Thursday, November 12, 2009

Christmas Ornament Wreath Tutorial

I have always loved those glass ball Christmas ornament wreaths and had always planned to make one, so when the chance to teach a craft class for our women's Relief Society group at church came up I had my reason to finally get it done. And I discovered that these are so simple to make and a lot of fun too!

First I went to 3 different thrift stores and wiped them out of Christmas balls. I spent about $7 and got about 106 Christmas balls of various, sizes and colors. I went to the dollar store and bought 3 vintage styled non-ball shaped ornies.

Supply List

  • 1 foam wreath form (flat or rounded like the one above) I used a 12 inch form--any size will work.

  • Tinsel garland or ribbon

  • Approx 75 Christmas balls or other shaped ornaments (it is best to have some in small, medium and large sizes) Remove the hooks, but leave the little caps with the hangers and if the cap is missing that's ok too.

  • 18 to 20 inch piece of wire (for hanger)

  • Hot glue gun (high temp works best) & lots of glue sticks (do not leave glue gun on for 6 days straight like I did--it will ruin your glue gun and it might catch fire--boy was I lucky! Shhhh---don't tell the husband!)

  • Scissors

  • Favorite Christmas Tunes!

1. Wrap your wreath form with the tinsel garland or ribbon. Tacking the beginning and end pieces with a bit of hot glue to the form. This will hide the wreath form, because you are bound to have little spots here and there that will show through and no body wants to see the ugly foam part.

1-B. This is the part I forgot--add a wire hanger after your wreath is wrapped with garland or ribbon. If you wait until you're finished--like I did, it makes it harder to find a spot to add the wire!

Simply wrap one end of the wire around the wreath, then back up and wind it around itself and repeat for the other side. It'll all be hidden when you're done, so it doesn't have to be pretty--just functional.

2. Starting on the inside of the wreath lay out some medium sized balls arranging color as you go. After you have them layed out to your liking then hot glue each ball to the wreath. I made sure to point the tops downwards to the inside.

Note: Pick up wreath every so often, so as the glue may drip, it won't glue itself to the table. Yup, that's right--I found out the hard way--as usual!

It helps to hold each ball for a moment or two so that the glue can set and get a good hold. You might also want to add a bit of glue to each ball where they touch at the sides to add more support, but you can decide that as you go.

3. Repeat the above step for the outside of the wreath--again using medium sized balls. This gives us a nice base and easy starting point.

Note--When I got the end of the gluing on this step I ended up with a space that wasn't quite big enough to add another ball, but too big to leave a gap, so as you get to the last 3 or so balls you might need to slightly adjust the spacing to make them all fit with no gap left over.

4. Now that we have a good start this is where you start building.

I got so excited making my wreath that I forgot to take a picture of it being built--however I will be making more, so I will add a photo(s) later.

To build the rest of it was simply pick up a ball place it on top of the wreath until you like its placement and glue it down. I would lay out 3 or 4 balls at at time until I liked what I saw and then glued them down. It helps too, to pick the wreath up every so often and look at it from it's hanging point of view, so you can see what needs to go where.

I did find that if I didn't think things through too much or try to over analyze it, it went much quicker, was more fun and turned out better!

Keep adding and layering as you go, filling in here and there with the small balls and adding odd shaped ornies if you have any. I also added a few large jingle bells. If you want the cap end to show that's ok too. There are no rules. It's all up to you! You can add stars or snowflakes, or try wrapping a beaded garland around it too. Just throw caution to the wind and glue, glue, glue!

It took me right at 2 hours to make this wreath. Most of the time being in holding the balls a moment or two as the glue set up enough and deciding just what to put where.

A tip on hanging--don't hang on a door that gets a lot of use as it may damage the wreath. It would probably be best to hang it inside or on a little used door. And for storage either hang it on a wall in the basement--you can cover it with plastic to keep the dust off or use one of the Rubbermaid type of wreath containers or other heavy box.

And that's all there is to it! See simple and fun!

I'll be on the hunt again in a few days and I'm hoping to find some pink, silver and creamy white ornies for my next wreath.

If you make a wreath don't forget to email me a photo or a blog link. I'd love to see what you create!