- Wire hanger
- Boatloads of balls - I used 22 large balls & 30 small - not nearly enough!! Depending how big you are making it, I'd guess 80-100 would be ideal
- Ribbon - if you want to add a bow
- Wire or String - if you need it to make/attach the bow, to hang your wreath, or if you didn't buy enough balls (described below)
I started by taking the hanger and turning it into a circle. I folded one end over to make a secure end (or so I thought - one ball slipped off and shattered, oops!! Be careful to make sure your end is actually secure!). Then just keep sliding the ornaments down the hanger until you get a nice, full wreath. I just slipped them on trying to mix up the colors and sizes but didn't stick to any particular pattern.
Once all of your ornaments are on, wrap the two ends of the hanger around each other to close it off. I had a lot of excess hanger - you can cut it off if you prefer, although I used it to hang my wreath by wrapping the excess hanger around the door knocker. Add a bow if you'd like, and hang it up!
My Added Complications
My wreath turned out to be a lot smaller than I was planning initially, but that's one advantage to using the hanger over a preformed wreath - you can adjust the size of the wreath as necessary. Even with my smaller sized wreath, I was still struggling with my puny amount of balls - it wasn't full enough at all. When I held it up, the balls would slide to the bottom, so I had to figure out a solution to avoid having a very bare wreath (since I refused to just go buy more like a normal person would do...). At first I was trying to make a wreath backing out of cardboard - I figured if the wreath was flat on the back and all the balls were pushed to the front, it would help to fill it out more. In theory, I think that would work but I was having trouble successfully executing it, so I scraped that idea. I ended up tying some wire around the top of the hanger, then winding it around some of the ornaments so that they were basically tied to the top of the wreath and wouldn't slip down. I would imagine that you wouldn't need to worry about that if you had enough ornaments to make the wreath as full as it should be, but using wire to tie them in place works well enough if you have to resort to that method. However, it does give you less flexibility with adjusting the balls once you're finished. I'd guess that it would be easier to scoot them around to hide bare spots if they weren't tied. Also in a couple of places my wreath was kind of lumpy/not completely circular looking. I pulled one ball off entirely because it was sticking out, but there are a couple of spots where it still looks kind of weird. Again, I would think that if you had a full wreath and the balls were able to settle naturally, this would be less of a problem.
In addition to not buying enough balls, I'm also annoyed at myself for spending too much on the ones I did buy. I went to Michael's and the ornaments were all 50% off, so I just got them there without thinking much about it. But even with the sale and my puny-balled wreath, I still spent $30 on the ornaments! I would never normally spend that much on a pre-made wreath, so why did I spend that much on materials to make my own?! This evening I went to the grocery store and saw ornaments for $2.50 a box - half the price I paid. They were plastic but would have worked fine (and actually maybe that would be better - having that much glass hanging up makes me nervous!). I bet I could have found them for even less than that had I actually looked around a bit.
Lessons learned - next time I will buy more ornaments and spend less!! And sorry for the text overload and lack of pics to show the process - that's something else to fix in my next go-around!