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Christmas Decorations - Personalized Christmas Wreaths

Updated on July 14, 2011

One of the things I enjoy the most about Christmas is the holiday decorations - not just decorating the house from stem to gudgeon, but actually making the decorations. Although I enjoy making swags, I must admit that hand-crafting a personalized Christmas wreath for someone special is the absolute tops for me.

I enjoy selecting the perfect ornaments to suit their personality, hobbies, or interests, and co-ordinating the ribbons in just the right color combination to complement their decor. I enjoy twining the strands of lights among the green branches, and adding a few silver and gold stars with perhaps some tiny sparkling Christmas doves.

One Xmas wreath I created recently featured creamy magnolias, clusters of tiny, gilded glass balls, jeweled pomegranates, and yards of pearl garland twined among the twinkling lights. Topped off with a burgundy satin bow, it was quite beautifully baroque and suited its owner and her elegant decor to a tee.

Eucalyptus leaves, pine cones, jeweled crab-apples and magnolias help make this wreath especially beautiful
Eucalyptus leaves, pine cones, jeweled crab-apples and magnolias help make this wreath especially beautiful
Start with a lush, full wreath as a base for your creation...
Start with a lush, full wreath as a base for your creation...
Begin by adding magnolia leaves for contrast, along with some holly and eucalyptus...
Begin by adding magnolia leaves for contrast, along with some holly and eucalyptus...

First, select the flowers, ornaments, and decorations you want to use and lay them out on your work surface.

Start with more than you think you might need as it is always easier to pare down than hunt for more once you are in the middle of your project.

Make sure you have a nice selection of items in co-ordinating colors.If the person for whom you are creating the wreath is musical, use some tiny musical instruments and ribbon with sheet music imprinted on it.

For someone who loves antiques, locate some nutcrackers, tin soldiers and rocking horse ornaments to glu into your wreath, or perhaps some lace sachets.

You might choose holly, frosted berries,and jeweled fruits - apples, pomegranates, and pears work well together unless you have chosen a citrus theme.

Consider some frosted and fruited olive branches, or high-bush cranberry stems that can be broken down into small twigs and used to embellish the wreath.

Select the types and sizes of flower you will use - magnolia, poinsettia, roses - choosing colors that will compliment the decor where the wreath will hang.

Select several different options of ribbon for the bow and streamers.

You may need to try several styles and colors after the wreath is completed to find the best finishing touch.

Begin by "fluffing" the branches in the wreath, making sure there are no bent fronds or crumpled branches.

Starting with the large flowers, temporarily arrange your selections in the wreath.

Some Christmas candies to sparkle amid the boughs
Some Christmas candies to sparkle amid the boughs
Simple leaves and berries can be left as is for outdoor elegance, or further adorned with jeweled fruits and tiny birds...
Simple leaves and berries can be left as is for outdoor elegance, or further adorned with jeweled fruits and tiny birds...

Cluster two or three of the larger flowers together and arranging the rest in several groupings around the wreath. Then add the fruit, birds, stars, glass balls, and ornaments you have selected.

Once you have decided on the placement of all the components, remove them from the wreath. Lay each piece on the work surface in roughly the same relationships to each other as in the wreath.

If using lights, plug the string in and check for burned out bulbs. Wind the string loosely across the face of the wreath to achieve a pleasing placement of lights, then begin attaching the light string.

Select two fronds, one on each side of the light. Twist the fronds over the light strand right beside the light, and then twist the fronds over the main wreath base wire, securing the light in place.

Make any adjustment necessary to ensure each light is upright and not touching any of the fronds. Once all the lights are fastened in place, give the wreath a light shake and secure any lights that may be loose. Unplug the light string.

Using a glue gun and clear, low temperature glue sticks, attach the flowers to the wreath, checking the placement of each first before applying the glue.

The best glue gun for the job is one that will accept either high or low temperature glue sticks. For most applications, low temperature sticks are the easiest to work with.

You may burn your fingertips even with low temp glue sticks, so take care.

Once you have attached each flower, tuck in the glass balls and ornaments, carefully gluing each in place.

Continue gluing each item into the wreath until you have filled it.

Bright with berries
Bright with berries
Adorable Ornaments
Adorable Ornaments

The finishing touch for any wreath is the bow. Whether you tie a simple but elegant single bow or make a multi-looped beauty, the ribbon you choose adds so much to your wreath.

A double-bowed beauty in velvet or brocade with an overlaid layer of contrasting organza or lace creates a sense of old-fashioned grace, while a shiny foil ribbon with metallic embossing may strike just the right note for a more contemporary look.

You may prefer to weave the streamers (the trailing bow ends) through the wreath, or simply let them hang loose. You may wish to omit trailing ends completely.

Whatever feel is right for your wreath - contemporary, traditional, country chic or fun and funky modern - the ribbon you choose will provide a suitable crown for your lovely creation.

Welcome!
Welcome!
Stylish Trio
Stylish Trio
A Lush and Musical Treasure
A Lush and Musical Treasure

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    • RedElf profile image
      Author

      RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

      Thanks so much, onegoodwoman. I think home-made wreaths are all lovely - so hard to choose.

    • onegoodwoman profile image

      onegoodwoman 7 years ago from A small southern town

      Oooh, I like wreaths too. I even put them around the headlights when we ride our motorcycles in the Christmas parades.

      I must confess, those that I have made, pale in comparison to yours.

    • RedElf profile image
      Author

      RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

      Wreaths really aren't hard to make, just takes a little patience and practice, cwarden.

      gr82bme, You are most welcome. home-made is always the best to me, as well.

    • gr82bme profile image

      gr82bme 7 years ago from USA

      Thanks for the ideas. I always make my own

    • cwarden profile image

      cwarden 7 years ago from USA

      I've always wanted to see how to make a wreath. You make this look so easy! I will have to try to make one this year, I hope it looks close to yours! Thanks.

    • RedElf profile image
      Author

      RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

      Thanks so much, 2uesday! So glad you like the wreaths - you never know how good you'd be 'til you give it a try ;)

    • 2uesday profile image

      2uesday 7 years ago

      A wonderful hub very inspiring, not sure how good I would be at this though. The wreaths in this hub are lovely much nicer than the ones sold here.

    • RedElf profile image
      Author

      RedElf 8 years ago from Canada

      Having seen some of your creative endeavors, I can attest to that! Such fun to make lovely things!

    • Enelle Lamb profile image

      Enelle Lamb 8 years ago from Canada's 'California'

      I remember making wreaths one year - it was the most fun I've ever had! They turned out beautifully and it was such fun creating!

    • RedElf profile image
      Author

      RedElf 8 years ago from Canada

      Good luck with your wreath - they're not difficult but they can take a bit of practice. - Have fun making it!

    • KevCC profile image

      KevCC 8 years ago

      Good hub, I may have a shot at making a wreath, we bought one last year and were very disappointed with it.

    • RedElf profile image
      Author

      RedElf 8 years ago from Canada

      Greetings - I do believe some smart hubber wrote a hub on that exact topic, lol.

    • Les Trois Chenes profile image

      Les Trois Chenes 8 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

      Inspiring! Wonder what the initial green wreath is based on?

    • RedElf profile image
      Author

      RedElf 8 years ago from Canada

      They sure are - happy things to think about!

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 8 years ago

      I'm enjoying all the Christmas hubs! People sure are getting into the spirit! :)