Wednesday, December 28, 2011

holiday wrap-up: wreath crazy

Remember my original in-progress ornament wreath? Well, I ended up having to change course a little bit. Turns out that if you wait until approximately 2.5 weeks before Christmas, red glass ornaments are completely sold out in my town. (I honestly was shocked to make this discovery--especially considering red is one of the elemental Christmas colors!) I had previously purchased a bunch of red and green plastic ornaments from the dollar store, but the hole at the top of the plastic ornaments was too small to fit onto my plant-support form. So I ended up abandoning my half-finished wreath, packing those ornaments away to add to my collection for my Christmas tree. I wasn't too sad, since not long after starting that wreath I kept having visions of it falling from above the fireplace mantel and shattering to pieces in my family room. I would have been really really nervous to hang it in the spot it was intended for anyway!

While the plastic ornaments wouldn't fit on my plant-support form, they fit perfectly on wire hangers. So I scoured my closets for the few wire hangers I owned, and set to work making wreaths using them and my stash of ornaments from the dollar store. The verdict? Great success! I was so happy with how the first one turned out, I got a little obsessed and made two more. As I mentioned before, I followed Eddie Ross's instructions with a few exceptions:

  • I didn't hot glue gun the tops to the ornaments (I did do this for my real glass ornaments, but skipped it with the plastic. I have had a couple ornaments come off, but not enough to make me regret this decision).

  • Shaping the wire hanger into a circle was simple enough, but untwisting the top of the hanger to get it apart was difficult. Not impossible, but definitely a major pain. If you don't have some heavy duty pliers for leverage and/or hands and forearms of steel, you might want to grab your husband to get the task started. Human hands attempting to undo machine twisting of unflexible wire = difficulty. The hardest part is getting it started, after that it's not a big deal.

  • Similarly, re-twisting the top of the hanger together to make a complete circle was not so easy. You'll have a bunch of ornaments flopping around, and you're trying to twist together wire that is really inflexible and hard to work with.

  • One thing I noticed after hanging the first finished wreath was that if you leave the top of the wire hanger in its original position (pointed straight up, vertically), your wreath won't lay flat against the wall/window. So I started bending it back, not at a full 45-degree angle, but far enough so that my wreath hung flat against the wall when hung.

While there were a few points of annoyance along the way, I love love love the end results! The final cost of the red and green wreaths amounted to $7 each. You will need approximately 75 small ornaments, so hitting the dollar store is definitely the way to go. I also found that having some smaller ornaments was helpful to "fill in" along the way, so definitely look for a couple of different sizes.
I'm keeping this silver wreath up on the window of my kitchen door for the rest of the "snow" season (more like gray season here in Mississippi, since snow is a rarity here!) so I can enjoy it a little longer. My favorite part of these wreaths is that they are basically double-sided (see below). That makes them perfect for hanging on windows, as they look pretty on both sides (that way you can enjoy them inside and outside!).

I still needed a wreath/decor of some sort to spruce up the fireplace mantel, so luckily I found an old artificial one in our holiday stash and added some ornaments with floral wire to spruce it up a bit. Worked like a charm!




  1. oh my word!!! i LOVE these!!!!!
    to the point where, i'm worried I wont remember it by the time next Christmas comes round so am tempted to make one now and put it away for next year.

    WOW!! definitely going to have a look tomorrow for some bargain baubles in the sales.

    Well done. they are FAB!

  2. Your wreaths look beautiful. I especially like the silver one.

  3. man, I knew I should have bought the gold ornaments that were half off at the store today! Hmm, may go back to get them. $5.00 for a tower full of ornaments should yield enough. They are all beautiful!

  4. Thanks so much everyone! I have to admit, I have been plotting about additional places to put these next year as an excuse to make more ... they are just sooo pretty!

  5. These all turned out beautifully! So inspirational!