Monday, November 28, 2011

One Basic Wreath- So Many Different Ways to Be Creative!

Enter Christmas!!!!
It must be the Christmas Season- I'm immersed in snowflakes, ornaments, and wreaths. And ideas about sugar plums have danced through my head at the strangest moments lately. It's all because it's the holiday season- at last! Today I want to show you some wreaths I worked on last week. Every year I make a guest appearance at my old MOPs group to do a class on wreath decorating. Each mom gets a live wreath (we purchase from Costco) and I bring in decorations to add. It's easiest to give them a choice of two different types, so we did glitzy and natural. Here's the break down...

Ooh... La La Glitzy!
Anatomy of a Glitzy Wreath
Big Ol' Silver or Red glittery bow
LOTS and LOTS of Silver or Glittery Ornaments*
Sprays like glittery berries or add-on's like snowflakes to fill out

*For ornaments I favor the shatterproof one's available from the major home improvement stores. I bought a 100+ selection of Martha Stewart ornaments that came in a big plastic barrel. They do sell them in smaller assortments, I was buying for 25+ women so the mega size was perfect.

Simple and Natural
Anatomy of a Natural Wreath
Big Ol' bow or ribbon in natural tomes like burlap, or canvas
Pieces of birch branches, pine cones, maybe a nest
Sprays of red, natural or natural looking berries

For both you need:
Floral wire, wire cutter (to make bow)
Hot glue in either a pan or gun
Surface to work and glue on
Scissor for ribbon
A wreath
Some Basic Info and Tips
Because I'm buying in bulk I like to hit the craft stores for basic fillers like the berries and for assorted ribbon. I could go wholesale but most retail stores are selling Christmas supplies at 50% off right now. It actually works out to be cheaper.The hot glue I do buy at a Floral wholesaler. I have a glue pan that I love from Oasis and I buy bags of floral glue each year. Floral hot glue looks like little yellow pillows vs. the stick form that you buy for your glue gun. The benefit of the floral type is that it's fabulously quick and easy to dip ornaments, sticks, pine cones, or whatever in the glue pan. It's dip and stick- that's it. Floral glue is also formulated to not break when it gets cold, so it's nice to use around here where temps can dip pretty low. If you don't want to use glue at all you can usually wire in any decorative elements.

Here's the absolute best tip I have-
ALWAYS FLUFF YOUR WREATH!!!! What I mean is that since wreaths are shipped lying flat they are usually very, very, flat when you get them. Always take your fingers and rake them through the wreath in the opposite direction of how they're attached. Lift and shake the greens as you pull them back a bit and you'll see a huge difference immediately- I promise! 

A spray- two ways
 One more related tips is to always work your wire berry sprays by bending the wire into a more natural curve. Here's a pic of two sprays, the one on the left is how it comes in the store. The one on the right has been bent into a more natural spray form. There's a definite difference.
BE CREATIVE with your Embellishments!!!!
Getting Crafty.... :)
The fun part is of course the additional elements you add. I added a carpenter's ruler in a star shape to mine this year. In the past, I've included great big birch branches, red dogwood, yarn balls, knitted mittens, birds,wire stars, vintage elements, dried pomegranates, oversized pine cones, and the like.Think outside of the traditional wreath and you'll love what you end up with. Here are some ideas to get you started....Enjoy! :)
Vintage Lace and Paper Wreath

Snowflake Wreath

Birdhouse Wreath


The MadStamper said...

Jen, they are all beautiful!!! I seriously need to make-over our Boy Scout wreath, thing is, Dan already hug it up on the garage!!! But I could probably fix our swag up a bit (that is on our house). =) Thanks for the ideas!!!! You rock!!! hugs!

Kris Lanae Binsfeld said...


Your wreaths are fantastic! Beautiful! Love your tips! You are so creative! I love the floral glue too! :=)