Although decorative wreaths are most commonly associated with end-of-year holidays, any occasion can be the perfect time to add the whimsical circular art to a home or business.

Whether used as a table centerpiece, or hung to accent a door, entry way or staircase banister, a wreath can add elegance and color to any space, not to mention sparkle and shine.

Valerie Karas and Curt Van Geison are figuring that out, one project at a time. The two met by chance at a local gym last year and began crafting wreaths after Van Geison happened upon several photos in a magazine.

Van Geison, a retired communications professor, said they began collaborating days after he showed her the magazine pages.

“We basically dove into this venture thinking ‘Yes, we can do this,” he said.

Karas, former owner of the Indian River Potters Guild in the Eau Gallie Arts District, said she has always had a desire to make art, and even has dabbled in jewelry making. “We began making holiday-themed wreaths last season, with the intention of sharing them with friends and family,” she said.

They use a variety of materials, including glass and shiny bulb ornaments that are glued to a straw wreath base (in several sizes), all of which can be purchased in hobby stores, on E-bay or even thrift and Goodwill outlets. Then, tinsel is added to the back to create a sparkly, festive look.

Furthering on the theme and moving into more design options, the wreaths can be customized “to include specific color schemes and décor, by integrating everything from seashells to exotic and rare vintage ornaments, pinecones, artificial floral picks, and more, she said.

“From nursery themes to poker chip and NFL, NBA, MLB and other sports-oriented wreaths,” Karas acknowledged that possibilities are endless. She said she enjoys playing with color when designing the wreaths, noting “It’s important to keep the ornament shapes and different color shades coordinated.”

“We have been able to learn a lot since we started doing this,” said Van Geison. “It’s about a lot of trial and, sometimes, error, but our instincts thus far together have worked.”

Though the project started as a way to nurture their creativity, now the decorating duo are offering wreaths for purchase, with prices starting at $150. Custom orders are welcome. For more information, email