DIY Rag Wreath--free home decor

All it costs is a little time.

Have you ever fought a wreath addiction? You put out some fir or holly in December, and by the time it's ready for the trash you might as well put up something heart-shaped for Valentine's Day, right? Because otherwise your front door looks empty and boring now. And then after Valentine's Day. . .Well, it's too early to decorate for the 4th of July. . .

I wanted to come up with a spring-timey new wreath for under $10 so I could blog about it, and was trying to cajole a friend into hitting the thrift-stores with me to look for material. He said, "How is it a frugal blog if you have to go out and buy stuff for it? And you don't really need a wreath, so how is that frugal?"

Oh. Well, when you put it that way. . .

So I brainstormed, trolled Pinterest, and decided to make a faddish Rag Wreath. Cost=Nothing. Except maybe an hour on a Sunday afternoon. It's definitely not an original idea, but here's what you want to do.

Don't wrap your hanger like I did.
Rag Wreath Tutorial

You'll need:
  • A wire coat hanger
  • Fabric Scraps (I used leftover material from some curtains and an old, lavender t-shirt from the rag-bag I keep in my closet)

  1. Bend the hanger into a circle.
  2. Cut your scraps into strips no more than an inch wide. Start tying them onto the hanger. Experiment with length—longer scraps will make a floppier looking wreath.
  3. I spaced my first color—green—about every two inches, and then put lavender and yellow/pink in between the green, and then filled in the gaps with more green. But that's just my Type A personality—you can be as random as you want.
  4. After you've reached your desired volume or run out of scraps, pull all your tail ends to the front and fluff them up a little.
  5. That's all!
  6. Oh, wait. Clean the floor.

I thought mine looked a little plain, so I cast my eyes about for an embellishment. First, I cut a bird shape out of a postcard my auto repair shop sent me and covered it in blue paper. . .It was fine until I tried to draw eyes on it. Fail. Then I saw a card on my desk someone had sent me—it had blue butterflies on it. Cut out the butterflies, taped string to the backs, and then tied it to the wreath.

The Verdict
It turned out better than I thought it would. I would do a few things differently a second time, though:
  1. Don't wrap the hanger. I wrapped mine in a layer of white cloth thinking it would look fuller, and gaps wouldn't show up as much. Actually, if I hadn't done that, it would have been easier to smoosh my scraps closer together and create a fuller wreath.
  2. Might want to use all the same material. I mixed t-shirt knit in with my cotton and the difference in texture bothered me.

What do you think about the Rag Wreath trend? Cute and homey or just plain cheesy?


    Cathie said…
    I rather like the idea of a rag wreath! :) I especially love the look of yours, with the dainty butterflies on it. I guess I can't really tell how the textures look from the picture, but from what I can see -- prettyyyyyyyy!! I'd try it!
    Amaree said…
    Hello, bluebirds! :)

    I also suffer from wreath addiction. Things look bare and dreary when the Christmas decorations come down!

    Some of my favorite wreaths for any season are just plain boxwood. I wonder if you could make your own, using a hanger and floral wire to hold things together...
    Marissa Deen said…
    That sounds lovely. :) As long as it doesn't drop leaves easily (I've never really seen boxwood!) I bet you could do it. . .
    Anonymous said…
    Marissa, I like your wreath. I have never made a rag wreath, but I would like to try one after seeing yours.