April makes a wreath using 10 vintage Christmas corsages — gorgeous!

Corsage-wreathvintage-christmas-corsageOur tutorials to make wreaths using Christmas ornaments have inspired ornament wreath mania, methinks, and now, reader April has trumped us all with this drop dead gorgeous creation: A wreath made using 10 vintage Christmas corsages plus some extra Kitschmas baubles to fill in and accentuate here and there. Oh my: I now “need” to collect corsages, too, who needs a retirement fund, anyways? 


vintage-christmas-corsagevintage-christmas-corsageYes: Christmas corsages. These were popular in mid-century America — a popular Christmas day gift for the lady of the house to wear to church and the day’s family get-together. They were made by florists and also manufacturers, using ornaments and greenery all wired together just like… prom corsages today. Jump over to etsy or ebay and type in “vintage Christmas corsage” and behold hundreds, even thousands, of examples. These things were popular.

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How April made her vintage Christmas corsage wreath

Here is how April did it, she writes:

Hi Pam,

When I saw your great tutorial last year on making wreaths, I was determined to try my hand at it this year.

I had such vivid memories of my mom, aunts and grandmothers wearing Christmas corsages in the 50’s and 60’s, I thought they would be perfect to incorporate into a wreath.

I searched Ebay and Etsy for corsages, Some of the corsages were full enough to use on their own, while others I thought needed a few things added — I found that once I placed them on the wreath, I needed something more to fill in the gaps.

vintage-christmas-corsageAs an example, I purchased a couple of corsages for their beautiful orange ribbons. One had the Santa face, but the other didn’t have anything, so I found some vintage reindeer picks and added one to the other.

vintage-christmas-corsageI took apart a large corsage and used it to make a pair for either side, adding the cute little snowmen picks I had found.

vintage christmas corsagesI also bought miniature ornaments in different sizes, and with the smallest ones added old chenille pipe cleaners for stems, and put a few of those in as well.

vintage christmas ornamentsThe cute red bottle brush trees at the bottom are half trees that were worn as brooches, and the angels were a find on Ebay that seemed to work, with a little bottle brush tree between them. I used a few small Shiny Brite ornaments to fill in, just to break up all the tiny stuff going on.

vintage corsage wreath retro craftyCorsage-wreathvintage corsage wreath retro craftyvintage corsage wreath retro crafty
I think in all I used 10 corsages on the wreath, and filled in with bits and pieces from 2 more, as well as adding the mini ornaments. I also used a few vintage silver leaves and some lacquered holly leaves that back a lot of the corsages to fill in as well. A hot glue gun (like the one you recommended ) worked great to secure everything in place.

The wreath size is a 14″ wrapped in gold tinsel.

It was a fun project, and most of all, it brought back some wonderful memories of those ladies all decked out in their fancy corsages at Christmas.

Thanks again for all your wonderful inspiration each and every day.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!

Best, April

Thank you for sharing this, April. I can’t wait to make my own — but yours looks like it will be hard to beat!

Vintage-Corsage-Wreath

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Comments

  1. LuAnn says

    Oh, so pretty! I had forgotten about the Christmas corsages…back when ladies wore dresses to church and men wore suits and ties. *Sigh* The wreath turned out beautifully. I may have to try one myself.

  2. Jay says

    Whoa, I think you are starting another RR trend. Looks great! What a nostalgic blast from the past! I remember these not as corsages but decorative picks sold for making Christmas floral arrangements and Christmas package decorating. Oh the 5 & 10 was great for this stuff (Woolworths RIP). You have a great eye for composition – the juxtaposition of the larger ornaments with the small pieces. I liked the clusters of bells, I had flashbacks to last Sunday night – trying to find a place on the tree for all of them. No two similar ornaments can be next to each other.

  3. Carrie says

    I love it! Sooo beautiful. I have big boxes of vintage Christmas that I tell myself I am going to craft with. But, I have learned that I need to start in the summer, because Oct-Dec doesn’t seem to offer enough spare crafty time in our home. (:

  4. Robin, NV says

    Oh wow! This is great! What a fun and lovely idea. It also reminded me of the corsages my grandmothers used to wear. I’d completely forgotten about that. Brings back memories of going to my grandmother’s house and getting a great big hug from her with my little face mashed up against her corsage. 🙂

  5. Penne says

    I’ve collected Christmas corsages for years. I attach them to my tree and they look so festive mixed with the rest of the ornaments. I have about thirty near-perfect ones, but boxes and boxes of bedraggled ones and parts and pieces. I’ve kept them, thinking I could repair other corsages some day, but April’s idea is much better.

  6. Mary Elizabeth says

    Yes, the fake corsages were very popular. My mother was allergic to most flowers, so whenever there was an occasion to wear a corsage, we gave her one made with artificial flowers. And she saved them all–the ones from weddings, the Christmas ones, the Thanksgiving ones, the Easter ones. I think she threw them out a long time ago–they weren’t with her treasures when she passed away. But just seeing April’s collection done in a wreath reminds me of Mom, so thanks for the blast from the past. (We might want to collect Easter ones, too, and make spring wreaths from them.) What do you think?

  7. virginia says

    I’ve a few of these too that I use on our tree. Sometimes one still receives a beautifully wrapped gift with the equivalent of a corsage as box top decoration. I save all of these. They quite often turn out to be even more exciting than the present itself.

    This is lovely, lovely wreath.

    • Robin, NV says

      Ooh, I love the idea of using the corsages instead of a bow. I checked out the selection on Etsy – wow! There are a ton to choose from in all price ranges.

  8. vegebrarian says

    This is a beautiful wreath, April.

    I also have a stash of Christmas corsages and little spun cotton figures I’ve been saving for just the right project. Thank you for the idea!

  9. Brenda says

    LOVE this!! I had issues making a vintage ornament wreath (the glue didn’t hold here in Florida) Maybe I will try this and then keep the wreath indoors!

  10. Tracy Woytas says

    I’m so glad you posted this! I love the wreath you made. I have many random Christmas decorations from my mom. This will give them new life.

  11. Rebecca says

    Well done April. I have a lovely stash of corsages but was never sure what to do with them. This is a great idea. Can you give me some details on how you attached the chenille pipe cleaners to the small ornaments? I need to do that for another project and any guidance would be appreciate. Thanks for sharing your inspiration!

    • April says

      Thanks so much. To attach the pipe cleaner stems, just remove the hanger, put a dot of glue on the end and put it into the ornament, then cut the stem to the length you need.

  12. tammyCA says

    Sweet! I have bits and bobs of floral/corsage decorations that I come across at sales…they do bring back memories.

  13. mona says

    OMG when I was in grade school, my mom and I wore Christmas corsages on our winter coats. The stores would have dozens to pick from.

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