When Ethan was just a few months old, and after colic had subsided, I found myself craving that creative outlet again. Then again, I was also exhausted. Truth. So, I started a winter wreath that I could do while watching TV on the couch.
This wreath is fairly simple and involves almost entirely wrapping yarn with a little bit of hot glue assembly at the end. First, though, you have to design your wreath, pick the yarn, and decide what kind of wreath form you want to use.
Design Your Wreath
Now, in terms of yarn selection, I wanted different colors and textures. Initially, when my husband saw me wrapping grey yarn balls, he said “doesn’t that mean it’s dirty snow?” Ok, fair. But it’s a wreath made of snow–let’s suspend disbelief for a minute, am I right? When I was shopping for yarn, I didn’t see enough variety in the textures and colors of white yarn to be as visually interesting as I wanted. And the creamier the white, the more yellow that’s in it, the more it looks like a different kind of dirty snow. Yuck. Plus, from the sidewalk, I was afraid the whites would all blend together.
The grey yarns had some flecks of silver or a silvery sheen, white stripes, and varied textures. Plus, it makes me think of grey, snowy skies. Once I got everything assembled, something was still missing and, since I had already picked a burlap ribbon to hang it, I grabbed some jute out of my craft bin and added a few balls of jute to break it up and carry that color throughout.
In terms of the wreath form, I already had a styrofoam wreath form–a circle wreath that is made of a 1-2 inch wide, flat ring. I could have wrapped that form in anything. I had thought about using the inside of a brown paper bag, a la high school textbook covers.
However, since this was going to be on the outside of the front door, I went with a darker grey yarn and wrapped and wrapped until you couldn’t see the white styrofoam any longer. It took many hours, so for the next wreath, I think I would select a thick, burlap ribbon. Even now, thinking back on this, I’m laughing at myself for not thinking of that at the time.
Make the Snowballs
Next, make your snowballs. If you’ve never rolled a ball of yarn before, it’s pretty easy. I always start by wrapping the yarn around two or three fingers (as though your fingers were one, go around the outside of all of them all at once). Once you’ve done that about 15-20 times, slide that bunch off of your fingers and start wrapping the yarn around the middle of that bunch (basically in the opposite direction or perpendicular to the direction you were going around your fingers). Once you’ve done that several times, you can fold the two sides you’ve created together and start wrapping those.
The key is to make sure to always pull the yarn tight and continuously rotate the ball slightly so that you get that smooth, round, snowball shape. Also, you really need to make sure you have varying sizes of snowballs. For the more expensive yarn, I made a few small yarn balls and then I made some larger ones with a styrofoam core.
I started by wrapping a few styrofoam balls with yarn but then quickly realized that it was more economical to do that only with the more expensive yarn. The rest, I rolled completely out of yarn. You can choose to wrap styrofoam balls if you’d like, but I found that they were harder to hold and actually didn’t save that much yarn because you want to make sure that you cannot see any of the white styrofoam showing through. Also, most likely, it will be more expensive using the styrofoam core than if you just wrap the ball solely out of yarn.
Due to the size of my wreath, I ended up needing about 50 snowballs. Once you have a nice mound of them, of varying sizes, and you have your wreath form finished, you can start to lay them out and see if you have enough.
Assemble the Wreath
However, BEFORE YOU START GLUING the snowballs into place, you’ll want to put the ribbon you plan to hang it with on your wreath form. Tie it so that the knot is on the top, center of the wreath form. I glued mine down with hot glue. This will ensure that you aren’t putting pressure on the glued snowballs when you hang it, which could eventually destabilize the whole thing.
Then, I started gluing the snowballs down with hot glue, with the wreath form flat on its back on the table. First, I put a dab of blue down on the end of the yarn so the ball wouldn’t come unraveled. You can do that as soon as you finish each snowball, but I did all of the gluing all at once.
I first placed the largest snowballs. Place them down the center and off to either side, keeping them on the front of the wreath form (not the curved sides). Once I had them glued all around the wreath, I started adding the medium sizes, fitting them in between the larger snowballs. Finally, I fit the small ones in the nooks between those glued down. I found that I had not made enough small snowballs, so keep that in mind. You will need far more smaller balls than larger ones.
When you’re gluing, be careful to place the glued side (where you glued the end of the yarn) down where you won’t be able to see it. Once you think you’re finished and your glue is dry/cold, hold the wreath upright and see if you have any movement. Give each ball and slight tug to see if any are or could become loose. Then go around and place some extra bits of glue, making sure to keep it hidden as much as possible.
And that’s about it. Haha, I realize it may not seem as simple as it is, but I went into detail in order to help. It really is just make some yarn snowballs and glue them down. I hope you get a chance to make yourself a snowball wreath. Also, be sure to follow me on Instagram @designofyourlife because this Fall, I’ll be giving one of these away!