Looking for some unusual holiday wreath ideas? I have some great ones for you today. There are Japanese wreaths, paper wreaths, and wreaths featuring peacock feathers, peonies, cocktail umbrellas and balloons. (Thankfully, not all at the same time!) Most of these wreaths are easy to make. Some are elegant and some are just plain fun. All of them will add a unique touch to your holiday decor.
Above: This is a Japanese New Year wreath (shimekazari) made with twisted rice straw rope (shimenawa) and decorated with pine. Isn’t it beautiful? Unlike China, which celebrates lunar new year, Japan’s new year begins on January 1. To prepare, most Japanese do a huge house cleaning, traditionally in mid-December, to symbolically purify their homes. Once that’s completed, a shimekazari is hung over or on the front door to ward off evil and welcome good in the year to come. Shimekazari are usually decorated with symbols that represent New Year wishes. On this wreath, for example, the bitter orange (daidai) symbolizes the continuation of family generation after generation.
Above: Another beautiful rice straw wreath. This one hangs on the door of a young American military couple living in Japan. The fan, often used as a decoration on shimekazari, represents increasing family. It unfolds and spreads out as do one’s descendents. The fern represents long life. To read more about Japanese New Year preparations and symbolism, visit the excellent Tsuku Blog. Photo from TamiandKevin.
Above: This shimekazari, sold on Amazon Japan, is another lovely design. Any of the three I’ve shown provide ideas that could easily be adapted to make a Christmas or winter door decoration. Since rice straw isn’t available here, use a straw wreath form or hemp rope instead.
Above: This dried peony wreath used to be offered by Williams-Sonoma Home. It’s an old photo from my files and the wreath is no longer available. I’m including it here for inspiration anyway. Next year maybe you’ll be more ambitious than I’ll ever be and dry peonies from your garden (or buy them online) to make something similar. It would be a gorgeous addition to the peony-themed Christmas I suggested recently.
Above: How about a peacock wreath made with peacock feathers and feather boas? Directions for making it are at HGTV.
Above: Good Housekeeping calls this wreath Fan-tastic and I agree. Fans made from strips of tissue paper are glued together to make circles. The circles are then glued to a Styrofoam wreath form and craft-store pearls are added. The wreath is beautiful in this color combination but would be just as great in colors chosen to suit your own decor.
Above: Here’s another interesting and easy-to-make paper fan wreath. This one is made from scrapbooking paper, cut along the edge with decorative scissors. The instructions are at Scrapbooks Etc.
Above: This Asian wreath was created for a Christmas contest in Hawaii. The variety of printed papers used to make the fans makes this wreath a colorful standout. Photo from Mama on the Move.
Above: Constructing this interesting paper wreath only requires a piece of cardboard, a stapler and the paper of your choice. A detailed tutorial is available at The Red Thread.
Above: White folded paper stars glued to a wire frame give this Christmas wreath a crisp modern look. The instructions for making it are at Good Housekeeping.
Above: Another modern paper Christmas wreath, this one an origami wonder. Made by Stephen at Stephen’s Origami.
Above: What a clever use of paper cocktail umbrellas! Inexpensive and also easy to make. Just stick the parasols into a grapevine wreath. No adhesive required. Camilla at Family Chic made this wreath for Easter, but there’s no reason it couldn’t be used for Christmas. If you prefer a less tropical look, use fewer colors. And if you want to add a bow, leave some of the grapevine wreath uncovered to make space for it.
Above: This has to be one of the cutest wreaths I’ve ever seen. Don’t you just want to touch it? It’s made of balloons pinned to a straw wreath. Missy at How Does She? made it as a birthday wreath, but by choosing different color combinations you could make it suit any holiday or occasion. I’m definitely going to have to make a couple of these for Christmas gifts.
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