Intro: How to Make an Ocean Wreath
Making a wreath on a grapevine base (the round part) is pretty simple: whip out your hotglue gun and go for it!
This method can pretty much be applied to anything you want to place on a grapevine wreath, straw, driftwood or stick wreath/swag. Heavier items should be secured with either floral wire or chenille wire.
Step 1: Supplies
These supplies can be bought at the following places; Thrift stores, craft stores and dollar stores.
-Shells, coral and starfish
-Clear X-mas ornaments
-Hotglue sticks and gun
-Small floral leaves that look like seaweed and seagrass
How to save money on supplies:
Hit up the Dollar Tree (or similar place) first, purchase a bag of medium/small shells, netting if you can find it in the summer, x-mas ornaments to turn into glass floats (see Glass Float tutorial), small grassy floral, sea star and hot glue sticks.
Then hit up the Thrift stores (best to do this out of season, when summer items will be on discount because it's October/January/March ect). Here you can find wreath bases with other stuff glued on them. If the whole thing is NOT cheaper than $5 DON'T BUY IT. I found a hunk of coral (super heavy! Instead, get small, lighter ones) and some unique shells.
Last, but certainly not least, the Craft store (Michaels, ACMoore, and Joann's): They accept each others' coupons, abuse the system to your advantage (Hobby Lobby does not accept competitor coupons)! Here I got the grapevine wreath base, the starfish and shell bag and my hot glue gun.
Step 2: Open and Seperate Supplies
This will give you a better idea of how much you have of each item, especially the shells. Too much of one kind of shell can throw off the balance of your wreath, you may also discover that the tiny floral plants actually are 3 sets strung together. The netting I bought ended up being HUGE, so I will use any excess supplies from this project to make a table arrangement. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
Step 3: Plan Your Layout
Before gluing bits onto the wreath, play around with the placement of things. Think about how heavy your wreath will be, if it will tilt a certain way, how you want your shells to be oriented. Above, you will see that I had two competing thoughts, mostly of where to place the big clam shell. Don't glue anything until you have a plan, take a picture of it so you remember what your design looks like, because you will have to remove everything and glue from the back to the forefront.
Step 4: Hot Glue It!
Take everything off the wreath and start with the background bits, in this case, the netting and greenery. I secured the netting on with chenille wire and hooked lower hanging bits onto stray grapevine tendrils. Next, I cut apart the greenery into individual sticks or leaves and placed them in a fan-shaped group in the upper left of the wreath.
Moving on to the shells, I placed the big clam shell over the greenery where the chenille wire and glue globs could be seen, followed by a starfish and a conical shell.
On the bottom and lower righthand sides of the wreath, I glued on some shells, varying types and orientations, and some overlayed the netting there. Last, but not least, I secured the glass floats to hang down past the bottom of the wreath, clustering these together looks pretty cool, almost like bubbles.
Step 5: Hang Your Wreath
Take a door hangar, hook your wreath onto it, stand in front of the wreath and admire your artistic work. Place your wreath on your front door and your neighbors will be interested in your swanky, new door decor. You are fabulous. Enjoy!
Return any undamaged pieces that you didn't use, get your money back or store credit. Also an option; use leftover bits to make more wreaths or table decor.