Every April, the city of San Antonio, Texas, holds a festival honoring those who fought at the Alamo and in the Battle of San Jacinto. This celebration, called Fiesta, began in 1891 with a parade and a mock-battle in which the participants threw flowers at one another. Over the generations, Fiesta has expanded into a 10-day carnival featuring music, sporting events, the election of a royal court, an official oyster bake and a memorial procession to the Alamo. Residents of San Antonio decorate the doors of their homes for the occasion with large, colorful wreaths woven with ribbons and flowers.
Select a wreath of a suitable size for your door or window. Liz Soto of San Antonio's Art Incorporated recommends using a grapevine wreath, because they are sturdy enough to support a heavy assortment of decorations. If your local craft supply store does not sell grapevine wreaths, they are readily available for purchase online.
Cover the wreath in large, colorful flowers made of silk or tissue paper, preferably 4 to 7 inches in diameter. Slide the stems into natural gaps in the wreath, then secure them in place by applying hot glue to the spot where the stem meets the vines.
Cut an assortment of ribbons into strips from 18 to 40 inches long. Use whatever colors, widths and materials of ribbon appeal to you. Stack three to five ribbons of different colors and sizes on top of one another, and fold them over in the middle to form a loop.
Thread a 12-inch length of craft wire through the loop, and feed the ends of the wire through gaps in the wreath. Twist the ends of the wire together in the back, then adjust the wire so the twist is hidden inside the wreath. Repeat the process until you have bundles of ribbons hanging across the bottom section of the wreath in thick layers.
Decorate very small, colorful items such as maracas, dolls, donkey figures, masks, pinatas, sombreros -- or anything else with a Mexican flair. Tie slender ribbons around them, sprinkle them with glitter, or glue tissue flowers to them.
Tie the sculptural decorations onto the wreath with wire anywhere there are gaps between the flowers, twisting the wire to secure it. Spray glitter onto any section of the wreath that needs more sparkle. Lay the wreath flat while the glue and glitter dry.
Don't be afraid of going overboard. The more three-dimensional, vibrant and creative your wreath is, the better it will represent the spirit of Fiesta.
If your wreath is too small to add many sculptural elements, choose one item and tie it to the top or the center of the wreath as a focal point.