I’m quite happy to finally finish my Cascade Heart Wreath, Garden theme. This is the first of four Cascade Heart Wreaths I’m making, all completely different in color and style. But they all start with a Styrofoam frame forming the top of the heart and a cascade of hanging trim forming the lower part of the heart. I have been wanting a heart shaped wreath for some time now but wanted a more organic, flowing design. Making a heart with a cascade bottom was the perfect solution. An unexpected bonus: when the cascade is made of lighter material, it flutters with air movement. Having that movement is soothing to me, like a gentle spring breeze catching leaves.
This wreath reminds me of the kind of garden you would discover at the edge of property, not always tended, sometimes forgotten, a little bit wild but still beautiful. Pockets of little stones are scattered around the mossy knoll and the picket fence is a perfect resting spot for a baby bird. I adore swings and decided this garden needed a secret swing, hidden in the ivy.
To see the tutorial for making a Cascade Heart Wreath, click for more.
The heart wreath is made in 4 main steps.
Step A is preparing the top of the heart wreath out of Styrofoam. This can be made using a ready-made round wreath form or you can make your own.
Step B is preparing a paper guide to help you with the placement of the cascade that hangs from the top of the heart.
Step C is embellishing the top of the heart.
Step D is attaching the cascade under the top of the heart, forming the bottom of the heart.
STEP A. PREPARE THE TOP OF THE HEART
The upper part of the heart wreath is made using a round wreath form, which is cut into pieces and glued back together again in a new way. You can use a pre-made round Styrofoam form or make your own. Or you can cut the top of the heart freehand from a large sheet of Styrofoam. If you cut the top of the heart freehand, skip to STEP B.
For a wreath about 20 1/2″ in diameter, before adding any embellishment, you will need a 12” round form.
For a 17” diameter wreath, before any embellishment, use a 9 1/2” round form.
For a 14” diameter wreath, use an 8” round form.
This dimension is variable, within an inch or so, depending on how wide you make the center section.
1. This may seem a little confusing so I hope the photos help. Use a pre-made round wreath form or use a compass to draw a “donut shape” on a sheet of Styrofoam and cut out with a Styrofoam cutter or paring knife. Trace around the pre-made wreath form or donut to make a round paper pattern. Cut out.
2. Fold the paper pattern in half and crease it. Open the paper and draw on the creased line so you can see it clearly.
3. Using the edge of a piece of paper or other right-angle drawing aid, draw a line across the circle as show, at an EXACT RIGHT ANGLE to the fold line, as seen in photo #2. It is important to keep this line perpendicular to your fold line or your wreath will be difficult to glue together later. The line can be draw anywhere from one third TO two thirds in from the edge of the circle. The difference will be how wide your finished wreath is so this edge can be adjusted before you glue the pieces together.
4. Trace the lines you drew onto your Styrofoam donut or wreath form as in Photo #2.
Cut on the lines using a paring knife or Styrofoam cutter. Keep the two large, curved parts and discard the rest.
5. Match the two flat sides of the Styrofoam pieces together so they look as shown in photo #1. Check to see how they fit before gluing together. If the edges are not smooth and the pieces don’t fit together tightly, rub the pieces together like sanding blocks to “sand down” little bumps or use a paring knife to carefully trim the pieces until they fit well. Glue together and reinforce with toothpicks. Set aside until dry.
6. When dry, clip the end of the toothpicks with scissors or jewelry wire cutters as shown in photo #3.
7. If desired, use a paring knife or Styrofoam cutter to round the edges to give the form a more curved shape.
8. If the wreath will be heavy or if you will be hanging heavy “cascade” materials from it, reinforce it by gluing cardboard trimmed to size on the back as shown in photo #4.
STEP B: PREPARE THE PAPER GUIDE FOR THE CASCADE
9. Place the top of the heart made out of Styrofoam on a large piece of paper. Trace the underside of the heart. Draw one side of a heart shape on the paper as shown in photo #5.
10. Remove the Styrofoam and fold the paper in half. Cut ONLY on the line you drew to make the side and bottom of the heart. The top of the paper pattern will be needed to secure the pattern temporarily to the back of the styrofoam piece so leave some paper at the top.
11. Spread out the paper pattern you cut out and use a ruler and pencil to draw guidelines where you want the cascade. These lines will be used to help position the hanging pieces forming the cascade. See Photo #6.
STEP C: EMBELLISH THE TOP OF THE HEART
12. Gather your materials to cover the top of the heart. You will need something to wrap the form, such as strips of burlap, ribbon, fabric or paper, glue and greening pins. You will also need other embellishments. I used sheet moss, aquarium gravel, clear beads, artificial flowers and other greenery for this Garden wreath as in Photo #7.
13. Use glue and greening pins to secure the burlap strips or other wrap material around the heart form as in photo # 8.
14. Prepare a hanging loop. Wrap a small section of heavy wire around a pen, twist ends together as shown in photos #9 & 10 Insert a greening pin between the ends of the heavy wire and continue to twist as shown to secure it.
15. Remove loop of wire from the pen. Use pliers to bend at a 90 degree angle as shown. For my wreath, I made two hanging loops so I could hang the wreath with a ribbon.
16. Secure the hanging loop by spreading glue on the wires and using pliers to press it securely into the back of the wreath as shown in Photo # 11. Let dry.
14. Use glue and pins to embellish the top of the heart as desired.
STEP D: ATTACH THE CASCADE
15. Temporarily pin the paper cascade guidelines to the back of the heart form as shown in Photo #14. .
16. Hang the wreath somewhere so you can easily continue working on the wreath. A door wreath hanger is perfect for this, using a closet or cabinet door. It is easier to see how long to make the cascade pieces if the wreath is hanging. Cut cascade pieces the length you want and use greening pins and glue to secure to the underside of the heart top, following the paper pattern as a guide. See photo #15.
17. Remove the paper guide from the wreath and add any other embellishment as desired. I glued on the tiny “dew drop” beads at this point because it was easier to see where I wanted a little sparkle. The butterfly was very last because it is fragile.
I’m looking forward to making more Cascade Heart Wreaths. There are SO many options!
~ A black velvet wrapped top, with black chain cascade… Metal pendants on the bottom and tiny black and white photos secured to the chains…
~ A gilded Cascade Heart Wreath, with sequined top and strands of gold beads, chain and charms…
~ A pastel design, with baby-soft, gray and pastel velvet ribbon cascade and vintage rattles or spoons…
~ A white feathered wreath…
The possibilities are endless. If you make a wreath inspired by this tutorial, please post a link. I would love to see it!