Striking formal wreaths may now be made by wiring in glass ornaments, fitting them into the greenery in any desired pattern. Cones and colored ribbons, too, serve the same purpose.
Gourds can be wired around the entire circle. Use them in their natural colors, or enamel them first.
You can add shellacked fruit and nuts for something a little different in the way of color. This is called a Della Robbia.
Cones and red ribbon make an attractive natural looking decoration. Have you ever seen "flowers" made by cutting larger cones in crosswise slices? They are quite different from the usual cone treatment, and very easy to make. Just cut crosswise
through the cones, leaving two or three layers of scales to each rosette for easy wiring.
A word too, about the ribbon you choose -remember that Christmas-time weather is likely to be damp instead of snowy.
It's wise to invest in special waterproof ribbon or use a substitute, such as oilcloth, for the bow on your outdoor wreaths. An oil cloth bow looks less stiff if cut with pinking shears. The freshest and perkiest wreath loses its appeal when the bow is drooping and dejected; for this reason the oil cloth bow may be a wise choice if wreaths are to be shipped.
Try crossed candy canes; either real ones or the plastic foam kind which are available in dollar stores. The plastic foam types can be striped with red Scotch tape, instead of satin ribbon, so theyl'l be weatherproof.
Bells can be wired to the wreath to provide a welcome as musical as it is colorful. Pipecleaner pom pons are effective with the bells. You make them by fastening pipe cleaners tightly together at the center. then arranging them so that the individual cleaners spray out in all directions. The same technique is used to make pompons from cellophane straws. The pipe cleaners have the added advantage here of being able to take a little rain or fog.
Small Christmas boxes, wrapped and decorated in bright oil cloth, are unusual when three or four are wired to a wreath.
A child's toy drum or trumpet makes another attractive design. Fortunately, these toys are available in metal or plastic so they, too, won' mind a little bad weather.
Finally, if you have a helper who is handy with saw and drill, you might try making a replica of a set of child's blocks, each about 1 1/2 inches square. Drill a hole through each for the wire, paint them in bright colors, and spell out your Christmas greetings on your wreath.
You can learn to make your own wreath on the "How to Make a Wreath" page.