One of the best things about creating and using wreaths, swags and garlands is that they’re wonderfully appropriate indoors or out. They can be simple greens only or overstuffed and elaborate; they can be made of real greens that smell divine, or of faux greens that last year after year; and they are SO much fun to decorate. I have a collection faux greens that I’ve gathered over the years and I’ve gradually upgraded the quality so that they are lush, full pieces and I change up how I decorate them from year to year. I also like to add at least one fresh wreath to an interior room, just for the fragrance.
Already decorated wreaths are available everywhere and regularly on sale at the various craft stores. Those are useful as a starting point for creating a wreath of your own, but are usually too skimpy, don’t have enough variety of decorative elements and have bad bows. You can easily personalize the wreath and make it “decorator beautiful” by adding a few goodies. Begin by upgrading the ribbon and bow, add in a few larger scale ornaments or pieces that follow the theme already established and you’ll have a wreath you can be proud of.
This closeup of one of my wreaths has a red/white/silver theme and shows a variety of ornament shapes and types of ribbon. The ornaments are glued in, the ribbon wired in place. One of the advantages of using hot glue is that when I want to change the theme or an ornament needs replacing, the dried glue usually pops right off and I start with a blank wreath form again.
Anything can adorn your wreath. As shown above seashells sparkle against the greenery but you can attach anything that suits your interests: cookie cutters, children’s toys, angels, bells, nuts, gardening tools…….
This wreath starts with a wire form and uses poofs of that glitter mesh cloth gathered around the form and embellished with ribbon pieces, ornaments and a couple of sprays of evergreen.
Use something unusual like feather boas to make your holidays white. Pick full boas or use multiples and wrap around a styrofoam form.
Choose a ribbon that suits your style or colors and just wrap a styrofoam form, overlapping the edges. This easy country idea is charming and weather friendly for a front door.
Make a sturdy cardboard circle base (like a big donut) and get out your handy glue gun. For extra fullness glue cinammon sticks to both the front and back. Hang with a nice wide ribbon.
Wrap a wreath form with quilt batting to make a soft, white base then add your embellishments in clusters to make a really unusual, stylized wreath.
Cover a styrofoam wreath base with a neutral ribbon the glue or pin on pieces of vintage or costume jewelry for a sparkling one-of-a-kind show stopper.
I always love these lush, overstuffed wreaths – filled with lots of different greens, berries, faux fruit and finished off with a traditional plaid bow. What’s not to love?
Christmas Garland Ideas
I used this photo for inspiration when I did my banister decorating this year. You can see the how-to and results here.
Melissa at Inspired Room took her felt garland from last year (above) and repurposed it as a wreath for this year and shows you how in this tutorial.
Christmas Swags and Other Decor
To me a swag is broadly defined as any hanging shape other than a wreath or garland. Generally they are wider at the top, narrowing at the bottom but they can also be almost rectangular which makes them perfect to lay flat on a table as a centerpiece base (see tomorrow’s post for details).
Decorating the newel post on a stairway is an excellent place to put an elaborate swag of ribbon, greens and embellishments like feathers or ornaments. It can be elaborate like the one above or simple like the one below.
Look at the range of textures! Berries, evergreens, pods, twine, a couple of ribbons, and finished off with a red bird as the focal point. This could be recreated starting with a ready made swag of mixed greens then just adding your own embellishments. The fullness and lushness of the decorations is what makes this a successful swag.
This year I opted for a swag on the front door instead of a wreath and love the asymmetrial look of it. It was really easy to do and if you click through here, you can see step by step photos.
Hopefully these wreaths, swags and garlands have stirred your creative juices and given you some ideas to try. If your decorating is already done for this year, bookmark the post and check back for inspiration next year. If something piqued your interest but you don’t have the supplies, pick up what you need on the after Christmas sales so that next year you’ll get the look at a fraction of the cost. What look do you think you’ll try?