Bixby The Black Cat Halloween Wreath Tutorial

BixbyTheBlackCatWreath
Oh yeah.

I’m about to get all crafty up in here. It’s been a while, but there’s something about the beginning of fall that makes me want to burn my finger off with a glue gun. (Seriously, typing this is painful.)

I may have completed the ultimate DIY this summer – growing a baby – but I was itching to make me a festive wreath last weekend to mark the (hopeful) end of Satan’s fiery reign over Texas summer weather.

Now, before you go calling me super mom for crafting with a 7 week old in the house, please know that all the supplies I’m about to show you are still strewn about my kitchen.

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Psssst! Scroll to the bottom of this post if you want to see how I tweaked Bixby to be a little more simple and sophisticated!

What you need:

1 styrofoam wreath (this was a 14″)
1 spool of black ribbon (or really just a few yards)
4 marabou feather boas
2 wooden dowels (found in the cake baking supplies)
jewelry wire (gauge and color choice up to you, I used one roll)
black felt (just scraps or a couple sheets)
pink felt (scraps or one sheet)
scissors
wire cutters

Optional- if you want your wreath to have eyeballs:

2 small styrofoam balls (look for the smooth styrofoam)
green paint and paint brush
black sharpie
(Option for the option- glow in the dark glitter glue or glow in the dark green paint)

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Start by securing your ribbon to the wreath with a dot of hot glue, then wrap the ribbon all the way around the wreath. It’s helpful if you have a five year old nearby to point out all the white spots you missed. And by “helpful” I mean super annoying, but that’s what you get for crafting with kids.

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Now secure one feather boa to the wreath with hot glue, and wrap that around the wreath, keeping in mind it will have to cover 1/4 of it before gluing the other end down. Do this with all 4 boas until the wreath is completely covered in feathers, much like your floor at this point.

(Note: These boas are not cheap. Mine were about $5/each. Don’t let your toddler run off with one in an attempt to turn it into a statement piece in her fall wardrobe.)

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Poof! You now have a furry wreath. Go ahead and pet it. It won’t bite.

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Very not-so-carefully-because-this-doesn’t-need-to-be-perfect cut out 4 black triangles. It helps if you cut 2 out at a time, since you’ll be gluing 2 together to create each ear. Then cut out 2 smaller pink triangles for the insides of the ears.

Cut your wooden dowels to about 4 inch pieces (you can do this with the wire cutters, it doesn’t have to be pretty).

Use one piece of dowel to create holes in the wreath where you want the ears to be. You can use scissors to snip a hole through the ribbon if you need to.

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Glue the top two edges of the black triangles together, then glue the pink triangle on top. Stick one dowel inside each ear, then glue it down and glue the bottom of the ears shut, making sure to leave 2-3 inches of dowel sticking out of the ear.

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Then shove each one in the holes you created.

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Using your wire cutters, cut whiskers for your cat by cutting 4 equal-ish length pieces. They can be as long as you want. Lay them over your wreath to gauge that. Keep in mind you can always trim them with the wire cutters if they’re too long, but you can’t do anything but buy more wire if they’re too short.

Employ the help of your partner to twist them in the middle. Or just do it yourself if you’re patient like that.

Place them over the wreath where you’d like them, then hot glue each one where it comes in contact with the wreath.

Burn your fingers, drop 50 f-bombs, dip your hand in ice.

KIDDING! (But maybe have that bowl of ice out just in case.)

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Cut a cute kitteh nose out of pink felt. I chose to cut out several layers to make the nose a little thicker. Then I glued these on top of each other. Then glued them to the center of the whiskers.

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Now, you can stop here. I like the eye-less cat. It seems more grown-up to me. But, since grown-ups are officially outnumbered in this house, the kids won the vote for the cat with crazy eyes.

So now, the crazy eye option.

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Paint at least half of your styrofoam balls green. I just used some green fabric paint I had laying around. I also went over that with a few coats of glow in the dark glitter glue for fun. It’s not super effective, but you can see them glow a little at night.

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Once that’s dry, draw your eyes on with a Sharpie. I have no real pattern for this. I just winged it. Obviously.

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Using small pieces of dowel, insert 2 where you want the eyes to be. Then stick your eyes onto the dowels.

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If you get these smooth styrofoam balls, they have perfectly sized holes already in the back.

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To hang, just glue a little scrap of ribbon to the back.

Meow! That’s all there is to it.

I have to say, the wrapping the boa bit is WAY easier than tying a bunch of tulle on to it, like my tulle wreaths, BUT you could easily create this as a tulle wreath with black tulle. Just add all the finishing details to my original tutu tulle wreath. 

Are cats not your thing? Perhaps you should make a monster, instead. Click on through to check out last year’s Halloween wreath DIY.

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UPDATE!!! 

Hey, y’all! It’s been a year since I created Bixby, and I’ve made a couple fun changes to his tutorial to make a new, more simple, more sophisticated version. Here you go!

Start with the same wreath, and you’re totally cool to cover it in black ribbon like the original, OR you could make your life even easier and cover it with black Duck Tape!

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Wrap the boas around it just like in the original, and stick the ends on with hot glue.

Now instead of felt ears, how about leather? So fancy! And they don’t have to be super expensive. I picked up this bag of leather remnants for super cheap from the craft store.

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Cut them out, hot glue the pieces together, back them with something thick, like some foam. Then glue a popsicle stick down the back of them. These are much easier to find than cake dowels, and no cutting required.

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Again, like the original, use your scissors to make holes in the wreath where you want the ears to go, then press the popsicle sticks in.

Onto the whiskers! This update makes this wreath 100x easier!

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Get yourself some pre-cut, packaged floral stem wire. Super cheap, and one package will be MORE than enough for several wreaths. Then get you some beads. I bought a little pack of assorted wooden beads because they had both pink and black beads. I chose a pink one for this wreath, then threaded as many wires as I could fit through it, leaving the bead at the center of them.

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Fan the wires out a little on each side, then glue a few onto the wreath (not the feathers, but all the way down onto the wreath) on either side.

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Add a little bell for a touch of whimsy, and you’re done! This thing literally comes together in less than 10 minutes. And it’s soft and so cute.

 

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