How to make a Christmas Wreath... and a few other ideas!
Let's start with the frame.
There are a number of things you can use to create a frame. I have used Aluminium rod, ¼" or 6mm is good for this or you can used a pre-formed circle such as a child's hula-hoop, but you will be limited by the sizes available. To find your nearest Aluminium distributor talk to your balloon wholesaler first, as often they will sell it, or they may know of a local supplier?
|Childs Hula Hoop|
|Circle made from Aluminium Rod|
How many balloons will you need to create your wreath? There is a simple calculation that you can use to work this out!
If you have studied the QBN programme you will already know how to do this, but if not, let me help you!
You will need to know the diameter of the circle before you can calculate the circumference.
|Measure the diameter of your circle to calculate the circumference.|
Circumference of a circle.
The circumference is the length of the edge around the circle. For any circle, the circumference is:
3.141592 x the diameter. So what is 3.141592 then? This is a special, unique number it is known as 'pi' and is pronounced 'pie'. I bet when you studied 'pi' at school, most of use thought that we would never need to use this again!
So looking at my circle, it's diameter measures 65cm, therefore 65 x 3.141592 = 204.4cm or 2.04m or in inches 25.5" x 3.141592 = 80.11" or 6.6' - How easy is that!
Once we know the circumference of our circle we can use this information to calculate how many balloons the circle will need by using the Qualatex Balloon Estimator available at www.Qualatex.com to QBN Members, or you can refer to a Spiral Garland Chart.
Let's assume that we are going to use 5" balloons inflated to 4" and use 4-balloon clusters. We will need 15.1 balloons per foot of garland, and as our circumference is 6.6' we would need approx. 100 balloons 15.1 x 6.6 = 99.66
This is such a great help when you need to work out how many balloons you need to order rather than guessing!
The above calculation is assuming that you are going to use all the same size of balloons. For the Christmas Wreath I have used 2 sizes (3 actually), but I do not want to confuse you, so lets say 2 sizes, the reason for using 2 different sizes is to create the perfect inner curve rather than seeing the balloons on the inside of the wreath looking all squashed up!
Prepare your framework.
Whether you are using aluminium or a hula hoop, you should cover the frame in the same colour as the colour of the balloons that you will be using, this will stop the frame from showing through.
This can be achieved by wrapping a partially inflated 260Q or 350Q around the frame, see below.
Qualatex Balloons used:
I used a variety of shades of Green and finished it off with a few Red 5" balloons.
5" Pearl Teal - 43596
5" Pearl Emerald Green - 43581
5" Pearl Forest Green - 43582
5" Pearl Ruby Red - 43594
I used Pearl Teal on the inner edge and Pearl Forest and Pearl Emerald Green to the outer edge, I was a little unsure initially whether to use the Pearl Teal, but once I added it to the frame I really liked the look and the contrast in the different shades of Green.
You will need to play around with your sizes as your frame may be a different size to mine, the rule of thumb is to allow approx. 1" difference when working with 5" balloons and 2" when working with bigger balloons.
Continue to add your balloons until the wreath is complete.
I have added a little accent colour using 5" Pearl Ruby red balloons inflated to only 1" to make small bubbles, I simply added these in by carefully securing the neck of the bubble into the wreath.
|Add a beautiful bow!|
There are so many different accents elements that you could add to your wreath... a large bow, some "Holly Leaves" - made from heat sealed stars as shown in my Distortion Technique Blog 1 last month (October 2012).
You can use this same technique to make 'wreaths' for other occasions, not just for Christmas!
|Summer 'Dream Catcher' created by Sue Bowler CBA|
|Wedding or Baby Wreath - there are many different ways you can use these lovely wreaths!|
If you are interested in learning more skills regarding adding balloons to framework, I have covered this in greater detail in my DVD - Balloon Decor 1, where I demonstrate step by step how to make 3 different 'Perfect Hearts' - fantastic for Valentines Day and Weddings and how to create amazing air-filled arches plus lots more! To find your nearest distributor visit www.suebowler.com or order online from my online shop!
Have fun and Happy Ballooning!