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{Christmas 2012 Mantle} – with ornament wreath tutorial

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!

82 Responses to {Christmas 2012 Mantle} – with ornament wreath tutorial

  1. Rita May December 10, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

    Great Tutorial! I’ve pinned it to try.

  2. Sarah December 10, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    so beautiful!! absolutely love EVERYTHING you do!! i would love to see your tree too!

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} December 11, 2012 at 9:33 am #

      its almost done and then i will for sure show the tree too :)

  3. Elissa December 10, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    Gorgeous!! Love love the different colors! :) Merry Christmas friend!

  4. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. December 10, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

    Wow, that is a beauty! It really looks wonderful on the window over your mantel! These are such fun to make too. Here’s my link http://elizabethandco.blogspot.com/2011/12/ornament-wreaths.html
    And here’s when it came crashing down!
    http://elizabethandco.blogspot.com/2012/01/crash.html
    But no worries, it’s all better now!

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} December 11, 2012 at 9:33 am #

      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!

  5. Megan December 10, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    I’m pretty sure that everything that you do is awesome! Looks magnificent!

  6. Nana Diana December 10, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    Sausha- GORGEOUS!!!!! You did a phenomenal job and it looks perfect-xo Diana

  7. Carolina December 10, 2012 at 3:56 pm #

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

  8. Brooke December 10, 2012 at 7:28 pm #

    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!!!

  9. Rochelle December 10, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    Great Job! I love that you “bulked” it up. Bigger is better. I love all the colours too!

  10. Keni Farnwalt December 10, 2012 at 7:37 pm #

    the mantle looks beautiful!!!

  11. Shannon December 10, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

    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. :)

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} December 11, 2012 at 9:28 am #

      i think there was some issues last night, but all should be good now :)

  12. Jordann December 11, 2012 at 7:39 am #

    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,
    Jordann

    • Sue Lovett November 24, 2015 at 1:01 am #

      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.

  13. Mindi December 11, 2012 at 8:58 am #

    So great! I am glad you didn’t quit! The wreath looks amazing and the mantle too!

  14. Holly @ Life as a Thrifter December 11, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

    Love this!! So bright and bold! Just perfect!

    • Patty Sumner December 28, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

      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!

  15. ThriftDee December 11, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

    I love, love, love it! I had the moment when your aren’t sure if you love it or hate it, but I’m glad you kept on. Spectacular!

  16. Anna December 13, 2012 at 11:22 pm #

    I just love how your wreath turned out!! I love that it is giant and I just love the colors!

  17. Shelley December 14, 2012 at 6:26 am #

    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!

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} December 28, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

      i love them too! i just need to find somewhere in my house that i can put them like that all year :)

  18. Katie December 20, 2012 at 7:18 pm #

    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,
    Katie
    SomethingToBeFound.com

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} December 28, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

      oh ya, im a collector too!! It was nice to finally just do something with all my crap!!

  19. tracy December 30, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

    Wow! That is beautiful! I am super jealous and may attempt one next year.

  20. Mary Brinkley September 30, 2013 at 6:47 pm #

    I loved the Christmas wreath. You’ve inspired me to try to make one I just hope its as beautiful as yours. :)

  21. MrsAubreyB October 14, 2014 at 7:12 am #

    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!

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} October 17, 2014 at 9:09 pm #

      thanks!!!

  22. Niki October 14, 2014 at 7:32 pm #

    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.

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} October 17, 2014 at 9:09 pm #

      i actually have a perfect spot under the stairs that i keep it :)

    • Kim November 22, 2015 at 11:03 am #

      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.

  23. Randee Maule November 7, 2015 at 8:58 am #

    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.

  24. Laura November 10, 2015 at 11:38 am #

    Approximately how many ornaments do you think you used? Box count can vary so much now! Gorgeous though.

  25. Alicia November 10, 2015 at 9:07 pm #

    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!

  26. Julie November 10, 2015 at 10:06 pm #

    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

  27. Jo-Anne November 16, 2015 at 6:03 pm #

    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.

  28. Sharon November 19, 2015 at 7:56 pm #

    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..

  29. Debbie November 19, 2015 at 8:30 pm #

    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!!

  30. Lisa November 19, 2015 at 9:11 pm #

    I love it! It’s beautiful!

  31. Trisha November 20, 2015 at 3:21 pm #

    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?

  32. Nora Watson November 20, 2015 at 6:06 pm #

    What do you think a solid silver wreath would look like?

  33. Donna November 20, 2015 at 7:24 pm #

    Absolutely beautiful. I will be stocking on Christmas balls to make myself one. I love the color Scheme!

  34. Jessica November 20, 2015 at 8:36 pm #

    This is gorgeous! I’ve always wanted to try one. Just wondering, was it very heavy?

  35. Michelle November 21, 2015 at 12:55 am #

    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.

  36. Amber Kidd November 21, 2015 at 6:50 am #

    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…

  37. Lynn November 21, 2015 at 11:26 am #

    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!! ?

  38. Pat Phillips November 21, 2015 at 3:36 pm #

    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 !!

  39. Rita Oliveira November 21, 2015 at 4:20 pm #

    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

  40. Courtney November 21, 2015 at 8:18 pm #

    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? :)

  41. Tonna Martz November 22, 2015 at 12:42 am #

    I absolutely love the wreath. I made one and I hung outside on my porch.

  42. Deborah November 22, 2015 at 6:52 am #

    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

  43. Wendy November 22, 2015 at 7:05 am #

    i tried this but found the glue gun melted the pool noodle! How did u manage not to melt it? Would a low temp gun hold them

  44. Janet November 22, 2015 at 10:03 am #

    How many ornaments do you think this took altogether? Wondering how many to buy.

  45. Kim November 22, 2015 at 10:59 am #

    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!

  46. Jill J November 22, 2015 at 1:36 pm #

    Love it. Just wish there were more pictures that included how you attached it to the windows with the bow.

  47. Anita November 22, 2015 at 4:02 pm #

    Do you have an idea of approximate count on how many ornaments you used?

  48. Erika November 22, 2015 at 6:33 pm #

    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!!

  49. Erika November 22, 2015 at 6:37 pm #

    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?

  50. Mich November 23, 2015 at 8:42 am #

    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 !!!

  51. sandi November 23, 2015 at 9:21 am #

    Can this go outside??

  52. Wanda November 23, 2015 at 11:28 am #

    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:)

  53. Cyndi November 23, 2015 at 12:38 pm #

    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

  54. Rikki November 26, 2015 at 4:38 am #

    Stunning! And the mantel is gorgeous too. Out of curiosity roughly how many baubles do you think you used?

  55. Tori November 26, 2015 at 9:39 pm #

    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!!

  56. Nancy November 28, 2015 at 12:42 pm #

    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.

  57. Melissa November 29, 2015 at 9:18 am #

    How would you store this after Xmas so it doesn’t break?

  58. Sue November 29, 2015 at 10:39 am #

    This is beautiful. Have the same “above fireplace” issue and am now inspired. Can’t wait to get it started. Thank you

  59. Jessica November 29, 2015 at 1:18 pm #

    Hi! Just curious…what is your final cost to make this? It’s beautiful!

  60. Alex Holmes November 29, 2015 at 2:25 pm #

    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.

  61. marie November 29, 2015 at 8:12 pm #

    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 :)

  62. Alana November 30, 2015 at 9:47 am #

    Want to try, wondering how many ornanments I should buy?

  63. Chrissy December 3, 2015 at 8:34 am #

    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).

  64. Sheila Martin December 5, 2015 at 1:27 am #

    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!!!!

  65. KJ December 27, 2015 at 6:12 pm #

    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 ?

  66. Danyell January 17, 2016 at 3:36 pm #

    Simply Beautiful!I would love this for outside, I wonder if the plastic ornaments would hold up!

  67. Carole Brown March 1, 2016 at 5:33 am #

    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!

  68. VIVIAN GENTRY September 7, 2016 at 8:55 am #

    This is absolutely a Beautiful Wreath, do you, hav product list, for this wreath, stuff you would need to make this pretty wreath?? Keep up, the good work, an send me, more ideas, for Holidays! Thanks….vggentry2655@gmail.com

  69. Ashley October 24, 2016 at 6:39 pm #

    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} November 3, 2016 at 7:42 pm #

      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.

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