Understanding the Difference between a Wreath and a Wreath Rail


We all love mesh and ribbon and figuring out fun ways to use them is the best! Today I’m explaining the difference between a wreath and a wreath rail so you’ll be able to decide which project is best for which occasion.

In some ways there isn’t much difference between a wreath rail and a wreath. They both look amazing with deco mesh and ribbon tails. They both can be customized for any season or style. And they both make fabulous door decor. But, there are differences between the two that make them each wonderfully unique.

Difference between a Wreath and a Wreath Rail

I cut my door decor teeth on wreaths and I will always love making them! They are classic door decorations and so many people enjoy making and displaying them. The design options are nearly endless and each crafter seems to have their own unique style.

Even before you get started making a wreath there are several options. Choosing your wreath base determines the end result of your wreath. Most of you know that I’m a huge fan of deco mesh. That means that I usually go start with a wreath form. A wreath form is a wreath shaped metal frame that has pipe cleaners attached to it so you can attach your mesh. If you like a more natural wreath though you can go with an evergreen or grapevine wreath base and get beautiful results.

After you’ve chosen your wreath base you can add anything and everything you want to make it pretty and special. Ribbons, flowers, greenery, bling...you name it and you can add it to a wreath! Any holiday, interest, and occasion can be commemorated with a wreath!

What makes a Wreath Rail Different?

With a wreath rail, you still get an enormous amount of design options! But there is something extra special about a wreath rail. Depending on how you use it you can make several totally unique shapes of door hangers. With a wreath you only have the round or oval option. With rails you can do a bunch of different things! Lay it horizontally and add a wood cutout to it for an adorable door hanger. Stand it vertically and make a fabulous swag. Lay it flat and attach a wood cutout to make a centerpiece. Or use it vertically and attach wood cutouts to the top and bottom and use the rail as the “body” of characters (think of an elf hat at the top and boots at the bottom). You can see how many fun options you have!

Another great thing about wreath rails is that there are so many different wood cutouts that you can add to them. We have a zillion to choose from on our website (that may be a slightly exaggerated estimate but you get the idea!) You can find cutouts for all holidays, most occasions, and lots of different interests! That means that if you sell your creations, wreath rails allow you to offer so many unique items to your customers. Door decor isn’t just for the holidays, think of how fun it would be to gift a monster truck or planet wreath rail to that special kid (or adult!) in your life to decorate their own door!

What are these Wood Cutouts you Speak of?

I could talk for days about how awesome wood cutouts are! I have a whole post about what they are and how to use them (you should check it out!) but basically they are shapes, figures, or worded signs that are cut out of wood. They can be painted and added to wreaths or wreath rails. The great part about using them with wreath rails is that the cutout is really the star of the show with a rail. If you have a sign or wood cutout that you love, attaching it to a rail instead of a wreath will really let it shine.

How to Decorate a Wreath Rail...

Once you’ve decided how to use your rail, the fun really begins! Adding all the pretty things is my favorite part! Just like with wreaths you can add anything you like to a wreath rail to dress it up. The rail is the wooden base for your creation just like a wreath form or grapevine would be the base for your wreath.

What I do is add pipe cleaners along the wreath rail and then use those to attach my deco mesh, ribbon tails, and (of course!) tubing. That design style isn’t your only option though! Do you love greenery? You can add that to the rail instead of mesh and let that be your base. Love the look of an ornament wreath? Grab your hot glue gun and get to gluing, a wreath rail makes the perfect base for that as well. Flowers, fun picks, and bling are all invited to the party too!

Not sure about how to get started? No problem! I have a ton of tutorials that show you how to decorate wreath rails. Chances are that whatever holiday or season you are looking for will have a tutorial to go along with it. And, whenever we add a new item to our shop you can catch me doing a Facebook Live showing you how to paint it and turn it into a wreath rail!

In Closing...

Wreaths and wreath rails are just like my children, I love them both for different reasons and would never be able to choose a favorite. They both offer opportunities for us to let our creativity fly and make beautiful things. They just offer slightly different opportunities and that adds to the fun.

Whether you’re just getting started with door decor or have been at it awhile like me, you can spice up your design game by using both. If you’re a maker who sells your items, having different options available in your shop can be a huge win for you. And, as always, I’m here to help!

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