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How to Wreath on a Budget Using Upcycled Materials

How to Wreath on a Budget Using Upcycled Materials

Are you wondering how to wreath on a budget?

If you're a wreath maker or crafter, you might already be familiar with UITC™ Wreath Making Boards. Our boards help you create a beautiful wreath, in less time and with less materials than traditional wreathing methods. And when you use less materials, you can save a lot of money!

Fortunately, you don't always need to use brand new crafting materials, such as mesh, to make a gorgeous wreath on our boards! You can actually upcycle or repurpose many items found around your home to create something stunning.

We've always said that if you can get a zip tie around it, you can attach it to our wreath boards. This opens up the door for you to use many "outside-the-box" materials to make your wreaths inexpensively AND creatively! Let's see how...

Laurie, founder and CEO of Unique in the Creek, showing off the Large Wreath Board

It All Starts on a UITC™ Wreath Board

Before you begin making your wreath on a budget, the first thing you'll need is a UITC™ Wreath Board.

UITC™ Wreath Boards are the base for all your wreath making projects. They're made entirely of 100% recycled plastic, they're weather resistant and they can be reused! The best feature is the patterned holes to which you can attach all your materials easily and quickly. Our boards are easy and fun to use; no matter your skill level, you get gorgeous results every time.

As of September 2022, we have 11 wreath boards available:

Browse Our Wreath Making Boards

We recommend using zip ties with all of our boards to attach your materials. From traditional crafting materials to upcycled materials, you can use any material you wish as long as you can get a zip tie around it. This helps you use fewer materials so that the wreath making process is much more cost effective and environmentally friendly.

And even though we're about to tell you how to wreath on a budget, you can always check out additional supplies to help build out your wreath a little more, we've got tons of supplies and materials in our online shop: from mesh, to ribbon, to all kinds of accessories, it's all there!

Wreath on a Budget by Repurposing Old Items

Get ready to turn something old into something new and beautiful! It's time to search your closets, junk drawers, and storage boxes! Here are some items you could possibly find around your home that you could use to build your wreath on a budget:

  • Clothing - Denim
  • Clothing - Old t-shirts/sweaters
  • Clothing - Bandanas
  • Clothing - Fun socks
  • Clothing - Feather boas
  • Clothing - Footwear (baby shoes, flip flops, etc.)
  • Gift bags
  • Old photos
  • Fabric - old drapes, bedding, etc.
  • Tablecloths
  • Christmas ornaments
  • Buttons, wine corks, or bottlecaps
  • Book pages
  • Calendar pages
  • Greeting cards
  • Sheet music
  • Maps
  • Magazine pages
  • Patterned napkins (paper or linen)
  • Deflated balloons
  • Cotton balls
  • Stuffed animals or old toys

...and this list could continue on and on! If you can get a zip tie around it or decoupage it, you can attach it to a UITC™ wreath board. Let your imagination run wild!

So with that in mind, let's take a look at some examples of upcycled or repurposed materials being used on our boards—both from us and members of our Unique Wreath Creators Facebook group—to make beautiful and creative wreaths.

Decoupage Something to Your Wreath Board

Want to make a wreath that features an image, but don't want to spend the money on a peel 'n stick vinyl? We've got you covered!

To wreath on a budget, decoupage something you already have instead of using a vinyl. Laurie has done just this in the above two wreaths with scenic images from a calendar. You could also use greeting cards, photographs, posters, maps, and other materials. If you can decoupage it, yo can add it to our boards!

Cheri Thrower's tropical flower wreath made on the Large Board featuring a decoupaged centre.

Have the outer portion of a flower wreath completed and need a wreath centre? This is also where decoupage can come in handy. Cheri Thrower did this here with her super-summery flower wreath, featuring a patterned flamingo napkin decoupaged to a flat surface. It really ties the whole wreath together beautifully!

Use Old Clothing to Make a Wreath

Got clothing lying around that you'll never wear again? Rather than throwing it out or making a thrift store run, give it new life by featuring it in your next wreath!

Bandanas were used to create this patriotic all-American flower wreath on the Large Board by Shayla Dowell McClure. We bet this wreath looks fabulous displayed on Memorial Day and the 4th of July!

Have feather boas you'll never use again? Boas are great for adding bulk to a wreath, helping you cut down on other materials in your wreath—such as deco mesh—or eliminating the need for other materials altogether! They also give a wreath a fabulous flair.

In the above left, Michele from Monkey's Creations used a pink feather boa for the body of her Breast Cancer Awareness Angel, made on the Triangle Board, while on the right, Jan Barker added an orange feather boa amongst her mesh to add bulk to her pumpkin Character Board wreath.

While using old items of clothing can be an effective way to save money when making a wreath, it can also serve another purpose: to create a tribute to a loved one who has passed on.

If you've lost someone special and have been tasked with disposing of their things, making a memorial wreath using treasured items of their clothing can be a great way to keep a piece of them close to you. Jennifer Jones Farley did just that with the above wreaths made in her late mother's memory. Using items of her mother's clothing that held special memories, from t-shirts to dresses, she created these beautiful wreaths that she gifted to her family members. What a touching sentiment!

Swap Out Mesh for Shelf Liner, Tablecloths, or Unused Fabric

Amongst our community of wreath makers, a favourite material to use instead of mesh is shelf liner. Shelf liner is a great material for filling out a wreath and is also very easy to work with. And from a distance, it can actually look a whole lot like mesh!

The above three wreaths by Charnella Rosas, Carol Otto, and Katherine Rine Stalnaker are terrific examples of how this material can look when added to our wreath boards.

Another popular item to upcycle for use on our wreath boards? Tablecloths, especially ones made from stiffer material such as vinyl or plastic. These are a fantastic alternative to mesh as they are often patterned, giving your wreath a little extra uniqueness!

The above three wreaths from Pat Richard Guidry, Nancy James, and Laurie are good examples of the different looks you can get when using a tablecloth to build a wreath on the Large Board.

If you have fabric you don't know what to do with (e.g. bed linens, old drapes, fabric left over from a sewing project, upholstery stripped from old furniture), it can be used to make a wreath on a budget too!

In the above left photo, Kim Miller Decker created a festive Christmas tree wreath on the Triangle Board using scraps of fabric. On the right, Laurie created an eye-catching felt 'n fabric flower wreath on the Large Board.

Hot tip: When using fabric, felt, or any other non-waterproof material to make a wreath, be sure to spray the wreath with Scotchguard if you're going to hang it outside. This will help protect it from the elements.

Other Outside-the-Box Ideas

We've seen many other creative wreath on a budget ideas from our makers community. Here are just a few:

If you're a bookworm or are making a wreath for someone who is, using an old book to make a wreath could be a fantastic project for you.

Above, Julie Sieger took a copy of The Secret Garden and used its pages to make the "petals" of this Character Board wreath. She then decoupaged the cover of the book to create the centre. Faux flowers and greenery were added to tie it altogether into a theme.

Faye Earl Hayes from Ducky Darling Creations used deflated party balloons to create the look of this celebratory Ring Board wreath. From afar, they kind of look like colourful flowers! Adorable!

Use Leftover or Economical Crafting Materials to Make a Wreath

Even if you don't have anything around your home that you'd like to upcycle for a wreath project, there are still other ways to wreath on a budget. For instance, you could use leftover crafting materials you have, such as ribbon, or swap out your mesh for more economic materials, such as felt, foam, or tulle.

In the above left photo, Maia Place shows just how gorgeous an all-ribbon wreath can be! Her peacock wreath, made on the Large Board with NO mesh, only ribbon, is stunning. To make a wreath like Maia's, take stock of what ribbon you have left over from previous crafting projects and see if you can come up with a theme or pleasing colour scheme.

In the centre, Debbie Bradford Samson has created an absolutely breathtaking lotus flower out of fun foam. No mesh required! Sheets of foam are much more friendly on the wallet than mesh, and you get such cool results, too.

On the right, Terri Poe made a cheerful sunshine wreath using felt. Just like foam, it's much more inexpensive to use than mesh and you get a different and unexpected result. So neat!

And let's not forget about tulle! In the above left photo, Michele from Monkey's Creations brilliantly used tulle for a St. Patrick's Day leprechaun wreath, made on the Ring Board. And on the right, Laurie used tulle instead of mesh for a black 'n pink Character Board Christmas wreath. The ribbons help tie the theme together nicely!

In addition to being more economic than mesh, tulle is also a much lighter material, which means if you're sending your wreath away to a customer or as a gift, it will cost less to ship too!

Wreath on a Budget with Tutorials & Replays

So now that you have some ideas for making a wreath on a budget, you might be wondering how exactly you go about the process of actually making your wreath. Fortunately, we have a YouTube channel full of replays and tutorials to help get you started!

Here are just a few of our #MakeitlikeLaurie YouTube replays that cover some of the ideas you saw above:

Learn to make a wreath using shelf liner!
Learn to make a wreath using felt & fabric!
Learn to make a wreath using ribbon!
Learn to make a wreath using tulle!
Learn to make a wreath using a tablecloth!
Learn to decoupage an image to the Character or Rail Board!

If you need more help creating your wreaths or are just looking for more inspiration, browse our YouTube channel for more replays and tutorials. And don't forget to hit the subscribe button! More replays are being added all the time, so you don't wanna miss out!

Be Sure You Are "Authentically Unique!"

Before you make your wreath on a budget, we unfortunately need to give a little attention to knock-off boards. They're out there, and we've been seeing them more and more. These boards are lower quality, are typically made overseas, and won't work with our replays.

Authentic UITC™ Wreath Boards:
👍 Always have the UITC™ logo embossed on the back.
❤️ Are weather-proof and durable, made to withstand the elements.
👍 Have the holes laid out in a clear pattern.
❤️ Have clearly numbered rows of holes.
👍 Are the *only* boards that will work with #MakeitlikeLaurie replays & tutorials.
❤️ Are made here in North America!

Remember, when in doubt, genuine UITC™ Wreath Boards can be purchased through our online shop or through one of our Authorized Distributors. When you purchase your boards one of these ways, you are guaranteed to be "authentically unique!"


Here at Unique in the Creek, we really do believe that wreath making is for everyone, regardless of your budget. You don't need any previous crafting experience OR fancy materials to have fun and create something beautiful for your home or to give as a gift. All you need is one of our wreath boards, some materials, and a little inspiration!

So now that we've shown you how to make a wreath on a budget with upcycled and economic materials, are you ready to get started? Click here for wreath boards, materials, supplies, kits, and more, and don't forget to tag us in your photos on Instagram so we can see and share your creations!

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