Adding a decorated burlap wreath to your front door is one of the quickest and easiest ways to dress up your home for any holiday season. The beauty of a burlap wreath (other than how easy they are to make!) is its versatility - they can work as rustic and farmhouse chic decor or, with the addition of a few simple embellishments, can be turned into a modern masterpiece.
In this post, I'll teach you how to make a stunning wreath that is perfect for decorating for any season or occasion. Once you get the technique down for making a ruffle wreath, the possibilities are endless; you can add extra colors and ribbon textures, custom message plaques to fit with the season, and even lights!
Also, if you're looking for a crafty side hustle, then wreaths are a great niche to get into - we've talked before about Cricut crafts that are great to make and sell at places like craft fairs, but wreaths are ideal for taking seasonal custom orders for.
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What You'll Need To Make A Burlap Wreath
To make a basic burlap wreath, you only need three items: a wreath form, a burlap ribbon roll, and some string! Once you have the basic technique down, you can add in other elements or decorate the wreath with embellishments.
One extra item I would suggest having on hand would be a lint roller as burlap ribbon can shed some fibers when you first unroll it, and they love to cling to your clothes!
Let's take a look at how easy it is to make a ruffled burlap wreath.
(If you're reading this and you're from the UK, you might be wondering what exactly burlap is! The UK word for it is Hessian - you can find hessian fabric rolls on Amazon, eBay, and from online floristry wholesalers)
Step 1. Anchor Your Fabric
Before we start making our loops for our wreath, we need to ensure that the burlap ribbon's end is well secured to the wreath form. To do this, we fold the end of the ribbon over by about 2cm and threaded short lengths of jute string through.
We're going to be working from the back to the front on the wreath form, so we want to attach the burlap to the back of the wreath so that we can poke it through to the front. The wreath form has 3 'channels', so we're using a section of string to secure the ribbon on the crossbar of each channel.
Step 2. Making The Loops
Once tied on and secure, unroll some of your burlap (you need a decent length to work with each time, so unrolling it helps to make it easier) and poke a loop of burlap through the top channel.
This first loop is a bit difficult as we are fighting against the anchor points, but it gets easier as you go on.
Next, add another loop through the middle channel...
...and then a loop through the bottom channel.
Your first row should end up looking something like this.
If you are struggling to get the loops to look even or stay in place when you are looping the next channel; I found that it is easiest to hold the loops on my fingers on my left hand while pushing the burlap through with my right, that way I can keep the loops all looking the same size and with a similar tension on them.
When you've made the loop in the bottom channel, create a twist in the fabric (this helps stop it from pulling back through) and then take the burlap back up to the top channel and start the process again.
You'll quickly find that the loops take up a lot of space in that first section, so this is where we get to the 'squash' that creates the ruffles on the wreath.
Step 3. Creating Ruffles
To create the ruffles, hold the wreath form behind your current loops and then use your thumb to squash the loops back towards the rest of your hand.
Don't worry if you aren't happy with the shape of the ruffles at this stage; we can fix them later.
Carry on the process of creating the loops in that new space you've just created by squashing the current rows back.
I'm able to fit five sets of loops in each section of my wreath form; yours might hold more or less depending on the size of the wreath you are working with. You don't want to add so many that it's really difficult to add more loops, just add them until it covers the section evenly when released from being squashed up.
Keep going until you've worked the whole way around the wreath. Then, to finish the end of your wreath, you can just tuck the ribbon tail into the back or secure it with a dab of hot glue.
You can then go back in and fluff up any areas that need it. As burlap is quite stiff, it's easy to open up the loops to give more fullness in places, don't overthink it; just make sure you've got the wire covered in all areas. The decorations we add next will help to push the ruffles out more.
How to Add Lights to a Burlap Wreath
If you want to add lights to your burlap wreath, then it's a good idea to do this step before you get to the final decorating stages. The way we've constructed our wreath means we can easily add string lights into gaps between the ruffles and channels.
Depending on how tightly you've squashed the loops to make the ruffles, you might find that the string lights will stay in place without any additional fixing needed. However, if you find that they are a bit loose, you can take a small cable tie or floristry wire and secure them to the wreath form.
You can choose to have the lights poking out in between the burlap loops or sit inside the loop so they give a soft glow. I prefer the way they look seated inside the burlap as it diffuses the light and doesn't detract from any of the other embellishments and decorations you add later.
How to Make a Burlap Wreath With Two Colors
Adding an extra color of ribbon to your burlap wreath is simple!
You attach it into the wreath form the same way we did with the burlap ribbon and just swap out one of your burlap loops for a ribbon loop. For example, in the image above, I swapped my middle channel loop for ribbon, but you could also create a random pattern or swap out every other loop so that it doesn't look too blocky.
Decorating Your Burlap Wreath
The great thing about burlap wreaths is that they can be dressed up for any season. If you pick your decorations carefully, you can even make it so that you just swap them out every few months to create an entirely new look.
This design was made using wire to secure all the decorative components to the wreath form so that they are easy to remove.
To add things like baubles, thread a thin wire through the hanging loop and then push it through the burlap ruffles until it shows at the back of the wreath form, adjust the bauble so that it sits how you want it to, and then twist the ends of the wire together to hold it in place. Ribbons can be done in the same way, thread wire through the back of the knot of the ribbon and attach to the wreath.
Adding a Festive Message to Your Burlap Wreath
Wreaths are designed to welcome people into your home, so why not add a festive message to yours. It's easiest to make your message plaque out of card that can be attached to your wreath - my favorite way to make a message that stands out is to use a glitter card with a contrasting vinyl color; let me show you how!
Find an SVG Quote you like (or create your own using a festive font); I choose to use this 'Merry Christmas, Hand Lettered, Cut File' from the Plus section on the Design Bundles site. I removed the extra items from the text, the stars and dots, so I was left with just the text reading Merry Christmas.
This text would be too thin to work on its own, so by adding an offset to it we can make it a layered design that stands out and is easy to attach to our wreath!
Make sure your text is all attached (this design had them as two different layers so I had to highlight and attach them together) and then select the 'Offset' option from the top menu bar.
How much offset you add is entirely personal preference; if you want your message plaque to be all one piece of card, you will need to add enough offset so that both words connect. Once you are happy with the composition of the design, you can send it to cut.
For my wreath, I cut the back offset layer out of silver glitter card and the wording out of matte black vinyl.
Getting vinyl to adhere well to a rough surface like a glitter card can be a bit tricky but I've found that if you use a flat edge, such as a ruler, to hold down the rest of the transfer tape as you lift one edge; you can then apply pressure to the vinyl underneath to help it stick.
All that's left to do now is add your message to your wreath, adorn with some other decorations and hang it on your door!
Happy Christmas Crafting!
We hope this post has inspired you to craft your own wreaths for the festive season and beyond. If you make one, we'd love to see it! Be sure to share some pictures of it on socials and tag @DesignBundles