Tutorial: Making the Wreath

With so many compliments on my holiday wreaths, I thought I’d share directions. Of course, I am always happy to create one for you for much less than the cost of buying a mass-produced wreath at your local store.

The Supplies:

– a grapevine wreath (your choice of size) – be sure to check the shape. Because these are made from woody vines, they may not be round. Try to find the most round wreath you can.

– garland – I’ve made this wreath with faux evergreen garland and with tinsel-type garland. Both work beautifully.

– Approx. 50 Christmas ball ornaments – Preferably unbreakable but glass ornaments also work. You can use varying sizes if you want to. It’s also nice to use differing textures or finishes – shiny, matte, frosted, glittery. Remove the gold clasp into which ornament hooks slip. It’s best to take them off so you aren’t attaching the ornaments to your wreath by something that can come off.

– high temp glue gun and LOTS of glue meltsticks

– pliers with a wire cutting edge

– YOU CHOOSE: 3″ ribbon for hanging OR floral wire. It’s possible to make this wreath so it hangs by a floral wire hook rather than a ribbon.

How to Make the Wreath:

Lay out your supplies because once the glue starts flowing, you want to keep moving. Heat up your glue gun and be very careful!  Keep extra glue sticks handy. Lay out newspapers or something to protect your work surface.

Place your grapevine wreath on the work surface. Remove any loose leaves or random twigs that poke out. Determine which side looks best and which orientation makes the wreath the most round. If you are going to hang the wreath with a floral wire hook and want a complete circle wreath on the front, now is the time to flip the wreath over and loop 5-6 inches of wire through a few layers of vines. I would make double loops – maybe even triple loops. Be sure to twist the ends tightly to ensure your wreath doesn’t slide right off your door!

Begin adding ornaments to the wreath. Heavily glue the end of the ornament where the gold clasp used to be. It often will tuck in nicely between the grapevines. Hold it steady until the glue begins to harden.

Try to stagger the ornaments by color and texture. Plan at least two deep from inside the circle to the outside and vary it with three deep every few “rows.” The point is to not have a strict formation but make it look more random. Don’t worry about gaps between ornaments – that’s what the garland is for!

Leave a three inch section free of ornaments at the top of your wreath. This is where your ribbon will go. Be sure to measure the space with the ribbon you chose. If you’re hanging your wreath with wire, ignore this section and keep on gluing!

When you have placed balls all the way around the wreath, have someone hold it and step back about five feet. Look for lopsidedness and empty spaces. Then fill them in!

When you’re satisfied with the ornaments, get out your garland. If you’re using greenery, begin snipping 4″ sections using the wire cutters. I twisted the ends of two or three of these together to create a little bunch of greenery. If you’re using tinsel garland, snip 4″ sections. Play around with it – double it up, etc,. – to see how thick it becomes. If you’re using it to fill in spaces, it needs to be bulky enough to do some hiding.

Be really careful with the glue gun here – it’s easy to accidentally stick your fingers in the glue as you’re pressing it into place. I’m pretty sure I can commit the perfect crime and get away with it because I have burned off my fingerprints!

If you’ve chosen to hang your wreath with a ribbon, loop it through the wreath and bring both ends to the top. Tie a knot before adding a pretty bow. You don’t want the wreath to fall off the door!

Congrats!

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5 thoughts on “Tutorial: Making the Wreath

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