Thursday, October 13, 2011

How to avoid pipe insulation wreath kink!

So, there are lots of gorgeous wreath making tutorials out there and the top tip for making a wreath form on a budget is to use pipe insulation for the base of the ring. This is great because pipe insulation is cheap, this is not so great because pipe insulation is made for straight pipes, not ring-shaped ones. Wreaths made this way have a tendency to have bends or creases or kinks in them, as demonstrated below...


(Wreath wrapped in burlap and decorated with t-shirt roses made from this tutorial by Cathie Filian.)

After several craft nights where we have made projects for the kids I decided it was time we made something for ourselves and burlap-wrapped wreaths seemed to fit the Fall-time bill. Off I went to Lowes and bought lots of pipe insulation and came home and tried to form some rings. Not very easy to do when you want a nice round circle without any kinks. My main philosophy when I'm coming up with things for Craft Night is that they need to be easy enough for anyone to turn out something great, and I was having visions of people struggling with their foam trying to eke out something resembling a ring shape. Not good, so I decided to experiment...

I thought about stuffing, I thought about wire, (but I didn't really have anything suitable in the house and I'd left this to the last minute), so then I just thought about maths. The inside diameter of a ring is always going to be less than the outside diameter, so trying to form something that is parallel into a ring is not going to work unless one side is shorter than the other. One Aha! moment later and this is my solution for a nice circular pipe insulation wreath form:

The foam has a slit pre-cut in it to allow it to be wrapped around the pipe but usually this is not fully cut. Cut right through this along the full length.

Then tuck one cut edge into the slit.

Bend the foam into a ring. Tucking one side into the other allows them to move over each other and allow a shorter inside diameter, if you look at the ends you can see the extra length.

Cut this excess from the ends so they are parallel (this photo is before cutting). Tape ends together with duct tape.

You can see that this doesn't give a nice circular cross-section but once it is wrapped and decorated you can hardly see the difference, certainly less than you'd notice a non-round wreath.

39 comments:

  1. Yay! Thanks, Gail! I will try this when I get home. Glad to know I don't have to find a new use for the pipe insulation I already bought :)

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  2. Brilliant!!! Can't wait to try it - I was so frustrated with my non round wreaths. I thought what is the point of getting this insulation for super cheap if the end product looks super cheap too??! Thanks for being smarter than me :)

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  3. Thank You, Thank You, I got my insulation and was ready to craft, THEN- No circle, No wreath! I was on my way to donate my supplies to my husband when I saw your pin. Thank You

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  4. Yay Judy, hope it works for you!

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  5. What a great trick! I'm taking my bent wreath apart and starting over!

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  6. great idea! I stood in Lowes trying to figure how to fix this and ended up not buying it. I did go to the Dollar Store and grab a pool noodle and it worked like a charm...altho you can't find them if it's not summer. Vicki

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  7. Hanger wire works great to help stablize the pipe. I just used it to creat a heart shaped wreath and it worked well!

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  8. I did a wreath using pipe insulation a while back and mine sagged also. Since mine was yarn wrapped I couldn't start over, so I threaded a wire hanger into that slit..works like a charm!

    Check out my other brilliant trick for using that insulation for wreaths...
    http://hautetosew.blogspot.com/2011/10/best-wreath-trick-ever.html

    Haute To Sew

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  9. Genius! Crafters everywhetr r in your debt!

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  10. Thank YOU. I'm so glad someone is smarter than me! :)

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  11. Oh my! I am SO glad you posted this! I came across it on Pinterest, and it has saved me many wreaths in my future. I threw one out the other day because of that problem. Thanks so much!!

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  12. Had the same thing happen to me. Here's a easy fix. Take your plastic shopping bags and stuff them in the center. Easy fix and keeps the cost down and you recycle!!!

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  13. just came across this on Pinterest--brilliant! I currently have a lopsided wreath hanging on my front door that has been bugging me. now I know what to do-thank you!

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  14. I'm so glad I found this {on pinterest...of course!} I have this exact insulation in my garage because I couldn't figure out how to get the kinks out! So excited to try this!

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  15. Thanks for the idea! My solution has been to cut slits on the outer circumference of the circle to make that part expand in size and it has worked really well. I could see how having this technique would work well for different wreath projects though so I will keep it in mind!

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  16. You are brilliant! Two hours ago I was very frustrated and now I am perfectly happy, thanks to your suggestion for how to prevent the kinking in the foam. I can't wait to make my wreath! Thank you!

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  17. THANK YOU! I made one, spent hours on wrapping it with yarn, adding flowers, etc. Hung it up and....blaaah! Crease.

    I tried slipping wire in, but it didn't completely fix the issue. I will have to try this.

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  18. Wow! I wish I would have seen this earlier! I ended up cutting several v-shapes from the inside of the ring to make it a circle. It took so long! Thanks for the tip!

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  19. Thank you for posting!!!! Worked perfect! You can see my wreath here, http://www.barksblog.com/2011/12/foam-wreaths-and-weapons.html

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  20. Hi Gail! Over at craftfail we had a submission of a wreath that used pipe insulation as a base, so I used one of your images (as an illustration) & linked to you for credit: http://craftfail.com/2012/01/pinterest-gone-wrong-tulle-wreath/

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  21. You have been awarded the versatile blogger award, pick it up at
    Http://justaprimarygirl.blogspot.com

    Great ideas!!!!

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  22. Thanks Gail..

    Mother was right....you do use math everyday!!!

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  23. also, stuffing with tissues or paper towels helps as well :)

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  24. What a great idea! I'm gonna tell my craft group. :-)

    Thank you so much!

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  25. I also learned, after I attempted to use 1' pipe foam and it did not make a circle, that 1/2' foam makes a MUCH better circle!

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  26. Did your wreath sag? If so, how do I stop it? Perhaps I put too much on it???

    Thanks!
    Krista

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  27. Brilliant idea there are so many clever people out on the net thank you for the photos and sharing.
    Going to try mine when I have the time

    Jilly x

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  28. Thanks for sharing..I wanted to make a wreath like this but had a feeling it would warp after I made it! This is great!

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  29. You could also try cutting "V" shaped wedges out of the inside diameter of the wreath before wrapping the ends together with duct tape. This idea is a carryover from my sewing armhole facings. The "V" wedge gives just enough easement will allowing the tubing to stay in shape.

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  30. I used a old moneytree pen and put it inside one side and taped it shut... and have made dozens of tulle wreaths this way

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  31. I use a pool noodle too...on sale at Dollar General for $.37 a piece! No trimming required...just duct tape.

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  32. This is interesting. I've never had a problem with my installation tubing for wreaths creasing.

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  33. Thank you! I was trying to figure out how to solve this problem too.

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  34. my wreaths always pull apart where I join the 2 ends with duct tape...how do I stop that from happening?

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  35. oh my goodness! THANK YOU for this!! I am attempting to make 11 wreaths in the next week and you just saved me HOURS of trying to make them round, and SO MUCH money!! :) I appreciate it more than you can imagine!!! :)

    www.craftycrochetmomma.blogspot.com

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  36. Garden hose helps too!

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  37. Thanks Gail! I've been racking my brain and trying different things to do this! It def works!! I am now a new follower!

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