Sunday, November 15, 2009

Creative Christmas Wreaths - Inspiration

I have been making Christmas wreaths and garlands for many years, it is simply something I love to do - to decorate my home with boughs of greenery embellished with glittery leaves, ferns, flowers and berries to welcome friends but I want more than just a wreath hung on the front door which is only glimpsed as people enter. I like to have wreaths in different rooms and so each year I create not one but several wreaths for Christmas. Some are elaborate, a little flamboyant, even quirky, others are simple and adorned with only a few select items. I love them all because I created them!

I would love to show you the wreaths I have created for this Christmas season - to inspire you perhaps, not to race out to the store to purchase a pre-decorated wreath but to create one for yourself. A more personal expression than something which was mass produced in a factory. I will show you in my next post how to create a more elaborate wreath, then I have a 5 minute wreath idea for those of you who do not have the time or do not yet own a hot glue gun!

I should explain why I choose to use mainly faux greenery, flowers and berries. I used to make natural wreaths from vines, fresh leaves and berries but having come to live in a hot, humid climate I find the 'all natural' decorations do not last very long - in just a few days, the greenery starts to wilt. It also means I cannot create displays in advance - I still decorate my home with fresh greenery but I use it mainly to decorate the tops of shelves, to set around the bases of candles which will sit on coffee tables - these are my last minute displays which are created in the days before Christmas. I hope to be able to show you how I use the abundant greenery to decorate my home which I am blessed to have just outside my door from the forest garden at 'Eight Acres of Eden'.

To show you just what materials can be incorporated into a wreath, I would like to take you on a 'tour of a garland' - my traditional Christmas wreath which I have created for my formal sitting room. This is where my tree is located - yes, it is up and decorated in a traditional colour scheme of red, green and gold. This wreath is designed to co ordinate and it has a theme - the 'Joy of Family'.

It features silk leaves, faux fruit and berries, glittery tree decorations and tiny gold picture frames which display black and white childhood photos of each member of our family. The little girl in the jaunty hat and coat is me and the cute boy is my husband!

I have used hot glue to attach all the decorations - I always start with the leaves and larger decorative items, alternating colours. Smaller embellishments such as berries and tiny ferns are added in later. I glued on the family photos in order of birth. My oldest son is first, followed by his sister - close to her picture is a tiny starfish - a reminder of her love of the beach. The photo I selected to copy for the frame was taken at a beautiful beach close to where we lived in New Zealand.

As we travel down the garland we meet my third born, my daughter who has a vibrant, mischievous personality! The single, gold poinsettia is the largest item on the wreath. I like to place the larger decorative elements at the bottom of my wall hung wreaths.

Alongside are the other floral and nature inspired features - silk leaves, pine cones, long cinnamon sticks, faux fruit and sprigs of berries. I love to use dried, natural materials and combine them with the faux items. The green succulents are not real - they are also flexible and can be arranged into the shape you desire - wonderful when you are working around other materials. I found these at a garage sale! The faux berries were purchased at a market stall and the fruit was 'recycled' - detached from wreaths and garlands made in previous seasons. You cannot do this with fresh fruit! The little boy on this section is my first Christmas baby - he was born at home in the week before Christmas ten years ago and delivered by his father when the midwife did not arrive on time. It was one of my most memorable birth experiences - I decorated my tree during labour, hanging ornaments in between contractions! This explains why I have decorated my tree early this year, my next baby is due the week before Christmas!

My adorable twin girls have a close attachment, therefore I placed their pictures alongside each other in matching heart shaped frames. I love these ceramic rocking horse ornaments and thought they deserved a place on this wreath. My twins were also due the week before Christmas four years ago, they arrived two weeks early at the start of Advent on the first day of December - a very special early Christmas gift from God who knows how much I love Christmas that he chooses to bless me with babies at this special time of the year! In the month of December I will also celebrate my 20Th wedding anniversary! I am the girl who chose to get married at Christmas - my bridesmaids wore burgundy satin dresses and I had real holly and ivy in my bouquet surrounding white roses! I will post a picture at my family blog closer to the date. The final frame on my family garland is blank - it awaits a picture of my baby yet to be born - my gift from Heaven, number seven!

I hope you have enjoyed the tour of my garland and that it has given you some inspiration for what can be used to embellish a wreath. I found many of my decorations in the Christmas aisles at discount stores - they were not expensive. This season there are lots of unusual tree decorations in the stores and lots of glitter and sparkle for those who love their bling! Why opt for tinsel and plastic santas when you can have butterflies, snowflakes, tiaras, handbags and shoes!

In my next post I will show you in closer detail how I constructed both the 'Joy of Family' garland and the lilac and silver wreath which features as my link button to 'Christmas at Eden' from my main blog.

With Love and Joy,


  1. Just beautiful! I love the photo idea!

  2. That is so sentimental.
    I too have three of my 5 family members all in December!!!
    I actually love Christmas but find it frustrating to juggle it and the birthdays....
    I also have nieces and Grandads bdays!!!

    I am hoping to buy a few wreaths at Op shops to revive!
    Keep up inspiring us all Ann,
    How calm you are knowing you will have a newborn and christmas lunch and all to prepare!
    You are soooo capable!

  3. Hello. I just stumbled across your blog. Thank you for sharing your beautiful wreath. I made a fairly simple one last night. Yours has given me ideas for more!

  4. I loved your Family wreath. It is very lovely!
    What many reasons you have to celebrate the month of December.

  5. These are just beautiful! I can't wait to see the "how to" post. I remember my great aunty making a christmas wreath from fresh greenery one year & I was thinking of trying one this year, I am worried that it will wilt, however. Shall see, but it will be such a fun project with the kids!
    I thought my Dec was busy with one birthday, our anniversary & Christmas, but I see mine is nowhere near as busy as yours. Bet you are looking forward to all the fun next month! I also must say that your joy of family wreath is beautiful & such a lovely idea!


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