Making the Best Halloween Trick-or-Treat Wreath

I’ve been chomping at the bit to start posting about Halloween.  It is by far one of my most favorite holidays and I probably have more energy for it also because it’s first of the holiday season.

This post is a bit of a departure and I have vacillated over a few ideas for October posts feeling they don’t fall exactly in my blog’s culinary ‘P.O.V.’ (for watchers of The Next Food Network Star), or point of view.  This item is not exactly food but one could say that of many of the mainstream munchables in October.  This is a family tradition in my household and a beloved Trick-or-Treat item in our neighborhood so I wanted to share it!

About 11 years ago when I was living in Arlington Virginia, enjoying a wonderful piles-of-leaves-to-jump-in fall, a friend from California sent me my first wreath.  She’d made them with her sister and since I’d recently moved completely across the U.S. with my husband and relatively young baby she wanted me to know she was thinking of me.  I simply loved it.  The festive air it brought to my front door, the uniqueness of it and most of all pulling out the fabric wrapped pops for unexpected treats.

I have continued to make a wreath now yearly.  Even in the years that I feel overwrought with obligations.  I’ve fine tuned the design a bit and have learned some tricks.  For me it signals the kick off of the Halloween month but more so I love the wonder in  the Trick-or-Treater’s faces when I pull a pop out of the wreath as their treat.  I suppose because they assume it to be décor only, to see it transform into a treat is magical.  Boys in their early teens especially love it (go figure).  I’ve had ghouls and goblins return annually and comment anonymously behind their masks that they had so hoped I would make the wreath again that year.  And I’m not making any of this up!

So just in case you are feeling in the mood and need a reminder that I’m thinking of YOU this Halloween season, I’m sharing the steps to make a Halloween Treat Wreath!  It’s a fun surprise and my kids are old enough to help out as most kids will be able unless they are teeny tiny.  Trust me, you’ll love it.

This wreath can be made to any size straw wreath form as well as packed densely with pops or loosely.  I’ll provide guidance to make a wreath that is the same size as I have shown in the photographs.

1./2. SUPPLIES

  • 18 inch diameter straw wreath  (available from craft and hobby stores)
  • Approximately 150 lollipops (I use Tootsie Pops)
  • 5 yards of 45 inch wide Halloween fabric in varying patterns (I use at least 5 varied patterns;  as a guide 30 circles of fabric can be cut from 1-45 inch wide yard.  Tip: Generally smaller patterns work better in my view.  Adding some metallic fabric catches light and looks sparkly.  Glow in the dark patterns are fun too!)
  • 6 ¼ inch diameter circle cut from cardboard for the tracing stencil (I used an appetizer size plate turned upside down to make the circle)
  • Sharpie pen
  • 50 – 12 inch black pipe cleaners (will be cut into thirds)
  • Pinking shears
  • Floral wire
  • Roll (s) of 2 ½ inch Halloween ribbon for bow, preferably with wired edges (can use more than one pattern for a double bow)
  • Philips screw driver
  • Floral wreath hanger (black; available at craft and hobby stores)

3. Cutting out Fabric Circles

You can generally fold the fabric and cut through about 4 layers at once which saves a bit of time over cutting each circle separately.

4. Cutting Pipe cleaners

Cut 12 inch pipe cleaners in thirds, making 4 inch lengths.

5. /6.  Wrapping Lollipops

Place the pop in the middle of a fabric circle.  Pull fabric tightly around the head of the pop and hold underneath the pop.  Twist a pipe cleaner snugly underneath the pop to secure the fabric.  Make 1-2 more twists to hold securely.

7.  Making holes in the wreath

Remove the plastic overwrap from straw wreath being careful NOT to cut the nylon thread that holds the wreath intact (it is see through so doing this in good light will help).  Trying to stick lollipops in a new wreath often bends and breaks the sticks.  Holding the screwdriver at a 45 degree angle (so the stick of the pop will not protrude through the backside which happens if they are stuck straight in) poke holes into the wreath but not through to the underside (sticks will be concealed within wreath).  Leave approximately 4 inches at the top of the wreath without holes which is where the hanger and bow will be.

You will experience some resistance so be careful to keep hands out of the path of the screwdriver (this is an adult activity)!  You can interleave this with the next step of inserting the lollipops so you find the spacing you desire.  I like the pops snug together so the wreath looks like a mass of Halloween balls.  Some like to leave space between, and fluff out the bottom of the fabric so they look like little ghosts.

8.  Insert the lollipops into the wreath

Follow the angle of the holes and insert the lollipops to cover the front of the wreath, wrapping in toward the center and out toward the back.  None of the straw will be showing from the front with this amount of lollipops.  You can add more to completely cover the sides and middle if you choose.

9.  Making floral wire hanger

Using floral wire, wrap a length around the top of the wreath multiple times and form a hanger from a few strands of the wire on the back.  The wreath will be heavy with all the lollipops inserted so this will need to be sturdy.  Once you’ve made the hanger, test it by hanging it on the wreath hanger to ensure the wire will stay secure before making the decorative bow.

10.  Making the bow

Consider how large a bow you would prefer and how long you would like the tails of the bow.   Allowing for at least 1 ½ times that length, cut one-two lengths or ribbon (depending on whether you will make a single or double ribbon bow).   Find the middle of the length of ribbon and place that at the back of the hanger.  Wrap the ribbon around the wreath on either side of the hanger, allowing ends of ribbon to end in the front.  Tie a bow and fluff the ribbon as you choose.  NOTE:  You can also construct a floral bow and attach it to the front of the wreath if you prefer.

 

Hang it for decoration for the season and then hand the lollipops out for Halloween!  The wreath can be reused the following year and until it begins to break down.  If using wreath again skip step 7 and just insert the lollipops into the holes from the prior year.

Comments

  1. says

    Hi Toni. This is such a clever idea, making the wreath out of treats! I know the whole wreath would just disappear if I were to do that here :)
    Halloween isn’t too widely celebrated here, perhaps in the expat community and with some of us who have lived abroad and miss the fall season and the festive feel of it all. I’ve been thinking of pumpkin foods and making my usual odd recipes but haven’t really put it in the works yet :)
    Before I know it, it’s gonna be Christmas!

    • Toni | Boulder Locavore says

      Hi Ping! I agree. Time feels to be flying. Despite my best intentions to keep it moving slowly I already have things on my calendar through the end of the year again feeling like it will move fast. At least my wreath is done for the season so maybe that will keep things feeling festive and remind to take every day slowly!

  2. says

    I do envy you. I have no crafty talents at all. I would love to make this, for me it’s like someone that is afraid to cook and I find easy. This scares me even with the fabulous instructions. You should sell them online these are amazing love love love it! CONGRATS on your wonderful creative talents.

    • Toni | Boulder Locavore says

      Claudia, you are funny! If you can make the beautiful food you do, you certainly can make this wreath! It really is not hard at all. The only part you might need to experiment with is putting the pops in the wreath.

      Maybe I’ll open an Etsy shop! Not really but I do appreciate your generous support!

    • Toni | Boulder Locavore says

      You certainly could make it just for decoration. It is so festive feeling; it really makes me happy every year.

      I’m sad you only have 3 T-or-T’ers! We have groups that drive into our neighborhood to trick or treat (we have mountain communities around us that probably aren’t practical to go out in). In any case I hope it makes you feel in the holiday spirit to think about making this….while on jury duty maybe!

  3. says

    ohhh toni…that is absolutely a fantastic post….i love love love how u made that wreath!!! it looks soooooo gorgeous and halloweeny :-)

    • Toni | Boulder Locavore says

      Thank you MJ! I would guess Halloween is not a big holiday for your area? I’m sure you enjoy holidays we do not and visa versa. Always like reading about them, don’t you?

  4. says

    Don’t start apologizing for this post., B. Locavore. It’s YOUR blog so you can post about anything you want. I knew that you a whiz in the kitchen, an artist with the camera and obviously, creative and dexterous when it comes to making decorative accessories too.

    • Toni | Boulder Locavore says

      Claire, you are too kind! This is something I’ve been asked so many times over the years how to make and others have gone on to make their own, it just seemed fitting to begin October with sharing it. It IS edible so that fits!

      Looking forward to seeing you this week and have been reading you on my phone dashing here and there. You definitely get the local journalist award for best ‘scoop’, time after time (this time regarding Top Chef). So glad I subscribe and quickly can get ‘in the know’ myself!

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