Re-cycling ornaments

Every year I struggle with the sheer amount of Christmas decorations I have. Over the years, despite myself, I have gathered huge amounts of ornaments, mostly plastic. Although I really try to utilize all that I have, there is always a box of ne’er do wells – tired-looking ornaments with bits missing, dusty looking, crumpled, and just sad. Rather than putting them in the landfill, I thought I would try to re-use them by freshening them up a bit.
For my outdoor wreath I used a plastic (sigh!) wreath form which is 30″ in diameter. Every year I take all the ornamentation off it and store it in a bag. When I take it out it has been quite compacted, so I spend a few minutes pulling on every one of the needle branches until they stick straight up. Then I added a string of LED mini lights, tucking the wires in very well and hiding them by bending down the needle branches. I then added a handful of real white pine branchlets all around the wreath going in the same direction. This makes the wreath look a lot more realistic, plus it smells real too.
Just inside the larger wreath I used a plastic laurel wreath, 18″ in diameter that’s looking a little worse for wear, as a base to glue other ornaments onto. I used the wired needle branches of the outer wreath to secure the inner wreath so it wouldn’t move.
Then I pulled the dusty pomegranates off 18 picks I have had for years but hadn’t used. These I sprayed lightly with clear lacquer as I wanted them to be shiny looking. I also spray painted some little plastic apples with a light coat of lime green spray paint. I wanted the original red and gold to come through, but brighten them up a bit.
I hot-glued the painted apples in a ring around the centre of the laurel wreath, and then hot-glued the refreshed pomegranates around them.
Then I pushed any remaining picks and berry branches in around the perimeter to fill in the wreath. I did not use every sad-looking ornament I had. You just have to judge for yourself when there are enough.
Lastly I added a few real berries (rosehips from my garden) around the wreath and a bright red paper bow.
It’s amazing what you can do to recycle ornaments and have them look new and fresh. It takes no time at all really, and you end up with a really festive wreath.

Wreath form

Pull on each of the branchlets until they stick straight up

 

 

assorted tired-looking Christmas ornaments

Some pretty sad-looking ornaments from past years

 

 

image of real white pine stuck into artificial wreath

Stick some real white pine branchlets around the artificial wreath going in the same direction. Use the wired needles to hold the real ones.

 

image of laurel wreath inside larger wreath

Affix the smaller wreath inside the larger one by using the wired branches to hold it in place

 

image of small crabapples hot-glued onto the smaller wreath

Hot-glue the refreshed crabapples in a circle around the smaller central wreath

 

image of pomegranates glued around the crabapples

Hot-glue the refreshed pomegranates in a circle around the crabapples

 

Lee Valley brick hanger

Lee Valley brick hanger

 

 

Image of completed wreath

Add a festive paper bow and hang it outside using a Lee Valley brick hanger. They work great and are very strong. This wreath weighs around 7lbs.

 

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