It’s time for the December wreath (so sorry this one is a little late) in our Year of Wreaths series with Laura Howard! Read on for her embroidered snowflakes wreath tutorial and pick up a kit here! Take it away, Laura!
The final wreath in this seasonal series is a little bit late (sorry!) but hopefully worth the wait. You could make it as a winter wreath to add a bit of sparkle to these dark and gloomy days, or stitch it ready for next Christmas!
This month’s wreath features embroidered snowflakes, silver sequins and seed beads, and some fabulous metallic thread. As well as making the full wreath, you could also use the snowflake embroidery patterns to sew felt snowflake ornaments, stitch a snowflake in a small embroidery hoop or sew snowflakes onto anything you fancy!
You will need:
*The pattern sheet provided (click here to download and print the PDF)
*A 30cm polystyrene ring wreath base
*Dark blue yarn to wrap the wreath (I used 2 balls of Rico Essentials Soft Merino Aran in Navy)
*Navy blue wool blend felt
*White stranded embroidery thread
*Gutermann Metallic Effect Thread (shade 41)
*Assorted silver sequins and beads
*Sewing thread (any colour)
*A biro or other fine point pen
*A sewing needle and pins
*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. Start by embroidering the snowflakes: one of each design included on the pattern sheet. Trace the snowflake patterns onto tissue paper with a biro or other fine pen then cut them out as shown.
2. Tack each paper pattern to a piece of dark blue felt, using sewing thread and a few large stitches. Keep your stitches clear of the pattern so they’ll be easy to remove later.
3. Stitch the snowflakes with white stranded embroidery thread, using backstitch and three of the six strands. When stitching, take care not to trail threads near the edges of the pattern and across gaps where you’ll be cutting later.
4. Remove the tacking threads and carefully tear away the tissue paper to reveal the stitched designs. Use a pin to remove the smaller pieces of paper from the stitches – this is a bit fiddly, so take your time.
5. Wrap the wreath base with dark blue yarn. I used two balls of Rico Essentials Soft Merino Aran in Navy.
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.
6. Now it’s time to add some sparkle! Tie the loose end of the metallic thread to the wreath base, knotting it securely at the back. Then wrap the thread around the wreath, creating a pattern of silver lines on the dark background. I worked my way around the wreath twice, adding a second set of lines between the ones shown in the first picture but you can add all the lines in one go if you prefer. When you’ve finished adding silver thread, tie a knot securely at the back and trim any loose ends of thread.
7. Cut out the embroidered snowflakes.
8. Arrange the snowflakes on the wreath base, as shown, and pin them in position.
9. Cut a long piece of the metallic thread. Tie one end of the thread to the wreath base close to one of the outermost snowflakes, knotting it securely at the back.
Thread a sewing needle with the loose end then gradually wrap this thread around the wreath, filling in the gaps between the lines of thread already in place and adding beads and sequins to the thread as you work. I added 1-3 embellishments per line, covering the front of the wreath with an even but random-looking spread of beads and sequins.
When the thread is running out use the sewing needle to sew into the yarn at the back of the wreath a few times to secure the thread, then knot it securely and trim any excess.
Repeat this process to gradually cover the wreath base with sparkles.
Once you reach the snowflakes again, wrap the thread underneath the snowflakes and add just a few beads and sequins in the gaps between them.
10. One by one, glue the snowflakes to the wreath. Begin by moving the pin to one half of the snowflake, lift the other half of the snowflake up then apply glue underneath it. I added glue to the snowflake itself but you could add the glue to the wreath base instead. Carefully press that section of the snowflake in position on the wreath, remove the pin then glue the other half.
I glued my snowflakes so they curve slightly around the shape of the wreath base. For a different look, just add one dab of glue to the centre of each snowflake so the edges remain unattached.
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.
Hang the finished wreath directly from a hook or a nail, or hang it using a leftover piece of the dark blue yarn.