Ornament wreaths made from new Christmas ornaments — I shop Target, Big Lots, Michael’s and K-Mart and make two wreaths

Ornament wreaths new ornies new ornament wreathsI am a completist. So even though everyone may be tired of hearing about making vintage ornament wreaths <– tutorial here, I need to do this story — about making these wreaths using new ornaments, instead of old. Some folks want to use new ornaments — because they cannot get their hot hands on the vintage… because they prefer not to shoot up their precious vintage ornies with hot glue…  or because vintage is too costly. Making two wreaths using new ornaments, I discovered a fourth reason to try it with the new: To hone your skills. Strangely, perhaps, as I continue to make more wreaths (for friends and family),  I am not finding it “easier” to make wreaths that please me 100% — I am finding it more difficult. Maybe I am getting pickier, or over-thinking it. In any case: Even if you have an innate talent for something, there is nothing like practice practice practice. And no question, it’s way less stressful — albeit, still not super cheap to practice on new ornaments! Read on for my tips on where to buy vintage-style ornaments new — and where to find the best prices.

christmas ornament wreath new ornamentschristmas-ornament-wreathAs you can see from the two photos above, I made two wreaths using new ornaments. Based on the ornaments I found, I made the wreaths in two color combinations:

  • (1) red-green-silver-gold…
  • and (2) aqua, pink, silver, gold and blue.

retro-style-christmas-ornaments-targettarget retro christmas ornamentsI chose these two color combinations after seeing and buying the vintage style ornaments at Target — shown above. Yes, Target has glommed onto the retro Santa’s sled more than any other retailer I was able to spot, and this season, has sets of ornaments that mimic vintage Shiny Brites. The sets come in the red/green or pink/aqua color sets (more or less).

#1 — Target (above): So my first piece of advice if you want to start a wreath using new ornaments: Start with Target’s ornies, pick one color way or the other, and then build out your other ornaments from other retailers, who have other shopping advantages, I found…

christmas ornaments big lots#2 — Big Lots (above): For 2.5″ balls to circle the outside of your wreath form, I found that Big Lots generally had the best deal. You could get 15 @ 2.5″ ornaments for $5 (before any sales). There were similar el-cheapo deals on smaller — including 1″ diameter — ornaments in a variety of colors — some with little flocked designs even. When you are making ornament wreaths, it is super good to have itsy ornaments like the one-inchers (and even smaller) on hand. TIP: Both Kate and I agreed that we tended to favor filling in gaps on our wreaths with small balls in silver (especially) and gold on all our wreaths — these lighten up the wreath and sort of help your eye dance all around it. If you want to save money, focus on acquiring the silver and gold itsy balls — at Big Lots, you could buy 54 for $5!. Of course, having some color one-inchers on hand is nice, too, to add dimension and pop.

While Big Lots was cheapest to buy balls in bulk, this store had limited color and design selection, so next I would go to…

christmas ornaments michaels#3 — Michael’s (above): Michael’s has a lot of ornament diversity — and started having sales pretty early in December, which made their generally-higher prices more palatable. Note, I loved their selection of decorative ornaments — flocked! — for the front of the wreath; Michael’s was definitely the best source for decoratives to complement the Target Shiny Brites. I love Michael’s red-white, green-white and red-green-white ornaments in particular — I’ve become a huge fan of the green/red/silver/white/gold  wreath combination — a real crowd-pleaser. Michael’s also had a good selection of 2.5″ balls for the outside in colors beyond those available at Big Lots.

retro christmas ornaments kmartFinally, #4 — K-Mart (above): K-Mart also was good for colors for the outside rounds, particularly in the Sandra Lee collection. For ornie bling, I also loved the faux-chrome-plated plastic stag — just like the vintage one, only it’s a bit bigger.

My key tips if you want to make a wreath using new:

  • Decide on a focused colorway — and collect narrowly in that colorway. Start with Target… then Big Lots, and check out Michael’s, too, especially if you can get ornaments on sale.
  • For the outside ring of a 14″ foam wreath, you will need 20 @ 2.5″ round ornaments. Kate and I then counted we each use AT LEAST 24 ornaments for the top of the wreath. In this wreaths featured in this story, I used 38 top-ornaments on my red/green wreath above… and 35 ornaments on my pink/blue wreath… the number you use depends on the size of these top ornaments and also the size of your weebits and how how you fit the top ornaments around your weebits. Finally, we have found that up to 30 smalls to fill in; you could use more or less. The more ornaments you have to work with for the front of that wreath, the ‘easier’ it will be to create a pleasing design. This is work — there are now lots of photos of ornament wreaths online — study these photos for design ideas, don’t just jump into a hot glue frenzy.
  • In addition – you need kitschy weebits like the stag, or small Santas, or floral picks or whatever to work into your wreath. I tend to think: At least three focal points on the front of the wreath, I like doing one at about 2 o’clock, one at 5 o’clock and a third (‘heavier’ / good feng shui) one on the left about 9 o’clock.
  • I did not try to “age” my new ornaments. Maybe someday I will do these. Meanwhile, I will just try… using them for 25 years. That should do it.

All this said, I could not get this story published fast enough — because I was back at Michael’s the other day, and they are already so discounted that they are running low on stock. In addition, good luck getting a wreath form. The shelves are wiped clean in my town. Ack. Next year, I will be sure to get all my stock well in advance. In fact, if you are making multiple wreaths, it may be smarter to buy in bulk from Amazon or other online retailers, where you can save a goodly chunk of dough re mi.

See all our ornament wreath stories:

  1. Laura Jean says:

    The retro pink rein dear armaments that’s sold out from Target last year are now once again available on their website. Go to Target’s website and type reindeer ornaments in their search engine.

  2. Lynn says:

    Pam, I am a huge fan of these wreaths! I need to make six large wreaths and vintage is cost prohibitive. I have started collecting new vintage-style ornaments to get started but I am having difficulties finding smaller sized glass balls. Do you use plastic/shatterproof balls or strictly glass? Your Target, Michaels, Big Lots photos look like plastic may be mixed in but it does not specify. Please let me know your thoughts. Thank you!

    1. Pam Kueber says:

      I usually use just glass. There are some vintage ornaments that were plastic, and I have used those too. One thought: High heat may melt the plastic – probably smart to test before you buy a gazillion.

  3. Lizzy Claiborne says:

    You left out Wal Mart. They have styrofoam wreaths for about $4 USD. Not so cheap on ornaments, but the day after Xmas is stock up time!
    Also, they had a steal on tinsel Xmas trees, I scored several.

    I have a real problem with burning vintage ornaments for wreaths; They’ll never do a tree again. I use mine for a tree in the style of my childhood. I like that use better. Vintage anything is a very finite resource, putting hot glue all over it is a questionable use. Broken rhinestone jewelry is great reuse for those trees, but think before you commit useable stuff to a craft project. I wear my old sparkly jewels. Better use.

    Suppose somebody used all the Mid century furniture for firewood? Where would we sit down?

    I’ve worked in a major brick and mortar vintage store. It could have been a wing of the Smithsonian. If you do a vintage lifestyle you need to respect the stuff for future generations. I know it’s not always feasible, but needs thinking about. You restored vintage tile bathroom is important, your original vintage kitchen is important, actual vintage everything deserves the same respect and review.

  4. Wendellyn Plummer says:

    I don’t know where your Big Lots is located but most of the ornaments at mine were high dollar!! So I waited till the after Christmas sale hit and I went. I may go back, as I now realize that I need way more!! Your pictures are truly amazing and as I go along I know I will come back to your tutorial. Christmas 2017 is on the horizon!!

  5. Janice Gunning says:

    Dear Janice,

    Kick the Michael’s coupon game. I, too, make these beautiful wreaths. I buy my 14″ wreath forms from http://www.createforless.com. I pay $4.20 USD when buying a dozen. That puts me over $50, which qualifies me for free shipping. They even beat the Walmart price, and I do not have to have a coupon or use the gasoline in my car.

    I find vintage ornies at garage sales, but when I see how much they cost on Ebay, I just cannot bring myself to squirt glue on them. Besides, I may have to sell them on Ebay to support my crafting habit 🙂

    I have difficulty finding enough ornies of a particular size and color from time-to-time. That’s when I deal with Christmas Lights, etc. Again, they ship to my home. Prices are more than garage sale prices, but I have a larger selection of colors/sizes.

    It’s good to hear that your wreaths can tough out a Canadian winter. I still warn my customers to display and store their wreaths where they will not be exposed to extreme temperatures. I don’t need the TV lawyers contacting me lol.

    Happy crafting,

    Janice (you must be good looking too!)

  6. Janice says:

    Hi, Only just found your site. I have been making and selling ornament wreaths for about 3 years. Where I live, in Canada, it is virtually impossible to find vintage ornaments. Buying from ebay etc. and shipping costs are very high here so I buy all my ornaments and supplies locally. I have made wreaths using tinsel and also wide christmas ribbon-velvet, shiny,sparkly, any kind. I actually find that the ornaments are more stable on the ribbon wrap. I also put battery operated lights on all my wreaths which I attach with florists pins. I use the same hanging method as Georgia Peachz. Because I make wreaths every year I buy the green styrofoam forms at Michael’s when ever I have a coupon. I can have all the wreaths I need by the time I start making them, usually around September. I also buy all my ornaments after Christmas when I can get them between 75-90% off. One last comment, I have had wreaths hung outside on a covered porch every year with no adverse effects, and we get VERY cold winters here!!!

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