Introduction: Making Mini Christmas Wreaths
One of the challenges I found with building the Christmas house was determining whether I was going to make the wreaths or purchase them. So I did a little bit of both at first I purchased a few and added decorative elements to bring them up a notch. All the wreaths pictured in this section were all hand made.
I found this great little line site called Timber Ridge Studios. They provide a wide variety of quarter inch pine wire rope as well as Holly wire rope. The perfectly scaled for miniatures and allowed me to make a complex bows with a variety of different plant types. I also found some Boxwood Miniature Garland which I also incorporated into the wreaths.
These are easy to make, easy to add variety, and look good. I have far more than I need. Once I started making them I pretty much abandoned the ones I had purchased. These look more real that the bottle brush type wreaths.
Step 1: What You Will Need
You will need the following items to make these wreaths as shown:
Each wreath costs less than $3.00 each to make.
1. Find an bottle or tube approximately 2 inches in diameter. ( I used the fast grab tacky glue bottle)
2. Small pair of wire cutting pliers
3. Small pair of flat nose pliers
4. 22 or 24 ga. green floral wire
5. 2 pieces 12” length of 1/4” pine wire rope
6. 1 piece 12” length of 1/4” Boxwood wire rope
7.1 piece 12” length of 1/4” holly wire rope
8. 4-6 small ornaments (see how to make your own ornaments with this Instructable)
9. 1 larger ornament for the bottom
10. 1 each 5/8" size Christmas liberty bells, bright brass/gold
11. Bow and matching ribbon ( See my bow making jig and how to make bows with these 2 Instructables)
Step 2: Making the Body of the Wreath
Find an object approximately 2 inches in diameter which equates to 24 inch in real-world scale. Wrap the 8 inch starter piece around it and overlap it by approximately a half of an inch. Take some 24 gauge floral wire and twist around the overlap. Then continue with additional lengths of the Holly and Boxwood. Finish the last piece of the pine wire rope.
Start by creating a loop around the wreath body then push the end through the center and continuously wrapping it around the main body of the wreath to increase its size and complexity. Do this each with the Holly, then the Boxwood and finish it off with another piece of the pine wire rope. Be sure to leave enough space between the revolutions to see the others underneath.
Once all 3 green wire ropes have been wrapped outside to inside the main body is complete and ready for the ribbon and bow.
Step 3: Adding the Ribbon and Bow
Once you have a completed and your happy with it, time to add the decorations. The first thing I do is make a bow using my mini bow making jig. In this case I've used complex bows for this particular series of two wreaths.
Add a piece of floral wire to the back of the bow and push it through an the overlap area of the wreath you had just made. Take the ribbon and wrap it just as you did the pine wire rope. Start on the outside, loop it through the center and keep going all the way around until you've completed wrapping the wreath.
Push the end of the ribbon between the two ends of the wire. Twist the wire to trap the ribbon. Add the bow to the wire and wrap the wire around the wreath. Add some Go2 glue behind the bow for good measure.
Step 4: Add the Decortaive Elements and Ornaments
The next step is to add ornaments. You can make ornaments easily from pearl beads. 6 mm works best, and varying the bead caps tabs will create some variety in appearance. Also mix up the type and color of the beads. See making Christmas ornaments here. You can also add glitter Styrofoam balls that are about a quarter inch diameter can be bought and sold at most hobby stores.
On the bottom of the wreath I tend to add a small decorative ornament that anchors the bottom. In this case I chose a couple of angels which are white with gold highlights and they seem to work well. That in the center of the bow you want to add a bell or two to complete the look.
There are many ways to decorate these so he let your imagination run away and have some creative have fun. Wreaths are best done between 1 and 2 inches in diameter reflecting at 12 and the 24 inch diameter wreaths real world dimensions. Smaller than 1 inch does not make sense and it does not look right. Larger than 2 inches will result in a very large wreath in scale. The reason I chose the one for the chimney of the Christmas house is its a little over 3 ½ inches reflecting approximately a 42 inch wreath. This is a good scale for a wreath on a chimney.
Decorate your wreaths which best reflect your own style. Keep in mind that with some planning you can make a wide variety of of these using the same techniques and varying the bow and ribbon colors as well as the decorative elements.