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Tutorial! Vegan leather notebook cover

We have these really cool packs of vegan leather in stock, but what can we make with them?! We put the question to the super talented Laura Howard and this is the second of four tutorials she’s written for us! Find the first tutorial here.

Take it away Laura…

Vegan Leather Mini Notebook

Make a mini notebook with a faux leather cover to keep it protected in your bag or pocket! These little notebooks are simple to make, and you can easily remove and reuse the leather cover once the notebook is full.

To make the notebook you will need:

* A synthetic leather kit
* A sewing needle
* Sewing scissors
* The notebook templates page one and page two – follow the links here and here to download and print the PDFs
* Coloured card (I used one of the blank cards from this pack)
* Plain or scrap paper
Sewing thread to match the card
* 90 cm yarn in a co-ordinating or contrasting colour (I used Rico Essentials Soft Merino Aran in Berry). You could alternatively use embroidery thread or narrow ribbon.
Scissors for cutting paper and card
* A large, sharp sewing needle
* A ruler

To make the notebook:

Use the card cover template to cut a piece of blank card, then fold it in half – or just select a card from the pack I linked to. Then use the page template to cut eight pages from plain or scrap paper and fold these in half as well.

Use a large, sharp needle to poke three holes in the fold of the card, measuring their position with a ruler. Make one hole right in the centre of the fold then one above and one below it, each 3cm from the central hole.

Then poke holes in the pieces of paper (two sheets at a time) in the same positions as on the cover.

Line up the pages and the card cover, and sew them together using a double thickness of sewing thread to match the card. I started in the central hole of the card cover, leaving a length of spare thread hanging loose then returned to the centre after stitching the pages and card together, knotting the two ends of thread together securely then trimming away the excess.

Use the leather cover template to cut out a piece of the synthetic leather. Place the paper template on the back of the leather, trace around it with an air-erasable fabric marker pen or a felt tip then cut out the shape with sewing scissors.

Wrap the cover around the notebook until you’re happy with it, then unfold it and open the notebook to the first page. Use the holes in the card as a guide to pierce three matching holes through the leather.

Cut a 90 cm piece of yarn (or embroidery thread or narrow ribbon). Use the large needle to thread the yarn through the two outer holes as shown, threading it through the leather and the card of the notebook. Pull the yarn through the holes so there is an even length of yarn at each side.

Thread both ends through the central hole, pulling the yarn tight. Knot the yarn to secure the notebook and leather cover together.

Close the notebook and leather cover as shown, wrapping the yarn around it and tying a bow to secure it.

Vegan Leather Mini Notebook

Thanks Laura!

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Tutorial! Vegan leather star headband

We have these really cool packs of vegan leather in stock, but what can we make with them?! We put the question to the super talented Laura Howard and this is the first of four tutorials she’s written for us! Take it away Laura…

Vegan Leather Star Headband Tutorial

Vegan leather star headband tutorial

Vegan leather star headband tutorial

Vegan leather star headband tutorial

I’m so excited to share some ideas for using these awesome packs of synthetic leather. I love this stuff (especially the super-cool metallics – they’re so shiny!), it looks great and it’s really easy to cut and sew. There are loads of things you could use this fun faux leather for. Hair clips, bracelets or cuffs, patches, keyrings… you could even use your leftover scraps to add some interesting texture to cards or gift tags.

Today I’m sharing a tutorial for how to make a star headband! Show off the gorgeous metallic faux leather with a star headband! You can add lots of stars to make a super star crown, or just add a couple of stars for a bit of subtle glamour.

Vegan leather star headband tutorial

To make the headband you will need:

* A synthetic leather kit
* A sewing needle
* Sewing scissors
* An air-erasable fabric marker pen or an ordinary felt tip pen
* The headband template sheet – click here to download and print the PDF
* A plastic headband
* Coordinating felt (I used black to match the headband)
* Craft glue
* A glue gun and glue
* A heatproof mat for the glue gun
* Newspaper or scrap paper to protect your workspace

To make the headband:

Use the templates provided to cut out as many stars as you want – I cut one large star and four small stars. Trace the star shapes onto the back of the leather using a pen then cut them out with sewing scissors.

Vegan leather star headband tutorial

Cut pieces of felt slightly bigger than each star. Turn the stars over and place them on some newspaper or scrap paper. One by one, cover the back of each star with a layer of craft glue and then firmly press a piece of felt on top covering the star completely. Turn the felt and attached stars over and set them aside to dry.

Vegan leather star headband tutorial

Once the glue has completely dried cut away the excess felt, leaving stars which are leather on one side and felt on the other.

Vegan leather star headband tutorial

Use a glue gun to stick the stars to a headband. Add a line of glue down the centre of one of the stars, on the felt side. Carefully press the star into position on the headband, holding it in place until the glue has dried enough to stick it firmly. Repeat to add the rest of the stars.

Vegan leather star headband tutorial

Vegan leather star headband tutorial

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.

Vegan leather star headband tutorial

Vegan leather star headband tutorial

Vegan leather star headband tutorial

Vegan leather star headband tutorial

A huge thank you to September Pictures for taking photos for this post (tutorial photos taken by Laura herself) and to Sophia for her excellent modelling!

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A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

It’s time for the October wreath in our Year of Wreaths series with Laura Howard! Read on for her super cute Cat Lady wreath tutorial and pick up a kit here! Take it away, Laura!

A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

This month’s wreath is all about cosiness: curling up with a colourful blanket, like this cute sleeping kitty!

A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

I’ve stitched a grey cat but you could easily customise this wreath and make a cat that looks like your own pet – switch the felt colour, add some felt patches, and use embroidery thread to add stripes or other markings. You could also sew the sleeping kitty onto other things (maybe a bag or a cushion?) or use the cat’s head templates to sew a cute cat brooch.

You will need

*The template sheets provided (click here to download and print the PDF)
*A 30cm polystyrene ring wreath base
*Wool blend felt in Purple, Wisteria, Baby Blue, Silver Grey, White, and Cotton Candy
*Black and white embroidery thread
*Pink and grey sewing thread (to match the felt)
*Toy stuffing
*Sewing needle and pins
*Sewing scissors
*Embroidery scissors for cutting out small shapes
*An air erasable fabric marker pen (optional but very helpful!)
*A ruler and pen/pencil
*Fabric glue or other strong craft glue
*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. Use the rectangular template provided to cut the felt strips for wrapping the wreath: 12 purple, six wisteria, and six baby blue (24 strips in total).

2. Lay the strips on top of the wreath in colour order, as shown (every other strip should be purple, with wisteria and baby blue alternating between the purple strips), overlapping them slightly so that none of the polystyrene ring base will show through at the edges of the wreath. When you’ve added all the pieces and are happy with the arrangement, insert pins to hold the felt in position then turn the wreath over. One by one, wrap the felt pieces around the wreath inserting pins to hold the felt in place.

A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

The back of your wreath will now look something like this:

A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

3. Use a glue gun to secure the ends of the felt at the back of the wreath. Work on one piece of felt at a time, removing the pin(s) holding it in place and folding the felt back slightly. Carefully add a dab or two of hot glue to the wreath base then very carefully press the felt down into position.

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.

Once the glue has dried, turn the wreath over and remove the pins from the front. The front of your wreath will now look something like this:

A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

4. Use the templates provided to cut out the cat pieces from felt: two body shapes, two head shapes, two pink ears and one pink nose.

A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

5. Sew the ears and nose onto one of the cat head shapes, sewing them with whip stitch and matching pink sewing thread.

A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

6. Cut a length of black embroidery thread and separate half the strands (so, for six-stranded thread just use three strands). Use the black thread to backstitch the cat’s eyes and smile, then add three very small stitches on each of its cheeks.

I used an air erasable fabric marker pen to draw the markings onto the felt first then followed the ink lines when stitching. If you don’t have an air erasable marker, just sew freehand using the photos as a guide.

A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

7. Use half strands of white embroidery thread to add the whiskers. Sew the whiskers with backstitch, using the air erasable marker (if you have one) to draw guide lines for your stitching.

A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

8. Place both cat head pieces together (so the decorated side is facing upwards) and sew them together with grey sewing thread and either blanket stitch or whip stitch. Then place both cat body pieces together and sew them as well.

A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

9. Use the templates provided to cut out six Zs from white felt (one of each size). Using embroidery scissors will help you cut out the small shapes more precisely. You can hold the paper templates to the felt as you cut around them, or use an air erasable fabric marker to draw around the templates then cut along the ink lines.

A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

10. Cut four felt rectangles measuring 7 x 2.5cm and two felt squares measuring 2.5 x 2.5cm. Use a ruler and an air erasable fabric marker to draw straight onto the felt, or use a ruler and pen/pencil to draw paper templates. I cut these pieces from silver grey felt but you could use any colour you have spare as they will be hidden behind the cat in the finished wreath.

A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

11. Sew the felt pieces together to form a box. Use whip stitch and matching sewing thread to join the long edges of the rectangles then add the squares on each end. When you’ve sewn three sides of the final square, stuff the shape firmly with toy stuffing then sew up the gap.

Tip: add small pieces of stuffing at a time, pressing it down into the shape with your finger.

A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

The finished shape will look something like this:

A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

12. Use the glue gun to attach the shape to the bottom of the wreath, as shown. Add plenty of glue to one of the long edges then press it into position on the wreath. You’ll be using this shape to support the cat, so make sure it’s positioned towards the front of the wreath.

A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

13. Arrange the cat pieces and the Zs on the wreath, as shown, with the Zs getting larger as you move up the side of the wreath. When you’re happy with the position of all the pieces, pin them in place.

A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

14. Carefully glue all the pieces into position, removing the pins as you work. Use the glue gun to stick the cat to the wreath base and the stuffed felt shape. Then use fabric or other strong craft glue to attach the Zs (these are a bit too small for using the glue gun!).

Hang the finished wreath with a matching piece of yarn or ribbon, or directly from a hook or nail.

A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath by Laura Howard

Thanks Laura!

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A Year of Wreaths: September Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath by Laura Howard

It’s time for the September wreath in our Year of Wreaths series with Laura Howard! Read on for her autumn-inspired wreath tutorial and pick up a kit here! Take it away, Laura!

Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath
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.

Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath

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)
*Sewing scissors
*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.
A Year of Wreaths: September Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath by Laura Howard
A Year of Wreaths: September Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath by Laura Howard
2. Use the templates provided to cut out the leaf shapes from beige felt.
A Year of Wreaths: September Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath by Laura Howard
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.
A Year of Wreaths: September Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath by Laura Howard
4. Position one of the words on its corresponding leaf and secure it with large tacking stitches.
A Year of Wreaths: September Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath by Laura Howard
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).
A Year of Wreaths: September Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath by Laura Howard
6. Remove the tacking stitches then carefully tear away the paper – you may need to use a pin to remove any remaining small pieces.
A Year of Wreaths: September Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath by Laura Howard
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.
A Year of Wreaths: September Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath by Laura Howard
A Year of Wreaths: September Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath by Laura Howard
8. Repeat steps 4-7 to embroider all the leaves, as shown.
A Year of Wreaths: September Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath by Laura Howard
9. Position the leaves on the wreath and pin them in place.
A Year of Wreaths: September Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath by Laura Howard
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.
A Year of Wreaths: September Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath by Laura Howard
A Year of Wreaths: September Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath by Laura Howard
A Year of Wreaths: September Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath by Laura Howard
Hang the finished wreath directly from a hook or a nail, or hang it using a leftover piece of the dark red yarn.

A Year of Wreaths: September Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath by Laura Howard

Thanks Laura!

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A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

It’s time for the July wreath in our Year of Wreaths series with Laura Howard! Read on for her super fun ice cream wreath tutorial and pick up a kit here. Take it away, Laura!

August Felt Ice Cream Emoji Wreath Tutorial with Laura Howard

This month’s wreath design is inspired by delicious ice cream, the trend for Instagram-friendly “unicorn food”, and the way we all share our holiday snaps on social media. The wreath features a large, colourful felt ice cream topped with sequin and bead “sprinkles”, a pair of heart-eye emojis, an “OMG!” speech bubble, and lots of felt hearts.

A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

If you don’t fancy making the whole wreath, the ice cream would look fab appliquéd to a cushion cover and the emojis and speech bubble would make cute brooches (as well as stitching “OMG!” you could also stitch “WOW!” or “YAY!” or other short words).

A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

You’ll find all the supplies you need in The Village Haberdashery shop – follow the links below for individual items or click here for the August wreath kit.

You will need:

*The template sheets (click here to download and print the PDF)
*A 30cm polystyrene ring wreath base
*Half a metre of Kona Cotton Solid in Baby Pink
*Wool blend felt in the following colours: Banana Cream, Barn Red, Black, Fuchsia, White, Beige, Baby Blue, Cotton Candy, and Wisteria
*Sewing threads to match all the felt colours
*Black embroidery thread
*Embroidery thread to match the beige felt
*Assorted sequins, bugle beads and seed beads in co-ordinating colours
*Sewing scissors
*Embroidery scissors (great for cutting out small or detailed felt shapes)
*Sewing needle and pins
*A small piece of semi-transparent paper (tracing paper, white tissue paper or baking paper) and a fine black pen, OR an air-erasable fabric marker pen
*A glue gun and glue
*A heat-proof mat for the glue gun
*Newspaper to protect your workspace from any glue drips
*Optional: a piece of co-ordinating yarn or ribbon for hanging the wreath

To make the wreath:

Use the template provided to cut out 25 pieces from the Kona Cotton for wrapping the wreath base. You may need to cut a few more strips later to finish wrapping the wreath, but it’s better to cut fewer strips to start with than end up wasting fabric!
Add the fabric strips to the wreath base one by one, using a glue gun to secure the ends at the back of the wreath. Overlap the fabric strips so there are no gaps where the polystyrene base can show through. For each fabric strip, add a dab or two of hot glue to the back of the wreath then carefully press the fabric into position. If required use the template to cut more fabric strips, adding them until the whole base is covered in fabric.
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.

A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

The wreath base will now look something like this:

A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

Use the template provided to cut out the emoji pieces: four yellow circles, four red heart eyes, and two black smiles. Arrange the small pieces on two of the circles, as shown, sewing them in place with running stitch and matching sewing thread. Then sew each decorated circle to a backing plain circle, joining them with yellow sewing thread and whip stitch.

A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

Use the template provided to cut out the heart pieces: six large bright pink hearts and eight small red hearts. Sew two layers of each shape together with whip stitch and matching sewing thread, making a total of three large pink hearts and four small red ones.

A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

Use the template provided to cut out two speech bubbles from white felt. Trace the “OMG!” text onto a small piece of white tissue paper, tracing paper or baking paper with a fine black pen. Position the text in the centre of one of the speech bubble pieces and pin it in place, sew it with large tacking stitches (avoiding the text itself) then remove the pins.

A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

OPTIONAL: if you have an air-erasable fabric marker pen you can skip the paper pattern if you want and just write “OMG!” directly onto one of the felt pieces.

Stitch the text with backstitch and black embroidery thread (using half the available strands – so, for six-stranded embroidery thread just use three strands). Then remove the tacking stitches and carefully tear away the paper.

A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

Sew the decorated front of the speech bubble to the plain backing piece using whip stitch and white sewing thread.

A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

Use the template provided to cut out the ice cream pieces: one blue top scoop, one purple middle scoop, one pink bottom scoop, and one each of the cone pieces from beige felt.
Pin all the pieces onto a large piece of pink felt as shown (any colour felt will do for this, but make sure to use the same colour again in step 9) then trim away the excess felt, leaving a rough border around the ice cream. The ice cream should be approximately 26 cm high.

A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

Begin sewing the ice cream pieces to the backing felt, using matching sewing threads and sewing only along the inside edges of the shape (i.e. not where you’ll be trimming away the excess backing felt later). Whip stitch along the bottom edges of the top two ice cream scoops then sew the top edges of the cone with one stitch between each scallop.

A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

Sew a crisscrossed design on the ice cream cone to create a waffle effect. Use backstitch and half strands of matching embroidery thread, sewing lines in one direction and then the other as shown. Sew the lines freehand (they don’t have to be perfectly straight!) or use an air-erasable fabric marker pen to draw guide lines for your stitching. 

A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

Decorate the top scoop of the ice cream to look as if it’s been covered in sprinkles. Add seed beads, bugle beads, and sequins, or use lots of different colours of embroidery thread to create stitched sprinkles. I started with large sequins, then added bugle beads and smaller sequins, and then filled in the spaces with seed beads.

A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

Carefully trim the excess backing felt from around the ice cream, taking care not to accidentally snip any of your stitching. Use the ice cream as a template to cut out a matching backing piece of felt (I used pink felt for this, as before). Pin the layers together then whip stitch around the edges. Sew each section with matching sewing thread, removing the pins as you sew.

A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

 

A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

Arrange the felt pieces on the wreath as pictured and use pins to hold them in position.

A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

One by one, remove the pins and secure the felt pieces with a dab or two of hot glue. To attach the large pieces, add some glue to the wreath base then carefully press the shapes down into position.  To attach the smaller pieces, add a dab of glue directly to the back of the felt shape then very carefully press it in position on the wreath.

A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

Your wreath is now finished! Add a length of yarn or co-ordinating ribbon for hanging the wreath, or hang it directly from a hook or nail.

Thanks Laura!

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