Take the ghosts and the goblins down. Clear the cobwebs. Halloween is over and it’s time for Christmas. Some of you are already unpacking the tree, while others are saying “wait a minute, let’s make it to Thanksgiving first.” I normally fall into the latter category, but my holiday wreath is so lovely I can’t wait to get it out and start preparing for the festive season ahead.
If it’s vintage, odds are I am probably going to love it. I think vintage items, whatever they may be, are storytellers. Sometimes they’re family treasures that we know the memories and sometimes they are “new” to us and we don’t know about them at all. But no matter what, they bring us back to a different time in the world, and by incorporating them into modern times they allow both eras to blend harmoniously. For most people in the world the holidays, and Christmas especially are special times throughout all of history. If you ask any adult who celebrates Christmas what one of the best memories from the holidays during childhood is, they are likely to say “decorating the Christmas tree.” Just think of the millions of ornaments hung in millions of homes across the world, and all of the memories and stories they hold.
Making this wreath was a memory in and of itself. I got to hunt for vintage ornaments, use family heirlooms and spend time with my family putting it together. I have seen ornament wreaths over the years and have always loved them. They’re colorful, festive and just so much fun. When they are made of vintage ornaments, they’re treasures. They are also very expensive. That’s why I decided to make my own! I wanted to cut down on cost but also be able to make it look the way I wanted it to. After hunting antique shops high and low for ornaments to mix with my own vintage ones, I realized quickly why the wreaths I had seen were so pricey. Vintage ornaments are fragile and hard to find, making them a high ticket item. But when I finished the wreath and hung it on my front door, it was worth every penny.
Tips to Do It Yourself:
- Be Careful: Vintage ornaments are very fragile. You want to be careful when making your wreath, but also when hanging it and storing it for the off-season.
- Think Heavy: Use a heavy duty wreath that won’t crumple or break apart as you work with it or while it’s hanging.
- Use Good Glue: Use a very strong hot glue that is made for glass. Apply it to the wreath directly (in multiple spots) then place the ornament.
- Wrap the Wreath: Use a tinsel of your choice to wrap the wreath first. Glue as you go so it’s taut and secure. If you want more ornaments use thinner tinsel. For a fluffier look with less ornaments use thicker tinsel.
- Plan Placement: Look over all your ornaments and figure out an idea of how you want them arranged. Figure out a color scheme and what sizes look best where. You will want to start by gluing the largest ornaments in place then filling in around them with smaller ones.
- Fluff it Up: When you are done you will think the wreath looks a little sparse and that’s just because a lot of the tinsel will have been matted in the process. Use floral picks to add little bits of tinsel to and fill in blank spaces.
- Secure It: Use strong hooks and ribbon to secure your wreath, especially if using fragile vintage ornaments. I have 3 hooks behind mine, plus a ribbon running over the door to a hook on the inside to keep it from swinging or banging as the door opens and closes. Be cautious where you place it too. I live in a high-rise condo, so my front door is indoors. If your front door is actually facing Mother Nature, you might not want to risk a delicate wreath to the elements – but you could enjoy it indoors somewhere. (Plus then you get to see it more often. My mom made one and hung hers above her fireplace mantle.)
- Get Crafty: You don’t have to use vintage Christmas ornaments to make your wreath. You could buy new ones, or use other things like jewelry or small toys. Make it a memory – for now, and for years to come – that’s the goal!
Every day when I walk into my home, I get to see this bulbous beauty! It reminds me of the recent memories I have making the wreath but it also makes me think of Christmases past with my grandparents, and the memories my own parents have as kids at Christmas, but also all the other people who probably hung these ornaments on their trees over the years. In a year of turmoil and uncertainty, one thing we can take comfort in is happier times. This wreath is my simple way of doing that! I hope you can find a way to relish the past and bring it into the present too. Maybe you’ll make a wreath too, or you’ll tell stories as you decorate your Christmas tree, or if you celebrate another holiday, maybe you’ll bring back long forgotten traditions.
Signed with Style,
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