Thursday, November 14, 2013

DIY Fall Wreath for Under $7.00

I fell in love with this wreath last month. Since then I've been scoping out wreaths, trying to gauge how much a DIY version would cost. I really love the simplicity and charm of Donna's wreath. A bare-bones wreath exactly like that runs about $22 at Michael's before coupons or discounts. A grapevine wreath with the same diameter is priced for less than $5 (also at Michael's). Ultimately, I decided to go the cheapest route possible. All I really needed to buy was a wreath since I went overboard last fall and bought a bunch of faux leaves for crafting. I bought the cheapy grapevine wreath in case I didn't actually get around to making it this year. Living in Arizona, it's constantly hot and bright. The sun destroys everything, especially pretty things that I spend time and money on. I wanted this to be an outdoor wreath but also didn't want to cry if it didn't turn out great or got faded from the sun. All in all, this wreath ended up costing about $6.

After a coupon, this wreath set me back two dollars and change. Michael's is almost always running a 40% off coupon and if applied to the wispy wreath, you'd only pay about $13. Still not bad but I wanted to stay well under that amount for my trial run and maybe try that next year. I've crafted with grapevine wreathes before and I especially love their little tendrils and overall rustic charm.

I unpacked the leaves I bought last year and was amazed at how many I had bought. I had more than enough for this wreath and plenty left over for some more fun Fall crafting ideas. The largest package you see at the bottom is actually a bouquet of leaves which I purchased from Hobby Lobby last year. The price marks says $5.99 so I paid that or less if I had a coupon, although I don't remember. They were the first leaves I purchased last year while on my "faux leaf shopping spree" because Hobby Lobby was my first stop. Save your money and check out the dollar stores first. In hindsight, I could have skipped those and just bought the leaves I ended up using. I didn't use any of the leaves from that set for this wreath and will use them for something else.

The leaves used for this wreath came from JoAnn's (left) and the dollar store (right). At the time, I didn't even know the dollar store would have fake leaves. I was surprised to see them and really impressed with the amount and quality.

The leaves from JoAnn's were a better quality. They were more expensive and there were also fewer leaves per package. Six leaves cost $1.99. For $1 at the dollar store, I received 60 leaves in one package. This is a huge difference but ultimately, I bought a variety of packages from both stores. The leaves sold at JoAnn's included maple and oak while the dollar store packages were just maple. The JoAnn leaves were also more realistic-looking and included the plastic veins and stems. While the stems are great for attaching to floral arrangements, I didn't really need them for crafting my wreath. They do make the leaves more stiff but again not super important for this craft.

The leaves in the photo above are all from JoAnn's. I had to buy a few packages to achieve this variety. You can really see the great textures and attention to details. Not bad for 33 cents a leaf.

These red maple leaves came in a package from the dollar store. While they don't have veins, they do have pleats or creases that add to their character. While they aren't as realistic-looking as the more expensive leaves, I really like the colors and I love the glitter leaves. Each package for a dollar contains 60 leaves that range in shade or design but are all the same main color. Each package also contains large and small leaves. To achieve a colorful variety, I had to buy a few packages (brown pkg, red pkg, yellow pkg, etc). Not bad considering each leaf costs about a penny and a half. You could easily make a wreath with just one bag of 60 leaves from the dollar store.

The photo above shows a side-by-side comparison of two maple leaves from the dollar store and an oak leaf from JoAnn's. Some of the dollar store leaves even have veins printed on. Up close, it might look cheesy but paired with other leaves and at a reasonable viewing distance, it's all just art waiting to happen.

Check all of your leaves before crafting. Be on the lookout for any mutants. My entire kitchen table was buried under faux leaves and remarkably, I only had two weirdos in the whole lot. One from the dollar store and one from JoAnn's. Percentage-wise, that isn't bad although considering I only bought a couple packages from JoAnn's and they were more expensive, having a dud from there was a little disappointing. Oh well.

Get your glue gun and start gluing! I started with my largest leaves first and worked in layers.

Do you have a Fall wreath hanging on your front door? Did you buy it or make it? During what other holidays/seasons do you hang a wreath?

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  1. Oh, I love this!! You're making me feel guilty about buying my wreath :) Your fake leaves are so pretty! It's amazing the cool crafting stuff you can get at the dollar store. Great job, again!

    1. Hehe, thanks! Don't feel bad. I was determined to make it work cheaply because you were right and I hate when it costs more to make something. I do prefer your style of wreath because it's whimsical and I've never had a wreath like that :)