DIY Craft Tutorial: An Easier Way to Make an Ornament Wreath for the Holidays
Ornament wreaths are a popular decoration for the Christmas season. But fitting all those ornaments together can be like working a jigsaw puzzle, and these wreaths can require a lot of ornaments to look full and colorful. This tutorial creates an ornament wreath from a plain grapevine form that is easy to construct and needs a lot less ornaments. The resulting wreath is a festive and fun decoration for your holiday home.
Although I made my wreath to be a Christmas decoration, this tutorial can be used to make wreaths for many occasions. Pastel ornaments and ribbons can create a wreath for Easter. Gold or silver ornaments would make a beautiful wreath for a wedding anniversary celebration. Pale pink or pale blue ornaments could be used to make a wreath for a baby shower or to announce a new baby. Or use ornaments that match your reception colors to make special decorations for your wedding day!
An Inexpensive Holiday Craft Project
I bought most of my ornaments for my wreath last year at after-Christmas sales. Using a combination of sales and coupons for my local big box craft store, I made this wreath for about $15, including my wreath form and ribbon.
Materials to Make an Ornament Wreath
- A plain grapevine wreath form - my form was 18 inches in diameter, but you can use whatever size you choose.
- Plastic (not glass) shatter-proof Christmas ball ornaments in the color(s) of your choice. I would suggest getting the medium size balls instead of the larger size. You will also need some small size balls to fill in spaces. How many ornaments you will need depends on the size of your wreath form. My wreath used 50 ornaments, in a combination of medium and small sizes.
- (Optional) wide ribbon in the color of your choice for making a large bow
- Thinner ribbon (1/4 inch to 1/2 inch width) in one or more colors. You can use curling ribbon and curl the ends when you're done if you want.
- Twine, wire or yarn to wrap around your wreath
- Glue gun and a lot of glue sticks
Why Use Plastic Ornaments?
A few years ago, my sister made my parents an ornament wreath with a combination of glass and plastic balls. During the holiday season, the wreath fell and some of the glass ornaments broke. Since they were glued in place, it was impossible to remove the glass remnants from the wreath to replace the broken balls. If you use plastic balls, they won't break and you can avoid this problem.
Preparing Your Wreath Form to Make an Ornament Wreath
1. I took a pair of clippers and trimmed off all the curly and loose pieces, and all the dead leaves, from my wreath form (see "before" photo above the materials list). Be careful when doing this that you don't trim off anything holding your wreath together or that your wreath form doesn't become too loose.
2. Now decide which is the top of your wreath and attached your hanger, if you are going to use one. I like to just use a simple loop of twine, but your can make a wire hanger if you want.
3. Next, wrap your wreath form with twine, wire, or yarn, making each wrap about an inch apart (see photo above). These wraps should be snug, but not too tight. You will use these wraps to tie your ribbons and fill in between your ornaments. These wraps do not need to be perfectly spaced, but you want them to be spread evenly around your form. I simply hot glued the ends of my twine in place as I began and ended my wraps.
Creating Your Ornament Wreath
4. (Optional) I like to start all my wreaths by placing my bow first. I made a double bow using my wider ribbon and placed it at the 10 o'clock position on my wreath. You can put your ribbon wherever you choose, or not add a bow at all.
I have directions for making my double loop bow below under the coordinating pines wreaths.
5. Next, I started cutting my thinner ribbon into shorter lengths that were 9 inches long. This was a good length for me to tie my ribbon into double knots. You can trim your thin ribbons shorter once your wreath is complete. I would only cut 15 to 20 lengths of ribbon at a time rather than cut up all your ribbon at once.
6. I also removed the metal tops from my ornament balls when possible. Some of my balls had tops that were hard to remove, so I just left them in place. This worked fine and sometimes made the balls easier to glue in place. You may want to try both ways and see what works best for you.
7. Now begin placing your ornaments on your wreath. Take your first ball, put a liberal dose of hot glue around the top, and place it snug to your bow by pushing the ornament top into your grapevine form. Hold it in place for a few seconds while the glue sets up.
8. Without any glue, decide the placement for your next ball. If this position creates a space between your first and second ornaments, tie a few of your thin ribbons to the twine or wreath material in between using a double knot. Now glue your second ornament in place as you did with the first. Leave the long ends of your ribbon as fringe. You can trim it at the end if you choose.
9. Continue to place and glue your ornaments around your wreath, mixing up the colors of your balls and ribbon. I waited to use my smaller ornaments until the end to fill in any awkward spaces and to add more color.
10. I glued my ornaments to the front of my wreath form only. I filled in the sides with ribbons instead. If you'd prefer to put ornaments around the outside of your wreath, you can do it at the end when the front is complete. However, this will use more ornaments than I did.
11. As you work around your wreath, tie more of your thin ribbon to the inside of your wreath form. You can tie your ribbon to the wraps of twine and to the material that makes up your wreath. You can also tie multiple pieces of ribbon in the same place for a fuller look to your wreath.
12. As you finish putting ornaments on the front of your wreath, carefully choose the color and size of balls to fit around your bow.
13. When you are done with the front of your wreath, you can use your smaller balls to fill out the edges of your arrangement.
14. Next, begin to tie more thin ribbon around the twine wraps on the outside of your wreath. You can tie multiple ribbons in the same place for a fuller look to your wreath.
If you don't like this look, you can glue more ornaments around the outside of your wreath. One row of balls around should fill in the sides.
15. Once your wreath is complete, you can trim the ends of your big bow. You can also adjust the length of your thin ribbon fringe as you choose. I trimmed the fringe on the inside of my wreath so it didn't hang quite so long.
Making Coordinating Pine Wreaths
I have three artificial pine wreaths that I put on the front windows of my house during the holidays. I wanted to recycle these wreaths and decorate them to match my ornament wreath. However, I use these wreaths for a lot of projects, so I didn't want to do anything permanent. Here's how I made them match my ornament wreath:
- any wreath form
- same wide ribbon that I used for my big bow
- a few plastic Christmas balls that match my ornament wreath
- a security tie for each of my ornaments
Making a Double Loop Bow for Your Wreath
I started by adding my double loop bow first.
1. To do this, I cut a 12 inch length of my wide ribbon.
2. With my ribbon face down (if it matters), I brought the two ends together in the center, overlapping them by about an inch.
3. Using a desk stapler, I stapled the two ends in place. Don't worry, the staples won't show.
4. Now cut a longer piece of your wide ribbon to tie around your wreath. I used a piece that was 24 inches long.
5. Tie this longer piece around your wreath form in the place of your choice (see photo above). Make sure the ends are even.
6. Place your folded piece of ribbon against the center of your tied pieces.
7. Now make two loops with your longer ends of ribbon and tie a bow as if your were tying your shoelaces.
8. Fluff and adjust all four loops so that they are even and that your knot is tight. Then trim the ends of your ribbon or wait until you are done with your wreath to do this.
Adding Ornaments to Your Coordinating Wreaths
9. Take one of your ornament balls and slide a security tie through the hole in the metal top.
10. Working from the front of your wreath, decide on the placement of your first ball. Then push both ends of your security tie through your wreath to the back. Be sure that your tie surrounds one of the supporting pieces of your wreath frame to hold your ornament in place
11. Once in place, tighten your security tie as tight as possible to secure your ornament. Then cut the long end of your tie with scissors so it doesn't show from the front.
12. Add as many ornaments to your wreath as you want to coordinate with the colors in your larger wreath.
I used a different combination of leftover ornaments on each of my wreaths to coordinate with my larger ornament wreath.
I hope you enjoy making your ornament wreath and have a wonderful holiday season!
Copyright © 2016 by Donna Herron. All rights reserved.