Make a beautiful, festive wreath to decorate your front door or garden gate this holiday season! This is a fun and easy project that uses supplies from your own yard to create a unique, personalized holiday wreath.
Step 1: Framing
A nicely shaped wreath requires a solid frame to keep gravity from stretching it out. The size of your frame will depend on how big you want the final wreath to be. Err on the size of too-small when deciding on the frame diameter, because your greenery will extend several inches beyond that. A good rule of thumb is to choose a diameter 12” smaller than the final width of your wreath, although this will vary based on what materials you use and your sense of style when arranging them on the wreath. There are numerous options for framing your wreath:
- Ready to use wire wreath frames, available at craft stores
- Thin branches or grapevines. These have the advantage of being free, but make sure you choose supple branches so you can bend them in the shape you need. Lash or wire them together firmly so they don’t unravel once hung.
- Wire coat hangers. Upcycle and clean your closet at the same time! Most hangers are not strong enough on their own to support the weight of the wreath, so secure two hangers together with floral wire or electrical tape and then bend into a circle.
- Branch out of the traditional circle: try a garland, swag or evergreen bouquet! Some designs require no frame, or you can use your imagination for unique holders or vases.
Step 2: Assemble Your Supplies
Before you start building your wreath, make sure you have all the supplies you’ll need at hand.
- Pruners, snips and floral shears. You might need multiple sizes to cut both bigger branches and smaller accent greenery.
- Floral wire and garden wire. Floral wire is good for small branches and accents. Garden wire is useful for larger boughs.
- Wire cutters.
- Gloves. Working with fresh evergreen material can be scratchy, sappy business. Keep your hands safe!
- Craft glue or super glue to attach accents such as bows.
Wreath making is a messy process. In addition to getting a beautiful decoration out of it, you’ll also have pine needles, sticks, scraps of ribbon, and sap all around your work area. Plan ahead by working outside or covering your work surface and floor with a drop cloth.
Step 3: Gather the Greenery
Any evergreen branches and sprigs can be used in building your wreath. You can use a single type or mix it up with a variety of textures and hues. If you are not sure whether the greenery you have in your yard will work, cut a piece and leave it for a day in the same location your wreath will be hung. If it hasn’t wilted, you can use it in your wreath. Some good options include:
- Fir, pine, spruce and cedar
- Oregon grape
Step 4: Add Accents and Pizzazz
Spruce up your wreath with some color!
- Red or blue berries. Try strawberry tree, juniper, holly, or hawthorne
- Pine or spruce cones. If these are not already attached to the braches, you will need to glue or wire them on.
- Seed pods and dried grasses. Look around your yard for interesting shapes that you can weave in with your branches.
- Holiday decorations. Bows, ornaments, candy canes, ribbons, lights, and other pretty items add flair to your wreath.
- Flocking (artificial snow) is a fun and easy way to dress up your wreath. You can buy ready-to-use flocking at your local craft store, or make your own such as with this recipe
Step 5: Assemble
Now that you have all your materials together, crank up the holiday music and let the fun begin! Make small bundles of greenery, and secure each with the wire. Wrap the wire on as tightly as you can, because it will loosen a little over time as the wreath dries out. Now wire each bundle onto the frame, overlapping the bundles and hiding the base of each bundle underneath the next layer. If any spots look too thin, add extra bundles there. If any spots look too full or lopsided, you can cut out pieces of greenery or prune back any branches that need it. Next attach the accents to the wreath. You may need to use wire or hot glue to secure them. Tie on any ribbons and bows. Add the flocking last, if you are using it. Tie a wire loop to the frame, and your wreath is ready to hang! Most of the supplies you need can be found at local craft stores and you might find greenery at a local christmas tree lot, florist or your backyard! Enjoy making a homemade wreath and Grow Organic... for Life!