Christmas Decorations - Personalized Christmas Wreaths
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.
One such wreath can be used as is, or taken apart to adorn many wreaths...
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.
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.
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.