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How to Make a Holiday Wreath with Wood Slices

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Posted by Aubrey Santana
Having traveled to practically every corner of the world, I draw inspiration for my art from the people, foods, and traditions of many different cultures.
How to Make a Holiday Wreath with Wood Slices

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Make This Adorable Holiday Reindeer Wreath

Hanging a wreath on your door at Christmas instantly adds holiday spirit to your home. We’ve added a fun twist to the traditional wreath by using wood slices decorated with Santa’s team of tiny reindeer featuring Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen, and of course, Rudolph. It’s an easy DIY project that’s sure to bring a smile to the faces of all those who see it throughout the season!

To make sure you’re fully prepared and end up with the cutest holiday wreath possible, we recommend that you read the step-by-step instructions and watch the video all the way through before beginning.

List of Supplies

Your Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1. Prepare the wreath

In the video, the artist is using branches from a willow tree for the wreath because they are very flexible and will bend without breaking. If you don’t have these available, you can use another type of branch or purchase a ready-made grapevine wreath to serve as the framework for your wreath. If you make your own, be sure the branches are secure and tightly held together.

Step 2. Prime the wood slices

The artist paints a layer of school glue on one side of each of the nine wood slices to prime them. She waits for about 20 minutes for them to dry completely and then paints the glue-side of each wood slice using A201 Marshmallow White outdoor acrylic paint.

Next, she uses a pencil to make a light drawing of each of Santa’s reindeer, including Rudolph. Notice how she draws them in different poses to show each one’s unique personality.

TIP: If you don’t want to freehand the reindeer drawings, you can find lots of reference images on the internet.

Step 3. Paint the reindeer

The bodies of the reindeer are painted in A213 Dijon from the outdoor acrylic set. Once the artist has covered the entire body of the deer, she waits for it to dry before proceeding to its details.

TIP: You can paint one reindeer at a time or paint all the reindeer’s bodies first. By the time you finish painting the last one’s body, the first will be dry enough to paint in the details.

As you can see in the video, the artist uses A206 Candy Apple for the deer’s collars and A213 Dijon for the bells. For Rudolph, the collar is filled in with A209 Lizard Green and the nose with A206 Candy Apple.

She draws the contours of the antlers, eyes, and nose with A108 Chocolate next.

Now, the artist uses an EverBlend marker in A414 Tomato Red to write the name of each deer on their wood slice. You can do this in your own handwriting or do as the artist did and use a handwritten font from the computer.

Step 4. Make a bow

To make a bow from felt, the artist cuts out of the red glittery felt 3 rectangular strips in different sizes: a large, wide one for the upper part of the bow; a medium-size, more narrow one for the ribbons; and a small, thin one to tie the bow.

TIP: It’s a good idea to create paper patterns of each of the strips to make sure you get the correct sizes you need before cutting the felt.

Next, she uses a hot glue gun and glues the ends of the large piece together, forming a ring. She then flattens the ring and pinches the center together. She glues the folds at the center in place, so it looks like a bow tie, and holds the center firmly pinched together until the glue dries.

Now, she folds the medium-size part in half, then folds it again lengthwise. She cuts each end off at a 45-degree angle and unfolds (it should look like two arrows pointing at each other). She pinches the center and glues the folds in place. Once it’s dry, it is hot glued to the back of the bow.

Next, the artist adds a dab of hot glue to the center of the bow and wraps the thinnest strip around the center securely. She glues the end and snips it off with scissors for a neat finish.

Step 5. Put the wreath together

First, tie the bow to a branch of the wreath at the top and in the center with a piece of twine. The artist in the video roughly determines the position of each wood slice on the wreath by laying them out first to ensure they are distributed evenly and in the order she wants. She ties a piece of twine to the wreath where she wants a reindeer to go and threads the other end through the hole in the wood slice. She pulls the twine and tightly ties it on the wreath so it won’t fall off. Repeat this process for every wood slice. Notice how the artist places Rudolph at the bottom, center stage!

Next, she covers all the rough branches with the artificial fir twigs until the original foundation can’t be seen. Finally, the artist wraps the thin red ribbon around the wreath and in between the slices, tying it to the wreath under the bow.

There you go, the wreath is finished and ready to hang. To attach it to a door or wall, use a piece of twine tied to the back or rest the intertwining twigs on a hook. It’s sure to be enjoyed for years to come as part of your holiday decor.

Recommendations

  • Because dry branches will break or crack when you bend them, it’s better to use freshly cut ones.
  • Wood slices need to be primed beforehand; otherwise, the paint will soak in and the color will fade.
  • To keep your primed and painted wood slice clean, make your reindeer drawings on a separate sheet of paper and transfer the finished drawing onto the wood slice.
  • It’s best to always begin painting the largest areas first and do the small details last.
  • Wait for the paint to fully dry before you pick a new color to avoid the colors mixing on the wood.
  • Try changing the thickness of the lines when you draw the contours of each deer to make it look more interesting. Make lines thicker in areas that are supposed to be in shadow, such as the belly and the areas under the muzzle and tail.

This is the time of year for Christmas decorations and the perfect time to give your home, office, or classroom a touch of Christmas whimsy with this adorable reindeer wreath. It’s a fun project to do alone or with the kids. Watch the video and get inspired!

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