This DIY Christmas Ornament Wreath is an absolute stunner! My mom and I spent a good chunk of time over Thanksgiving week making three of these beauties. They can retail for up to $400 each (plus shipping!) online for wreaths made with primarily vintage ornaments, or even $100 for one with new ornaments. But we made ours for about $50 each, and now I’m here to share the step by step plus some ESSENTIAL tips and tricks with you! I hope you’re ready for the ride – this is a long one! (But I promise, if you want to try this, read the entire post, you’ll be happy you did!)
Also – something super exciting is happening!! I’m GIVING AWAY one of these beautiful Christmas Ornament Wreaths to one lucky U.S. based subscriber (the one you see right below this)! Details at the end of this post on how to enter!
**This post may contain affiliate links – please read my Privacy Disclosure for more information.**
What You’ll Need:
- 14″ or 16″ foam wreath form – we found the 14″ worked better and it is more manageable to store
- 15 gauge wire
- wire cutters
- extra strength hot glue sticks (we prefer Gorilla)
- hot glue gun
- 20′-30′ of THICK tinsel garland (none of the puny skinny stuff) in your choice of color – we used white and silver – the iridescent ones are particularly beautiful
- Assortment of glass ornaments
- You will want 2.5-3″ balls for your outer row (check stores like Target or Walmart) You will then want several different sizes (2″, 1″ etc), all the way down to about 1/2″. We used large pieces like an old Santa Claus ornament, reindeer and vintage tree toppers, etc. for the focal points of our wreaths, so consider what you’d like in these spaces as well. You can be creative here!
- We had quite a collection of vintage ornaments to use, and if you are looking for some vintage ornaments to add to your own Christmas ornament wreath, you can source them from local antique stores or on Etsy and RubyLane.com (or sometimes even Goodwill)! You can also find vintage inspired ornaments – check out some of my favorite picks HERE!
- NOTE: You can also use shatter proof ornaments if you’d like a kiddo free version of this Christmas ornament wreath! Mama and I just adore vintage christmas ornaments, so we went with all glass.
- Make sure you are using LIGHT ornaments, none of the heavy mercury glass ornaments or your wreath will be WAY too heavy.
- Large wreath storage box – this is the exact one we have and it’s fabulous and super heavy duty!
Step 1: First, make sure you have a good work space that won’t be damaged by some excess hot glue.
Now, dab a large glob of hot glue on any point of your wreath form and carefully (seriously, it’s easy to burn yourself so be cautious!) attach one end of your tinsel garland. Hold for about 30 seconds to dry. Feed your garland through and around the wreath to wrap it, securing with another large glob of hot glue about every 3-4 wraps.
- Again, use THICK tinsel, like the white you see above, and not the silver. The thick tinsel provides a much better base for your ornaments because there is more surface area for the glue and ornament to stick to. You are also far less likely to burn yourself because there is more material in between you and the glue!
- Make sure you buy 20-30 feet of the garland, depending on the size of your wreath. With the thick white garland, I used two 12 foot packages.
- As I stated above, the 14″ wreath form is a LOT easier to manage. Those extra 2″ really make a big difference in the ultimate size, weight, and fragility or your wreath.
- Whenever you are using the hot glue throughout this project, allow it to dry for about 30 seconds before moving on.
Step 2: Use a final glob of glue to secure the end of your tinsel garland to the wreath form, and cut off any excess.
Step 3: Once your wreath form is fully wrapped, cut a 20″ piece of your 15 gauge wire. Fold gently in half. Stick the looped part of your wire through your wreath so that it pokes up above the wreath about 2″. Now holding that steady, take the “tails” of your wire and wrap around them together around the wreath form. When the tails meet the loop, wrap them around the base of the loop itself 2-3 times. Then wrap the tails again around the wreath form. Poke them THROUGH the loop at the top, separate them and then bring wrap them in opposite directions again around the base of the loop. Cut off any excess.
I know the creation of this hanger may be confusing to read. You can watch my video tutorial below to see exactly how we made the loop! The bottom line is, you want the wire to be secure so you have no concerns about it coming loose.
- Use a generous amount of hot glue on the BACK of the wire hanger you just created. Essentially, cover the wire in glue so that it is completely stuck to your wreath form covered in tinsel.
Step 4: Now the fun part begins! Arrange your 2.5″-3″ balls around the outside of your wreath however you like. The possibilities are endless! Just play around until you have a color palette you like. As you can see, we did 3 completely different wreaths, and they are all equally as beautiful! Once you have them arranged, take a photo on your phone that you can easily refer back to. Clear off all ornaments and move them to a safe spot except 2 or 3 of them. You don’t want your ornaments sliding off the table as you work!
- If you are having trouble deciding on a color palette, you can carefully lay other smaller ornaments you might want on the front of your wreath in the center of the wreath while you decide. Sometimes seeing the smaller pieces with your outer layer can help! When in doubt, choose LESS colors rather than more.
- It helps to have all of your ornaments laid out so you can see what you have to choose from upfront. We also separated out our large balls from the smaller ones to make it easier to sort and find what we were looking for.
- You can also add an inner row of ornaments if you’d like. My mom and I both preferred the more open look of the wreaths without a full row on the inside, so we skipped this part. If you do choose to do the inner row, do it immediately after the outer row, NOT at the end.
Step 5: Use your hot glue to carefully glue your outer row of ornaments onto your wreath, using your photo for reference as you go. Make sure you are gluing the ORNAMENT, not just the top metal piece. (I.E. your ornaments should be attached at a slight angle – see photos below)
Step 6: Continue until you the outer row is completely covered. And make sure to leave just a SMALL space for where your wire hook is so it can peen through. The space should be just big enough so that it will hang easily on the wall and not be blocked by those big outer ornaments.
Step 7: Carefully turn your wreath over and use a generous amount of hot glue on the back side to fully secure your ornaments to the wreath form. You want them to feel nice and secured when you touch them. Allow to dry for about 5 minutes.
Step 8: Now carefully flip your wreath back over again. Start by choosing your 2-3 main focal point pieces. For mine, I used a vintage tree topper, a cute old Santa ornament, and some unique larger vintage balls. We tried to place our focal points at about 1, 5, and 9 o’clock. We used 3 because the human eye/brain tends to find things in odd numbers like this more visually appealing.
- Don’t limit yourself here! Be creative with what you use as your focal points, they don’t just have to be ornaments! My mom even used feathers, and in the wreath I’m giving away, you can see I added a reindeer to the middle! It’s totally up to you!
- And on that note, you can also just do a straight ornament wreath with no main focal point at all. Make your wreath exactly how YOU like it, there is no right or wrong way to do this!
Step 9: Attach your focal point pieces with your hot glue first. Then allow to dry. And now, fill in! Go crazy! Have fun! The skies the limit!
Really though – now it’s just about placing beautiful ornaments wherever you like them. We did our best to balance out colors on opposite sides of the wreaths as best we could, but there is no exact science to this. We just added what we liked!
That said, you do want to try to add in size order, though. Begin with some of your large or medium sized ornaments, then use your smaller ornaments to fill in spaces that need filling.
- One amazing thing that you can use these beautiful Christmas ornament wreaths for is to save and preserve broken ornaments. If you have an ornament that is just broken on one side, you can glue that side down or use another ornament to cover up the broken bits.
- Glass does not glue particularly well to glass, so make sure you are gluing most of your ornaments to the wreath itself, not each other. That said, we were able to successfully glue some of the little baby filler ornaments on top of other ornaments with no issue, just don’t trust that a glass on glass adhesion will work for larger ornaments here, and be careful even with the little guys.
Step 10: Continue adding ornaments with your hot glue until you wreath looks full, or however you like it! Allow to dry for 10 minutes or so, and then do a quick last check with your fingers to make sure everything seems secured. (We did this and I’m glad we did because a couple of the ornaments on my moms wreath we had completely forgotten to glue down!)
Step 11: Hang and enjoy! And I dare not to make more than one – these are ADDICTING! Hence the extra one I made for YOU!
- After the holiday season, store in a large heavy duty wreath storage box. However, while many of these boxes have a hanger, we recommend you store these flat, and without stacking anything on top of them (unless you have used shatterproof ornaments, in which case hanging is likely just fine). These Christmas ornament wreaths, when made with glass ornaments, are very very fragile, and I wouldn’t want all your hard work and all your beautiful ornaments getting smushed in the middle of July!
**GIVEAWAY CLOSED – WINNER: Ashley B from PA!**
I am giving away this beautiful red/green/blue/white wreath to one lucky blog subscriber. All you have to do is:
- Subscribe to fiddleleafblog.com
- Live in the United States and be over 18 years old
- Comment on a blog post of your choosing (including this one). In that comment, be sure to include the first part of your email address (I.e. if your email address was firstname.lastname@example.org, you can write your comment, then include “fiddleleafblog@.COM. You can leave out the email server you use so that people don’t email you randomly! Once the contest is over and a winner confirmed, I will go back and EDIT OUT your email all together!)
And that’s it! By entering you confirm you are over age 18 and live in the United States! Giveaway entries END December 12, 2020. Winner announced and contacted within 48 hours. I CANNOT wait to send this beauty to one of you!!
And I hope you are able to use this tutorial and tips/tricks to make your very own beautiful, one of a kind, Christmas ornament wreath!