Hello friends! September 23rd marks the first day of Autumn and to say I’m happy about that is a HUGE understatement, this is by far my favourite season… and, to top that off the bugs are all gone! That’s a win, win in my books! 😀
I can’t think of a better way to welcome in my favourite season than by participating in a fall wreath blog hop… I am quite excited to be joining some of my favourite Canadian bloggy friends, each of us is sharing our own unique version of a fall wreath, so inspirational.
My “wreath” isn’t really a wreath, not technically… if we wanted to be very specific this is actually a fall swag and to complicate this a little bit more, while it is inspired by nature it’s also inspired by “junk”. So, instead of trying to fit ALL of that into the title, in an effort to simplify I’m calling this, Nature inspired fall wreath. I hope you like it as much as I do.
This pitchfork, is my junk… we’ve had this handsome fellow for quite some time now and truth be told, I can’t believe that I haven’t used it before now. It’s rusty and rustic, just how I like it. I knew I wanted to use it, but how? I perused Michael’s one day and I found some faux wheat and some interesting looking fake “flowers” this I felt, would be a great start.
I cleaned the pitchfork with soap and water, once it dried I lightly sanded and oiled the stock, then I sealed the metal parts with Minwax paste finishing wax, I really wanted to keep that awesome rusty patina and darken it a bit… the wax worked perfectly. I began the swag by simply laying on the faux foliage, I used the wheat as my back drop and added the rest of the foliage on to the front of the pitchfork.
Then I started to layer, really there is no one way or a magic formula to this, not in my case at least. I just used what I bought at Michael’s and scrounged around my house for things that looked fall. These awesome leaves are from another project I did… they’ve been hanging around here for awhile too, extra bits and pieces gathered for layering was the perfect recipe for this swag. I used my glue gun, some wire and some dark brown jute to fasten everything, I didn’t get too fussy cutting off the long strands of brown jute as that just added to the swag.
Every once in a while I stood the pitchfork up on a chair to make sure it was staying symmetrical, I’d stand back and to see if it needed more filler, or if it needed to be balanced by adding more to one side or the other. This is going to sound strange… but when I’m working on something, I stand back and look at the piece or project and I squint. Weird? yup, but it works. The squinting helps me see empty spaces and what may be missing without focusing on all of the little details, this technique really helps me see the “big picture”. Squinting is one of my best design tools. 😉
Then I just kept layering and adding until I was happy with the look of the swag. This is a sneak peek I shared on Instagram of the swag when it was about 90% done. I decided to use some of those rust coloured leaves as a central focus point, but they seemed to get lost against the other foliage, the tones were too similar.
I really wanted to use them, but I needed to contrast them with something… vintage sheet music worked perfectly, just the exact contrast I needed. I used the rust coloured leaves as a guide and traced the shapes onto the sheet music and cut the shapes out, not perfect, but they didn’t need to be. I sandwiched a bit of copper wire in between the sheet music and the rust coloured leaves, a little dab of glue from my glue gun and inserted them into the center of the swag, I also added some raffia as filler and I was almost done.
My biggest challenge, strangely enough was the type of bow this swag should have… I made up a “pretty” bow with some burlap strips and when I placed it, it looked very strange. This swag is more rustic than pretty and not fancy enough for a bow, at least I didn’t think so. I decided to tie a simple knot instead, I used a lark’s head or a cow hitch (pictured above). I use this type of knot everywhere, and on most of the swags I do. With burlap you can fluff and trim the ends, make them a little more interesting.
Here is the finished product, I hope you like it.
I decided to hang it on our front door, I hid the hanging jute behind some burlap strips and used a heavy duty tack to anchor it into the top ledge of the white door trim. It’s heavy and I didn’t want it banging on the glass when Mr. Mans flies in and out of the door, I used some heavy duty two way tape on the wooden handle to keep it secured to the glass.
I included this photo to show where the double sided tape is, there is a tiny bit of white sticking up above the handle. This isn’t the exact tape I ended up using, I had some stronger stuff in my tool kit, it’s much stronger and it’s also clear, so you won’t see it at all from inside the house or peeking out like you can see this tape. It’s working like a charm, this “wreath” isn’t moving.
The sun was really setting by the time this photo was taken… but I wanted one last look.
This is Kiefer, or Kitten, or Snooks… his name kind of depends on the mood I’m in, I’m a nickname kind of girl. 🙂 I love how he follows me around when I’m puttering, he insisted on being in the shot.
And again… because he’s so darn cute!
I hope you’ve enjoyed my version of a fall wreath, our porch is all ready for a fall tour so stay tuned for that post coming very soon. In the mean time you should go and get inspired by all of the other awesome fall wreaths shared by this group of wonderful and talented friends. 14 lovely wreaths for fall, all so perfectly unique!
DIY Autumn Metallics Wreath From Lemon Thistle
Copper Wreath From Love Create Celebrate
Dried Hydrangea Wreath From Garden Therapy
Fall Hydrangea Pumpkin Wreath From Time with Thea
Cotton Bud Fall Wreath From PMQ For Two
Kitchen Wreath from Personally Andrea
Copper Pot Scrubber Wreath From Life Is A Party
Embroidery Hoop Rag Wreath From AKA Design
Wistful Wheat Wreath From Sustain My Craft Habit
Feathers & Foliage DIY Fall Wreath From New House New Home
DIY Foraged Fall Wreath From The DIY Mommy
Monogram Succulent Wreath From Fynes Designs
Rustic Fall Box Wreath From Echoes of Laughter