I've been doing wreaths for years. Originally I started off back in the day with fresh Christmas wreaths we bought annually. We had gotten tired of the cost and the mess they left behind. I decided "Hey, I'm a crafty kinda guy on occasion, I'll make our own." So I did.
Then maybe a few years later, after starring at a blank wall over the mantel. I thought "Hmmm maybe I could make seasonal wreaths. So I did. At the time it was late summer so I did Fall wreath, then Winter, and Spring over the next 6 months. My wife loved the spring wreath so much that we just left it up all summer. But personally, of the season wreaths, Winter is my favorite.
Anyway to the task at hand. This past summer I got the itch again and I made a 4th of July wreath. Which got me thinking, "Well now I've done it, I need to start doing Holiday wreaths. And here we are at Halloween.
Step 1: Inspiration and Initial Vision
Usually when I do a wreath I shop for wreaths by shape and size. I hate spending a ton of money on parts and components, so any shortcuts I come up with are bonuses. This wreath I found at JoAnn fabrics surprisingly.
Its a bit larger than my other wreaths but given my initial vision, I thought would work perfect. I had recently gotten a scroll saw and have been aching to put it to use. I designed the words Happy Halloween in Adobe Illustrator making sure all the letters formed where close enough together to make the finished cut all one piece.
The tombstones were actually part of another instructable that I never really finished or published (well sorta you can see it in my Halloween Window Treatments). It was originally going to be a front yard feature which I've never done (YET!)
You can see how my first attempts using my scroll saw turned out pretty good, at least I was happy with it.
I made sure to measure the open area of the wreath to size my artwork up before doing my cuts.
Step 2: Painting Parts
I decided to paint the wreath over all black. I made sure to get all sides and edges.
I painted the grave yard Black as well, again being sure to get the side edges.
Happy Halloween I painted Fluorescent Orange. Again Edges.
Step 3: Adding Lights and Testing
I found cheap string LED lights at a dollar store and they couldn't have worked more perfect.
For the Happy Halloween back I arranged the lights and secured with black duct tape. (My first set of lights had more bulb like feature with a black cord (not shown) and just didn't allow for the lights to reach all the way around the letters and you'll notice a dark spot under the "W".)
I got a different strand that was all clear and as you can see the bulbs almost incorporated into the strand. This allowed me to arrange the cord around the letters and give a better back light glow. Which as you can see is Orange lighting.
For the grave yard I used purple lights and again arranged the lights to back light each tombstone as best I could. Again small strips of gorilla tape holding in place.
Placing them together gave me a preview of the finished result I was hoping for.
Step 4: Wrapping Garland and Placing Other Features
I visited the dollar store again to find other parts to add to the wreath.
I found these bone skull necklaces that I used as garland to wrap around the wreath. They came with purple, black, & orange. I used the orange colored ones. The ends of the necklaces pop apart so I was able to connect each end to end to complete the wrap.
Another dollar store purchase were these purple coil strands that was wrapped around the wreath in the gaps between the orange necklaces.
A stringed set of skeletons (of which I only used one).
Glittery spiders (Black and Green) I used the green spiders as is. The black ones were impossible to see on the wreath no matter where I placed them. So back to the paint booth and sprayed them a coat of white. Then a coat of the fluorescent orange.
I made an attached a spider web across the top right portion of the wreath. This was made of a dark hemp string that I had laying around from a previous project. I secured it by tying the main ends to the wreath itself and for added security I dab of black hot glue.
The odd looking tree like formation on the left was an old battery lighted accent stems that you typically see put in vases for a room accent. We've never really used them so I wrapped it in black duct tape since it was overall brown to begin with. I worked the base of it into the wreath and bent and twisted it into a gnarly tree. The battery pack I wrapped around to the back side. I enhanced the look of this gnarly tree by pushing in behind the tree a glittery orange sprig twig like element (that I found at Hobby Lobby I think).
Finally the spiders and skeleton all hot glued in place.
Step 5: Final Assembly
The graveyard I wedged into the base, as best I could, at the back bottom portion of the inside of the wreath. A few strategically place spots of hot glue and then some strips of black duct tape.
The Happy Halloween portion I positioned it into the open area, using a light color thread or string (fishing line could have worked too). Once positioned I cut lengths of string with a bit excess and tied off the ends into the wreath itself. Pulling the string tight, initially hold in place all four corners with a small piece of duct tape, then hit it with a drop of hot glue. Be sure to keep all four corners kept tight. Adjust each string with tape before the securing with hot glue.
The battery packs I simply used some old twist ties looped through the wreath and wrapped around and secured to the wreath. I positioned them so the switches are located down or to the outer edge of the wreath for easy access to be able to switch on and off.