrofoam to make my own wreath.

And here’s how I did it and exactly what I used.

Materials

A Few Black Sparkly Skulls – $ 1 each


8 Black Feather Boas – $2 each.

Black Gauze – $1

3 Sheets of Styrofoam – Free

If you choose to make your own styrofoam wreath form because of your excessive cheapness (and laziness … couldn’t be bothered to drive to Michael’s) you have to glue your sheets of styrofoam together.

This way you end up with a nice, thick wreath.  Not an unnice, skinny wreath.

I used 3, 1″ pieces of styrofoam to make a HUGE wreath.  You don’t have to be as excessive as me.  I tend towards excessiveness.

After you glue all your pieces together with regular white glue, let it dry overnight.

The next morning, when you wake up bright and cheery, full of vim and vigour, stretching your arms over your head just like they do in breakfast cereal commercials, your styrofoam will be perfectly adhered, ready for shaping into a wreath.

The first thing you’ll need to do is regress to grade 6 math class and make one of those circle making things out of a string, a pin and a marker.

Do the same thing in the centre with a smaller circle.

Grab the trusty 1970’s electric knife you bought at a church bazaar and get ‘er revved up.  Maybe stretch your arms over your head again, just for good measure.

Cut the outer styrofoam circle.  An electric knife is the easiest way to cut styrofoam.  I’m not saying you won’t have flying balls of styrofoam everywhere.  It just makes it easier.  Be forewarned that you will be trying to clean up styrofoam balls that have static clinged themselves to every part of you and your kitchen.   For the next week.

Good job.  Now your outer circle is cut out perfectly.  I’m quite impressed with you.

Now cut the centre circle out.

In  just moments I’m going to wrap the black feather boas around the wreath, but to make sure they stay where you want them you should cut some wire into 2 inch pieces …

… and then bend them over so they’re like modified clippy things.

Start wrapping and clipping your boas around the wreath.

When you’ve applied approximately 17 birds worth, you’ll have something that looks like this.

If you need a little more room in the centre of your wreath, just clip away some of the feathers so you have a bigger opening.

Allow the cat to court it’s newfound love for a minute or two then shoo the cat away.

I randomly cut small pieces of the black gauze and then pinned them “pleasingly” on the wreath.  Just wherever I thought it looked good.  It was at this point I had to show some restraint, remembering I wanted a classy and elegant Halloween wreath.  My “excessive” gene had to be stomped down for this one.

Every so often hold your wreath up to see what it’ll look like hanging.

The sparkly skulls I got from the Dollar store had tooling and ribbons around their necks and came on sticks.  However, I didn’t like where the sticks were, so I cut them off …

… and placed them where I wanted them, in the backs of the skulls.  I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love these sparkly styrofoam skulls.  They make me want to grin and stretch my arms above my head like I’m about to have a delicious bowl of sugar cereal.

This is another place I had to show some restraint.  If you want to know the truth, I actually bought 8 skulls expecting to use them all and thought it was entirely possible I’d need to go buy more.  But when it came down to it the wreath actually looked better with only a few skulls.  Too many of them and they weren’t as noticeable.

Hang it on the door, bat your eyelashes at  Gomez and call it a night.

Oh yes!  And I put mini-lights into it for nighttime viewing.

If you plan on doing this yourself  for Halloween keep a couple of things in mind.  The wreath will end up costing you $20 – $25 depending on where you get your supplies but you can use it year after year.  So all in all it’s pretty inexpensive.  Even if it costs you $30 … it isn’t disposable so that’s a deal and a half really.  It’ll last you as long as you can keep your cats from humping it to death.

Also, improvise.  If you can’t get feather boas, use all black gauze.  If you can’t find sparkly skull heads, use crows or spiders or anything else that gives you a tight squeeze, cool breeze … leaves you with the shiverees  Don’t worry if you can’t find the exact same materials I have.  Just get things you like.   As you can see, I happen to think the wreath looks best if it’s monochromatic.  An all white version of this would also be beautiful and unexpected.

And on *that* very Martha Stewart note … happy wreathing.

Love Morticia.


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132 Comments

  1. Shea says:

    You have me wishing my dollar store was open 24 hours. Love this!

  2. Pati says:

    Awesome! I too hate cutesy…this is perfect. I usually harvest big branches and do my front door with spiders and webs. Thanks for the great idea and post!… I just hope our dollar store has some comparable stuff.

  3. Rebecca says:

    Man, I finally beat you to something! I did a black feather boa wreath last year, and just remade it a couple of days ago because I took it apart to use the form. I, also being cheap and lazy, made this one, but I just used one skinny sheet of foam core, and once the boas are wrapped around it, it looks really full. I didn’t embellish it at all, and I like it that way, but your skulls are lovely! Typing the word “boas” gave me an idea for next year’s wreath – snakes!

  4. Liz says:

    The only thing you left out of this post was how horrendous it feels cutting styrofoam (or polystyrene if you don’t live on the North American continent).

    Squeeeeeeeky squeeeky. It’s making me clench my teeth just thinking about it.

  5. Liz says:

    oh, the wreath looks awesome by the way. Really awesome.

  6. Sam says:

    I so admire you types over the pond who really make a celebration out of Halloween. Sadly in Britain that would be set fire to and posted through your letter box, closely followed by some dog shit. Either that or held to ransom by a scary youth demanding a ‘treat’ for its return, which would probably be £50 or your jewellery!

  7. Ana says:

    I love it!!

  8. That is beautiful!! I think I may have to invest in this… I’ve found SO many thing I want to make this year…. some of them are just going to have to wait until NEXT year!! LOL

  9. Michelle says:

    Very cool! If I can get remotely organized I am definitely going to try this! You are absolutely right about those skulls – they are awesome! I can’t believe you found them at the dollar store!

  10. Steph says:

    Great wreath! And just as creative (more) than the overpriced ones in the store!

    I wish more of us would realize our creative potential. Just get some cheap stuff, and play with it a bit. You’ll be surprised what happens!

  11. Tonia says:

    I love it. I’m always drooling over high priced wreaths, but can’t bring myself to spend the money on them. I like to decorate more for fall than Halloween. I’m feeling crafty now. Thanks for the inspiration.

  12. Karen O. says:

    This is fabulous! I love Halloween, but I think that like you, too often I find the decorations gaudy and ridiculous. This would be awesome hanging on the front door of my house. Thanks, so much! 😀

  13. Mary C says:

    Well Done!!!

  14. Natalie says:

    Hahaha, that part about the cat in your post was hilarious! 🙂

  15. Kate says:

    Karen, you are a legend….

    • Karen says:

      Kate – I poke myself in the eye at least once a day. And I regularly can’t follow something as simple as a Disney movie. I am not a legend. ~ karen. ow!

  16. Theresa says:

    Gorgeous! I’m thinking crows as I love them and maybe dried berries and vines. I like a touch of nature. But gotta hurry as the holiday is almost upon me

  17. giggle says:

    THIS IS SO CUTE I AM GOING TO GIVE IT A TRY. THE BOA IN RED OR GREEN COULD DO SOMETHING FOR NEXT HOLIDAY!!!

  18. Fifi says:

    Your creativity is terrifyingly inspirational. I bet you give out the best treats on the block, too…
    On my way to Dollarama.

  19. Deb J. says:

    Love the wreath. Gives me ideas for Christmas. Regarding styrofoam, you can cut it on a band saw too – if you have one. And a tip I got from my mother – one way to control (at least a bit) those styrofoam bitties that fly all over the place is to rub yourself down with dryer sheets. They control the static. The spray stuff works too but is harder to find. This trick works with styrofoam peanuts and foam rubber bits as well. Doesn’t solve the whole problem but means you can get the $*!* things off your hands:)

    • jeni says:

      You DO NOT want to rub those dryer sheets on your body. In fact, you do not want to dry your clothes with those sheets. The thing they are good for is to keep mice out of your house. Why do you think mice and insects will not go near them? They are toxic.

  20. This is a great Halloween project. You need your own YouTube DIY channel!

  21. Langela says:

    I am not fond of most Halloween stuff. It is usually gory and gross. But I found your wreath to be quite attractive and elegant in a dark sort of way. Nice job, Karen!

  22. Melanie says:

    I am so relieved to see that I’m not the only person who still has a giant bottle of glue from White Rose (as well as several unopened cellophane bags of glittery pom-poms).

    • Karen says:

      Haaaaa! That made me laugh out loud. I looked at that bottle of glue when I was doing this and thought … I cannot believe I still have this!

      • Katie says:

        Bahaha I also have a number of bottles of White Rose glue pilfered from my highschool art classroom when it was torn down for a renovation! Funny thing is until I read this comment I hadn’t thought of the fact that they were anything unusual!

  23. Adrienne Audrey says:

    It looks awesome!

  24. Oona says:

    I AM TOTALLY STEALING THIS IDEA.

  25. Mary says:

    Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful ideas. Your blog is more than a pleasure to read. It brightens my day and uplifts my spirit. Your writing is honest, humorous, and universal.
    Again, I thank you for letting me (us) into your home and your mind…our most private and precious of places.

    • Cathy says:

      If you love skulls, check out the Sears Wishbook, page 41, skull glassware. I know I’ve spent too much time reading your blog when I think of you while flipping through the catalogue. Thanks for the laughs!!

  26. Josie says:

    Karen – not sure if you’ve ever stumbled upon this website before but I think you’ll just fall in love with it.

    http://dollarstorecrafts.com/

    Thank you for the inspiration!

  27. livelybrowsers says:

    Thanks for good stuff

  28. JennyM says:

    Hmmm… I have an autumn-y wreath going on right now. But I bet I could spice it up with some subtle sparkly skulls and spidery things for next week…

  29. Patti says:

    Did you see the cute little teenie weenie glittery skulls in bags of like, 12 at the dollar store? I bought some skulls myself, which are going in a vase, and I’m dumping some little glitters in, too!

  30. Amy Hadley says:

    That’s the most beautiful, classy creepy wreath I’ve ever seen. Well done.

  31. Annabell says:

    Just beautiful. I’ve been wanting to make one of these and now I see it beautifully done. Any plans on making a centerpiece (hint, hint) ??? I want one of those too but haven’t gotten around to it.
    Thanks!

  32. Anemone says:

    OMG….i swear thats like the sexiest wreath ever…its elegant…wowoowowo…i love it soo much…thank u Karen…u are great…u made me see halloween decor in whole new light…
    cannot beleive how beautiful it looks…seriously

  33. La Maison Fou says:

    I love the wreath, I too am a dollar store diva!

    Love the end results! I too fell victim to the sparkly skulls, you may want to put some of your extras under glass. I stacked several on an aluminum cake stand and topped with a large cloche tpeed dome. Served up skulls…….
    Great to find your blog, via the vamp!
    L.

  34. Danielle says:

    Brilliant!! I love how elegant this is and yet oh so creepy. Now where did I put my boa…

  35. ShawnA says:

    Ok I have to ask, I have not seen a White Rose store in years, and your glue is from white rose. Do the stores still exsist or do you have a huge supply of glue. I know in Barrie I bought a ton of the crafting supplies when they closed, but again that was years ago. Loved the store so if you have found one somewhere please share. Thanks and love your ideas never stop..

    • Karen says:

      ShawnA – Thanks! LOL! Um. Nope. I too bought that glue when White Rose went out of business! It’s HUGE. Unless I build a full sized house out of popsicle sticks … I’ll never get to the bottom of it. ~ karen

  36. Fantastic wreath! I want to share on my blog with a link to you)))

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Jeannie! But don’t get me thinking about Halloween! I’m still trying to savour July! ~ karen

      • Nancy Muritz says:

        My only questions are how large a diamiter is the wreath and did you wrap the boas in and out of the center, like that around? Thanks! I love this and am considering doing it if I can find suitable materials. Nancy

        • Karen says:

          Hi Nancy – I can’t completely remember, but I believe I made the wreath to be around 15″ across. You can make it whatever size you like, really. I did wrap the boa around and around the wreath so he entire wreath was covered. Front and back. I did this because it was going on a glass door and you’d be able to see the back of the wreath. If you’re putting it on a solid wood door and no one will see the back you could just weave the boas around the front and inside of the wreath. Good luck! ~ karen

  37. jodi says:

    I absolutely love this wreath adn I an having trouble finding the skulls. Any suggestions? Thanks.

    • Karen says:

      Jodi – Just leave your search until a little closer to Halloween. You’ll find them everywhere then. Party Planning stores, costume stores, Dollar Stores. 🙂 ~ karen

  38. Jen says:

    I have the exact same electric knife but it was my mother’s. I use it to carve turkey. And foam to make cushions. Yum.

  39. Amy says:

    OOOhhh I love this wreath. I agree with you I so love the Addams Family. Click Click.

  40. Shannon says:

    Love this and love how you did the directions, made me smile, and now because of your wit, I am going to try this, so thank you!

  41. Samantha says:

    How long were the boas you used? I found some on ebay that are really long so wanna make sure I get the right amount.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Samantha – I can’t really remember how long they were but if I were to guess, I’d say arounf 5′ each. Good luck with your wreath! ~ karen!

  42. Shannon says:

    This is jaw-droppingly gorgeous!!!!!! I can’t find feather boas for under $10 EACH at my local craft stores, so I will have to hit the dollar store, tho I never have much luck at those things….hmmm. *fingers crossed*

    • Karen says:

      Shannon – If you’re in Canada go to Dollarama. They have them right now. If you’re in the States, try Dollar Tree or Dollar General. But, Dollarama really is the best. 🙂 ~ karen

  43. Tracy says:

    OK, I almost squealed when I saw this wreath! I love it! I will be totally stealing this idea also. In fact, I purchased the supplies over the weekend. I couldn’t find the glittery skulls, but ended up get small plain ones that I plan to paint black and then glitter. Great idea that was beautifully executed.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Tracy! I was gonna do a new Halloween wreath for this year, but I like my old one so much I might not! ~ karen

  44. Shell says:

    Very cool! I want some glittery skulls now!

  45. lisa says:

    Love ur ideas….u have my mind racing! Great job finding ur site.

  46. Paula says:

    I love this!! I’m making a wreath this morning myself…Using one of those wreaths made out of sticks from Michael’s (It was only about $4), spray painted it silver, and I have a silver bow for it. I was thinking of making ghosts for it. (It’s an idea I saw on another website.) Not sure if I’m going to use the bow now. I like the gauze. Gauze, maybe some snakes spray-painted with white or black glitter spray…Hmmm…Might be a touch creepier. Thanks for the ideas!

  47. Theresa says:

    Love your sense of style and humor! Making this wreath using layers cut from a large sheet of building grade insulation, 4×8′ a sheet is about $14 at Home Depot. Foam sheets from Michaels weren’t big enough and they were pricey. Thanks for sharing!

  48. Beth says:

    Could you be any more brilliant?? I made a wreath out of an old VCR tape. Using the feathers has a much more elegant feel. Look out Halloween 2012..I should be ready then and for sure I’m using this version!! Thanks for sharing..Your the BOMB!!! PS…I’m so jealous of your White Rose glue..wish they were still around!

  49. I love this…..and I’m headed to my dollar store today…..thank you so much for the wonderful tutorial….you are a inspiration…….

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Gloria! Hope you find everything you need. Don’t forget, you can improvise. Doesn’t have to be *exactly* like mine. ~ karen!

  50. Barbara says:

    This is wayyy cool! I love it!. Can’t wait to get started!

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