I started with a 12-inch heart-shaped styrofoam wreath form that I got at JoAnn's.
These are the two types of marabou I got at JoAnn's. They both come in 6-foot lengths. They don't come in a package, just hang from hooks on the store racks on a little card. The first time I looked for it at JoAnn's, I didn't find it, but they keep it with the craft items, such as the kids' craft kits and supplies. The type on the left is wide and feathery. The one on the right is wispier and finer. The third type I bought is in the photo below. Similar to the one on the right, but a little finer. It comes wrapped around a little card and, again, is sold in 6-foot lengths.
Marabou is feathers attached to a string base. Each length had knots in each end. To start, I cut off the extra string, but kept the knot at the end of the length of marabou. I used 20-gauge craft wire, cut pieces about 1.5 inches long and bent them into long U-shaped picks. I tacked down the marabou ends with these wire pieces. I started with24-gauge wire, but found that it was not quite firm enough and was difficult to insert into the styrofoam.
Then I just started wrapping around the wreath form. I tacked down each end of a marabou length, as well as at the points of the heart, top and bottom. I used two tacks, one on each side of the pointy part, to keep the marabou where I wanted it. I tried to put the marabou ends on the back side of the wreath, but if it didn't work out that way, then I hid the ends under the neighboring piece of marabou. It fills out so much that the ends are not noticeable.
This first wreath is made with my Michael's marabou. I used three 6-foot lengths to cover this wreath. When I wrapped around the form, each wrap was about an inch, or maybe a little less, away from the neighboring piece. Because this marabou was a little narrower, the heart shape is very well defined after it is wrapped. I just started wrapping, fairly tightly, and adjusted the distance between wraps so that I couldn't see the styrofoam.
This second wreath is made with my JoAnn marabou. The string base is a little wider than the Michael's and the marabou is fuller and wider. I didn't need to space the wraps as closely together on this one. The wraps were maybe an inch or so apart. I used a little less than 2.5 lengths for this one. Notice how, because the marabou is wider, the heart shape is not as well defined on top as the previous wreath with narrower marabou.
For these first two wreaths, I attached a little glass heart shaped ornament (from Michael's) with wire inside the wreath at the point. I made a little wire loop for the ornament to hang from, adjusted how long I wanted it to hang (so it would be totally seen and not covered by marabou), then used another wire pick to attach to the wreath. I also made a wire loop and attached to the back of the wreath for hanging. I probably should have planned how I was going to hang this before I started wrapping, but this is so lightweight, that the method I came up with will hold the wreath just fine.
Originally, I was going to use this last marabou on the heart shaped wreaths, but it is so wide that when I tried wrapping to see what it would look like, you couldn't even tell it was a heart. So I went with a 12-inch round wreath form. I used two 6-foot lengths for this wreath, with the wraps about 1.25 - 1.5 inches apart. The little glass heart was rather small for this larger wreath, so I found some larger glitter-covered hearts and used one of them for this wreath. I made a wire hook like the ones I used on my vintage ornament wreaths (see photo in this post), but I put it on after the wreath was wrapped. Would have been easier before all those feathers were in the way!
This wreath is going to be mine. As much as I love my vintage ornament wreath (see next to last photo in this post), I took it down today and replaced it with my new marabou one. The other two heart shaped wreaths will be gifts.
TIPS: If you want to make one of these, here are a couple things to keep in mind.
- Even when I changed to 20-gauge wire, sometimes it was still difficult to insert into the styrofoam. I found that if I held the wire with my pliers, not far above the styrofoam, then pushed in using the pliers, it was easier. I'd grab the wire not too far from the wreath form, push it in, grab again and push a little farther, repeating 2 or 3 times until the wire was firmly holding down the marabou. At the end, it was easier to push all the way down with my finger or the side of the pliers.
- The knots in the end of the marabou were all those slip knot kind, with one loop and an end and if you pull the end, it comes undone. At the very end of my projects, I realized that if I untied this original knot then just put in an overhand knot, it was much smaller than what had originally been there. A larger knot on the backside of the wreath was not a problem, but it would have been nicer when I had to hide knots on the front of the wreath had I discovered this way of getting smaller knots.
- As you work with the marabou, it tends to fluff up and look a little fuller. The Michael's marabou that had been wound on a card didn't look like much when it first came off the card, but as you work with it, it will definitely look better.