An ornament wreath is a festive way to brighten your front door this Christmas season. Making your own ornament wreath is an easy DIY craft project, as long as you learn from my mistakes.
Once you’ve got the supplies, creating the wreath takes less than an hour. When you need to repair it not once, but twice, you’ve got to add in the time to buy more ornaments and make a trip to the hardware store. More on that later.
I used three or four sizes of ornaments, the largest about two and a half inches in diameter. Most of them were glass, but I also found boxes of shatter-proof ornaments on sale and used some of those, too. For my 16-inch styrofoam wreath form, I used about 120 ornaments.
Before you begin gluing on ornaments, decide how you plan to hang your wreath. You may opt for a ribbon tied securely around the form or use picture-hanging wire and a U-bolt, like I did, for reasons I’ll explain later. Whatever method you choose, tie your ribbon or twist your wire around the wreath before you start gluing.
Using hot glue, I placed 30 medium-sized ornaments around the outside edge and 20 on the inside. Next, I glued 20 or so large balls scattered around the front of the form. Then I filled in the rest of the wreath with medium and small ornaments. Get several dozen small ornaments because they work well to fill gaps.
You can snip pieces of tinsel garland and glue the “sprigs” in any tiny holes you see. It just gives the wreath a fuller look. If you don’t want the tinsel look, spray paint your form before you start to match one of your ornament colors.
Now for the DIY IRL details. I first crafted this ornament wreath last year, and I made several mistakes.
- I didn’t figure out my hanging mechanism until after I glued on all the balls and tinsel, and then I used a clear notched plastic strap called a “Tie-It-All.” It worked fine last year. This year, not so much, which brings me to my second point.
- Don’t store your ornament wreath in the attic where temperatures can reach 128 degrees. I don’t think the rubbery plastic strap liked that, and the hot glue also didn’t keep all the ornaments attached. I had to pull out my glue gun and re-attach about a dozen balls.
- Make sure your hanging mechanism is well secured. Read on for the full scoop.
After I repaired my wreath early Wednesday morning, I hung the ornament wreath on my front door and smiled. It looked great, and I planned to write this blog post later that day. I sat down to work at my desk in the dining room just five steps from the front door and heard a sickening crash of tinkling glass.
I opened my door to devastation. The wreath lay face down on my front porch. Shiny fragments of green, red and gold glass balls littered the brick threshold and my “Peace, Love and Joy” doormat. Needless to say, I didn’t feel very peaceful, loving or joyful.
I had to drag out the glue gun once more, go to the store for more ornaments AND head to Lowes for a better hanging solution. My Fix-It Farmer suggested the braided picture-hanging wire. I took it to the next level with a U-bolt. Maybe it’s like a belt and suspenders, but at this point, I wanted no more accidents.
Alas, I spied a broken ball on the inner circle of the wreath after I put it back in place, but I decided to leave it alone for now. I’m far from perfect, and I’m tired of repairing this thing. Maybe I’ll fix it next year. The overall effect is still quite lovely. I learned a lot of lessons I can implement next time.
What you need:
- Hanging mechanism (strong ribbon, picture hanging wire, etc.)
- Lots of ornaments. Here’s my approximate breakdown: 20 large 2 1/2 inch, 60 medium 1 1/2 inch, 40 1 inch balls. I liked the smooth look of glass rather than the line I saw on some plastic balls. I didn’t like the shattered pieces on my doorstep. Still, when I purchased more, I bought glass.
- tinsel garland to match one of your bulb colors
- hot glue and hot glue gun
The cost before all the breakage: $40 (I only bought ornaments on sale).
I would do this craft again, but I would figure out the engineering before layering on the beautiful baubles.