Super Easy Festive fall wreath
This festive wreath may have been quite possibly the easiest door decoration I have ever done... The only two easier things I can think of would be to do nothing, or to buy a pre-made wreath...but where's the fun in that?

Some of you may remember my springtime grapevine wreath that made it's illustrious debut last year...well guess what? I have reused the same wreath. Truth be told, I actually left the springtime wreath up all summer, despite good intentions of changing it. Oh well, that's how it goes sometimes. In my defense, I did replace a few of the paper flowers so that it was a bit more "summery" but I can easily admit that I could have done much better.

So on with the gritty details. The bf and I grew corn in our garden again this year, and so after we had harvested and ripped out all the stalks, I had the brilliant (and slightly messy) idea to use the tops as part of a wreath!

I have seen whole wreaths made out of these little furry corn bits (technically they are the pollen producing flowers on the corn stalk, also called tassels), but that was far too ambitious for my style, albeit quite nice looking.

So I just cut off a bit of the nicer shaped ones and bunched them together. I recommend doing this over newspaper or outside, since if they are as dry as mine, they will likely shed all over your carpet..or sofa...or wherever you happen to be putting them together.

As an aside, if you do not have corn tassels, I have seen a similar product, called raffia, which I think could be used for this purpose, available for sale at craft stores, I haven't checked but it is likely a synthetic product and so you can probably skip the shellacking step. You could also use ornamental grass, or wheat, if you have that easily available.

Now I wanted something cute to tie my corn tassels together. Originally I was thinking some festive orange ribbon, and you can certainly go that route--I think it would look quite cute--but I didn't feel like going to the store to buy ribbon...and I happened to have some "gold" red heart yarn left over from my giraffe amigurimi project, so I decided to make a crochet ribbon.

If you've never crocheted a day in your life you can still make this ribbon...that's how easy it is. (Alternatively if you are a knitter, you can just knit yourself a ribbon instead)

A few tips for the newbie crochet-artist, a category into which I still feel that I fall...

1. YouTube is your best friend for learning new stitches. (Or trying to remember a stitch you previously learned but forgot)

2. Google abbreviations in patterns that you don't understand...the interwebs knows much more than you do (less in some cases, i'm sure...). Often googling the abbreviation will also bring you to a how-to video.

3. As with everything, it's okay to make mistakes, you can always pull out your stitches if the error bothers you, or leave it in, if like me, you just don't care.

PictureYou will need, red-heart gold yarn and a size 'H' crochet hook.
Now, back to the ribbon. There are many ways to do this, and I do not claim that mine is the best by any means...this is just what I did, feel free to follow rule #2 and google crochet ribbon to find better (or different) instructions.

Start with a slip knot. Basically you make a loop with your yarn of choice and twist it so that it lays over the yarn tail, then you pull the yarn tail through the loop until the loop titghtens into a knot. Try not to use too much length to do this, or you will end up with a gigantic loop to start. You ideally only want enough of a loop to easily fit your hook.

The size hook you use doesn't really matter, a bigger hook makes bigger stitches and vice versa. So take your hook of choice (I think I was using a size "H) and slip it into your slip knot loop. Next hold your yarn length taut between your fingers and hook the yarn. Pull the yarn through the loop to make your first chain. Your hook will now be in the newly made loop.

PictureMake a long chain...I didn't count, just stopped when it felt long enough to tie a bow.

Repeat this process until you are happy with the length. In general, try to keep your chain straight by holding it in one hand while working the chains with your other hand. It is okay if you flip the chain a bit, it will add character! (Plus ribbons are meant to be curly lol) 

If you make a mistake, you can pull the chains out pretty easily...or like me you can choose to live with it. 

I think it turned out okay; although I didn't count my stitches, so I am not really sure how many chains I added before stopping. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that you have enough length to tie a bow and have a long enough tail in the bow. 

PicturePart 1 of the single crochet: Through the stitch, yarn over, pull back through the stitch...

Once you are happy with the length of your chain, make a single crochet into the loop next to your hook (not the chain in which your hook is currently sitting). 

To single crochet, take the hook and fit it through the second stitch from the end of the chain. Place the length of yarn over the hook and pull the hook back through the stitch. Yarn over again and pull the third loop of yarn through the first two loops. 

As an aside, you can always make a double crochet (or half-double crochet) if you want a slightly wider ribbon. 

Part 2 of single crochet, yarn over and pull through first two loops.

Now, tie your home-made (or store bought) ribbon around your corn tassels (or whatever you have decided to use) and  make a bow. Again, I cannot emphasize enough that you should do this outside...where you do not make such a mess of your carpet. 

To prevent shedding while on the wreath, I decided to briefly shellack the corn tassels. It seems to have worked pretty well.

But please note that shellack is highly flammable and may not be a good solution for everyone. I just happened to have some lying around for various items in my nursery project.

 I wouldn't doubt that there is a better product to use that would keep your corn tassels in the shape that you desire, and help prevent shedding...maybe starch? If anyone tries anything else, let me know! For now this seems to have worked pretty well. 

Despite the labeling, I left my corn tassels to dry for several days before attaching them to my wreath. 

Once you have put one single crochet into each stitch in your chain; turn the chain over and repeat the process for the other side of the chain.

You should end up on the first stitch that you made (the slip knot). 
Ribbon complete!
Follow the directions on the can and wear a mask!
For this wreath, I debated making some crochet pumpkins and hanging them from the wreath, I may still make some (fall's not over after all) but while I was wandering around the evil succubus den that is Wally-World, I stumbled across some cute little glitter pumpkins for $0.88 (for some reason I cannot find them on the website to link you...if someone finds them online, let me know and I will add the link). Anyway, you can't get much better than that..so I bought one with the intention of using it somehow in my holiday decor. Turns out this was the perfect project for the little guy... (mostly because I was looking to add something to my wreath and was too lazy to make anything!)

I attached the corn tassels and the little pumpkin to the grapevine wreath using some leftover floral wire (though you could also use fishing line or regular wire...or maybe glue (for the corn anyway, the pumpkin is too heavy). 

And viola! my lovely fall wreath is ready to hang!  I'd love to see your versions as well, feel free to share, and happy crafting fellow clumsy ones. 

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