Tuesday, November 27, 2012

'Tis the season for crafts...

The hubs and I did a craft together - we made an ornament wreath!  I know...it surprised me too, but it was fun and best of all, it worked and looks great! 

The materials: 14 gauge wire (from Home Depot), multitemp glue gun set to high temp, bunches and bunches of ornaments, wired ribbon for a bow at the end.

We used a bunch of old glass ornaments that I've had around here for about a year now.  They were my step-mom's and had been destined for the give-away truck but I have a thing for old glass ornaments - you just can't get that patina on the new "shatterproof" ornaments.  I don't dig the plastic.  We used several boxes of ornaments - more than I thought we'd use.  The extras are in the picture.  I probably should have counted them but my bulbs are about 2" in diameter and go all around the wire.

For the most part, I followed the instructions here at Pearls, Handcuffs, and Happy Hour, which were based off Eddie Ross's instructions here.  First step has to be securing the hanger on each bulb with hot glue.  You'll be sorry if you don't.  Beyond that, it's pretty self-explanatory.  String the bulbs on by the hanger until you have enough - you'll know because if it isn't big enough you won't be able to close the circle into a wreath shape.

At the end, twist your wire together and form a hanger. Use the wired ribbon to make a nice loopy bow to cover any visible wire and there you have it!

Words of advice.  Glass ornaments - even smallish ones like we used - are heavy when clumped together in one place.  Use strong wire and make sure your hanger and hang-ee are sturdy enough to hold the weight.  That said, the 14-gauge wire we used was rather difficult to twist.  Hubs took care of it just fine, but it was hard to make a nice neat hanger.  So you'll have to rationalize the weight of the wreath with your ability to twist thicker wire.  Or glue them onto a foam wreath form.  I wasn't quite sure how well that would work so we went with the wire.

While I personally don't care for the new plastic bulbs, I think they would be great as filler for your old extra ornaments or as an inexpensive way to make a really pretty lightweight wreath.  Also, when I think of the horror that would ensue should my totally glass wreath ever fall (knock on wood), I see the benefit of the "shatterproof" variety.

The picture below was an attempt at recreating the twinkle effect explained here.  It kind of worked (!) although I had to use a flash.  I'm looking forward to trying this technique with the tree...after I procure a new tripod.

So go forth and make an ornament wreath!  They're really pretty and a fantastic way to enjoy bulbs that you might not otherwise use :)

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