There’s nothing like a Christmas wreath for the front door, entryway or fireplace mantel to evoke the holiday spirit. Left natural or embellished with ornaments, berries and bows, a wreath provides a cheerful greeting and a glimpse into the home’s holiday decor.
How did the tradition of decorating with wreaths, garland and other greenery start? We know evergreen boughs have been used to decorate homes since ancient times. The greenery served as a reminder that winter’s frost would soon give way to new growth in spring.
Many people still enjoy decorating with real or artificial evergreens, but we also have so many fun artificial options to choose from today. Should you buy a plain wreath or one that’s decorated? Would you prefer a traditional style or a popular theme? Do you like natural evergreens, colorful or flocked wreaths? Small or large? Let’s dive into our best-selling options and help you decide which wreath is best for your home or business.
Fresh vs. Faux Wreath
Are you team fresh or team artificial Christmas wreath? Some people love the look of a real wreath each Christmas, but if you’re looking for convenience and versatility, you’ll want to give artificial Christmas wreaths a closer look. Fresh wreaths may dry out and turn brown or drop their needles, especially if they’re hung in a sunny spot. An artificial wreath stays fresh-looking all season long and will continue to provide enjoyment for years to come.
Plus, there are so many realistic wreaths to choose from, your friends will need to look very closely to notice it’s fake! In addition to spruce, balsam and other pine varieties, you’ll find boxwood wreaths, pinecone wreaths and floral wreaths, wreaths featuring berries or twigs, unlit and pre-lit wreaths and undecorated wreaths to add your own touch.
If you’re looking for something a little more unique, consider a flocked wreath, colorful wreath or a wreath made of shiny ball ornaments.
Lighted vs. Unlit Christmas Wreaths
You’ll find a wide range of pre-lit wreaths from which to choose. While a majority of pre-lit wreaths feature white or “clear” bulbs, some have multicolor lights or monotone colors like green and red.
Whether you buy a pre-lit or unlit wreath may depend on where you want it to hang. Pre-lit Christmas wreaths can be used indoors on a wall, mantel or in the window. Some are even battery operated - perfect when there isn’t an outlet nearby, like on your front door.
Read the package or product description to make sure your lighted Christmas wreath is safe for outdoor use.
Where Can You Hang a Wreath?
Before you buy a Christmas wreath, consider where it will hang. Front door wreaths are very popular, but wreaths also make attractive holiday accents in the entryway, over the fireplace and in windows.
If you’re looking for a Christmas wreath for the front door, consider your door’s style and color. It could be a single or double door, dark or white, modern or traditional.
A flocked, colorful or white wreath will stand out better on a dark door, while you might prefer a green, dark-colored or even a black wreath for a white or light-colored door. Remember, too, that not all pines are the same shade of green. Some have warm undertones that enhance many natural woods and earthy colors. Others have more muted tones that compliment popular decorator colors like gray, blue and black.
Fortunately, there are artificial wreaths to suit all tastes, themes and color schemes. You’ll find traditional red and green Christmas wreaths, along with trendy colors like navy and popular color combinations like black and white. There are wreaths that feature minimalistic and rustic styles. Add a touch of elegance with silver or gold accents, or go all-out with a truly elaborate masterpiece.
When placing a wreath over a fireplace, think about the width and depth of the mantel or chimney area.
A smaller wreath will look best over a petite mantel. On the other hand, you’ll probably want a much larger wreath to enhance the look of a tall, dramatic chimney. Depending on the depth of your fireplace mantel and the size of the wreath, you might even choose to prop the wreath on the mantelpiece.
As with wreaths for the front door, a wreath for your fireplace should complement your decor and color palette.
A holiday wreath can replace a painting or photo collage to provide a festive touch on a wall or over your couch or hall console table. Again, proportion is key to the size of your Christmas wreath. A too-small wreath could get swallowed up in an otherwise large, empty area. Conversely, hanging a large wreath above your sofa might overpower the space - and cause guests to worry about Christmas decorations falling on their heads!
Hanging a wreath in a window is a very traditional way to decorate for the holidays. Think of a two-story white colonial with a red-ribboned pine wreath hanging from every window frame. But if traditional isn’t your style, don’t worry - there are plenty other options to suit your taste. You might prefer a shimmery silver tinsel wreath, or one made from bright shatterproof ball ornaments.
If you’re going to hang a wreath in a window, consider whether you’ll be hanging it inside or out.
When buying an outdoor wreath, make sure it is made to withstand your area’s winter weather. The wreath manufacturer will most likely specify whether the wreath is recommended for indoor only or outdoor use somewhere on the packaging or product description.
There are several ways to hang your outdoor wreath. Unless you’ve taken very great care to immobilize your outdoor wreath, it will swing in the winter winds. Consider backing your wreath with felt, so it doesn’t scratch your windows, wood frames or siding.
How Wreaths are Sized
You’ve narrowed down your style and color preferences. Now, let’s get down to size. How do you choose the right size wreath?
Wreaths are measured by their diameter, or width. The full width includes anything that extends out from the wreath, like decorative picks or wispy floral tendrils. Depth is measured from the back frame to the front, including any decorations that protrude.
What Size Wreath Do You Need?
Begin by measuring the width of your door. Decorators typically recommend leaving four to six inches of undecorated space between the outer edge of the wreath and the edge of the door. That means you’ll want a wreath that’s eight to 12 inches smaller than your door width. For instance, a 24 to 28-inch wreath will look best on a door that’s 36 inches wide.
A pair of wreaths that are identical in size and style will provide symmetry to a double-door entry. As with a single door, decorators recommend choosing a wreath that is eight to 12 inches smaller than the width of one door.
Is your entry protected by a storm door? Consider how much space is available between it and your front door. If you buy a very full wreath that’s too deep for the cavity, you risk crushing or breaking it – or not being able to close the storm door.
You may be filling a large, blank wall, or creating a Christmas tableau with the wreath as the centerpiece. Either way, you’ll want to scale the size of the wreath based on the area to visually fill. The larger the wall, the larger the wreath. However, decorating rules are made to be broken. A small wreath can add understated elegance to a large wall or become the focal point as part of a tableau of Christmas wall decorations.
When hanging a painting, professional decorators often recommend that the center of the picture be 57 to 60 inches from the floor. A similar guideline applies to wreaths but, as with picture hanging, you may need to make some adjustments to account for furnishings.
If you’re hanging the wreath over a couch or table, for instance, plan to leave at least 10 inches between the top of the furniture and the bottom of the wreath.
Fireplace or Mantel
Before buying a wreath to go over your fireplace, measure the width of your mantel. Mantelpieces tend to range from five to seven feet in length, but yours could be smaller or larger.
Some modern fireplaces have sleek chimneys with no mantel. In this case, measure the width of your chimney area.
Does a painting or photograph hang above your fireplace every month except December? Keep in mind that while mantel art tends to be quite large, mantel wreaths are somewhat smaller. A wreath that’s about half the diameter of your fireplace will provide a balanced look over the mantel.
If you’re switching out a painting for a wreath during the holidays, make things easy on yourself and hand the wreath using the same nail or hook.
As with a door wreath, your window wreath should be proportionate to the window. That means leaving at least four inches of open space from each side of the wreath to the window frame. For shorter windows, you may wish to adjust the size.
If you’re still unsure what size wreath to buy, try cutting out cardboard circles in different diameters and hanging them where you will display your wreath. This visual aid should be all you need to determine the right size wreath for your space.
How to Fluff Your New Artificial Wreath
Holiday wreaths (particularly evergreen wreaths) come tightly packaged and generally require “fluffing” to look their best.
To shape your wreath, place it on a flat surface. If you have a pre-lit wreath, plug it in and keep it lit while shaping it to ensure that you don’t obscure the lights or bunch them together.
One at a time, pull branches, upwards and outwards. Your wreath is three dimensional, so don’t forget to bring some branches straight up. Continue adjusting branches, working your way all around the wreath. Be patient; it takes some time to properly fluff a wreath for it to reach its maximum potential.
A Christmas wreath is one of the loveliest and most traditional holiday decorations you can display in your home. Determining the size and style you need can help cut down the guesswork so you can focus on selecting a wreath that coordinates with your home decor and expresses your true holiday spirit.
|Watch our YouTube video on wreath fluffing: