I finally pulled out my high-heat glue gun to make a fresh batch of vintage Christmas ornament wreaths. But first, I am giving some away that I made in past seasons. Above: That’s the wreath I made in 2013 using all-new ornaments from places like Michaels, Target and K-Mart. However, as I pulled it out of storage, I found quite a few loose ornaments. So, I pulled off some of those loose ornaments and reworked some spots to give the wreath — one of my earliest ever — more pizzazz.
Photo viewing tip: On any story, on a desktop computer screen, you should be able to click the photo and it will enlarge up to 1,000 pixels wide so you cn view the details better.
Are your ornaments coming loose or falling off?
For the past three years, when the holidays are over, I have been storing some wreaths in my attic. I live in Massachusetts. In the winter my attic is super cold. And in the summer, it gets blistering hot. This year, I began noticing loose ornaments. I am not a scientist, but I think the issue is that the heat and cold extremes are causing expansion and contraction of the high-heat hot glue. I also store wreaths in my basement, which has minimal temperature variation, but I have not yet checked those wreaths this year.
In any case, since I made the wreaths and own a high-heat glue gun, the problem is easy to solve — and for me, this even presents an opportunity to improve some of my earlier creations, which showed less artistry. My process is pretty straightforward: Before I take the wreaths out of their boxes, I carefully check for loose ornaments and then, after carefully lifting the wreath and putting it on a covered surface, I reglue any loose ornaments sturdily in place. I am not stingy with the glue. Also — as I’ve described above — this is a good time to make changes if you want. As shown on this wreath, because the ornaments were loose in some places, I was able to easily pull some off so that I would rework the areas.
Above, BEFORE: Originally, I made this wreath made with all-new ornaments — but no weebits. I was basically practicing making wreaths without having to put my vintage ornaments at risk. So, as I recall, I didn’t worry about weebit areas. Overall, I think this is a great way to get started if you want to become skilled at making ornament wreaths: That is, start with new ornaments so as not to mess up with the precious vintage ones. I personally find the art form a challenging one — I definitely have become better with three years of go-very-slow-before-you-glue practice. I think I’ve now made about 10 wreath and no question, the last several have been far superior to my initial creations.
Above, AFTER: I pulled out loose ornaments in several places to make way for adding weebits. To me, the weebits make a huge difference in giving these wreaths appeal. I try to spread them around to give the wreath dynamic appeal… motion. And I have this OCD — okay, I’ll be more gentle on myself and call it this “challenge to myself” — not to repeat any weebits made of the same materials. That is: only one porcelain figure, one wood figure, one flower, etc. But golly, my OCD is not pathological: Can you see I have two woodsies in this one? I also like having weebit groupings in odd numbers. This wreath has five. Can you find them all? Odd-number groupings also create visual dynamism. I read this is because we are biologically tuned to visually make pairs. Having an odd item out piques our interest.
This wreath is going to my friend Molly.
- See our wreath-making tutorial here. We have our epic, basic vintage-ornament wreath tutorial… one using new ornaments… an “E-Z wreath” idea… a wreath made of vintage corsages… and more.