I should start a series called (practically) crafty because I have a million ideas and minimal execution – but I like to think that when I do make time to craft, I do it right. That said, my front door has been barren and sad-looking, complimented by the growing cracks that are developing, thanks to blistering Dallas heat on a inappropriately dark shade of stain for a west-facing door. This poor door was crying “make me pretty”.
But I was feeling, well, thrifty.
And then at the craft store I spotted flip-flops, and a plan came together.
This time I didn’t want to spend a lot of money (famous last words were never more often uttered when walking into a chain craft store, right?) In my craft-and-glitter crazed wanderings I have come across these MDF craft rings with holes drilled through them, and they cost a fraction of what the wire rings cost, so I thought this would be the perfect time to try them out. I would ransack my craft room for leftovers and see what I could put together. For this craft, here is what you need:
18-inch MDF craft ring
9 pipe cleaners (I like to match the color to the top layer of mesh used)
Approximately 8 feet of pink (or choose your color*) mesh
Approximately 6 feet of burlap mesh
4 pairs of flip-flops (I used size M for this wreath)
Heavy thread (I used extra heavy jewelry thread)
Miscellaneous colored ribbon to decorate flip-flops
Sunglasses (you can find them in the dollar section – or in a junk drawer, from the orthodontist)
*after I made this, my daughter commented that blue mesh would have looked like water, and I realized that all burlap would look like sand. Alas, I had only 6 feet remaining of the burlap mesh, so this is what I got. Use what you got, people.
Flip-Flop Wreath instructions:
- Start by centering a pipe cleaner across the ring next to a drilled hole. Wrap the ends of the pipe cleaner around the ring and feed each end through the hole on the reverse so the ends come out the front. (See photo) Continue this through each drilled hole.
- Hold the mesh ribbon in your hands and let the end of the roll drape to the floor. Folding under the outside edges, gather (scrunching, if you will) the ribbon and place the bunched end into one of the twist ties. Twist it twice – don’t over tighten, as you will be undoing the twist to add in more ribbon later.
- Now, eyeball about 12″, and from there, folding under the outside edges, gather the fabric. Measure and adjust to 12″, then place that gather in the next twist tie, twisting firmly twice to hold in place. I find it is easiest to turn the wreath as you go so that as you gather, you are pulling the fabric to you. This will keep the outside edge from becoming longer than the inside edge.
- Continue around the wreath until you get to the tie you started. Untie it, place your last gather on top of the first, then re-twist the tie around both pieces of mesh. (This is why you don’t want to over-twist!) Gather up the end of the fabric on the other side of the tie and cut it off.
- Repeat the same process with your complimentary color (the burlap mesh, in this case), beginning one pipe cleaner away from where you started first layer of mesh ribbon – only this time, measure about 9 inches, so it is not as full.
- When you get to the last tie, attach your bunch of fabric, then trim off the excess on the other side of the twist. Save the remnants for another crafting project!
- Decide how you want to arrange the flip-flops and then set them aside in order of application.
- Cut a LONG length of thread – I eyeballed about 30 inches or so. Leaving a long tail, tie one end in a knot around the toe button on the bottom of the flip-flop. Flip the flip-flop right side up and place it on the wreath, covering a pipe cleaner. Finding the gap between the mesh ribbon, wrap the thread around the ring, pulling firmly, then wrap it once or twice around the toe button again.
Come around the bottom of the wreath again to the heel of the shoe, bending it back to expose the two buttons at the heel.
As these are tight to the sole, push down from the opposite side to make some room to wrap the thread around the button on the left twice, then take the thread to the other button and wrap around it twice, then feed the thread under the wreath again, and secure the end of the thread around the toe button several times before knotting it off to the tail. Trim the remaining thread, if needed.
- Repeat for each flip-flop. (This is easy but tedious. You might need to stop for a snack. Or that might just be me.)
- Take your narrow ribbon. For each flip-flop, cut four pieces, each approximately 5″ long. Wrap around the toe of each flip-flop, spreading out the ribbon.
- Decide where the top of your wreath will be, and flip it over. Using your remaining pipe cleaner, feed it through one of the holes where you attached the ribbon, twisting twice, then forming a small loop for hanging. Wrap the remaining ends of the pipe cleaner around the loop to secure it.
- Flip the wreath over again and attach your sunglasses to the flip-flops. (I used a bit more of the thread to secure the glasses to the wreath itself.)
- Finally, attach your decorative piece using heavy thread/pipe cleaners. (I scored this one at Dollar Tree!)
Your flip-flop wreath is ready to hang!
Note: Because of the pervasive heat here in Texas and because I have a west-facing door which gets late afternoon sun, I did not use a glue gun to secure anything on the wreath. If your wreath will not be exposed to excessive heat, you can use a glue gun to secure the flip-flops, but I would do so after first securing with string.
What a fun way to decorate your front door! I’m happy with how this turned out (and was delighted to make good use of my scrap drawer and inexpensive items from the craft store.
There are so many ways to tweak this wreath to reflect your own tastes – be it the color of mesh ribbon, flip-flop, decorative ribbons, adding silk flowers or other summery accents!
What colors would you use to make YOUR summer flip-flop wreath!