Trying to capture and preserve my family's heritage is very important to me. It is also difficult. The older generation - the ones who remember World War II, The Great Depression, and beyond that, as it pertains to my family are gone and have been for a long while. So, I take what I can get, what I can find along the way, and do my best to honor and celebrate where I came from.
This Family Heirloom Wreath is one of my favorite ways to remember my family.
You know those projects, those creations you see and you cannot get them out of your mind. They stick with you they speak to you even. Well, when I went to The Craft and Hobby Association Show back in January, I saw one of those pieces at the Canvas Corp booth. Amongst all of the other lovely Canvas Corp goodies was this one amazing wreath that I took about 30 photos of and just kept thinking about. There was no doubt in my mind I was going to replicate this piece.
I have to tell you that the tutorial for this is a little difficult to explain completely,
because the piece becomes so personal and unique.
This is the inspiration piece from the Canvas Corp blog,
designed by Sonya Bookout.
I used photos of my grandmother, her three sisters, and my great grandmother. I have very few photos from my family and these are precious photos and I wanted to find a unique way to display them.
Just imagine this project with baby photos, wedding photos - well, just about anything you want!
(this is what I used anyway)
- 4 - Canvas Corp 6 x 6 canvas
- 4 - Canvas Corp 6 x 6 burlap
- 2 - Canvas Corp 5 x 7 Chunky canvas
- 2 - Canvas Corp 3 x 3 canvas
- 1 - Canvas Corp 4 x 4 canvas
- 1 - Canvas Corp 4 x 4 burlap
- 1 sheet Canvas Corp chocolate and vanilla dot paper
- 1 sheet Canvas Corp Handmade collection, script (I want to wall paper a room in this paper...L-O-V-E!)
- Gorilla Glue
- Liquid Stitch
- Distress Ink: Linen, and Frayed Burlap
- Canvas Paper, (Office Depot, 10 sheets for approx. $12.00) or I found this on Amazon. I used the Office Depot Paper
- Ink Jet Printer
- Scanned images of photos or clip art
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks
- Optional: I use a staple gun to staple the back of the wreath together fro additional strength.
- Ruler or straight edge
Adornments and Embellishments
I used a variety of embellishments and adornments. Many came from my own stash of vintage and found items. Many of the scrapbook companies carry a nice selection of vintage looking embellishments
- Buttons (new and vintage)
- Black felt ribbon (you can cut strips of felt about 5/8" wide and use pinking shears to finish the edges).
- Old pearls (I used loose pearls and pieces of a broken necklace, including the clasp)
- Fabric flowers which I made with 1/2" to 1" strips of a linen which I twisted and then wrapped around each other, and finished off with pearls in the center
- Old Jewelery is great for this project
- I found the clock face at the craft store for $1.50
- Old lace pieces (thrift stores and my stash)
- A mini metal frame (Making Memories)
- Chipboard chalkboard letters (I sanded the edges for a word look)
- Old doilies
If you have any specific items you want to know about
I will be happy to answer your questions...just email me!
- The first step is laying out your wreath and getting a look you want the base of the wreath is the 6 x 6" canvas (4 canvas, 4 burlap). I used a straight edge to keep them lined up and symmetrical (You can make a template on a piece of paper by drawing a big cross and aligning edges to that one point.) The point is just to keep the wreath base symmetrical.
This is my original layout
- The chunky canvases and smaller ones get stacked on top in diagonal and straight positions depending on your preferences.
- I DID NOT GLUE ANYTHING TOGETHER UNTIL I WAS ABSOLUTELY SURE I LOVED IT. I PRINTED MY PHOTOS OUT AND LAID THOSE OUT AS WELL. THE GORILLA GLUE IS STRONG STUFF!
- This part is trial and error and personal preference. I used old family photos, but you can also use clip art or baby images. I really wanted to do one with all wedding photos...but that proved to by, er, difficult.
- Scan your photos or select clip art
- Print out images on regular paper to avoid "wasting" the canvas paper - and place them on the wreath in desired positions - you will move them around a bit and it will also determine some canvas placement as well.
- I started by determining which were my favorite photos and made those fit the canvases that were most prominent - in my case that was the 5 x 7 chunky canvases.
- Finish deciding which images you want to use and where and then measure and resize in your usual photo editing program.
- Print photos on Canvas Paper and cut out.
- Once I had the final photos determined and sized to fit the correct canvas, I used Liquid Stitch to place the photos on the canvases (If you want the edges of the photos distressed, do that before gluing them on to the canvas). Let dry.
- Distress the edges of the burlap and canvas frame with the Distress Ink. I used Linen first and then darkened it with Frayed Burlap.
Distress edges using distress ink
- Using the ruler or "template," lay the canvases back out in the correct positions and get out your Gorilla Glue.
Draw a few straight lines on a large piece of paper and as you layout the wreath keep corresponding/matching pieces lined up n the lines to keep the wreath balanced and symmetrical.
- The Gorilla Glue is super strong and tough enough to hold the canvases together. Remember that it expands so you do not want to use an excessive amount. I applied it to the edges of the canvases where they met up and let it dry overnight.
- Once dry flip over and reinforce (I did this because it was going to be hanging) with staples (honestly I would have Gorilla Taped it if I did not have a staple gun)
- Begin adding your adornments. I typically work in adding things in odd numbers and balancing things out, i.e. 2 black items on top right vs. one black accent on bottom/middle left.
Here are some close ups and detail of my embellishments and adornments
Canvas Corp script paper, vintage pearls from a junk sale,
a clock face from the craft store,
and vintage (black earring) from Goodwill.
Black Felt ribbon, 2 vintage shank buttons, doily (thrift store)
Black felt ribbon, piece of lace trim, button.
Chocolate and vanilla dot paper, image of old letter,
end piece including clasp of a pearl necklace.
Making Memories metal mini frame, jeweled embellishment.
Black felt ribbon, piece of lace trim, buttons.
Vintage lace leaf, 3 vintage "pearls."
Script paper, Chalkboard chipboard letter, distressed with sand paper.
Vintage black earring, memo pins (Tim Hotlz)
End piece of pearl necklace (the string is on purpose!)
3 homemade linen fabric flowers with pearl centers.
These were easy to make - my first - but I saw some pre-made ones in the jewelry section of the craft store that were nice.
Honestly, this is one of my favorite projects EVER!
So what do you think?
I am going to make my mom cry and make her a wreath for Mothers Day!
This post is written and created at 504 Main by Holly Lefevre
This post has been made possible by Canvas Corp!
This post has been made possible by Canvas Corp!