I've lusted after a lot of the candy wreaths around blogland for awhile (gum drops? peppermints? marshmallows? yum and yes please!) and so I decided to create my own. I had this styrofoam wreath base and because it was so big, I knew it would take a lot of candy so I wanted to use candy from the dollar store so that it wouldn't end up being $20 on candy I couldn't even eat! So that's how I decided on the lemonheads... that and when I tried one, they tasted pretty gross, so I got to use cheap candy in one of my favorite colors and I wasn't tempted to eat the craft supplies!
I actually created this around when I started blogging so there aren't a ton of pictures of the process, but I've actually made changes and updates to it since then. It's sort of perfect that I feel like I can only put it up now when the weather is more spring-y (because yellow and green just seem to BE spring to me!) because I've needed supplies from more recent crafts and advice from other talented bloggers to make some updates to it that even allow me to hang it now!
Along those lines, this was a massive wreath... it's pretty darn heavy, which was part of why I couldn't hang it and hadn't written it up for the blog. It's also how I named it the Leo - as in, the lion. It's huge and yellow, so the lion just sort of worked... you can read about that constellation here.
- Wreath base form (I used green styrofoam, giant-size... measuring it now, with the lemonheads on it, it's only about 14-inches from the outside of the wreath on one side to the outside on the other, but I'd recommend making a smaller one unless you really need to punish yourself for something)
- Lemonhead candies (got mine from the dollar store and it took almost 7.5 bags to cover it all)
- Glue gun and LOTS of glue sticks
- Jute twine (for hanging)
- A little bit of ribbon (if you want it... and lighter to singe the edges)
Luckily, this project isn't all that difficult - it's just time consuming. Again, I HIGHLY recommend making a smaller version because the one I ended up with is pretty, but I just think it took too long, too much in the way of materials, and it's too heavy to warrant making again. But craft whatever size you want at your own risk!
I basically dumped out some lemonheads and started gluing. You could paint your wreath, but I kind of liked the green and I was making this back when it was pretty cold outside (read: too cold for spray painting), so I left it and I like the result. At first, I tried to stick to creating a line around the wreath with my lemonheads and then just going in a sort of wrapping pattern - just the way you would with a yarn wreath!
Eventually, the fact that the lemonheads weren't the same size started to make that pretty difficult. I just sort of glued randomly where I could fit the pieces in at that point and decided not to worry too much (and I would highly recommend this strategy). You can see the progression of rows (yellow arrows and black underlines) to a little messier (blue-purple arrows) to where I couldn't find a line to underline (gray arrow) in the photo above. This took me quite awhile to handle this... and quite a few glue gun burns. (I just reminded myself that burning off my fingerprints would come in handy when I eventually get interviewed for a super-bad@$$ job with the CIA/FBI/secret society - they have to be crazy impressed that I did it myself, right?)
In all, I needed to buy 8 dollar store bags of these things and used about 7.5 of them.
Once I finally covered it all in lemonheads, it was time to glaze it/protect it from the elements (including the dogs, the squirrels, and the kids in the neighborhood). I browsed Hobby Lobby for something and was able to find this: Tree House Studio Clear Acrylic High Gloss Coating. The can says it dries in minutes and creates a permanent, water-resistant seal. The back lists lots of materials you can use it on. So I grabbed it and hoped for the best. I waited for the warmest days and got a couple in the 40s and went for it and had no problems.
I ended up doing about 3 coats on all of it and waited about a day in between. I honestly just wanted to protect these things from rotting, but the shine this spray added was awesome! I feel like they look like the food that's all oiled up for special food photography (like when chocolate gets photographed for ads, it's usually covered in this oil-type stuff to make it shine and look appetizing).
Then the wreath just stayed like this... looking all pretty, but I couldn't figure out how to hang it and I wasn't too worried because it just looked so spring-y that I figured I wouldn't even want to hang it for awhile. But I looked around the internet for what to do for hanging this monster.
And then I saw Remodelaholic's sea glass wreath and figured she must be an expert at this! So I emailed Cassity about how to hang it and got an almost instantaneous response (probably because she's awesome and super on top of this whole blogging thing!) and she recommended threading a ribbon or string through/all the way around the wreath (she even sent me a picture example!) because I was worried about putting too much pressure on one place on the wreath, which would cause it to fracture at the pressure point. So, the other day I got out my jute - 4 ply, leftover from this project - and tried a couple different things. Eventually, I just sort of wound the jute around the wreath, sort of like you wrap a yarn wreath, but very loosely. Then I just tied the two ends together and grabbed another piece of jute and threaded it through a couple of the loops or places I'd wrapped the jute around the wreath.
(Note that by now, I have my freaking AMAZING new DSLR camera - my first ever - a Nikon D3100 with 18-55mm lens, so enjoy the gorgeous colors and general awesomeness... or pardon me while I handle that...)
The jute isn't exactly even and I suppose you could glue those down or try to get some straight pins to hold it in place (I did not have any luck with that route), but they don't move too much and I like that they aren't perfect. The finishing touch was a bow - cut some ribbon, tie around the jute or the wreath, and then singe the edges (and don't let it mysteriously get wrinkled) and ta da!
I'm linking up to some of my favorite conferences! And to this super-awesome seasonal link party: