Saturday, December 17, 2011

Vintage Christmas Ornament Wreath Tutorial

This year I remembered to take step-by-step photos to share with you "my way" of creating this style of wreath.

I'm not saying it's the only way. I'm not saying it's the best way. It's just "my way." It uses NO HOT GLUE and it is completely reversible. So, you can remove the ornaments and store them safely if you like.

Also, after seeing the pile of ornaments that I had collected this year, I realized that I had enough to make at least two wreaths, so you will see a "green/red" version as well as a "pink/blue" version in the tutorial.

Please note - this design takes TWO DAYS to complete.

Start with your stash of ornaments. I work on a towel on the floor so that none will roll around. Each wreath requires about a hundred ornaments.

No, I am not kidding. A Hundred Ornaments.

When I was in college, my roommate worked at a Christmas store. Their ornaments were wired to the tree branches. Before attaching them, each ornament hanger was secured with "spackle." The metal tops were removed and a smear of spackle was spread into the top opening of the ornament and then the top was put back on. After the spackle dried (the next day,) the ornaments were wired to the tree. I always remembered this trick and have used it here in this design. Instead of spackle, I have used this constuction adhesive which is purchased at Home Depot. It takes about one tube of adhesive per wreath.

A picture is worth a thousand words, isn't it? Just remove the top of the ornament, squeeze in a little adhesive and replace the top. It takes 24 hours to dry - trust me.

Here are the additional supplies that I used - a 14-inch straw wreath (DO NOT remove the plastic wrap,) two 15-foot garlands and a package of floral pins.

Secure one end of the garland with a pin and wrap the wreath. It takes two 15-foot garlands to cover the wreath form. Secure all ends with floral pins.

Now I know you are dying to begin pinning your ornaments, but first, create a wire hanger for your wreath by securely wrapping a length of wire around the wreath and then fashioning a loop for hanging at the back. Trust me, it is hard to add this later, please do it now. Also, this wire will "mark" the top center of the wreath, which comes in handy as you are working.

Now for the fun part! Secure the ornaments to the wreath with the floral pins. Be sure to push the pins in all the way. No glue is required. The pins are very secure in the straw wreath. I usually wear gloves for this because my fingers get sore! Begin by pinning the largest ornaments around the outside of the wreath form.

Also, some ornaments are designed to "hang down" like bells. I usually place these along the inside of the wreath.

I keep the wreath flat on the floor as I work.

Continue to fill in the ornaments working generally from largest to smallest sizes. I fashion a "starburst" from skinny pointed ornaments as a focal point somewhere on the wreath. You can use anything you like ( a bow? a topper?) as a focal point.

Do your fingers hurt yet? Glad you are wearing those gloves?

Hang your wreath on the wall and step back to see if the colors and arrangement are pleasing. If not, it is no big deal to switch a couple of ornaments around.


I hope you will give this a try!


Annette Hentz said...

I really love this, Laura. But I have a really hard time believing that the floral pins hold the ornaments without glue.

LauraK said...

Hi Annette - haven't lost any ornaments yet. I'll keep you posted.

searcher said...

This is perfect! My Mom is approaching 90 and misses her tree & ornaments....What a creative way to display some of her favorites! Thanks, Barb Seiler

theminx said...

Wow, Laura, that's fab! I wish I had some old ornaments, but I gave them to a friend who collects them. Maybe I'll have to buy some new balls and do this next year. I already have the plastic-wrapped straw wreath!