504 Main by Holly Lefevre: DIY! Burlap and Canvas Family Heirloom Wreath
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Sunday, May 31, 2015

DIY! Burlap and Canvas Family Heirloom Wreath

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.

photos and mementos create a family heirloom

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

  • Scissors
  • 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.

  • 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!

Craft DIY Ideas


  1. Wow! I'm almost speechless, in a good way! This is one of the best things I've seen in a long time. You've done an excellent job, this is definitely something I would like to recreate, thanks for sharing!

  2. Holly, this is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! I think I am with Amanda...speechless and totally in awe. This wreath is so incredibly special and a always stay up kind of thing! You truly outdid your amazingly crafty self and that is saying A LOT!

  3. This is soooo beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

  4. How beautiful. I love this idea & the way it turned out!

    Warmly, Michelle

  5. I just love this idea. Thanks for sharing it! I am going to make it for sure!

  6. I love it and I love all the little details you added!

  7. Wow! That is just amazing! It is absolutely gorgeous!

  8. Beautiful and so meaningful! You did a great job. It looks like a lot of work, but you made it look easy!

  9. Very fun - what a great project. Oh, this would be a great one for Mother's Day!


  10. gorgeous...i love what you did, just love it!

  11. Wow Holly!! That is so awesome!! I just love all the vintage looking embellishment mixed in with the photos. So unique. :)

  12. This is so beautiful and touching for some odd reason I have tears in my eyes. It is just priceless. I hope you have this in a prominant place in your home so you can see it everyday. This is so inspiring!! LOVE IT!!! This will now be one of those projects I will not be able to get out of my head!!

  13. that is such a great idea! i love it, holly!

  14. Wow! I have been a lurker for a bit, and this put me over the edge to commit and follow :). You did a great job and should feel super proud.

  15. What a clever idea! Such a pretty way to display memories and mementos.

  16. Wow! This is really something wonderful and inspired! Thanks for the details. I would love to make one of these and it makes for such an unbelievable gift too. You are the Queen today!! Thanks!

  17. That's really an amazing project. Not only is it beautiful but it's just so unique and preserves wonderful memories.

  18. This is so beautiful, Holly. It's something that's just fun to "study" to see each and every element. It's so special since you used real relatives to showcase. No wonder you couldn't get it out of your mind! Hugs, Kim

  19. Your wreath is so beautiful and unique...an heirloom!

  20. This is absolutely lovely! I am redoing my guest bedroom in a very neutral theme, and this would be a great piece to display some of those special photos! Thanks for the inspiration!

  21. OMGoodness...I want one!!!! :) Hi, I'm Meme from Screaming Meme...It is so nice to find your blog...I want to personally invite you to my blog. I look forward to visiting and seeing more crafty, fun ideas!!!

  22. Holly - I Love. Love. Love. this! So awesome. Can't wait to make one!!

  23. LOVE LOVE LOVE!! This is going to be my dad's birthday present! Thank you :)

  24. Oh my! I love this so VERY much!!! Wow...laurel@chippingwithcharm

  25. Holly

    I LOVE it --I want to do one of those too. I fell it love with it the first time I saw it.


  26. Wow - what a stunning focal piece! Very pretty.

  27. Oh, I love this wreath. You did an excellent job in making it and also in giving us the directions. Great job.

  28. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this piece! You are so talented!!!! It is so gorgeous! It is no wonder it stuck in your mind, now I won't be able to get it out of mine!!!!! I just adore mini canvas projects, bite sized pieces that are achievable in small amounts of time..... then you put it together and the effect is stunning! Thanks for the inspiration! X

  29. I guess it has been said by now -- WOW! This is so fabulous. I am "pinning" this.

  30. Okay Holly--this is seriously, SERIOUSLY cute!

  31. These are BEAUTIFUL! Love this!

  32. This is simply beautiful!!!!!

    I featured it on my blog today, would love for you to come by and check it out!



  33. Oh my gorgeous! Love it so much and am so glad that you linked this up to my "BFF" party!

  34. Thanks for the inspiration!

  35. I saw this at CHA also, and LOVED it!! In fact- I loved the ENTIRE Canvas Corp booth!!!!

  36. Hi there! Just wanted to let you know I featured this as part of my BFF link party wrap up!! Please feel free to come grab a button from my sidebar!

  37. A friend of mine visited CHA and posted the canvas corp wreath and I also feel in love with it. Since I am on a tight budget I envented my own canvas parts. I have just finished it after months of fiddling with it and just posted it on my blog this week. Please take a peak and tell me what you think. Your version is Fantastic!

  38. So fabulous, Holly! Such a beautiful way to capture family memories! Thanks for linking up to the burlap party at WhisperWood Cottage!

  39. I love this idea! Thank you for sharing!

  40. I agree, one of my absolute faves!!!

  41. Such a great idea! This would look great in my living room!

  42. What a great idea Holly! My dad would love this sort of a decoration, he's totally into family heirlooms!

  43. Holly this turned out so amazing!! I am in love with it!! Pinned

  44. Oh WOW, I love this so much!! I really need to make it! Gorgeous :)


Thanks for stopping by and joining the conversation! I sure hope you come back for more!

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