Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Making a March Madness Wreath

March Madness has begun! I know this because my son-in-law is a Jayhawk and the games have begun! I didn't really care for sports growing up - I basically played what I had to in high school and left it at that. My dad and brother are huge sports fans and I do remember them going to see the Knicks at Madison Square Garden one year and yelling themselves hoarse!

I visited Lawrence, Kansas, home of both the origin of the game of basketball and the Jayhawks during March Madness last year. I could not go anywhere without running into something Jayhawk. My daughter was being ordained at that time and some people actually came to the service decked out in Jayhawk clothing! I knew then that these people were serious about the game. I haven't a clue about brackets, but my son-in-law gives you an idea on his blog here: I also find it funny that the University of Kansas uses the letters KU. The reason apparently is that the University of Kentucky already uses UK. However, then you have the actual Kansas State University which cannot use the already used KU and uses K-State - go figure!

I thought wouldn't it be great to make them a wreath to hang on their front door during the season. So, I went to a few craft stores to pick up what I needed. I always go to my four favorites (Michaels, JoAnn, Hobby Lobby and A.C.Moore) carrying a 40% off coupon - that way I can make things that don't cost an arm and a leg! Luckily these four stores are all in close proximity. Here is a list of what I bought:
2- 25 yard rolls of blue tulle (you use your NCAA college colors)
1 - 25 yd. roll of red tulle
1- 18" styrofoam wreath form
2 letters - K and U. I used 5" letters. You would of course use whatever letters your college uses.
I already had some florist wire, acrylic paints in red and gold, a spay can of clear paint and a hot glue gun with glue sticks.
1. Cut your blue tulle into 21" lengths
2. Cut your red tulle into 21" lengths.

3. Take your piece of tulle and fold it in half. Then take the looped portion and slide it under the wreath.
4. Take the cut ends and bring them over the top of the wreath
5. Pull them through the loop on the bottom and tug 
6. It should look like this
7. Continue doing this with the blue all around the wreath. Then gently open areas around the wreath to do the same with the red tulle. I had about 11 blues in each section. I placed 3 reds for every 6 blues and then after the next 5 blues placed 2 reds. This gave it a nice look that wasn't too matchy matchy.

8. Using a scissor, trim all the ends to 3" to give it a clean look

9. Paint the tops of your letters red - or whatever color your school uses. Let it dry and paint the sides the second or third color. KU is basically red and blue, but has accents of yellow because of the Jayhawk mascot. If you are unsure of your painting skills, you can use painter's tape to cover the area's needed.
9. Once they are dried, take 2 or 3 pieces of florist's wire, bend them in half and make 2 small circles in the bent area. This is so you have something for the hot glue to adhere to.

10. Take your hot glue gun and generously add glue to the back of the letters while holding the wire in place until it dries enough to hold, which should be only a few minutes. For placement, I knew I would have one letter higher than the other on the wreath, so I put my wires in 2 different places
11. Using the wire, firmly attach your letters by wrapping the wire around the wreath form
12. Add a ribbon to hang it with and there you have it!


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