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Copper coils decorated with a sunflower motif add elegance to a front door or interior wall. Allow the copper to weather naturally or add an instant patina.
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With a hacksaw or tubing cutter, cut 16 feet of copper tubing for a wreath the size shown. Gather the tubing loosely into three 19-in-diameter loops. Hold the loops together with copper wire in four places and set the wreath aside.
Work carefully with copper flashing to avoid the sharp edges. Use scissors to cut six 2-ft-long pieces of copper flashing for the leaves and flowers.
Mix a strong solution of trisodium phosphate (TSP) according to the label directions. While wearing rubber gloves and eye protection, dip a sponge in the TSP solution and use the scrubbing face to thoroughly clean the copper flashing on both sides. Then use a scrubbing powder and the scrubbing face of a sponge to continue scrubbing the flashing until water stops beading on the surface. Rinse all of the flashing with clean water and let dry. By removing the surface residue that comes on the flashing, you'll help the copper bond with adhesives and develop a patina.
Scrub the copper flashing while holding it against a flat work surface to avoid creating unwanted creases or textures.
To double the thickness of the copper flashing, coat the backs of each 2-ft-long piece with spray adhesive. Let them dry for one minute, and then join the sticky faces together in pairs to make three double-thick pieces. Rub the pieces on both sides with a soft cloth while pressing them against a flat work surface for a solid bond; let dry.
Use a can, glass, or compass to draw four circles about 2-3/4-in in diameter and two circles about 3-3/4-in in diameter. Cut out the circles using scissors. (This provides enough to make three flowers. Cut additional circles in pairs for each additional flower you want.) On the circles that will form the back of each flower, drill or punch two centered holes about 1/2-in apart. Cut a 6-in-long piece of wire for each flower, loop it through the holes, and arrange the ends so they're even. Then completely cover the inside face of these circles with outdoor mounting tape and leave the tape backing in place while you trim off the excess.
Lay the front circles on a folded cloth and gently texture the surface with a meat tenderizer or any other tool that leaves an evenly bumpy surface. Avoid using a tenderizer with points sharp enough to puncture the copper. If necessary, lay a cloth over the circles to soften the impact. Afterward, press the textured front circles flat, apply outdoor mounting tape to the back sides without removing the tape backing on the other face, and trim off the excess tape.
Cut the 25 to 35 small petals for each flower using the downloadable pattern to trace the shape on pieces of copper flashing (or simply draw freehand petal shapes; the petals don't need to be the same size and shape). Either way, first cut strips of scrubbed copper flashing the same length as the petals you want. Then cut those strips into pieces as wide as your petals. On each strip, trace the shape of a petal freehand or from the pattern and cut the petal shapes to different sizes using scissors.
Cut three larger leaves about 4-1/2 inches long and 2 inches wide using the pattern or freehand. After cutting out all of the petals and leaves, make a slight centered crease from tip to tip along their length.
To assemble a flower, remove the tape backing from the bottom disk (the one with the mounting wire) and begin pressing petals into place. (The bottom of a drinking glass makes a handy tool for pressing the disks together.) Vary the positions so the petals overlap slightly. After attaching the petals, remove the tape backing from the top disk and press it over the petals and the bottom disk. Repeat for the remaining flowers.
Cut and fasten a square piece of mounting tape to the tip of each large leaf. Remove the tape backer and press the leaves onto the back of a flower. Use the wire to attach the flower to the wreath. Repeat for the remaining flowers.
Cut and crease at least two pairs of large leaves from the remaining scrubbed copper flashing. Punch or drill holes where shown on the patterns or 1/2-inch apart if you're cutting the leaves freehand. Then cut a 6-in piece of copper wire for each pair of leaves and attach the leaves to the wreath. (Use these and the flowers to hide the wires holding the loops together.)
To create an instant copper patina, mix 1 teaspoon of Miracle-Gro, 1 teaspoon of vinegar, and 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. Working outside on a drop cloth, thoroughly spray the flowers, leaves, and wreath. Let dry and repeat until the copper turns the color you like. You can also allow the copper to age naturally outdoors, but the process may take several years to achieve this kind of patina.
Then seal the finish by spraying on two coats of semigloss spar varnish. Now your wreath is ready to hang!