We all know that first impressions count, so why not help your front door put its best face forward? This decoration extends a warm welcome to guests and allows your family's personality to shine. Starting with a store-bought grapevine wreath, you can have the whole household get into the act of customizing the embroidery-hoop ornaments in endless ways (we suggest a few easy techniques here).
Go beyond the holidays by hanging ornaments that celebrate achievements, announce happy events like birthdays and graduations, or cheer on a team. Add or remove ornaments each season, and the fun — and that terrific first impression — can last all year long.
The embroidery hoops used here are 3 to 5 inches wide and cost $1 to $2 each at craft or fabric stores. For another creative hoop craft, check out our hair-accessory holder.
For each ornament, measure the hoop, then cut a fabric circle that's an inch larger in diameter. Sandwich the fabric between the rings of the hoop, then pull the fabric taut and tighten the screw. Trim any excess fabric.
Decorate the ornaments (see ideas below). Let them dry, as needed, then apply a coat of Outdoor Mod Podge for weatherproofing and let it dry. Attach the ornaments and greenery or other extras to the wreath with lengths of floral wire. For the greatest durability, hang the finished wreath in a protected spot.
Stamp simple shapes by applying acrylic paint to a halved apple or a leaf, then pressing it onto the fabric (practice on paper first). Add details with a paint pen.
For a 3-D effect, use strong glue, such as Crafter's Pick The Ultimate, to adhere collage materials like the fishing line shown here (made from a bit of cord) and metal charms.
Acrylic paint and a brush are great for creating bold images like our pie design, and for livening up the hoop frames (paint them before adding the fabric). For more detailed designs, such as our horse drawing, use fabric markers or paint pens.
Create ornaments from photos — like the dog portrait shown here — with inkjet-printable cotton sheets (we used Jacquard brand, available at craft stores). Follow the package instructions to transfer a digital shot or scanned drawing to the fabric, then use a paint pen for extra flourishes.