I'm not into the crazy and wild celebrations that are normally associated with Mardi Gras, but I learned something after my in-laws lived in Lousiana for two years, and that is that most people in Louisiana love Mardi Gras (which I always assumed) and actually treat it like any other holiday--by decorating their homes and more noticeably, their doors, for the occasion.
You guys. These decorations are BIG. They are grand, layered, beaded, glittered, and colorful. Also, I'm pretty sure deco mesh originated in Louisiana because those people use it with some serious skill.
(If you are from Louisiana and are thinking, "Um, no", I apologize. :) BUT this is what I've gotten from my few Louisiana visits.)
SO. I took all of my (limited) Louisiana knowledge as inspiration and put together a fun deco mesh wreath in honor of Mardi Gras to share right here on the blog.
I've never used deco mesh before but I can see why it's so popular in craft and decor world. Super fun and very forgiving. You can use the steps to make this wreath and change it to fit any holiday by adding different embellishments.
Speaking of embellishments--in true Mardi Gras fashion, there are A LOT. I learned from my LA trips and Pinterest that you pretty much just keep piling it on until it basically falls off the door. ;) I'm only kind of kidding.
Here is your supplies list (and you guys.....it's all from JoAnn):
-18" wire wreath form
-3 rolls 10" deco mesh (greens and purples)
-4 rolls 1.5" wired ribbon (various patterns and colors--make sure to get some gold)
-Big pack of black pipe cleaners (they are apparently called chenille stems now)
-12-14 decorative balls (I used gold Christmas ornaments on clearance)
-Pack of Mardi Gras beads
-Large ribbon for bow
-Hot glue gun and sticks
-2 movies because this is the perfect craft to do while watching a movie (and it takes about 3 hours)
Take your wreath form and the black chenille stems. Zig zag the stems all the way around the wreath, one zig zag line on the outer circle, and one zig zag ring on the inner circle. You will use about one chenille stem per section of the wreath. This prevents the mesh from sliding later on.
Now get your mesh. Cut the mesh every 10" (this should make it a square, since it is 10" wide) You can use a ruler for this, but I really just eyed it since you want to make it a square. Easy. You will need about 30 of each color.
Next is your ribbon. Take all 4 rolls and cut 12" strips. You'll want to cut a "v" into each end as well. Set aside.
(It wouldn't be a good craft post without some awkward monster hand photos. There isn't a good way to do this.)
Take a mesh square and roll into a little burrito, but not too tight. You want it to be about 2 inches in diameter. It's best to do this part on the floor because you are going to want to place the rolled mesh under your knee to hold in place. I suppose you could pinch it with a clothespin if you wanted as well. Do this same thing for the other 2 colors and kind of overlap them under your knee.
Take one piece of ribbon and layer it over your 3 pieces of mesh. Pinch tightly in the middle and wrap with a black chenille stem.
You'll want to fold your spiral bunch in half around the chenille stem, pull tight, and wrap the stem to secure, like a bread tie. Hope that makes sense.
You are going to need to make 30 spiral bunches. Have fun. :)
(Excuse my lighting in the next few photos, Bryan was out of town so I was kind of doing this all day while baby wrangling and I ran out of daylight. SO fun.)
Now for the fun part. Take a spiral bunch and wrap the chenille (tightly) around the outer ring of the wreath. Repeat all the way around the outer ring, spacing about every 3 inches.
Here is a photo of the back. Not pretty, but you can see how I spaced the stems and where I tied them.
Once you are finished with the outer ring, do the same on the inner ring of the wreath. Try and fill holes here, too. You will need about 20 spiral bunches on the outer ring and 10 bunches on the inner ring. Fluffing is key here, ladies.
Now you can be happy! The rest is easy.
Take your gold chenille stems and wrap them around a pencil to make a spiral. Pull the spiral a bit to make it long and loose. Evenly stick the gold spiral stems around the wreath, being sure to wrap around the wreath form to secure.
Next, take your ornaments and hot flue evenly around the wreath.
You are probably thinking something along the lines of, "I am the crafting QUEEN!" at this point and could really call it good, but since it's Mardi Gras, you may as well go ahead and add the beads. Drape them around the wreath and tuck into mesh spirals.
Now really, by this step it is perfectly acceptable to say that the wreath is finished. If you want it be finished, go right on ahead. If you want to add more Mardi Gras bling, read on.
Spray paint your mask gold. Hot glue your feathers to the back as well as about 10 strands of beads and ribbon to either side.
Make a big layered bow with some glitzy ribbon (I chose a very french looking scroll pattern with purple velvet...oh yes.) I need to post instructions on this (sorry I forgot to take photos), BUT I do have this hair bow tutorial that I did many years ago and it's basically the exact same thing, just a bigger version. You will secure the center with a chenille stem and fluff. Bow-making 101.
Hot glue your mask to the center of the bow. Use chenille stems to secure the bow to the top of the wreath.
Step back and enjoy the wonderful gaudiness of Mardi Gras!
Whew. That was the longest tutorial I have ever written. Gold star for to you (and maybe some beads) for getting through this!
Seriously though, this wreath is really easy once you know what your are doing. And as usual, I will be showing the steps in person for Joann on KAMR today at 4:00!
Updated: The segment can be watched right HERE.