Thursday, September 14, 2017

Bucilla Witch's Brew Wreath Craft Kit

Copyright 2016-2017 Needlework Kits
Last spring, I made the Bucilla Witch's Brew craft kit. In April, I ordered my brother's Nordic Tree Advent Calendar and this kit off Amazon. Initially I asked on Instagram which one I should do first out of the two kits. A few days later, I decided to make the wreath first. I wasn't quite ready to tackle the advent calendar quite yet. Most importantly, I wasn't in a festive mood quite yet to make the advent calendar. So I decided to make the Halloween craft kit first. I started working on the wreath in April and managed to work every weekend to get this kit finished in June.

First Impressions

Purple isn't a Halloween color, but I really liked the design of the wreath. This wreath had lots of really good 3D elements working for it that gave it a spooky feel. Since this wreath is named Witch's Brew, the wreath has lots of elements often associated with witches around Halloween. There is the black witch's hat, the cat, and even the little potion bottles. Many of these elements were another reason why I bought this kit since I made some of these elements before in other craft kits. When I worked on previous Halloween felt applique kits, they had the cats, pumpkins, and even the frogs. Since I had made these shapes before, I had an idea what I was already getting into.

The only thing I dislike about the wreath's design is the felt color. There is a large amount of purple felt being used for wreath itself. This is a color I don't often associate with Halloween so I was a little annoyed the color didn't quite match the fall tone. I wish Bucilla went with a different color for the wreath base, but I can understand why they might have chosen the color since some of the elements were already some of the fall colors.
Copyright 2016-2017 Needlework Kits

The design wasn't the only thing I was nervous about for this kit. The wreath itself was the only thing I was worried about. Before this project, I only made one other felt applique wreath. The first wreath I made was a complete disaster! I made lots of mistakes since I wasn't very good at sewing at the time. I thought I would be able to tackle a wreath after some of the other projects I made. I was wrong. My first wreath made me so frustrated that I almost quit making it! I was able to finish the wreath, but the entire experience left me with a bad taste for making felt applique wreaths and I avoided it as much as I could since then.

I made the first wreath when I was a newbie to embroidery and I made a lot of progress since then. Although I was worried I'd make the same mistakes as I did with my first wreath, I felt I was ready to try making this wreath again. Before I tackled this wreath kit, I thought about ways I could improve this wreath-making experience. Taking this time to think about on the mistakes I made and the problems I faced helped a lot with this experience. By the end of making this kit, I had a brand new perspective on making felt applique wreaths and felt I had a better time with this kit.

Here's some important need to know facts about this kit!

The Witch's Brew Wreath will be 17 x 17 inches when it is finished. The kit allows you to make the wreath base and all the decorations that go on the wreath. The wreath decorations include the following:
  • moon
  • bats
  • witch's cauldron
  • broom
  • witch's boot
  • cat
  • frog
  • spider web
  • pumpkin
  • spiders
This might sound like a lot of things to make, but the nice thing about Bucilla craft kits is that they come with everything you need to make the wreath. The felt pieces come stamped with all the outlines of each element with marks for the sequins. The craft kits even include most of the supplies you need such as thread, sequins, beads, and even the needles. Finally, there is the directions and the wreath diagram which includes a key to help you identify symbols that are used on the diagram.

Although this craft kit includes a lot of the stuff you'll need for the project, there are couple of other things you need. Besides the scissors and a pencil/pen, you should also get some polyester fiberfill to put stuffing inside the wreath. You will also need some poster board to between the front and back pieces of the wreath. I recommend getting a plastic grocery bag to hold your trash as you work on your kit. I also suggest using paper plates to keep your beads and sequins organized as you make your wreath.

Where can I buy this kit?

First, there is Amazon. Amazon is where I bought this kit and is often my go to places for finding felt applique kits. I recommend checking Amazon around June-July to see when some of the latest craft kits are in stock.

===> Want this wreath? Click here to buy off Amazon now!

Next, there is Merry Stockings. Merry Stockings is a crafting retailer specializing in craft kits. They often partner with Bucilla and sell a lot of their kits. If you want to see the latest kits, check with Merry Stockings first. They often get the latest kits before any other retailers including Amazon.

===> Click here to buy this wreath from Merry Stockings!

Finally, you can find this kit on Plaid Online. Plaid Online sells all Bucilla products. If you can't find kits on Merry Stockings or Amazon, this is another great option for finding this kit. If you are still not having much luck finding this kit, search Google and you'll find plenty of other great places selling this craft kit.

===> Click here to buy Witch's Brew Wreath craft kit from Plaid Online!


I just ran out of materials! What should I do?

If you have done previous Bucilla craft kits, see if you have any leftover supplies on hand and trying using those first. When all else fails, send an e-mail to craft kit provider. Plaid Online and Bucilla will send you refills. I ran out of black beads when I made this kit and sent a message to Plaid Online asking for more beads. Plaid Online sent me a response the next day asking me where I got the kit, the kit number (it is on the package), and my address. By the end of the week, I got an envelope with more black beads.

Time For Some Tips!

It might be tempting to start sewing right now. However I strongly recommend taking a few minutes to read the directions and look at the wreath diagram before you begin. This way you be familiar with what you are working with and what you'll be doing. I suggest taking time to look at the key included in the directions to see where specific stitches are on the diagram and where you'll be putting the sequins.

I also encourage you to look at the stitch guide that included in the directions. Bucilla includes a tutorial for each of the stitches used in their kits. These diagrams can be hit or miss depending on the diagrams, but you can supplement these guides with YouTube videos or articles on Google. Merry Stockings has a great blog which has shown great tutorials of some of the stitches seen in the Bucilla kits. If you struggle with any of the stitches, you should check out the Merry Stockings blog first to look at their models and demonstrations before you tackle any of the stitches on your project.

One of the previous problems I have with these kits is that I would try to start these kits too close to the actually holiday. When I made my last Halloween kit, I underestimated how much work would be going into the project and had to work non-stop just to make sure everything was finished by the time of the holiday. The lesson I learned from that experience is plan ahead and avoid rushing through a craft kit as much as I could. For this kit, I decided to use the weekends as my chance to work on craft projects so I could relax and concentrate on the craft project I was working on. This was perfect since it didn't make feel rushed and let me concentrate with no distractions.

The Best Time to Add Spiders to the Wreath

There are three spiders on the front of the wreath. One is a hanging spider while the other two are sewn onto the front of the wreath under the witch's hat and the cauldron. In the directions, Bucilla wants you to sew the two spiders on the wreath last. However I recommend sewing the two spiders on the wreath base first. It will be much easier sewing these elements on first than at the end of the kit once all the other elements are added on later. Since the first part of the wreath is adding the sequins, it is better to add these two smaller elements on at this point when nothing is blocking the area you need to put these spiders.

Once you finished adding sequins and some embroidery to the front of the wreath, it is time to start working on the wreath elements. This where most of your time will be spent on this craft kit since there are a lot of elements for this wreath. While these elements may have a simple design, most of these elements have lots of sequins and embroidery. There might be a lot of details to add to these elements, but those details are what really enhance the wreath. The sequins and the embroidery on the cauldron make it seem like the brew is actually bubbling up or making waves from the cauldron.

Spider Web and the Hanging Spider

The spider web was my biggest challenge on the wreath. The spider web is meant to have a hanging spider from it using a piece of black cording. The hanging spider also uses cording for the legs. Cording is my least favorite thing to do in these craft kits because I'm not quite good at cording. However I did the best I could with the cording. Some of the legs didn't want to stay put so I had to be a bit creative fixing some of the issues the legs presented as it was putting it together. This resulted in my spider looking like a circle hanging from the cording once I was finished.
Copyright 2016-2017 Needlework Kits

If you are having issues with the hanging spider, just skip the hanging spider altogether. The wreath will still be fine without the hanging spider. I found once the wreath was finished that I couldn't quite see the hanging spider with all the other elements on the front of the wreath. If you don't use the hanging spider, another way to include it on the wreath is just applique the spider onto the upper left corner of the pumpkin and embroider legs.

Combining the Front and Back

The most challenging part of making a wreath is the fact the elements sewn onto the front portion of the wreath are going to be under lots of strain once you start stuffing the base. This means the potion bottles, moon, and the witch's hat need to be secured extra tightly so they don't fall off as you sew together the front and back of the wreath.

When you are ready to sew together the front and back, you can add less stuffing so it puts less pressure on all the elements you added earlier. I didn't add as much stuffing as my other wreath once I noticed the larger elements on the wreath were trying to move forward on the front of the wreath. This isn't a perfect solution to the problem. I did have to fix a couple of elements once I finished. But none of the elements didn't come loose.

Conclusion

Bucilla Witch's Brew craft kit was a successful experience making a wreath and was the complete opposite of everything that happened during the first time I made a wreath. If you haven't made a wreath before, this craft kit might be difficult to make and can be intimidating. However as long as you take your time and not rush your way through this kit, you'll be fine. Any fans of Halloween will love making this kit since it is a perfect decoration for your door when it is time for trick and treat.

Have you made this craft kit? Share your tips in the comments below. If there are any kits you would like to see me review, send me a message and I'll do my best to make it happen.

Notes

All pictures belong to Needlework Kits.

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