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In the business of everyday life, do you ever just totally forget that a holiday is coming up, only to find yourself doing a mad scramble for holiday decorations a few days before?
I know I have. Multiple times.
If this sounds like you this Halloween, I have a really fun and simple project to help your last minute decorating frenzy: the DIY Halloween twig wreath (yes, I’ve made yet another wreath).
This twig wreath is perfect for last minute Halloween decorating. If you make it using pre-made bats, you can make it in under 30 minutes. Even if you have to make the bats from scratch, you can still finish your twig wreath in an afternoon (making it well suited to frantic, night-before holiday decorating). In addition, because the primary material is free branches and twigs, this DIY wreath is nice and cheap to make!
P.S. If you’re looking for some other cheap, last minute Halloween decorating ideas, check out these no-sew pumpkins made from toilet rolls and fabric scraps, these free Halloween printables, or this free printable Halloween bunting.
Make your own simple Halloween wreath
To make your own DIY Halloween twig wreath, you will need:
- Twigs and branches. I gathered a bunch from a local park. When gathering your twigs and branches, try to get a variety of shapes and sizes. Ignore the people who look at you like you’re a madwoman just because you have a large bag filled with sticks, they just don’t understand, man.
- A hot glue gun and multiple hot glue sticks.
- Fake spider web
- Premade bats or handmade bats. These are an affordable option. If you want to make your own bats, you will need:
- Black paint. I used Rust-Oleum’s ‘Oil Rubbed Bronze‘ spray paint.
- A print out of a bat shape. Here’s the one I used.
- Air-dry clay or homemade clay.
- A rolling pin
- A cutting tool: A butter knife, stanley knife, or similar. I used a fondant knife that came in a collection of cake decorating tools like this. Fondant tools are great when working with clay!
Step 1: Create your bats (optional)
I was originally going to use premade bats for this project. However, my local craft store was all sold out and none of the stores nearby had anything close to what I needed in stock. Instead of letting The Man™ get me down, I decided to just suck it up and make my own bats. I’ll quickly show you how I made some cute Halloween bats just in case you can’t find any at the last minute.
If you have plenty of time to spare, leave your bats to air dry for approximately 24 hours. If you’re making this as a last minute Halloween decoration, you can hurry things along by following these instructions to dry air dry clay in the oven.
Once your bats are dry, paint them black. I used Rust-Oleum’s ‘Oil Rubbed Bronze‘ spray paint for my bats. Your bats will be ready to use in your twig wreath as soon as your paint is dry.
Step 2: Create your wreath shape
The first step in making your Halloween wreath is using your twigs to create a basic circle shape. This circle shape will form the base of your wreath.
Using the thicker sticks you’ve gathered, lay out a rough circle shape on a flat surface. Then, using your glue gun, glue all of your sticks together.
When I was making my Halloween twig wreath, I found that the secret to getting a good hold was (1) Using lots of hot glue (you might want to pick up some extra hot glue sticks before you start the project) and (2) Making sure each twig/branch was glued in at least two spots.
Once you’ve assembled your basic circle shape, leave everything to dry for approximately 10 minutes.
Step 3: Add body to your rustic Halloween stick wreath
Once you have your ‘base’ circle, it’s time to add more twigs/branches to your wreath. There’s no real hard and fast rule about how to do this. I just experimented, trying different branches until I found ones that looked right.
In general, you should try to:
- Glue each stick in two places (the top and bottom are generally best).
- Use a variety of branches and twigs in any one part of the wreath. Mix short and long, fat and thin, straight and curved in with one another.
- Weave branches and twigs into one another.
Keep going until your twig wreath looks how you want it in terms of size, shape, and fullness.
Step 4: Add bats
We’re nearly done now! Once you have finished adding your twigs, use your hot glue gun to glue your bats to your branches.
Step 5: Add cobwebs to your Halloween wreath
The final step is adding some fake spider web to your wreath. Using your hands, drape your fake cobwebs over the sticks, stretching it and looping around different branches it until it looks nice.
If you’re making this wreath as a last minute Halloween decoration and don’t have any fake cobwebs on hand, you could try using cotton balls. I’ve not personally tried this, but I imagine they’d work well if you tore them up/stretched them out enough.
And with that, your DIY Halloween twig wreath is finished!
Though it’s made from natural elements, this wreath should last for at least two Halloween seasons (so you can pull it out when you forget about Halloween again next year!) To keep your wreath in good condition between Halloweens, I would recommend storing it in a plastic tub and avoiding putting anything heavy on top of it.
Have you made any last minute Halloween decorations before? I’d love to hear about what you made and how in the comments below!