Heather Rode enjoys photography, baking, antiques, and hair care.
Christmas Ball Wreaths
I've wanted to make an ornament ball wreath forever and finally got around to it. I saw some Christmas ornament wreaths for sale at Target, and that's what finally motivated me to make my own. The one I saw at Target was an 18" wreath made up of plastic Christmas ball ornaments for twenty dollars. It was cute, but I didn't particularly love the color scheme—I'm not a fan of pink and purple when it comes to Christmas.
I also disliked the way the tinsel garland was haphazardly attached to the wreath without any real direction or pattern. I challenged myself to make a very similar wreath, using colors I loved, and to try to keep it under the twenty-dollar price point. I'm happy to say that my wreath came out lovely, it's the same size, and I spent under fifteen dollars. While a difference of five dollars might not seem like enough of an incentive for this Christmas DIY, it was worth it to me because I love everything about it and it was an enjoyable and super easy project to make. To make your own Christmas wreath craft, check out my tutorial below.
Supplies Price Breakdown
$2.50 (after 50% coupon)
Dollar Store and Target
You Will Need:
- 18" Wire Wreath Frame
- Plastic Christmas Ball Ornaments (Varying Sizes and Styles)
- Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
- Plastic Snowflake Ornaments
18" Wire Frame
I've seen many handmade Christmas wreaths made with Styrofoam wreaths but decided on a wire floral frame because I felt it would act as a guide for arranging my ornaments. I also figured any part of the wireframe could be suitable for hanging and I could therefore save myself from some extra steps and supplies. It's easy to hang anywhere and can be easily re-positioned.
Plastic Ball Ornaments
The majority of my ornaments came from the Dollar Store and the dollar section of Target. Some styles were purchased on clearance from Target (70% off during after-Christmas sales). This saved me a ton of money since ornaments can be pricey. I used all plastic ornaments because I wanted my wreath to be durable and inexpensive. One of the downsides of using plastic ornaments is that some styles have very visible seams. Some balls can be positioned in ways to make the seams less noticeable, but there are times when it's kind of unavoidable. This doesn't bother me as much as I thought it would and ultimately I'm happier having a wreath that isn't made of glass or fragile. I really liked the glitter ornaments and the metallic balls with ridges because the seams were very well hidden if not invisible/non-existent. I used four different sizes of ornaments for this wreath. I originally intended to use two sizes, but all four sizes worked out perfectly for spacing and creating the perfect wreath.
My supplies photo only shows a couple of hot glue sticks, but I used about a dozen. The trick to successfully making a Christmas ball wreath is gluing each ornament to the frame and to the ornaments around it. This will make your wreath stronger and last longer but calls for many a hot glue stick. Be prepared!
Read More From Holidappy
Decorating my homemade wreath with glitter snowflakes was an afterthought but definitely gave it something extra special. The silver snowflakes came in a package with my medium-sized silver ornaments for this project while the white ones were given to me by my sister. I was excited to include both styles on my wreath to give it extra sparkle and character.
I used my garland very differently and very sparingly compared to the Target wreath. I used snips of garland here and there to fill in the gaps. My strand was six feet long, but I used less than half of that.
1. Glue your first arrangement of ornaments to the middle circle/track of your wreath using your two largest sizes of ornaments, alternating sizes, and styles. Apply glue to the wire frame and attach ornaments. Glue each ornament to his or her neighbor for added durability. Don't worry too much if the glue is visible between ornaments. Try your best to keep it neat and hidden, but we'll also hide it in later steps.
TIP: Hold freshly glued ornament in place for a few seconds while applying gentle pressure.
2. Glue your second smallest size of ornaments to the innermost circle of your frame. If you don't have enough to fill the center track, alternate with a few larger ornaments. Be sure to glue each ornament to the frame and to each ornament that it touches. Reserve your smallest size ornaments for filling in gaps in later steps.
TIP: Arrange your ornaments before gluing.
3. Attach your last outermost row of ornaments using the largest or two largest sizes of balls.
TIP: Don't worry if your hot glue is creating stringy spider webs. They're easier to remove later all at once when they're completely cooled.
4. Use your smallest ornaments to fill in gaps. Fill the largest gaps first to ensure proper coverage. Repeat until all ornaments are used. Don't have enough for the coverage you'd hoped for? Focus on the largest gaps first. Decide which gaps you can live with. Smaller gaps can be filled with garland in the next step.
TIP: Remove and discard plastic ornament toppers if necessary. This can make it easier to fit into tighter gaps.
5. Cut small pieces of garland and glue on wreath to fill gaps and hide globs of hot glue. Smaller pieces and sparse coverage will give a peek-a-boo effect. Bigger pieces and larger coverage will give a fuller, snowy effect.
TIP: Keep your fingers glue-free, and your gaps filled perfectly by using a Popsicle stick to tuck garland into nooks and crannies.
6. Glue snowflakes to the wreath. Allow wreath to rest while the glue dries before hanging.
TIP: Put small dabs of hot glue on as many spots as you can to keep fragile snowflakes secure.
My Take on Homemade Christmas Wreaths
This was one of my favorite DIY Christmas projects this season and of all time! I couldn't believe how easy it was and how nicely it came out. In the beginning steps, it's easy to worry about how it will look. Just keep gluing and work each layer without overthinking it. This is a great project to wrangle all of your favorite family ornaments together in one large and lovely piece of Christmastime art. Handmade wreaths like this are fun projects to craft into Christmas décor or to give as festive gifts.
© 2013 Heather
Kathy busjahn on October 23, 2018:
I have made 19 of these and cannot get hot glue to hold ornaments on . I have used every kind of hot glue and regular household glues and even heavy duty....no luck.I have had to disassemble mine as I cant in good conscience sell these with the possibility they could come apart.So far I have used over 2 thousand balls and ornaments, and they turn out very stunning.
So discouraged by this problem.....any suggestions for me? Thanks, kathy
Nicole K on December 12, 2015:
Gorgeous ornament wreath! Thank you for outlining the steps to make it so thoroughly! I might just have to make one of these this year.
Lorelei Cohen on November 17, 2014:
What a gorgeous holiday craft project. Simply beautiful.
Anna Christie from London, United Kingdom on November 13, 2014:
Very nice Your ornament wreaths look as good as the ones you buy in the shops!
Heather (author) from Arizona on January 09, 2014:
@Glimmer Twin Fan-- Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. I definitely couldn't have made this it it weren't for after holiday clearance and Target's dollar section. Thanks for the kind words and share :)
@Seafarer Mama-- Thanks so much. I'm glad you stopped by and enjoyed the Hub :)
@poetryman6969-- Aw, thanks! That's such a great comment and very much made my day! Thanks for stopping by :)
Claudia Porter on January 09, 2014:
Desperately trying to catch up on reading and commenting. This is beautiful Heather! I love these ornament wreaths and have often wondered how people get all the bulbs to fit without gaps. Now I know. Shared for next Christmas.
Karen A Szklany from New England on January 02, 2014:
Thank you for this awesome step-by-step craft guide, Heather. Love the idea...and the pictures!
poetryman6969 on January 01, 2014:
You make even the preparations look pretty and festive!
Heather (author) from Arizona on December 30, 2013:
@randomcreative-- Thanks so much for the kind words! I'm happy you stopped by and glad you enjoyed this tutorial :)
@WiccanSage-- Thanks! I know what you mean. Even simple Christmas and winter décor can be sooo expensive! I'm glad you enjoyed this tutorial. You'll have to stop back by and let me know how yours comes out. If you post pics online, I'd love to see it :)
@Paul Edmondson-- Thanks so much, Paul! I love when you stop by and check out what I've been up to. Thanks for taking the time to comment today :)
@rebekahELLE-- Thanks so much! I would love to craft a wreath out of gorgeous, vintage glass ornaments but it might end up being too expensive and my husband and I can be kind of clutsy, so I worry about the well-being of the wreath. I'm glad you enjoyed this Hub. Thanks for stopping by and Happy New Year :)
@Jeannieinabottle-- Thanks! I had to restrain myself from using some of my favorite tree ornaments just in case this project didn't turn out as imagined. But now that I've got Christmas wreaths on the brain, I'll forever be on the lookout for beautiful and inexpensive ornaments for this craft. Thanks again :)
Heather (author) from Arizona on December 30, 2013:
@purl3agony-- Thanks so much! I'm glad you like it. I've got it hanging on my bottle shelf in the kitchen for a few days and then it will be time to pack it away with the rest of the Christmas and Chanukkah goodies. Thanks again :)
@Chin chin-- Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed this Hub :)
@my_girl_sara-- Thanks! Crafting can certainly be a time-suck so I know what you mean. I'm blessed to work from home because years ago I never had time to make anything delicious or beautiful :)
@MsDora-- Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I always appreciate your feedback and support :)
Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on December 30, 2013:
Your wreath is beautiful! Post-Christmas sales are a great time to pick up ornaments for cheap. It's worth scouting sales and grabbing coupons to save on the other supplies, such as the wreath base as well. Thanks for the detailed tutorial!
Mackenzie Sage Wright on December 30, 2013:
Gorgeous! I have seen similar wreaths with the balls and they are always so expensive-- and so rich looking. This looks doable, I'm going to have to give it a try sometime this year. Great craft.
Paul Edmondson from Burlingame, CA on December 30, 2013:
That looks amazing!
rebekahELLE from Tampa Bay on December 30, 2013:
Beautiful! I love this. I like to keep my special ornaments on the tree, but I could see using different textures and colors or specific color schemes to make beautiful, one of a kind wreaths. Fantastic detail and instructions, thanks so much! Love the photo with a glimpse of yourself taking the pic!
A happy 2014 to you!
Jeannie Marie from Baltimore, MD on December 30, 2013:
What beautiful wreaths! This makes me want to start taking all my ornaments and create wreaths with them. Thanks for sharing your ideas!
Donna Herron from USA on December 30, 2013:
Just beautiful!! The garland is a great idea - I didn't really notice it until you pointed out its placement, but it does a great job of filling in the gaps and adding a finishing touch. Love it - I hope you are displaying this wreath now instead of waiting until next year :)
Chin chin from Philippines on December 30, 2013:
Really good work on this wreath. Thanks for sharing.
Cynthia Lyerly from Georgia on December 30, 2013:
Very good and detailed instructions. I used to craft (when I had time) and wish I had that time now.
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on December 30, 2013:
Thank you for sharing another great creation. Voted Up, saved and shared.