Sometimes, the simplest materials make the coolest things. This DIY wreath for fall is a perfect example. Made largely out of gold office supplies (flat head tacks), it resembles some funky, modern style in a sort of reptile skin or fish scale facade. Topped with a copper ribbon, the shiny neutral wreath looks instantly at home for the fall season; swap it out for a red and green ribbon a few months later, and the wreath will be perfect for Christmas.

Materials Needed:

  • Foam wreath form in the size of your choice (example uses a 14” wreath form)
  • Brass flat head thumbtacks (example uses 2,800 tacks) (yes, you read that right)
  • Copper wire ribbon

Begin by making a straight line at one point on your wreath with the tacks. The tack edges should overlap just barely, but enough to cover the foam form. As you can see, there is a space here that needs to (will) be fixed.

While you need the tacks to overlap, you don’t want them totally stacked on top of each other. Try to space each pin about 2/3 of the radius away from the neighboring tack heads.

While it’s tempting to just keep working in lines around the foam form, you’ll soon see that this won’t work all the way around. This is because the outside of the wreath is wider (and, thus, requires more tacks) than the inside of the wreath. Also, it’s a good idea to avoid any sort of formal alignment as you add tacks, because this will look odd at the slightest variation. And such variations are inevitable.

This tutorial used 14 boxes of tacks, with 200 tacks per box. If you choose a smaller wreath form or choose to not go all the way around the wreath, you won’t need as many. But you’ll probably need more tacks than you first think.

This shows roughly how far 200 tacks will go.

Those 200 tacks don’t even cover the back half of the wreath. Just the front side.

Slightly less than 1/4 of the wreath circumference, 400 tacks (on the front side only) is starting to make a dent. Although you’re adding tacks without formal alignment, you want to be sure you’re adding them in the same direction (e.g., clockwise or counter-clockwise) all the way around the wreath. This facilitates the overall look and feel of scales.

Continue working all the way around the wreath in this way. Tip: Go all the way around the wreath, from front to back, at each section. Previous photos show tacks in just the front of the wreath. It’s actually more efficient and will end with a better result if you circle the wreath form as you work your way around the circumference. The very last “row” of tacks will probably stand out a bit, because they interrupt the flow of tack stacking.

Position your copper wire ribbon around this last row of tacks, to hide it.

Knot your copper ribbon at the length of your choice.

That’s it, you’re done! Hang up your brass tack wreath anywhere you like. This example is used as a fall door wreath decoration.

The scaly look of this simple (albeit time-consuming) DIY project is so enchanting. We love the modern twist on an old classic door decoration.

Its simplicity appeals to the contemporary vibe, although the wreath form can easily look at home in a more traditional setting. This metallic wreath could look at home in a variety of styles – industrial, eclectic, perhaps even a bit Scandinavian.

One of our favorite combinations is a brassy gold with copper, and this pairing nails it with a cheerfully fresh and modern look. Note: The wreath is surprisingly heavy, so take care to not let it fall or it will likely smash the lightweight foam form inside.

So pull up a Netflix series to binge-watch and get going on your own DIY modern wreath for this fall season. You’re going to love the result. Happy DIYing

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