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Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
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Top Of The Best Wreaths Reviewed In 2018Last Updated January 1, 2019
№1 – Pumpkin Fall Harvest Country Wreath
№2 – Gianna Mixed Berry Autumn Fall Door Wreath
№3 – Northern Lights At Sunrise Eucalyptus Wreath 24 Inch
Here’s how it works
You ask people to “buy” a wreath that you’ll then donate to a worthy cause.
The profit you make from the sale goes to your fundraising group (and you get to set your own profit margins).
The wreath goes to your chosen cause — e.g. a family who couldn’t otherwise afford decorations, a local nursing home, a local children’s hospital, etc.
One inspiring example of this two-tier model was when a group of high school students from Eastern Oregon sold our wreaths to lay on the graves of fallen soldiers in honor of the anniversary of Pearl Harbor. In addition to supporting their ‘Wreaths for Remembrance’ project, the proceeds of the fundraiser also went toward sending the group, the school’s Euro Club, on an educational trip to Europe.
Wreath-giving fundrasier ideas
For your wreath-giving initiative, choose a cause that matters to you. For example, you could give wreaths to:
If you can, try to connect your wreath-giving cause to your group’s overarching mission and/or any specific issues affecting your local area. For example, if you’re a church youth group raising money for a humanitarian house-building project, the wreaths you sell could go to the families whose homes you built during the previous year. The more connected your wreath-giving cause is to your fundraising cause, the more engaging your fundraising story will be to potential supporters.
Full and Fat or Skinny Minnie
Who wants a garland that looks like a strangled pipe cleaner. Sparse and unkempt, a garland such as this should stay firmly in the loft with the pink and green tinsel from 1972. On the market now there are wreaths and garlands of all shapes and sizes to suit all budgets.
When opting for replica, it’s important to pay attention to the tip count when making your purchase. Tips are normally made of PVC and the more you have the fuller your wreath or garland will be.
Scraggly garlands and wilted wreaths be gone, there are new decorations in town.
Real or Replica
Both real and replica wreaths and garlands are readily available. Decorated with frosted tips, red berries, pinecones, lights and bows, the choices are endless.
Artificial wreaths and garlands are perhaps more reliable in the fact that you can determine their size before you buy. Garlands are made to a specific length with tips of varying number making decorating easy. Wreaths in comparison are available in a variety of widths with double and single sided options available.
Of course artificial options need preening once home to create a full sumptuous look, however a few moments spent reminiscent of a primate fluffing your new adornment can come as a welcome distraction to the Christmas chaos that many of us suffer.
Real wreaths and garlands of course have their place, adding the memory provoking aroma of Christmas. Many local florists and garden centres will begin to stock such decorations in early December. Spruce, Fir, Holly and Mistletoe garlands and wreaths are frequently used over the festive season and although won’t last as long as an artificial alternative, are a beautiful addition to any home or commercial setting.
Tips and Tricks for making the most of your Garland or Wreath
After deciding between real or replica, 8ft or 6ft, 2inches or 30 inches, it’s time to decorate… or not as the case may be.
A simple plain spruce garland framing your doorway can look as elegant and festive as a fully decorated counterpart. Ribbons, bows, baubles, lights and other floral decorations are commonly used to add interest to garlands and wreaths, the options really are endless.
Many popular styles incorporate small fairy lights, ideal for mantelpiece and stairway displays. Battery Operated fairy lights are particularly handy as they are discreet, running without the need for lots of cabling or a power socket.
Real and replica garlands are almost always secured with wire along the centre which makes for easy decorating. They can be bent and wound into almost any shape or design you require. Wreaths also have a couple of options, either single or double sided. Single sided are perfect for using against a wall or flat surface whereas double sided alternatives look fab in windows.
Why we love it
Our most glamorous wreath yet, it’s made from a selection of genuine branches, some of which have been hand-beaded or flecked with snow-white buds. To enhance this frosted look, battery-powered lights are dotted in between the branches, which add lots of warmth and sparkle. We love hanging it inside on doors to welcome guests into the dining room or placing it above the mantelpiece in the living room. Team with our matching Beaded Garland for a beautifully considered look.
W180 x L200
Bespoke options can be made to order, direct from the supplier – please ask in our shops. The supplier will deliver within 4-weeks.
Air your mattres for hours after delivery to remove any aroma from storage. The mattress should be aired on a weekly basis by turning back the bedlinen for a few hours.
Avoid using a plastic sheet on or under the mattress as this prevents air circulation and can cause condensation. We sell breathable waterproof mattress protectors.
To get the best out of your chosen mattress try a mattress protector. They’re available in anti-allergy or waterproof styles, and are machine-washable.
Mattress toppers add a luxurious extra layer to your mattress. They provide extra support and comfort and will generally provide a cosier feel to your bed. Available in all UK standard sizes with a choice of materials: goose feather and down, siliconised polyester or quilted cotton-rich fibres.
Essentials: a wreath frame (this wire one is from Spotlight) and a hot glue gun.
Heroes: Adam used foraged shells and baby pineapples from a local florist.
Fillers: frangipani flowers, pink flowering gum, feathers and whitewashed stars.
You’ll need two substantial decorative elements as the base of your wreath. Distribute these slightly unevenly for the best aesthetic – somewhere between a third and a half of the circle. The shells and pineapples will easily last for a few weeks, but replace the flowers as necessary to keep things fresh.
Choosing a Front Door Wreath
A front door wreath puts the finishing touches on a home. A wreath hanging in the front entry way helps give your home curb appeal. Whether you are decorating for the holidays or for the different seasons a decorative wreath hung on the front door will make your guests feel welcome.
Silk, artificial natural twig and grapevine wreaths are the longest lasting.
Silk and artificial flowers will fade over time especially in the direct sunlight, but generally they will give you the most bang for your buck. If used seasonally you will perhaps get a few years out of them.
So choosing a decorative front door wreath isn’t that difficult. The wreath should be 2/of the upper half of your door usually 22″ – 24″ that is not to say you can’t use an 18″ – 20″ either it really comes down to preference. The color will be either contrasting or complimenting. The style will be a prelude to your homes interior decor. The type of material that it is made of depends on what you are looking for in your front door wreath.
After spending over 60 hours researching Christmas lights, interviewing experts, and testing 20 strands of lights side by side, we’ve found that GE’s Energy Smart Colorite LED Miniature Lights (available in multicolor strands of 50 bulbs or 100 bulbs and in warm white strands of 50 bulbs or 100 bulbs) are the best all-around indoor Christmas lights. This is the third year we’ve named these GE lights as our pick, and we can’t find any lights that match their color quality and their ready availability at Home Depot.
We’re working on an update for the holiday season, and we plan to add our thoughts on smartphone-app light sets such as Home Depot’s AppLights. For now, we’re confident that our current picks, all of which are currently in stock, remain the best lights for most people.
How we picked and tested
We concentrated our research and testing strictly on nonblinking miniature lights, the traditional, small, stranded Christmas lights with a clear or semiclear bulb and a candle shape.
An article at DIY Network says that even though larger bulbs are growing in popularity, “mini lights have been by far the most popular during the past decade.” They’re the standard, and we wanted to focus on the lights that most people will be using, rather than those with a lesser following. Still, we do have some thoughts on the larger-bulb lights, and on other bulb sizes that didn’t make the cut. During our research, we also found that blinking lights are a very small minority of available lights, so we stayed with the type that remains lit at all times.
Once we dug into our options, we soon realized that our recommended lights would be fully rectified LEDs and not traditional incandescents. As Northern Seasonal’s Ben Orr, the lighting installer, told us, “LED lights allow you to do more with less.” They’re more durable, they’re safer, and you can connect together a much higher number of strands without any risk of tripping a breaker or a GFCI outlet. They also just plain ol’ last longer and use a fraction of the electricity that incandescents use.
In an article on the Christmas Designers website, Jason Woodward writes that “the benefits offered by LEDs are almost as significant as the benefits that incandescents provided over candles.” There’s no question that LEDs cost more than incandescents (they’re at least twice the price), but we believe that the long-term benefits are worth that added cost.
Some LEDs are better than others, however. All LED Christmas lights blink on and off many times per second, like a fluorescent light. The ones that are fully rectified, or full-wave, light up at a rate of 120 times per second, which is faster than the eye can detect. Lights that are known as half-wave, sometimes called non-rectified, blink 60 times per second, which can create a dizzying flickering effect. Orr told us that when a non-rectified strand is moving, the flickering becomes more apparent, and we confirmed this effect during our testing: Just by giving a non-rectified strand a slight jiggle, we made the lights take on a strobe effect that was very unpleasant to look at. In our tests, even when they were not moving, those lights seemed to have a harshness, an electronic feel, that the rectified lights didn’t have.
For outdoor lights, our experts directed us toward a specific style of LED, 5-millimeter wide-angle conicals. The bulbs on these lights are stubby and don’t have the homespun look of the small glass candle found on other mini lights. They are much brighter than regular mini lights (both LED and incandescent), and the unique shape of the bulb adds depth and complexity to the lights’ appearance. As Orr told us, this shape allows the strand to “refract the light and create a cool look depending on the angle of view. It appears that some are brighter than others and it adds contrast.” Orr, who specializes in exterior displays, added that mm wide-angle lights are generally his favorite light. And Christmas Designers, in a video dedicated to the bulbs, says these lights are “by far the most popular set we sell.”
But as with regular LED bulbs, the color of the light is a concern. We figure that if you’re reading this guide, you’re probably interested in replacing an old set of incandescent lights—but even if you want something more efficient and durable, you don’t want to give up the traditional lights’ familiar warm glow. Unfortunately, that is a big issue with LEDs.
Both Orr and Woodward warned us that LEDs simply do not look like incandescents. Due to improvements in the technology, many companies manufacture a “warm white” color that, depending on the quality of the LED, can closely mimic, but not fully achieve, the pinpoint sparkle of an incandescent. Orr stressed that “LED technology varies throughout the industry, and a warm white from one supplier can vary in hues and color drastically from another.” He even suggested buying strands from a few different manufacturers to compare them and see which hue you like best before making a large purchase. Once you find something you like, he said, buy from only that manufacturer. Our testing confirmed that there is a tremendous variety in LED color hues, from the fantastic to the terrible.
We dismissed companies that had overall poor reviews (Holiday Time), strange or incomplete bulb selections (EcoSmart), or suspiciously low pricing (Home Accents). Other companies, like Hometown Evolution, AGPtek, and Deneve, fall more into general exterior decor and don’t have a very good selection of Christmas lights. AGPtek, in particular, deals only in solar-powered or battery lights, which are more of a specialty item, and we wanted to concentrate on general tree and exterior lighting.
Our original testing consisted of 1sets, including colored and white mini lights, both LED and incandescent. We also tested a number of mm wide-angle conical LEDs, since our experts recommended them for exterior use. Then, in 2015, we looked at two new sets from Christmas Designers, the TSmooth LED Lights in both warm white and multicolor.
Ready to begin testing.
To evaluate the lights, we wound and unwound them, draped them over and into Christmas trees and rhododendrons, and tucked them in and out of deck railings. Basically, we tried to use the lights how they’re intended to be used. We tested the weather impermeability of the exterior lights by plugging them in and sinking the strands of lights into a 3-gallon bucket of water. While this test was a bit extreme, it’s certainly possible that any set of exterior lights will end up in a puddle or draped in a gutter.
Overall, we found that the wire quality has a lot to do with the success of a strand of lights. Some of the tested lights had tidy, close-knit strands of wire, while others were loose and messy. Some wires needed untwisting before use, like an old phone cord, and still others continued to accordion back on themselves no matter how we tried to stretch them out and lay them flat.
We also assessed each strand for color quality, using the incandescent strands as a benchmark, with the input of Susan Moriarty, executive creative director and founder of The Soapbox Studio. She’s a die-hard fan of the warmth that incandescent Christmas lights emit, so we asked her to compare the classics against new LEDs. Even though Moriarty did her evaluations in a blind fashion, she consistently chose along brand lines, a result that backed up Orr’s suggestion to select a single manufacturer and stick with it.
Long-term test notes
After two seasons of having the GE Energy Smart Colorite LED Miniature Lights on my tree, I have no complaints. Just recently (fall 2016) I took them out of storage for the holidays, and all of the bulbs work fine. I’ve noticed that the wire stranding has loosened a little, but the lights are still fairly well organized, and I don’t foresee any issues with putting them around a tree.
GKI/Bethlehem’s LEDs are nice lights, but we found that their color and wire quality didn’t match that of the GE or Christmas Designers lights.
The multicolor LED lights sold by Noma (known as Holiday Wonderland in the US) had a nice hue in our tests, but they’re non-rectified, so they have the potential for flicker—and if you merely jiggle them, they produce a dizzying strobe effect.
We also tested Noma’s mm wide-angle multicolored LEDs. Like the other Noma lights, this set is non-rectified. And because these lights employ a two-piece bulb and socket design, there is a chance of water infiltration, making them less than ideal for exterior applications.
GKI/Bethlehem’s wide-angle LEDs had a tidy wire but lacked the color quality of the wide-angle LEDs from the specialty stores. The whites had a far whiter hue. Even though this strand is sold as a warm white, in our tests The Soapbox Studio’s Susan Moriarty didn’t see a whole lot of warmth to it.
Wide-angle conical lights from Christmas Designers (top) and Christmas Light Source (bottom). Notice what a disaster the wiring is on the CLS lights. The best of the tested lights had nice, organized wires like the ones from Christmas Designers.
The wide-angle LEDs from Christmas Light Source had the most frustrating wire of all the lights we tested. Each bulb needed twisting and turning for the strand to lie flat, and even then it kept trying to spring back to how it was. The individual wires were loose from one another and had uneven loops. It was a nightmare to feed them through a tight spot like a railing or even between two branches.
The Brite Star clear incandescents we tested were very nice, and in light quality they were on a par with the strands from Christmas Designers and GE. We didn’t make them a recommendation because they have a 2½-inch spacing, which seems a little tight for most people. As we mention above, inches is the standard.
While the Brite Star incandescents were a success in our tests, the company’s LED Mini Ice Lights were a total failure. Everything bad about LEDs was on display with these lights. When we plugged them in, the result was like having 50 small computer screens lit up on a wire strand. It was just awful. They’re non-rectified, and the effect is not a positive one. The light that these LEDs emit is about as natural as the ingredients list on a Twinkie.
Cluster lights offer a unique and hazy look, but because they have so many bulbs per strand, they quickly get expensive.
In 2016, we tested two different styles of cluster lights. Such strands, which have been popular in Europe for years, have much smaller bulbs (either mm or mm conicals) and a vastly higher bulb density—a 10-foot strand has almost 450 bulbs on it, in contrast to traditional mini lights, which might have only 50 bulbs on a 16-foot strand. With regular mini lights, the bulb is attached to the main wire, but on a cluster strand, the bulb sits on the end of a 2½-inch extension coming off the main wire. The spacing on these extensions can be as little as ⅛ inch. On a tree, cluster lights offer a hazy, almost fairy-tale effect.
We found them available in two styles: straight strands and tree ready. The straight strands are self-explanatory, but the tree style is a little more complicated. This design—consisting of a central (non-lit) wire with a series of cluster strands coming off it, each one longer than the last—allows you to hang the main line vertically from the top of the tree (with the shortest cluster at the top) and then unravel each cluster around the tree. Lighting a tree this way takes hardly any time at all (this video shows the process). The lights are available for either 6-foot or 6.75-foot trees in warm or cool white.
If you are interested in cluster lights, we recommend sticking with a trusted retailer due to the variances we’ve seen with LED light quality. The ones we tested were from Christmas Designers, and these bulbs have the same warm incandescent-like look as the company’s other LED products.
Measuring a standard door or double doors for garland.
Measuring a staircase banister or mantel to swag garland.
Measuring a staircase banister or mantle to swag garland.
To swag garland down a staircase banister or across the mantel, use the same strategy as above. Measure the LENGTH of the banister or the WIDTH of the mantel, then calculate one-and-a-half times that dimension. Example: 6-ft. W mantel x 1.= feet of garland
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Wreaths wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Wreaths
- №1 — Pumpkin Fall Harvest Country Wreath
- №2 — Gianna Mixed Berry Autumn Fall Door Wreath
- №3 — Northern Lights At Sunrise Eucalyptus Wreath 24 Inch