{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!