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Plastic Bag Wreath Tutorial

I wanted to get a black wreath like this one from Michaels from which to hang the Hallowe'en decoration that caerbannog made me for the xstitchexchange Hallowe'en exchange. Unfortunately, after seeing this type of wreath in the store a month or so ago, I haven't been able to find one since. Would you believe that the Hallowe'en decorations are already being moved aside for the Christmas ones? October 31st hasn't even passed yet! Sheesh!

Frustrated in my search, I decided to make my own wreath instead. Way back when I was five or six years old, I remember making a white plastic bag wreath -- or rather, helping my mother make one. That wreath was a staple of our Christmas decorations for years to come. I figured that if I could make one of these wreaths in Christmas colours, why not in Hallowe'en ones?

1) Gather your materials:

- plastic bags
- a wire clothes hanger
- a sharp pair of scissors

I used three 66cm X 82.5cm (26" X 32.5") black garbage bags, but you can use just about any kind of plastic bag in any colour, depending on your preferences. If you want to be environmentally conscious, you can use recycled grocery/shopping bags.

2) Bend the hanger into a circle. It doesn't have to be perfect, as the volume of the wreath will hide any imperfections.

3) Fold your plastic bag so that you can cut more than one strip at a time. I used strips that were about 4cm wide by 17cm long (1.6" x 6.7"). For a fuller wreath, cut longer strips; for a skinnier wreath, cut shorter strips.

I cut one bag at a time so that I was sure I wouldn't waste any bags.

4) Using a simple single knot, tie each of the strips onto the hanger. Tie them snugly, but not so tight that the plastic stretches.

5) This is what my wreath looked like after one bag worth of plastic strips.

6) After two bags worth of plastic strips.

7) After a little less than three bags worth of plastic strips.

8) All of your knots will have probably been tied in the same direction, leaving a flat ridge where the hanger is. Twist and fluff the plastic strips to hide this ridge.

9) If you don't like the look of the hanger top or, like me, you didn't use a matching hanger, you can snip the top off. If you don't have a pair of wire snips, you can bend the hanger back and forth until it snaps off.

10) There are many ways that you can decorate your wreath: hang miniature ornaments on it, weave beaded garland through it, add miniature lights (make sure they're LEDs -- the plastic may melt under higher temperatures), etc. You can also leave the wreath plain as it is. Then you're done!

For those who are interested in the lovely little pinkeep at the center, caerbannog informs me that it was made from the Batty Hatty & Boo pattern from Just Nan. It was finished as a pinkeep; you can find great instructions for how to make one at Stitching Together -- Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, Step 4, Step 5, and Step 6.


( 4 comments — Discuss )
Oct. 7th, 2007 09:35 pm (UTC)
Cool, looks good!! :)
Oct. 7th, 2007 10:30 pm (UTC)
Who would ever think that something so pretty could be made from trash bags? :)
Oct. 8th, 2007 01:05 am (UTC)
This is a neat idea. You have done a fabulous job.
Oct. 8th, 2007 01:14 am (UTC)
Again with the craft rocking!

( 4 comments — Discuss )