{Christmas 2012 Mantle} – with ornament wreath tutorial

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I know that ornament wreaths are nothing new.  I remember when i first saw one about 3 years ago (i cant remember the 1st one i saw) – i knew that i had to have one.  SO, i stockpiled ornaments for almost 3 years.  Every time i went to goodwill the 1st place i went was the Christmas isle and i looked for and took all the vintage ornaments i could get.  I think i ended up using about 40 boxes of ornaments!  This wreath is huge!  Like 3 ft wide huge!

I knew i wanted my wreath huge and i wanted it mostly in pastel colors – no traditional christmas colors for me.  I was able to find lots of vintage ornaments but i did have to mix in some new ornaments as well because the wreath is so big and i needed lots!!

So this year i finally got around to making my wreath, like i said i knew i wanted it big but i wasnt able to find a giant wreath form anywhere!  So i had to get creative.  I was driving and then it came to me – a swim noodle!!  They are big and bendy and the same diameter as a typical wreath form.

I had to put two together to get the size i wanted.  I ended up cutting a little off one of them to get the right size and then just duct taped the two together.  Genius, i know.

Then i took all my ornaments out of the boxes, spread them on the floor to mix up the colors and then put them all in a basket.

I didnt take a lot of pics of the next process, but i think its self explanatory and once you get going its super easy!  I began by hot gluing ornaments around the outside.

I just made sure that i mixed up the colors well, and that i used a couple different sized ornaments so it didnt end up too perfect.  Plus Zailee was helping, so that helped!

 Because my wreath is big and i didnt want it to look to skinny when it was done, i glued 2 rows of ornaments around the center.  Again making sure to mix up the colors and use different sizes here and there.

Then, i just piled up ornaments all over filling in everything making sure that i couldnt see my swim noodle between the ornaments.  I have read some tutorials and they recommend covering your wreath form with ribbon or paint so it would be completely hidden, but when all was done there are very few spots that you can see the noodle.  I even had some small ornaments that i used at the very end that helped fill in any holes.

For the gluing – i went through an entire bag of hot glue!!  I would set my ornament where i wanted it to be, see where it touched and then put on some hot glue there – usually in about 3-4 spots so it was nice and secure.

Side note – i ended up removing all the metal ornament hooks so you couldnt see those.  And the holes where the hooks came off from, were all pointed down.

And, can i just tell you, when i was about 1/3 of the way done, i hated it!!  I actually tried taking some of the ornaments off, but they would just break.  So i left it for overnight, and the next day i came back to it.  I figured i would just finish it up and when it was about 3/4 done i loved it!  I just had to pile up the ornaments, fill in all the gaps and then it looked awesome!

For the hanging of my wreath, i took 3 tall vintage windows and placed them side by side.  To secure the wreath, i used a strip of dropcloth to make a bow and then that was secured with a nail on top of the window.

If you follow me on Facebook, then you will know i was having trouble with this mantle yesterday!  But i ended up just taking a break from it and when i came back, i got some ideas and i love how it turned out!

I used some fresh pine garland, swagged that across the mantle along with my white and glass light swag that i got @ Costco years ago.  Then i placed a few blue ornaments into the garland and lots of white pearl picks as well as some glass icicle picks.

I needed a little height on the sides, so i found some white candle sticks and put vintage blue mason jars on them – that worked perfect for height as well as bringing in the blue color (which is also the color of a lot of ornaments on my tree).  They will be filled with epson salt and tea light candles.  I love lighted candles!!

You can see how tall the ornaments are piled up, the wreath is big so it needed lots of layers so it didnt look puny.


Thats its!!  Super easy but looks awesome!  Have you made an ornament wreath?  I would love to see it – just link it up in the comments so we can all see!

Common asked questions – updated 12/21/16!

I used about 350-400 ish ornaments – this thing is big!!

The reason my wreath didnt or hasnt sagged is because i used heavy duty pool noodles – not that $1 store stuff.  At least go to Target and get your noodles!

I used high temp glue in a high temp glue gun, not that low heat, low adhesion crap.  I have had about 4 balls pop off but it was because of the way i moved it and probably bumped, not an issue with the glue.  I dont hang mine outside – so i can only speak for what has worked for me indoors.

I store it layed flat in a closet under the stairs – our basement is heated and temp controlled.

I made this back in 2012 and have used it every year except for this one (just because its burried and i dont have the time to dig it out)- it still looks  as great as the day i made it!

110 replies
    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins}
      Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} says:

      that was my worst fear – for the wreath to come crashing to the ground! Im glad you got yours all fixed up because its super cute on your awesome old door!

  1. Carolina
    Carolina says:

    What a gorgeous wreath!!! Thank you for posting such detailed instructions. What a fabulous idea to use the noodles. You have mad skills, girl!

  2. Brooke
    Brooke says:

    LOVE IT!!! I pinned it to remind me. I think I am now on the hunt for red, silver and white balls to do this. You did a great job!!!

  3. Shannon
    Shannon says:

    Oh my! The description sounds amazing! I can’t wait to see it!!! But, the pictures won’t load… :( I’m going to keep checking because I already know that I love the idea. :)

  4. Jordann
    Jordann says:

    This is very simple, yet very elegant! .. I love it, you may have inspired me to make my own ornament wreath for next year! .. I’ll have to keep my eyes pealed for thrifting ornaments! :)
    Thanks for sharing, and sharing how to make one,

    • Sue Lovett
      Sue Lovett says:

      You can also get ornaments for super low prices at the after Christmas sales.

      I made a similar wreath using a plywood “donut” base. At my hubby’s suggestion, I used silicone to glue the glass ornaments together, because I couldn’t get hot glue to hold sturdy enough.

    • Patty Sumner
      Patty Sumner says:

      After seeing this beauty I have been collecting balls at all the after Christmas sells….I am gong to do one in reds, silver and white… I love the mason jars on the whiite candlesticks. Blessings!

  5. Shelley
    Shelley says:

    Ok. I’m not crafty, but the wreath is cute. What I’m taking away are the Mason jars on the candlesticks! I hate buying candles because I can never find “just the right color,” but I do have Mason jars! I had put them away for the season. I just got them out and stuck them on my silver candle sticks and BINGO! Genius! Love it!

  6. Katie
    Katie says:

    Drooling over here! This wreath is amazing. I have many projects that I am “collecting” materials for and I always fear that by the time I have enough of what I need the concept will be old hat and they’ll be selling something similar at Target for 10 bucks. You however have shown me it’s worth the wait. This wreath is ONE OF A KIND and I am pinning it right now :)

    Your newest follower,

  7. MrsAubreyB
    MrsAubreyB says:

    This is one of the best ornament wreaths I’ve seen! You did such a great job. I love the colors, it’s truly unique. You can buy ones now for only twenty bucks at Target and the like, but I’ve never seen one that looks as nice as yours. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Niki
    Niki says:

    I love your wreath! I am also not a traditional Christmas color girl and love the variety. May I ask how you store it? I have a big, empty wall this would look great on but don’t know how I’d store it the rest of the year.

    • Kim
      Kim says:

      Niki, my dad has two huge outdoor artificial wreaths he hangs on their house each year. He made hanging spots on one of the tall walls in his garage to store them each year (they don’t have ornaments on them, just artificial pine boughs & ribbon). He used to through an old sheet over them in the past, but when he saw that it was compressing the top of the wreaths, he just left them uncovered. He brings them down each year and uses his air compressor to “dust” them off and then hangs them.

  9. Randee Maule
    Randee Maule says:

    You are one brilliant chick!!! I love love love the wreath and the mantle is going to be copied to mine this Christmas. I am following you for sure.

  10. Alicia
    Alicia says:

    Hi! I LOVED this when I came across it on Pinterest and have decided to try to make one. Can I ask you about how many ornaments you think you used? Waiting to start until I am sure I have enough! Thank you!

  11. Julie
    Julie says:

    I’m really thinking about making this – but I have a couple of questions. First, approximately how many Christmas balls did you use? Secondly do you think this type of wreath would hold up outside? I have the perfect spot to hang it outside but I want anyone’s honest opinion if you think it would hold up (I live in Indiana – cold and snowy weather in our winter months). Thank you

  12. Jo-Anne
    Jo-Anne says:

    Made the wreath last year…………….it looked wonderful………….until I turned
    on the fireplace. Then glue started to melt. Used the glue gun. Used the noodles
    and covered it with ribbon. Any suggestion on a different kind of glue.

    Thanks, Jo-Anne.

  13. Sharon
    Sharon says:

    hi,,,I was just wondering how many different size balls did you use…next question,,do use go from large to small or did you mix it up…beautiful job..

  14. Debbie
    Debbie says:

    It’s absolutely beautiful! What type of hot glue did you use and did you have any trouble with any balls coming off. I’ve had that problem with hot glue just popping off in the past. Thanks and bravo!!

  15. Trisha
    Trisha says:

    My fireplace is nearly identical to yours! I just might have to try this. But I have one question – how did you end up storing this huge wreath once you took it down?

  16. Michelle
    Michelle says:

    Im going to try and make something similar, i am going to use more noodles to “bulk” it as to not hide the beautiful ornaments and maybe add some diffrent shapws also. I hope it turn our as beautiful as yours.

  17. Amber Kidd
    Amber Kidd says:

    Do you think it’s strong enough to be hung outside? I need a huge wreath for the front of my house. Think this would look gorgeous out there but concerned about weather…

  18. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    Yes, I’ve done many of these! Your tutorial is right on when you say that you got a little overwhelmed and thought about tossing it 1/3 of the way through. You really do have to walk away from this especially when you’re making big ones then come back and it will come together. Another important note and hard lesson learned is that you CANNOT store these in a non climate controlled storage area as the glue will melt and all your balls will fall off! Nobody wants their balls to fall off!! ?

  19. Pat Phillips
    Pat Phillips says:

    I have a bunch of old ornaments that I don’t want to put on my tree anymore built they are still special to me. Some from my first tree 42 years ago. I usually put them in a clear vase or bowl… A wreath might be a great way to keep them in our Christmas ! Thanks for the inspiration !!

  20. Rita Oliveira
    Rita Oliveira says:

    I just love it…you just gave me a great idea… I have been wanting to make one myself with pastel colors as well..

    Thanks Rita

  21. Courtney
    Courtney says:

    I JUST came across your beautiful wreath on Facebook! If I make one, it won’t be that big, but I’m wondering- is it really heavy? And how are you storing it? :)

  22. Deborah
    Deborah says:

    What a terrific idea. I’m always looking for fun crafty things to do with my children.
    I think this will be on the list.
    How did you keep the bulbs from breaking when you applied the glue? Did you use hot glue?
    How will you store it

  23. Kim
    Kim says:

    I would love to do a version of this to hang outside on my house. I live in Wisconsin, where it can get below zero. Do you have any recommendations for a different type of glue (i.e. will hot glue hold up in the cold and wet outside temps), switching from glass to plastic ornaments and would I need to make a different kind of hanger/support to hang the wreath from? I love this idea to upcycle old ornaments. If successful, I plan on making one for each of my sisters, mom and aunt as a Christmas gift over the next few years. Thank you so much for posting this!

    • Kie Spring
      Kie Spring says:

      I wonder if you could just use jute or some other strong rope and tie it around the form before you start putting the ornaments on it then hang it from that on either a wreath hanger or with fishing wire which is how I hang things outside. I like the person who suggested Silicone for sealing. It would be water proof and heat proof outside. I live in California and sadly even in the winter the sun is hot and Hot glue does not work on things in the sun. May try the silicone tub glue.

  24. Erika
    Erika says:

    I have been wanting to make one of these for years! I have been collecting vintage ornaments to make mine, although I do have some bulk regular bulbs to fill in as it would be too expensive with all vintage bulbs! The pool noodle idea is perfect… I want a really big one as well and wondered how I would find a frame big enough. Thanks for the idea!!

  25. Erika
    Erika says:

    I have been wanting to make one of these for years! I have been collecting vintage ornaments to make mine, although I do have some bulk regular bulbs to fill in as it would be too expensive with all vintage bulbs! The pool noodle idea is perfect… I want a really big one as well and wondered how I would find a frame big enough. Thanks for the idea!!

    By the way, what are the dimensions and do you know approx how many bulbs you used?

  26. Mich
    Mich says:

    Thank you so much for this tutorial !!! I just told someone this morning that I needed to find instructions on how to make this wreath. Yours is beautiful !!!

  27. Wanda
    Wanda says:

    It is very pretty. With the many pastel looking colors you could leave it up for Easter & just add some bunnies & baskets to the mantel:)

  28. Cyndi
    Cyndi says:

    Going to buy certain colors to make this wreath. About how many balls does it take to make it full like you did? It’s beautiful!!! Been looking for an idea for a giant wreath and this is perfect

  29. Tori
    Tori says:

    I’m wondering how this has held up? I actually tried making one of these and the glue didn’t hold up very well. ornaments would fall of periodically :( I would be afraid of all those old, vintage glass ornaments falling off one by one :l But, it’s gorgeous!!! LOVE it!!

  30. Nancy
    Nancy says:

    My noodles bends when I hang it. I hand to lower and rest mine on the mantel so it doesn’t cave down and ordiment are popping off. I’m disappointed because it turned out so beautiful, I wish the noodles were sturdy enough to not cave with this amount of ornaments on it.

    • Kie Spring
      Kie Spring says:

      Here is a weird idea for your problem. Can you put it on a table ornament side down. Then fill in the back area with Great Stuff foam. It would dry rigid and would give it almost a Styrofoam rigidity. It would fill in gaps giving them an extra bit of security. You could cut off any extra foam or I wonder if filling your noodles with foam before taping them together so they would dry rigid.

    • Brenda
      Brenda says:

      My two pool noodles don’t want to stay round (after being duct taped together) and look more like an egg. I have not put any ornaments on yet because I’m afraid that it will not be round. Do you have any suggestions?

  31. Alex Holmes
    Alex Holmes says:

    I love this. I know you posted it’s a few years ago but I’m wondering if you know about how many ornaments you used for this. I’m thinking about ordering ornaments in bulk from Dollar Tree and some or some other places online to make this for next year but I’m wondering how many I need.

  32. marie
    marie says:

    Very Beautiful!!
    Quick Question … When I have attempted to make a wreath before with pool noodles and a hot glue gun … the hot glue melted right through the noodle.
    How did you get the glue to stay on the noodle and not melt the noodle?
    thanks :)

  33. Chrissy
    Chrissy says:

    LOVED this wreath the moment I saw it!! Thanks for the inspiration. I’m finishing up my wreath and I’m noticing how heavy it is. I bought a wide, mesh ribbon to help hang it…but any suggestions on a specific hook or other contraption so it doesn’t come crashing down? I’d love to hang on my fireplace (which doesn’t have a mantle unfortunately).

  34. Sheila Martin
    Sheila Martin says:

    I totally LOVED this and have been wanting to do something like this for a long time as well. I have a wall with a huge space for a wreath (we generally put our diy lighted wreath there). I really want to do something like this!! Have always loved the vintage ornaments too! I have a suggestion if it hasn’t been mentioned and I think I will do, is to put an extra row of the pool noodle inside the bigger one to save ornaments, maybe I will cut one in half lengthwise if a whole one is too much. One other idea I am mentioning, (and only because we live in a place that is very hot in the summer) is that I may try to find another way to attach the ornaments. We have to store our things in the “attic / crawl space” in our home and when it gets hot up there…. anything done with hot glue comes undone. Some times gradually, but none the less, do not want to have to redo / re-glue. Welcome to any ideas on that note!! Thanks for sharing your idea and how you displayed it!! B-E-A-u-tiful!!!!

  35. KJ
    KJ says:

    WOW is about all i can say. This is a masterpiece of a wreath and sooo beautiful. I too have been saving glass balls for a while and picked up 12 doz yesterday at HB on the 66% off sale to go with all the antique ones I have collected. For this size wreath, how many do you estimate you used in total ?

  36. Carole Brown
    Carole Brown says:

    What a creative mind you have! Here’s something I learned over the years if you want to hang something like this outdoors…spray the bulbs with a clear UV protective spray sold at Michaels so the bulbs won’t fade over the years. Even the bulbs (plastic or glass) will chip or fade on my covered front porch. Using the spray really works. Thanks for a great idea using the noodles!

  37. Ashley
    Ashley says:

    I tried this once. The hot glue didn’t hold. Any suggestions?? Some people say you have to have a high temp hot glue. Not sure what they mean. Is there more than one temp of hot glue? Liquid nails… I got that!! Lol. Actually just trying to find out what glue holds the best.

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins}
      Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} says:

      Hot glue has worked well for me! There are different temps and varieties of hot glue – maybe search on Amazon for an industrial hot glue. Ive also seen Michaels has high temp hot glue – im sure thats what i use.

  38. Sharon
    Sharon says:

    I just made one on a wire frame because even though I live in FL, apparently pool noodles aren’t readily available in November and I’m just simply too busy… I used the 36″ frame at Michaels and wrapped it in fabric then went bananas. I used a combination of tacky glue for the smaller ornaments and hot glue for the bigger ones. it’s heavy as sin, but I’m looking forward to mounting it in a couple of weeks! I’ll go over it one more time with the glue gun just to be sure….

    Here’s a link to mine…


  39. Erika
    Erika says:

    I just made mine, thank you for the great directions. I used a hula hoop with a foam pipe insulation cover. I was wondering how you store it? The heat in the attic would melt the glue and it’s too fragile for a closet. Any suggestions?

  40. Lara
    Lara says:

    You say “about 40 boxes of ornaments”. But how many ornaments per box?
    Looking to make this with plastic ornaments to hang outside this year.

  41. Brenda
    Brenda says:

    Did the two pool noodles stay round after they were duct taped together? Mine want to go oval which will not work for a wreath. Has anyone ever put a base behind the noodles to keep it round and what did you use? This ornament wreath is so pretty. I want to make it, but
    I’m hesitant until the noodles stay round. Suggestions? Thanks.

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins}
      Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} says:

      Mine has been perfect since i made it. There are two different types of noodles – thick and thin. Make sure and use the heavy duty thick ones – not the $1 store thin ones.

  42. fran
    fran says:

    The main horrible problem with this is that the paint from the ornaments will start pulling off with the glue. I have made a lot of these over the years and hot glue & ornaments just does not work. I use the fake fir wreaths, take the top off of ornaments, weave a ‘branch’ thru it, then put the ornament back on the top. Mine are 10 years old and are still looking fabulous

  43. Roxana
    Roxana says:

    Hi Loved you wreath. I decided to make one. Big problem after I made it, it was so heavy that it started to get an egg shaped. I took it down had to redo it bit since several Ornaments fell. BUT BEST IDEA CAME TO ME. !!!! I BOUGHT A HOLA RING AND PUT IT INSIDE THE POOL NOODLE. It as a bit tricky had to get my husband to help me open the Hola and close it with his tools. So far so good it’s holding its shape and no more Ornaments falling.

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins}
      Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} says:

      Im sorry – its been years since i made this and i dont recall the number of ornaments. You could use a wire hanger for a smaller one!


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