Christmas Wreaths: New Ideas for an Old Tradition

By: Ellen Bell

When we think of wreaths, most of us typically envision a traditional wreath made of greenery.? This is usually accompanied by a bow of some sort and possibly pinecones.? While these traditional Christmas wreath will always be steadfast favorites, there are many other ways to decorate and use wreaths.? By taking a fresh approach to an old decoration, you can create something really unique and special that will be a centerpiece in your home for years to come.? Here are a few things to consider when you rethink your idea of wreaths:

LocationThis will likely have the biggest impact on the structure and material of your wreath.? Obviously if the location is outdoors, it must be made of weatherproof materials.? Indoor wreaths are primarily impacted by their location in the home, as their construction and decorations will likely reflect their surroundings.

How Will It Be Displayed?Traditionally, wreaths have been hung above fireplaces and on front doors.? However, the sky really is the limit on where your wreath might go.? Here are a few different ideas to consider:

Window: Facing outside, inside or both by using a double-sided wreath hanger, such as ribbon, chain, or rope.On a mirror: The size of your mirror will dictate the size of your wreath.From a lighted wall sconce: Anywhere in the home, even the bathroom!Dining room chair: Small wreaths can really dress up the back of a dining chair when tied with bright ribbon.Easel: Prop a large, lighted wreath on an easel in one corner of a room.? This works great when you have limited wall space, and can replace a tree in a small area.Table: Lay it on a table and put candles or a bowl of fruit in the center.Lighted hutch: A wreath propped up in a lighted hutch or curio cabinet is an unexpected surprise any time of year!Tree: Wreaths of different materials can be used to decorate a Christmas tree for an added touch of elegance or whimsy.Packages: Use a small wreath tied to a ribbon to dress up a special gift.

SizeThe location of your wreath will usually determine its size.? Wreath sizes can vary greatly; however, most indoor wreaths range in size from 6 to 48 inches.? An outdoor wreath used as a focal point on a home's exterior might be as large as 72 inches in diameter.

MaterialThe material of your wreath will greatly impact its overall design and appearance.? While the options are endless, below are some ideas to start with:Greenery: Fresh or artificialNatural materials such as pinecones, nuts, wheat, straw, grapevines, fresh or dried herbs, fresh or dried flowers, shells, leaves.Manmade materials such as Christmas balls, fabric, ribbon, paper or metal.

DecorationsFinally the fun stuff!? Your imagination is the limit when it comes to a wreath's decorations.? When decorating your wreath, it's important to consider the location (for example, an outdoor wreath should have weatherproof decorations), and who will be enjoying it.? Below are some ideas to help get you started.

Living Room: Same color and possibly same decorations as your tree.Kitchen: Try decorating with cookie cutters, kitchen utensils, herbs, cinnamon sticks, etc.Children's Room: Hand made ornaments, toys, candy canes, etc.Hobby related wreaths: Sports team colors or paraphernalia, sewing or needlecraft implements, antique cars or tractors, gardening tools, etc.

Whatever your choices, remember to have fun and use your imagination!

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