Real Estate

Patriotic display

Local artist shares July 4 wreath-making tips

Palo Alto artist Helen Hu, who has been making silk flower wreaths since 2010, shares her techniques for creating a spectacular deco mesh red, white and blue door decoration for the Fourth of July.

Materials needed:

• 12-inch wreath form (or larger) with tinsel ties (Do not use not plain green wire form). You can purchase them online or at your local craft store.

• 2 rolls of 10-inch-wide deco mesh (red or blue); these can be the same color or different colors. If you use a larger wreath form, you should use 21-inch-wide deco mesh ribbons.

• 4-5 rolls of patriotic wired ribbons; can be red, white, blue

• Light-weight décor that can be hot glued to the mesh

• Hot glue gun

Step 1: Your wreath form will have two layers Place the larger side down and point the wire pieces up toward you.

Step 2: Roll out your mesh. Grab the starting end of your garland and fold the end down to form a "pony tail." Find a starting location on the outer ring -- doesn't matter where. Tightly double twist the tinsel tie around the "pony tail."

Step 3: Measure out about 8 inches of mesh garland, then secure it on the outer ring. (For a "poofier" look, measure the mesh garland in 10-inch or 12-inch sections). Tightly double twist the end of each section with the tinsel ties. Continue looping your mesh around the outside edge of the wreath form. When you reach your starting location, secure your current end to the same tinsel tie where your beginning loop is located.

Step 4: If you have a second color, secure a pony tail loop to the same tinsel tie you used previously for your starting location. It might look like you are running out of room with your wire -- don't panic, that's why you have extra tinsel ties. If using the same color, carry on with the next step as described. If you run out of one roll, begin the new roll where you left off. Your second roll will overlap with your first roll, and that's OK, that's what you want.

Step 5: When ready to add your ribbon, cut each of the ribbons at about 12-inches long. Count the number of tinsel ties on the wreath form. Cut each color of the ribbons to match the number of tinsel ties. Place each color of the cut ribbons together, tie to the tinsel tightly. Fluff the ribbon.

Step 6: Hot glue embellishments throughout your wreath until it looks exactly how you want it.

Step 7: Hang the wreath on the front door with an over-the-door hook, adhesive hook or nail. Or, residents can place them inside as home decor.

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Short story writers wanted!

The 33rd Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult (15-17) and Teen (12-14) categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 29. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

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