Making wreaths is one of my favorite crafting activities. I absolutely love pulling out all my materials and staging a new wreath because I can get crazy with my glue gun. This year, I knew I wanted to make a Christmas wreath for our front door. After all, it is our first Christmas living together in the same home. I wanted to do something special. So, I headed to Michaels for materials.
Michaels sparkles this time of year because of all the holiday decorations taking up half of the store. The wreaths decked the walls in all directions. While I found a lot of gorgeous wreaths, this one caught my eye.
First, I loved how it incorporated fruit into the design, but it still kept some of the classic elements of Christmas decor. Then, I looked at the price tag and my eyes bulged. $80 seemed crazy! I put it back, knowing I could recreate it for way less.
Since I’d found my inspiration, I set off to look for materials. Luckily, I went on the right day. Practically everything I needed for my own wreath was on sale. My holly berries were only 44 cents a piece! In fact, I think the only thing I bought full price was the red hydrangea.
Choose Your Materials
So, let’s face it. Craft stores can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you don’t have a clear idea of what you want your project to look like in the end. For me, it’s like going into Target. You walk in with only two things on your list and you end up walking out with at least ten. For this project, I knew I wanted to do a “thrifty” version of a Christmas wreath that inspired me. However, I ALSO wanted to customize it to my own tastes.
I encourage you to find a wreath that inspires you before you choose your materials. Otherwise, you’ll end up like me when I made my first wreath — surrounded by piles of materials, half of which I didn’t even open. Anyways, once you have an “ideal look,” then it’s time to hunt for a bargain!
My materials included:
- 1 24-inch Evergreen Wreath — $3.99
- Red Ornaments (I already had some, but they run $1 at the dollar store)
- 1 Red Hydrangea Bundle — $6.79
- 1 Bag Scented Pinecones — $2.50 (Technically I bought 2, but I used less than a bag for this particular project)
- 3 Berry Clusters — $0.44 each — $1.32 total
- 1 Bag mini apples — $3.99 with 50% off coupon (originally $7.99)
- 1 Wire Word (Joy) — $1.49
Total Project Cost: $24.08 plus tax
You can see my receipt to the right, which details my amazing finds! Since I shopped for multiple projects, I crossed out items for other projects. I certainly got a bargain at Michaels that day! All told, I spent about 30% of the cost of the wreath I liked even with the added elements of the berry clusters and the wire word.
Do a Dry Run of Your Christmas Wreath
I cannot emphasize this enough. Before you glue or secure ANYTHING, do your best to create your arrangement by simiply laying elements on your wreath. That way, you can shift things around until you’re satisfied with your design. Once glued, you can’t move a thing without destroying something! It’s definitely worth it to take the 10-15 minutes to lay everything out first (Or, if you’re a perfectionist like me, it might take as much as 30). Trust me, you won’t regret it in the end.
Yours Can Look Just As Good!
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the original Michael’s wreath, my dry run, and the final look of my wreath. You can see I still changed a few things in my final design, but ultimately it stayed pretty close to the dry run. While it didn’t turn out exactly like the dry run, it was well worth the time it took to plan everything out.
I think this is actually my favorite step in the entire process because it’s where your creativity shines! I feel the same way about arranging materials on a wreath as I do about styling a room. It’s a complex process of trying things and making small adjustments until you reach a satisfying picture of what you want. Ultimately, the final picture may look different from what you imagined in the beginning, but it will still turn out stunning in the end!
Secure Everything with Glue or Wire
The Trusty Hot Glue Gun
This is the messiest part of the process. Someone once asked me how I decide whether to use glue or wire when I’m creating a wreath, and ultimately it depends on the material. I secured most of the things on this wreath with my trusty hot glue gun. In fact, the only thing I used wire to attach was the wire word, Joy.
When working with a hot glue gun, it’s important to work quickly. You don’t want the glue to dry too much before your ornament (or pine cone or berry) is placed correctly. But, you don’t want those pesty strings of glue all over your project either.
PRO TIP: I find that when using a hot glue gun, less is more unless you’re gluing something particularly heavy. Add a small spot of glue, and then rub the tip of the glue gun along a bare part of the ornament that will still be hidden once attached.
This eliminates the stringy glue web most of the time because you’re rubbing off the excess. If that doesn’t work, pull the loose string with your fingers before you attach it. That should eliminate any further stringy bits. If you pull it far enough away from the bigger glob, the stringy bit should be cool enough to touch.
Securing the Wire Word
Finally, I looped the wire around the word and twisted it at the back until it was secure, while leaving plenty of room to wrap around the wreath. This does two things. For one, it makes sure the securing wire is less likely to slip off the open ends of the word. Also, it creates an elevation for your word, so it doesn’t get lost in the wreath when you attach it. Once you’re satisfied with the rise, pull the two ends around the wreath and twist again to secure.
Incidentally, I often use green wire because it blends well with the backdrop of the wreath itself. You can see how the twisting creates an elevated look while still remaining hidden by the evergreen. It’s also great for use with other materials that won’t hide the hot glue blobs well. Since it’s usually pretty easy to tell, that’s how I decide which material to use. It all depends on how much I can hide!
Let Your Creativity Shine!
People tell me all the time they don’t craft because they’re not “creative” enough. However, I personally think that notion is crazy. How do you know until you try? You never know what you can create unless you give yourself the chance! Firstly, a wreath is a great beginner project. You don’t need a ton of materials to begin, so it doesn’t cost a fortune to create. Second, my wreath took me less than an hour to create, which included clean up!
PRO TIP: Have a picture to work from because it takes the pressure off yourself to come up with a design yourself. Just try to duplicate what you see in your dry run.
So, Give it a try! But, don’t rush it. If you glue too soon, you may not get the desired result. Take your time with placement. Other than that, the sky is the limit! Have fun with it. In any case, I know you’ll impress everyone (even yourself) with your project in the end! Make sure you share your projects with me when you’re done! I’d love to see them! Tag me on Instagram with @adventureandhome!
Join the Party!
Also, join me in linking up to this month’s Get Your DIY On Link Party over at Confessions of A Serial DIYer. It’s a great place to find inspiration because there are always so many great projects linked up. Plus, she hosts a new theme every month! So, check it out!
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