30 March 2018

DIY Tulle Autism Puzzle Piece Wreath

As most of you know, I have two boys with autism.  Both are higher functioning, but we have spent many hours in therapy over the years to get to this point.  One of my sons is still getting ABA and OT several times a week.  

There's always discord in the autism community, but one thing we mostly agree on is that there's need for awareness and acceptance.  Most people who aren't affected by autism have no idea what autism really is.  They picture Rain Man or a nonverbal, violent child.  Autism is so much more.

My boys are high functioning in most areas, so people don't always see their autism.  Believe me, it's there.  

April is autism awareness month.  I made this autism awareness puzzle piece wreath to hang in my office so people will see it and hopefully it will spark a good conversation about autism in our community.


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This wreath was inexpensive.  The only thing I bought new was the flat wood wreath.  I got mine at Pat Catan's, but I don't see it on their website.  The closest thing I can find is this wood wreath from Amazon.

If you have kids, then you have puzzles with missing pieces.  I grabbed a 100 piece puzzle that was missing a few pieces and used that for the puzzle pieces.




The wreath was brown, so I started by painting it white.  Originally, I was just going to use white tulle on the wreath, but I decided to add blue later.  I think it looks great as a white wreath even with the blue and white tulle.


After I painted the wreath, I painted the puzzle pieces.  I went with blue, red, and yellow for the traditional autism puzzle piece colors.  I wasn't sure how many I would need, so I did 25 of each color, which was more than enough for my wreath.  I didn't even use them all.  I painted the back of the puzzle pieces so I would only have to do one coat.  


I cut the tulle into 12 inch sections.  I doubled it over and wrapped it around the wreath and pulled the loose ends through the loop.  Pull tight.  

I used white and blue.  I think it would look great with red and yellow too.  

I didn't want a super full wreath.  I wanted the focus to be on the plaque in the center.  You can definitely make it fuller and use more tulle if you want.  


I laid the puzzle pieces on top of the wreath after I put on all of the tulle just to make sure I had enough (I had more than enough) and to get a general idea of the layout.  Then I glued them down with my glue gun.    


I had a little wood plaque in my craft stash, so I painted it white and used my Silhouette to die cut "until all the pieces fit" in black vinyl.  I used the font Bursta Brush and Oracal 631 indoor vinyl.  


I attached the plaque with red tulle.  I use a dab of hot glue on the back, but then I decided to use a stapler for better hold.

Just a note: I had to use my flash in my dining room because it doesn't get much sunlight.  I used one coat of paint for the puzzle pieces.  In person, they look great.  I think the flash is making the light reflect funny and makes them look streaked in the photos.  

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DIY tulle autism puzzle piece wreath.

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