Wreath Making – How to Choose Colors


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Wreath making - how to choose colors by www.southerncharmwreaths

“How do I know what colors to use in my wreaths”? This is one question I get asked a lot and you know what, I’ve never really thought about it.  Listen, I’m no expert on color or interior design by any means. Seriously, I typically find a ribbon I like with a pretty pattern already on it and I design my wreath to match or coordinate with the colors in the ribbon. This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

How to make a wreath - Choosing Colors

Or I might find a beautiful sign that I want to incorporate into my wreath, then I choose colors from the sign and use ribbons and flowers to match them.

Wreath Making - How to Choose Colors

I’ve also been known to find a color combination from a piece of fabric or an interior designer’s picture that I’ve seen on Instagram. For example, this rose print upholstery fabric can be found here.

Wreath Making - How to Choose Colors

As you can see, inspiration for the color of my wreaths comes from many places.

Another good place to find the color trend for the upcoming season is to look in a home or lifestyle magazine. Or simply do a search for “home decor color trends” on Google or Pinterest. For example, I found this site http://www.lushome.com/12-modern-interior-colors-decorating-color-trends-2016/163975 and with every picture I scroll through, I can imagine in my head the colors I would use and the flowers I would select to play off the wall colors and fabric. But also keep in mind that most people do not have designer homes. They are like you and me, just needing a little pop of color for a wall or a fresh, new and fun wreath for the entryway.

While there are no set rules for choosing colors for your wreaths, it does help for a beginner to have a little knowledge of what colors look good together. While I personally don’t give it much thought on where the colors are placed on the color wheel, I do like them to coordinate and blend well with each other. So occasionally I might pick up my color wheel to see where a color may fall and what might look good with it. You can purchase a color wheel like mine here.

Wreath Making -How to Choose Color

Let’s quickly go through the color swatches as seen in the color wheel above:

Wreath Making - How to Choose Colors

Primary Colors
Okay, so on the color wheel, let’s start with the primary colors. We all learned the three primary colors in elementary school (red, blue and yellow). These three colors are pure, meaning they are the only colors that cannot be created by mixing any other colors together. These colors are cheery and not overwhelming. You don’t need to use all three either, choose any one, two or focus primarily on two primary colors and add a touch of the third. As you can see to the right, using just primary colors in your wreath will produce a vibrant and eye catching creation. Wreaths made in this color scheme would be good for elementary school teachers, birthday parties, etc.

 

Wreak Making - How To Choose Colors

Secondary Colors
When you mix primary colors together, you get the secondary colors such as purple, orange and green. These colors are just as cheerful as the primary colors. When making a wreath using secondary colors, it’s not necessary to choose them all, you can mix them using a color relationship (more about relationships below) or in their hues.  For example the wreath to the left is made of hues of green and purple.

 

 

 

What colors to use in wreaths

Tertiary Colors
The tertiary colors are created by mixing a primary color with a secondary color. Or as we fancy people like to call “lime green”, “burnt orange” or “aqua” but to keep things straight, color theory refers to them by the two colors that make them up with the primary color going first. They are yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-purple, red-purple, and red-orange. As you can see in the wreath to the right, these colors also make beautiful wreaths.

 

 

Color Relationships

Color relationships are set methods of choosing colors that connect in some way to each other. Some of the color relationships I use the most are monochrome, analogous, complementary, triad, tetrad and neutral. I’m no color guru but I will attempt to explain them one by one and how they might look in a wreath. When you choose one of these color relationships for your wreath design, you know you can’t go wrong.

 

Wreaths - How to pick your colors

Monochrome is the simplest color relationship because it uses just one color but in different shades. This is my favorite color relationship because it is clean, simple and easy to use in a wreath. This relationship can be used when you want your wreath to feel cohesive. I could make monochromatic wreaths every day because they produce such a dramatic wreath full of depth! Try this color relationship when making Valentine’s Day Wreaths, St. Patrick’s Day Wreaths or those holidays when one color is very popular.

 

Wreath Making How to Choose Colors

The Analogous relationship uses two or more colors that sit next to each other on the color wheel. Because they are next to each other, using them will give your wreath a sense of blended harmony. This is another easy color relationship to master when making a wreath. Also, a very easy one to shop for since the ribbon supplies in craft stores tend to be set up with this color relationship in mind.

 

Wreath Making - How to pick colors

A variation on an analogous relationship is split-analogous, which would still use two or more colors, but you’d choose every other color on the color wheel (assuming your color wheel has 12 swatches). So, a split-analogous example would be blue-green/blue-purple/red-purple, red/orange/yellow, blue/purple/red, etc.

 

How to choose colors for wreaths

Complementary relationships are done in pairs sitting directly opposite each other on the color wheel; pairing a cool color with a warm color. These colors naturally play off of each other enhancing each other making each color look more vibrant. This is another easy color relationship to master when making a wreath. However, depending on the color selections, I sometimes feel that using only two colors can make a wreath look flat or lifeless. To get around this, you could always add in varying hues of one of the colors as seen above with the purple and lavender or try adding in some white or a touch of black. More about using black below.

 

Wreaths - How to pick your colors

This relationship uses three colors by choosing every fourth color on the color wheel; thereby creating a triangle. Using this color relationship always produces a rich and very colorful wreath.

 

Wreath making - how to choose colorsThe tetrad relationship uses four colors that are chosen from every third color on the color wheel. Like the triad relationship, the name tetrad comes from the shape made between the colors. Choose this color relationship when you want a more complex colored wreath. This is by far the hardest color relationship to use, for me anyway. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever used it. But I was determined to create a wreath using this relationship for this post in hopes of giving you an idea.  I was very surprised by the outcome. I was expecting it to look too busy but it doesn’t. I think the trick to using this color relationship in a wreath is to find the right hues. As you can see in my wreath above, instead of deep purple, its more lavender and instead of bright yellow, it’s a butter yellow.

 

Wreath Making - How to choose wreath colors

The neutral relationship uses variations of black and white and can be very dramatic in a wreath. Some people may refer to neutrals as hues of browns, like taupe, but really that is a color. True neutrals have no hues and therefore no color. If you want to add richness and more depth to a black and white wreath, try blending it with the monochromatic relationship mentioned above and accenting it with hues of one color. For example, a black and white wreath with hues of red. Also I find that adding a little metallic such as gold or silver to a black and white wreath produces a luxurious wreath ready for any formal decorating such as New Year’s, anniversaries, etc.

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What colors to use for wreaths

In addition to the above color relationships, there is always the random method of picking colors and using those. These random combinations typically are picked from a focal piece I’m using in the wreath (the rabbit) and have no direct relationship with other colors. It can be scary choosing random colors but if you can already visualize it on a focal piece, then you can get a sense for how the colors will look on a finished wreath.

Additionally, I like to consider my wreath base as my canvas before starting my wreath design. Will it be a nude base like a cream, burlap or jute color to really make the colors of my ribbons and flowers pop or will the base be one of my chosen colors, giving the wreath a sense of unity? The base on a deco mesh wreath would be the deco mesh and with a silk flower wreath, typically the greenery.

Also keep in mind that when you select a focal point for your wreath (a sign, grouping of flowers, a large bow etc.), you want the item to be visible. I mean it is the “focal” point so you don’t want the eye to have to search for it. This seems to be a big problem for many and occasionally myself. I want my base and other items to enhance and blend with the focal point but not camouflage it. And since the focal point tends to be the most expensive items in my wreaths, I definitely want it to be seen!

In hindsight, I guess God placed a little “color sense” into my repertoire of talents because frankly, choosing color for my wreaths hasn’t been a hurdle. Or maybe I just don’t over think it? I know when starting out, there tends to be a lot of thinking, studying, researching and then the procrastination. No, for me it’s more like I know the color I want to use but I have to search through my MASSIVE SUPPLY of RIBBONS to find what I need! To see what I mean, take a peek inside my wreath shop using link below.

Organizing Tips for your Wreath Craft Space

I hope this blog post on color sparks some ideas for you when choosing colors for your next wreath creation. What color relationship do you tend to use the most? Was this article useful to you? I would love to know how you pick colors when making your wreaths. Comment below and tell me.

Julie

Happy Wreathing!

PS – Hey, I forgot the tip about using black!  Did you know that adding a little black immediately gives your wreath a whimsical and modern look? Try it out on your next wreath. Substitute one ribbon for a black and white polka dot or a black and white striped print. How neat is that?

If you liked this post, you might also like:

Yearly Wreath Making Calendar

Use a Staple Gun to Attach Signs to Wreaths

Transfer Print onto Chalkboard Ribbon

 

 Learn How to Make a Deco Mesh Wreath here

How to Make Deco Mesh Wreaths

 

 

38 Comments

  1. Lisa on February 26, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU SO MUCH JULIE! I actually stopped making wreaths for 2 weeks because of this color dilemma I was having with color. Having seen this, it makes more sense to me now. This is a great way of thinking of ways to choose colors of ribbon and mesh and more. Again Thanks so much!!!!

  2. trudy molero on February 26, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    You are so kind to help us strive to b better designers. I always look forward to your posts and hv learned so much from them as well as your tutorials amd ebooks. Thank u so much. Gods blessings on u always

  3. Kathy on February 26, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    Oh my gosh, you will ever know how much this helps me. I have a color dilemma and stopped making wreaths over the winter. I never felt sure enough of my color combinations. This will help greatly. THANKS

    • Julie Siomacco on February 26, 2016 at 2:47 pm

      Yay, so happy this will help you get back to wreath making!

  4. Estela Patterson on February 26, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    Absolutely excellent and useful info! Thank you so much!

  5. Lisa Rhoades on February 26, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    Thanks for the information! I do struggle with color patterns, textures and such!

  6. Kathy on February 26, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    Thank you for sharing, Julie! You are so generous with your time and expertise. I know many of us truly appreciate it. 🙂

  7. Mary Jo Kieschnick on February 26, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    This is perfect! I struggle with color and what looks good! Thank you! Thank you!!

  8. Carol Davis on February 26, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    Thank you so much Julie! This is wonderfull information!

  9. Carol Boes on February 26, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    This will be so helpful. I tend to gravitate to the same color combos and this is going to expand my choices considerably. You are SO spot on when you said when starting out we spend time “thinking, studying, researching and then procrastinating”! It’s like there is so much to choose I don’t know where to start. Thank you for giving sense and structure to choosing color! You’re the best!

  10. Bobbi on February 26, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    Thank you Julie !!:))
    It is TRULY AMAZING how you manage to find the TIME to help “others” !!
    I KNOW it didn’t take just 5 minutes to “put THAT together” !! :))
    Happy Wreathing !!LOL..
    LOVE getting “literature” from you !! :))

    • Julie Siomacco on February 27, 2016 at 2:05 pm

      Oh no, it took about two weeks. Thank you Bobbi, feel free to share it.

  11. Dorothy on February 27, 2016 at 10:29 am

    Thanks so much for your sharing on color combinations. It will be a tremendous
    help. God Bless you

  12. Diane Evans on February 27, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    Thank you, Julie — I agree with Bobbi: You really put a great deal of time and expertise into this post, and it’s incredibly helpful. I learned things I didn’t know before, and all of this color theory can be applied to making art quilts, which I love to do, too. I so appreciate your sharing your vast knowledge with all of us.

    Diane

    • Julie Siomacco on February 27, 2016 at 2:04 pm

      Awesome, Thank you for commenting. I’m glad it will help you.

      It took me about two weeks to do because I had to work on in a little at a time in between my wreath orders and then I would doubt myself. LOL Is this going to be useful info? Hahaha, isn’t it funny how we do that to ourselves. Finally, I decided, I had spent so much time and effort over the past two weeks, I would post it and if it was flop so be it, at least I completed it.

      But yes, this information can be used for any crafts or home decor.

  13. Sherry McCollum on February 27, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    Hi Julie

    Thanks for this color information. It is something I also struggle with sometimes and having the basics to refer to will certainly help. Now I have another question. The examples of color you gave in this article are some really pretty wreaths. Do you have an offer of selling patterns or recipes to the wreaths you featured here? I would be interested in purchasing the patterns or recipes if you have.

    • Julie Siomacco on February 27, 2016 at 2:00 pm

      Hey Sherry, would you want just a pdf or a video of the recipes? Which ones are you interested in?

  14. Carol on February 27, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Julie,
    My greatest time-waster is trying to decide which ribbons to use. This is going to be so helpful, because I lack confidence in putting colors together. Your generosity in doing this for us is so appreciated, and you will always be my inspiration.

  15. nancy on February 28, 2016 at 9:24 am

    Wow Julie you never cease to amaze us !!! All ways trying to inspire and bring out our inner creative talents
    So many would not ever want to share their tricks of the trade or their knowledge.i am helping planning a wedding , simple ,small in the summer and your advise will be something I will constantly refer back too as usual .when I’m stuck and frustrated I immediately go back to your site.You are truly inspiring and I just simply think you are probably one of the top designers we will ever cross paths with. You are so humble and gracious and we are all so happy to have you as a friend and mentor,

    Nancy. east coast Nova Scotia Canada

    • Julie Siomacco on February 28, 2016 at 4:35 pm

      Awe, thank you Nancy. I’m blessed to have you too.

  16. Lisa on February 28, 2016 at 11:15 am

    Julie,

    This is my biggest challenge. Thank you so much for this information and your time to create it. Now, if I can make it work for me! lol

  17. Nancy on February 29, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    Dear Julie,
    This was so helpful. I also oil paint and so I’ve used the color wheel, but seeing how U made wreaths to go with the various color examples was excellent! U have become one of my virtual mentors (I have about 6) because you know what you’re talking about and I admire your gift. Thank you, Julie! Well done!

  18. Saundra Youngblood on March 14, 2016 at 11:40 am

    Julie,
    I have made floral wreaths for years, and still at times coloring has been a challenge for me. Thank you for so graciously sharing your talent and exceptional eye for color. The article is a great help and is fabulously written in detail. Its just FAB!! Thanks again…

    • Julie Siomacco on March 14, 2016 at 4:56 pm

      So glad you liked it Saundra! Thank you so much for the feedback!!

  19. Kate Frugoli on March 14, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    Thanks for the great advice. I’ve only been making wreaths since Christmas, so I can certainly use the assistance. I’ve been okay with choosing my colors so far, but as I’ve only done Christmas, Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day it really hasn’t been much of a challenge. I’m like you though when it comes to which ribbons to use, that’s where I really procrastinate and change my mind ten times.ive also struggled with having my focal point standout like I want them to, so your counsel is appreciated. It’s extremely nice of you to share your expertise.

  20. pamela y creadick on July 22, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    Wow one of the best pinterest pins!!!!!!! Helpful and concise, good formatting, THANKS

  21. Joyce H. Davis on January 12, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    I absolutely love this article. I am at the present time sitting here and looking at a wreath I started using a two tone mesh, hot pink and orange. I had no idea what colors to add to this wreath to make it “pop,” but now I do. Now, to find my own color wheel to have in hand when shopping for wreath supplies.

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