Thursday, March 21, 2013

TUTORIAL Vintage Ornament Wreath

  • 8mm, 6mm and 4mm round colored pearl beads (plus a few very tiny ones)
  • textured ‘foil’ like beads, same sizes (Hobby Lobby brand “In Bloom")
  • gold beads oval shaped about the size of a grain of rice (I cut these off an old necklace but they are sold in craft stores)
  • 34 gauge brass wire and tiny gold seed beads for ornament caps and rings
  • ULTRAFINE glitter, gold, silver and various colors to match the beads and cover the bead holes
  • Crafter’s Pick ‘Ultimate’ glue (my favorite) put in a bottle with a tiny dispensing hole

I think it looks best when you use a variety of sizes and shapes (oval ‘rice’ beads, fluted beads). I didn’t start with finished ornaments – I made the basic wreath of plain beads then added the bead caps and rings to some of the beads after the wreath was done. This way I only put them in a few places and didn’t waste the work of making the wreath from all finished ornaments.

Draw a 1-1/4 inch circle on index card and place it under a sheet of wax paper

Select 12-14 beads (8mm) and see if they fit on the circle. Fill the holes with glitter to match the bead color.

Place beads around to get colors where you want them.

Glue them down. This is your first layer.

Select some smaller beads for the 2nd (right) and 3rd (left) layers.

Use a few very tiny pearls to fill in some of the bigger spaces when you're done (you'll see what I mean)

Note: some of the silver beads in pic above were metal spacers that I added glitter to. Bead spacers come in many shapes and sizes and even ridged or fluted styles that look very vintage! I also added glue & glitter to both ends of the rice shaped beads and sort of squished them to a point when they got a little dryer (to make an ornament that looks pointed on both ends).

Glue the second layer to the wax paper just inside the first layer.

Final (3rd) layer goes on top, arranging them so they look best for color, shape, etc.

Before all the glue is dry, make a few ornament rings from the wire and beads (see my Shiny Brite Tutorial, Sept. 2012). Fill in some of the bead holes with these rings.

Here is a photo of some other ornament wreaths I made in other color combinations:

Have fun making wreaths! Great way to use up your bead stash.


  1. Hi Kendra,amazing tuto,love the wreaths!! I'm a new happy follower of your work!Miniregards from sunny Spain.

    1. Thank you so much Sonia! You are my very first comment! Glad you are able to view from Spain. Love those beautiful miniaturas over there - and your lovely magazine!

  2. Very beautiful! I'm going to try this out! Thanks for posting the tutorial : )

  3. Thank you I enjoed your tutorial and will be trying this xx

  4. Rakensin ohjeen mukaan kransseja, kiitos siitä.

  5. Hi Kendra
    Very fine tutorial.
    But how get you the final wreath from wax paper?

  6. Britt - most glues just peel off the wax paper. If not, I just cut around the glue (including cutting out the hole in the middle). Thanks for reading my blog!

  7. Thank you for your answer, I thought that you maybe cut it out but I think it´s a little bit hard to that.

  8. Gracias por el tutorial.
    Feliz Navidad
    Un abrazo

  9. So the glue sticks okay to the wax paper?

    1. Yes, so well you have to really try hard to peel it off. I have since found a better way to make there - use freezer paper instead of wax - it peels off much easier. Thanks for your interest!

  10. It is difficult, if not impossible, to find a direct link to this post without going through Pinterest now, even though you are using Blogger, a Google product. The photo that comes up in Google images from this post is a link to Pinterest.

    1. I appreciate your telling me about this. I haven't really focused on SEO or trying to publicize my blog but I think there are so many tutorials on ornament wreaths that mine is just a drop in a huge bucket. If instead you google "tutorial shiny brite" my blog is shown on the first page of results. Pinterest gets so much more traffic that the original sites go further down the list of results. Thanks for reading and hope you 'follow' me!