Wednesday, December 3, 2014

New Vintage Ornament Wreath

I have to say that I have been wanting to make one of these wreaths forever!!  I used to have an awesome vintage ornament collection from my mom but unfortunately most of them got broken when a shelf in my basement fell on them years ago.  I was only able to salvage a few of them.  So with that being said, I decided to take new ornaments and make them look old.  Before I get started, I have read almost every tutorial on Pinterest on how to antique new ornaments and I have to say that none of the techniques worked for me to achieve the look I was going for.  I wanted my ornaments to be faded and spotty like they have hung on many trees over the last 80 years.  Doing the nail polish remover and paper towel just didn't cut it for me.  So read below and I'll share with you how we did ours.
First, you want to start with glass ornaments.  You cannot use those shatterproof ornaments.....they need to be glass.  And you need a TON per 14" wreath form.  I wish I could tell you how many you need but it all depends on what kind of look you are going for.  I say buy more than you think you will need and go from there. You will need:
glass ornaments in various sizes and shapes
 styrofoam wreath form (we used 14" from Hobby Lobby) 
 15 ft strand of tinsel (we used gold and it was $4 at Walmart)
 hot glue gun ( a ton of hot glue)
acetone nail polish remover
nail brush
steel wool #0000
I hit the jackpot and got a ton of glass ornaments at Big Lots for very little money.  I cleaned our store out!!!
I wanted more of the mottled and faded look for my ornaments.  The blue ornaments were easier to do. All we had to do on those was soak them in acetone for about 30 seconds and then start wiping away the blue paint with a paper towel and the nail brush.  I actually used a circular motion with the nail brush because I wanted areas of the ornaments to have no paint at all.  Depending on the look you want, you can do more or less on each ornament.  Remember, these are supposed to look like they have seen 80 years worth of Christmases.  The silver and gold ornaments didn't work with the standard nail polish remover and paper towel method.  So we used a combination of sand paper and the best was the #0000 steel wool.  We just lightly went over the ornaments with the steel wool.  Once you remove a lot of the "shine" with the steel wool, you really don't need to do the next step with the nail polish remover.  Like I said, it's just a personal preference on what look you are trying to achieve.
The photo below is an example of the mottled sort of spotted look that I was going for.  All of my vintage ornaments that were salvaged all look like this so I wanted the new ones to look the same.  
This is kind of a time consuming part so I recommend getting a friend or two to keep you company and help while you do this part.
Now for the FUN!!!!!!  All the ornaments are done so lets get out the tinsel!!!!!
You want to secure your tinsel on your wreath form with a dab of hot glue and wrap it around the entire wreath form and then secure the other end with hot glue.  We used a 15 foot strand of gold tinsel that I got at Walmart and it fit perfectly on the 14" wreath form.  The wreath form was purchased at Hobby Lobby.
This is where you can get as creative as you want.  Remember there is no right or wrong way to do this.
We started by hot gluing the largest ornaments to the outside perimeter and then the smallest ones on the inside perimeter. (See photo below)
From there, you just start filling in the empty space.  It's ok if some of the tinsel is peeking through.  The best advice I can give when making a wreath like this is to not over think it.  That's the mistake that most people make with these types of wreaths.  Just start randomly gluing the ornaments and then fill in later with the smaller ornaments and trust can't go wrong and mess this up.
Here are our finished three!!  Gorgeous!!!

Happy Crafting!!!
tia & andrea

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