Baubles, bangles & beads, oh my!

It’s that time of year, when everything glistens and glimmers with colourful accents and ornamentation as flashy flamboyance abounds in showy displays full of brightly lit merriment and cheer. Welcome to Christmas décor!

This Christmas, I’m creating a wreath by combining Christmas baubles with up-cycled baubles, bangles and beads from my lustrous, bejewelled past. It’s a decorating ‘mash-up’ christened as “Eco-Eclectic-Chic!” where dysfunctional style meets eco-chic in an eclectic yet tasteful way.


Conventional vintage jewel wreaths usually flaunt flea market and garage sale costume jewels on burlap covered foam or hay rings. Gaudy ball wreaths present bright round Christmas ornaments randomly glued in position.

I decided to combine these two traditional approaches to eco-centric décor by going fashion forward with an eye to the past, in a throwback “Like a Virgin” Madonna flashy-glam kind of way! After all, nothing says “super gaudy” better than the 80s!

Surprisingly, in my early 20s, I wore a lot of costume jewellery and would mix my grandmother’s vintage pieces with my personal style. For nearly 25 years, I’ve saved this collection, and, as it’s spread out on the table, I realize it affords me several colour palettes to choose from.

Instead of using traditional round Christmas ornaments in various sizes, I chose to go spheroid, re-purposing an awesome robin’s egg wreath found for $1 at a garage sale this summer. The 3-dimensional spheres in the egg shapes would provide depth to my soon-to-be-made timeless classic. Once I spray painted it a uniform gold, it invited you to gaze into its baroque layers.

Using a palette of gold, green and black as my only attempt at creating symmetry, I began to bling out by affixing jewelled baubles using a hot glue gun, also removing backs of earrings and brooches with needle-nose pliers and allowing them to dangle at various elevations.


The concentration of clocks could be interpreted as my philosophical approach to the closing of the year, and my creative representation of Father Time encapsulated as a symbol of this period in my life. But, alas, it comes from the fact that I used to wear three watches at a time with their bands interwoven on my wrist. This set of black-banded watches, with brooch and ring, seem destined to be keepsakes that will always remain. Too bad my gold pocket watch on a chunky gold chain wasn’t saved; it would have looked awesome!

I have no aversion to mixing metals with jewels and baubles, as in places I added pearls, rhinestones and silver to the mix, plus a gypsy hip belt replaced the original idea of a black bow.

And just like our Styler Janet Hurley’s peacock-themed fireplace, when you think “That’s it, no more…” that’s when you keep adding!

Our approach to Christmas decorating this year at Enrich was an exercise in indulgence and opulence. That’s exactly what the 80s were all about for me. Though loud and somewhat overblown, they were fun, and those memories are conjured up when I look at my tastefully gaudy wreath, which is now a “timely” classic and future holiday tradition.