So I went for the straight-forward approach, tell it like it is.
First: The "Non" How To Make a Wreath that doesn't cost $50.
Why is it a Non-How-To?
Because I am NOT an expert. This is my first attempt at making a wreath. I don't even call my self crafty, unless we're talking about hiding chocolate. But I wanted a fall wreath and one that didn't cost more than a trip to see real foliage. So this is what I did. And if you are brave enough to copy my non-expert craftiness, please send me a picture -- I'd love to see new and improved versions of my beginner's luck.
Straw wreath - a couple of dollars at WalMart
One bunch of fall foliage flowers and leaves - $5 - conveniently next to the wreaths
One roll of burlap ribbon - $5, maybe a little more
One package of wreath making pins - totally forget how much but they were also right next to the wreath bases.
And heavy duty wire cutters. I borrowed a pair from the kindest neighbor on the planet. If you don't own any, you will have to use different flowers that don't require cutting.
I clipped the flowers and leaves from the bunch that I wanted to use. I removed the plastic from the straw wreath. A lot of straw went flying. Probably could have made the wreath in a barn instead of on my table, but that's hindsight for you. One note of caution (this is code for how I almost ruined the entire project): don't cut the twine that is responsible for keeping your straw wreath base in tact. It's not pretty.
I chose to wrap the burlap ribbon around the entire wreath (mostly to help secure the section I cut loose--see above caution) - but if you want to conserve ribbon, you could wrap the exposed side only-(this is a personal choice somewhere in the realm of how to organize your sock drawer--at the end of the day you are the only one who will know or care :)
Secure the flowers with the extra long looking wreath pins as you see fit. That's right, I don't have a flower placing pattern for you to follow. This feels like stating the obvious, but I don't have any flower-arranging credentials so you are better off figuring out this step on your own.
Tie or create a bow with the burlap ribbon.
Hang on your door. Pretend it isn't 100+ degrees and enjoy!
Here is a re-post of a poem I wrote in 2011.
Hand Picked Fun
I don’t know what happened to my bathing suit
Summer up and left
Mom moved the sweaters
From my big sister’s drawer
And the sun inched west a little sooner each day
Taking all the fun with him
Until we piled into the maroon station wagon
And drove north
Long enough for us to wonder if Dad got lost
We found the trees. Green leaves gone to yellow and orange.
Did the colors bring the cool air?
I thought so, but they told me it was the other way around.
Rows and rows of heavy laden trees.
We picked for hours, climbing, stretching
With cold noses and fingers
We filled our bags and bushels full of red, ripe apples.
And the country store had heated, fresh pressed cider.
One sip and my brother laughed at my eyes
Popping from the burst of flavor
Sweet and spicy
Like those apples had figured out a way
To store all the rays of summer sunshine.
Just for me.