My vintage Christmas ornament wreaths for 2016: “One is silver, and the other, gold”

vintage-christmas-ornament-wreath-silver-gold-4I now have been making several vintage Christmas ornament wreaths for four years. Last year, I gave away two from my stash, this year, three. Then, happy that some stuff had left the house, I spent the weekend making two new wreaths — one for a friend and one for myself. The two wreath designs are linked, because she has helped me in some special ways this year. I made my wreath in silver (we are all made of stardust), and hers, in the classic complement, gold.

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Above: I  found the ornament of the two midcentury modern quails (?) just a week ago at the Goodwill. I am working very hard to stop holding onto every gosh-darned precious thing I find, and instead, to set more free. So off the rare birds went — appropriately, too, representing my friend and me. You can also see, far left, that a tiny vintage porcelain owl went into this wreath, as my friend is very wise. I found the owl at an estate sale — tiny creatures like this are now on my hunting list, too.
 broken-christmas-ornamentAbove: Another thing I came up with during this project. An ornament broke. In pretty big pieces. Instead of throwing it away, I glued pieces of it onto other ornaments (plain ones in the outer ring) for texture, effect and golly, for art! I glued a few pieces of that broken gold ornament onto my silver wreath, too. That is one of the several ways the wreaths are connected. 


I put a vintage pine cone elf into my wreath. And a little porcelain Astro! Both found at estate sales this summer.

Above: My silver wreath. My goodness — and this is ADVICE: you need a LOT of ornaments to make these wreaths! And I need a lot of time. I spent about seven hours on Saturday making the gold wreath, then the same number of hours on Sunday rolling over into Monday morning working on the silver wreath. Sunday I needed to take a break. So, I took Astro to Petco for a walk and bought him snow booties and some treats. (Can you see him, by the pine cone elf, in my silver wreath?) It’s been freezing here! I also went to Big Lots, where I bought Sterilite wreath containers for $8 each. 

I gave my friend her wreath yesterday. She ooohed and aaahed, of course. I had also brought along mine to show her, especially to point out the its and bits that linked the two wreaths.

When I came home, I promptly hung my wreath to display for the rest of the season. Heck. Maybe, year ’round; stardust is forever.

I walked away and about five seconds later: CRASH. Yup. It fell. I had used the wreath base from my very first wreath (which I dismantled this year). I didn’t realize it, but I had used a different method then to attach the wire hanger. It failed. 

The wreath seems to have slid down the door, rather than fallen flat on its face. So *fortunately* I only lost about 10 ornaments. Back to my glue gun.

My fallen star shall rise again momentarily, molecules rearranged anew.

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Update: My falling star wreath, repaired; I am goin’ with the flow:

  1. Suzy says:

    My heart stopped and I gasped when I got to the part about the wreath falling. That could have been a complete tantrum inducing disaster, but thank god it wasn’t!! Love both wreaths, especially the stardust and yes, you should keep it up year round.

  2. Kelly Wittenauer says:

    I like the silver one better. Sorry to hear of it’s crash. Really hope that sputnik looking ornament near the bottom was not one of the casualties – it is the coolest I’ve seen!

  3. pam kueber says:

    Thank you Suzy! It was a zen project to begin with, so I tried to take it all in stride. Stars crash, you know….

  4. John Buckley says:

    Pam-Your work is lovely and inspiring. I like your approach to don’t fuss too much! Glass breaks! Repairs, as in life, are always possible and allow for new ways of things coming together.

    I think it’s also great advice to start practicing with newer ornaments. I have been collecting all of my life. The inspiration comes from my maternal grandmother who had a great collection and loved Christmas! Though my original childhood (through age 18) collection lives with my mother-I started over for myself and my family.

    A few practical questions- I’m curious what brand of glue gun you like best and what size foam ring you start with? 14″ perhaps? Hope you have a very sparkly holiday season!-Vintage things still speak their magic to me, even in mid life. You seem to speak the same language- Merry Christmas!

  5. John says:

    Thanks Pam! Super helpful regarding, glue gun, hanging mechanism, and garland! Looking forward to making some this season! Happy Holidays to you-
    Best Regards,

  6. Kate Kerrane says:

    Hi, I made my second vintage ornament wreath this year and am hooked. I just finished one and the hot glue put a hole in one of the main ornaments at the top that is at the bottom with many other ornaments glued on to it. It is also cracked and looks not long for this world. I’m giving it as a gift and would like to try to replace that ornament if possible. Any suggestions for removing broken base ornaments that has many other ornaments on it without creating a domino effect of additional broken ornaments.

    Thanks so much!

  7. Pam Kueber says:

    The glue put a hole in it? Was it plastic?

    I don’t have an answer for this. Can you glue something over the hole? When my gold wreath fell and broke several ornaments last year, that’s what I did — that is, I went wabi sabi and used broken pieces over others.

    Some decorative webbing or paper — something to hold the ornie together?

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