Amy’s Free Ideas

More tips for making or buying wreaths

Size of the wreath

If you plan to hang your wreath on a door, it can be quite small. On the other hand, if you plan to hang it on a large wall, the wreath should be quite large, or you could hang other decorations along with it, to fill the space better. If a large wreath appears small, a banner may fill that space better. Yes, that is a wreath on the wall in the photo on the left, but it is much too small for that space.

The color of the wreath itself

When choosing a wreath, you also need to keep the color of the background in mind. If you are going to hang the wreath on a white wall, a white wreath is not going to show up very well, but it will show up well against a dark door. Likewise,  a vine wreath or a dark green wreath is going to disappear against a dark brown door, as in the photo on the left, but it will show up nicely on a white wall. Greater contrast will provide the most impact.

The color of the bow and decorations

The colors of the room might affect your choice.  A room with blue curtains and bedspread may lead you to choose a silver motif, or maroon, or even pink. On the other hand, if your room colors are neutral, you can use any color for your Christmas decorations--you can pick a different color every year. Limiting the colors of the decorations of any room to just 2 or 3 colors will make the decorations seem to match better. Simply changing the colors of the decorations on the wreath can create totally different looking wreaths.

Placement of the bow

The bow traditionally goes at the top of the wreath, but it can also go at the bottom, or at an angle--4 O’clock or 8 O’clock positions, (if the wreath were a clock.) Some wreaths do not have a bow at all, such as a pine cone wreath.

How much ribbon is needed to make a bow

It is significantly cheaper to buy ribbon and make the bow yourself. It is not hard to make once you practice a few times. A small wreath only needs about 2 and a half meters of ribbon to make a good bow, but a large wreath or swag requires 5 meters--so be careful to check the length when you buy it. It doesn’t have to be 5 meters long--just be sure to buy enough to buy 5 meters combined. The ribbon is best if it has wire in the edges. The reason for this is that when the wreath is put away till the next year, they almost always get smashed. If the ribbon has wire, you can just reshape it with your hands, and it is ready to hang again. If it doesn’t have wire, you have to take the bow off, iron it, and make a bow again-- a lot of extra work! Many dollar stores sell wide ribbon, but they sell out quickly, so check early and often. Walmart often carries a good selection of ribbons right before Christmas, and discounts even more after Christmas.

Seasons > Christmas > Decorations for the home > How to Decorate a Wreath

For decorating a vine wreath, buy a small inexpensive Christmas tree or swag and cut branches off using wire cutters (also sold at dollar stores.) Fasten some branches together in two bunches and fasten the two bunches to the top or bottom of the wreath with more florist’s wire. Add a bow in the middle of the two bunches, and add more decorations--fasten these on with wire, too. Use the rest of the tree branches to make another wreath, or use them with other kinds of decorations, such as with candles and balls in various nooks and crannies around the house.

Get inspiration by looking at the sample wreaths below:

There are 2 basic kinds of wreaths: greenery and vines.  You can buy small ones of both kinds at some dollar stores, but shop early (October/November), as they sell out quickly. If they only have ugly ones, buy them anyway, and take the decorations off and add your own decorations--it won’t be be ugly anymore. If you want larger sizes you will need to buy them someplace else. Craft stores sell them, but they might be cheaper in other stores.

wire cutter


wire cutting section

Before and After

When you get a wreath out of storage, it is important to reshape the branches and the bow and replace broken or faded ornaments and bows. If you don’t bother doing this simple step, it is better to leave it in storage, because it looks better to not have decorations than to have bad looking decorations!

This idea is also helpful for buying Christmas decorations. If the dollar store or some other discount store has wreaths or swags that are really ugly, look at the wreath itself, and how the decorations have been attached. If the decorations can be easily removed, and the wreath itself is half the price of those being sold at a craft store or in a department store, then buy it! Go home and fix it up, and enjoy the knowledge that you saved a lot of money. The same is true of decorations being sold at garage sales--if it looks dumpy, you can buy it for much less, and fix it up as good as new. Often dollar store wreaths are smashed together in shipping, so people don’t buy them. Just reshape it yourself, and it looks fine. If a friend is ready to throw out a decoration, take it home and fix it up--you just got yourself a nice decoration for free!







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