This is not an original idea. I wish I could claim it as such, but the first time I saw this design was in Martha Stewart Living. I have been wanting to make one since then and I finally had the opportunity when I was asked to decorate my new office for Christmas.
1 MDF/hardwood wreath base
1 length of green (or other color) garland in a quantity enough to cover the base
Hot Glue gun and glue sticks
Ball ornaments in various sizes and colors from tiny to large
Florist wire or other appropriate hanger
I purchased my wreath base at Michael's for $1.99. It is a 12" wreath base. I found it in the floral section near the styrofoam. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of it and I can't seem to find a picture on their website. It is just a 12" circle about 1-1/4" to 1-1/2" wide with small holes spaced evenly around the diameter of the circle.
Place of dot of hot glue anywhere on the wreath base and attach one end of the garland. Wrap the garland around the wreath base until it is completely covered. Go through the hole in the center with each wrap so that you maintain the shape of the wreath. Cut the garland and hot glue the end to the wreath base to secure it.
The ornaments I used are glass, but I have seen many perfectly suitable plastic ornaments that would work just as well. I chose blue, gold and silver because these colors coincide with the colors in our company logo. You can choose any color scheme you wish, but be sure to choose various sizes to make it interesting. I was able to find both shiny and satin finishes, plain and covered with glittery designs. Just mix it up as you see fit.
Before you begin to attach the ornaments, remove the cap and wire at the top of each ornament. Discard the wire and reattach the cap with a small dab of hot glue. Be careful, the metal gets very hot. Allow the cap to cool so that the cap will be secure.
Begin by attaching the larger ornaments around the inner and outer diameter of the wreath in random color order with dabs of hot glue sufficient to hold it securely. Distribute the ornaments in a pleasing arrangement. Do not fill the entire wreath. You will want to leave spaces in which to place the other sizes and colors of ornaments. It is best if you can attach the ornaments directly onto the MDF rather than attaching to the garland. It will be much more secure if you do.
Next, begin attaching the next smaller sized ornaments in a pattern that pleases your eyes. Alternate sizes as you see fit. Then fill in the empty spaces with the smaller ornaments. You can attach ornaments to the wreath base or ornament to ornament. Be sure to hold each ornament long enough for the glue to harden or the ornament will slide out of its position. The garland will help fill in any small empty spaces. Refer to the above photo for placement ideas.
There is no incorrect order in which to place your ornaments, except that you want to place them so that the cap end is hidden as much as possible and the sizes that are next to one another vary. If your design pleases you, it is perfect.
Allow your wreath to dry overnight so that the glue is dry and your ornaments are secure.
Locate one of the small holes in the wreath base at what you choose to be the top of your finished wreath. Place a length of floral wire or a sturdy string/twine/fishing line, through the hole and long enough to hang on a hook of your choosing. If you want to use a wreath hanger that fits over the top of the door, just leave a space on the inside opening of the wreath large enough to accomodate the hook. If you choose to mount your wreath on the door, I suggest that you use plastic ornaments rather than glass as the glass ornaments may shatter if the door is slammed shut.
Alternate ideas: Use a styrofoam base, wire base, straw base or vine base.
Spray paint the base in a color that matches your color scheme rather than covering it with garland.
Use ornaments of various sizes and shapes. I have seen some very cute ornaments in the shape of Santa, angels, bells, etc.
I have also seen antique glass ornaments used, but I would hesitate to do so as the ornaments cannot be removed intact from the hot glue and the value of the ornaments would be lost.
Get creative. Enjoy the process. Send me pictures of your creations. I'd love to see them.
Let me know if these instructions have been helpful and/or if you have suggestions as to how to I might make changes that would make projects more easily understood.