PVC isn’t just for plumbing anymore – The Virginian-Pilot

For some time now in our new Southern Shores community on the Outer Banks, I’ve been admiring a neighbor’s square wreath on dog walks. Not Christmas decorations, it’s more like a wreath for all seasons.

Initially I wanted to make one for myself, but in the end I decided it would be a better housewarming gift for a friend who recently divorced and moved into a new house she made for herself. Once that was settled, the real question became how to build a square wreath.

Not sure how or why, but PVC came to mind. So I jumped online to see what already exists. There are many PVC wreaths on Pinterest, but they are all made from countless short lengths glued together — perpendicular to the door — in a circular shape. All that cutting and gluing is way too much work in my opinion. But, I thought, why not use four elbow joints and four short lengths of pipe? Why not, indeed. It was so simple and cheap.

After I bought a few 24-inch lengths of 1.5-inch diameter PVC pipe, Bob sawed them in half. I tucked the ends firmly into the elbow joints, hung the wreath on a tree, and painted it with a product intended for surfaces, including plastic. (You’ll need to sand the pipe first; if you don’t, you’ll need several coats of paint to cover the barcodes, and the paint will scratch off more easily. Spray on a top coat of clear sealer, also for scratch resistance, and to make the wreath better to withstand the elements.)

I like DIY projects, but I’m not very crafty; yet I was determined to do this myself, and my flower designer friend, David Prescott, gave the evening off. Because I wanted to have some sort of industrial, modern, minimalist look – although you could certainly maximize it with moss and a plethora of posies – I used white pipe cleaners and hot glue to wire up the few flowers, leaves, a few succulents and white and to attach in place burlap bow that I had chosen.

Not wanting to throw off my carefully designed asymmetrical balance with an obtrusive pendant, I turned to David. He immediately produced the perfect solution: drill a hole in the back of the top beam to slip over a nail. One consideration to keep in mind: If you’ve created an asymmetric balance like I did, don’t drill the hole in the center or the wreath will hang skewed. One solution is to plan in advance to hang it at a corner, like a diamond shape, and design accordingly. But I really wanted it to be square, so I just balanced it on my finger until I found the center of gravity and drilled the hole there.

While I’m excited to give this handmade gift to my boyfriend, I think I’m going to make one for myself now. For mine, I could just tie a casual bouquet of rustic plants to one side so the stems are exposed in the front. I’m not going to lie: Trying to keep the back of the wreath from looking a mess took some effort, but it was worth it.

Betsy DiJulio, [email protected]


Two 24-inch lengths of 1.5-inch PVC pipe: $15″

Four PVC Elbow Joints: $3

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Spray paint and sealer: Free (had on hand, otherwise about $8 each)

Floral Embellishments: $24 (could have spent less)

Pipe cleaners and hot glue: free (had on hand)

TOTAL: $42 (sounds expensive unless you’ve been pricing wreaths lately)

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