I thought I’d mix it up a bit today with a tutorial for an easy, Beaded Mardi Gras Wreath. Next Tuesday, February 12, is “Fat Tuesday”, or the last day of Mardi Gras Carnival season in New Orleans. Originally, I wanted to make a Mardi Gras Wreath that was somewhat tasteful and understated, and then I thought “what!? NOTHING about Mardi Gras is understated!” And neither is this bright and glitzy Beaded Mardi Gras Wreath.
You can buy Mardi Gras beads in party stores, chain stores, and if you are planning ahead (I did not), you can mail order from everyone’s favorite discount craft and party store – Oriental Trading Company. Altogether, the beads are heavy, so I went with a sturdy, 2” thick wreath of STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam. I also opted to pin on the beads. I knew the pins would hold the beads in place, and I wasn’t sure if glue would. Here are all the details:
To make a Beaded Mardi Gras Wreath, you’ll need:
- STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam: 10” x 2” x 2” wreath
- Crepe paper, purple
- Mardi Gras beads, 48 – 50 strands
- Mardi Gras coins
- Mardi Gras mask
- Floral U-pins (optional)
- Floral wire
- Low-temp glue gun
- Tools needed: Scissors; wire cutters
To make a Beaded Mardi Gras Wreath:
1. Wrap your wreath with crepe paper, pinning and gluing the ends to the back of the wreath.
2. Cut apart the necklaces, so you have long strands of beads. Using U-pins, pin one strand to the wreath and wrap it around the wreath; pin the other end in place. Repeat, until the wreath is covered in a single layer of beads.
A few notes:
- You will have gaps, which you’ll fill in when you add more beads.
- I used 26 necklaces for the first layer, and 16 strands for the second layer.
- Because I knew that I would cover a portion of the wreath with a mask, I left a section uncovered.
- If you don’t have U-pins, you can make your own from 1” lengths of floral wire.
3. Add a second layer of beads, wrapping them at random around the wreath. These beads do not need to be neat, after all, Mardi Gras is not an orderly affair!
4. Glue on Mardi Gras coins, and then glue and pin the mask in place.
5. Gather together 3 – 4 necklaces, and wrap a length of wire around the center, forming a beaded swag. Insert the ends of the wire into the middle of the wreath, so they dangle down.
6. Hang your wreath with a string of beads.
It’s crazy and colorful, just like Mardi Gras!
Have you ever been to New Orleans for Mardi Gras? Or, do you have fun celebrating Mardi Gras at home? Please share.