All right – I’ll admit it. We aren’t the craftiest family on the block. That’s not to say that I don’t love decorating and converting the house into a not-so-subtle winter wonderland. I was recently out shopping and noticed a beautiful, rugged wreath hanging above the doorway. Normally, I would have gone on with my day and thought nothing of it, but there was just something about the aesthetics of that circular formation of greenery, and the smell – oh, don’t even get me started on how much I love the smell of evergreen! I don’t know what came over me right then, but I thought: “Hey, you know what, I could probably make that!” Once I got home, I decided, what the heck. It’s time to get crafty.
After a bit of research, I put together a list of ideas that seemed to be the most fun. Just about all of the materials and tools can be found at your local crafts store, if you don’t have them already. A wreath form is basically the circle base that you will be attaching things to, so make sure you grab a couple of those guys in various sizes and material (wire and/or foam-core). You’ll also need work gloves (especially if your holiday plants are prickly, OUCH), floral wire, pruners, and a glue gun.
DIY Foliage Wreath
This one definitely stood out the most to me, mostly because you can use plants straight from the yard! If you happen to live in a place where cone-bearing trees aren’t native, just stop by the local florist and ask if they have any samples of seasonal greenery. If you’ve got some majestic pines or prickly evergreen hedges, use the pruners that you have set aside to cut off some boughs. Don’t be scared! It’s for a good cause. Cut them into small pieces 6-8 inches long and set them aside. Feel free to pick any other plants that you feel would accent the piece nicely, like berries or colorful winter flowers.
To be 100% honest with you guys, I had to watch a few YouTube videos to freshen up on holiday crafts, and I came across a wreath frame that will cut your wreath-making time in half! It’s called a pinch ring wreath form, which allows you to clamp bushels of greenery in large chunks instead of individually wrapping floral wire around pieces. Along with most of your other supplies, these can also be purchased at any craft store, as well as online. Set your materials and tools on a large enough table space and get started!
Grab bunches of the evergreens that you have collected and add a few accent plants dispersed throughout the handful. Put the bunches along the wire frame and attach by either using the simple pinch clips of the wreath form that I mentioned above or by wrapping floral wire around them piece by piece. Be sure to place all materials so that they are going in the same direction. Fill the form until you are pleased with its size, and VOILA.
Silver Fir and Holly Wreath
Who better to trust with decking the halls with boughs of holly than Martha Stewart! I found this beautiful, classic wreath on her site that could make a great addition to your front door. With this one, consider buying a premade wreath that is 20+ inches in diameter and make modifications as you go. Most wreaths available to buy during the holidays are made of fir needles, so you’ll just need to purchase some Holly branches, pepper berries, or similar plants with vibrant red fruits.
Set the wreath on a flat surface and begin placing the holly sprigs from the bottom, being sure to go about 3/4 of the way up on each side. This step is completely optional, but I think it looks so much homier with a wide red satin ribbon tied into a bow at the bottom! If there’s one thing that I know about Holly, it’s that it dries out super fast, so this one is definitely a great option for outside on the front door to avoid having to sweep up the leaves that fall off.
Glass Ornament Wreath
If you’re feeling extra crafty and want to steer clear of the traditional evergreen holiday wreaths, here’s a great alternative. For this one, you will need a foam-core wreath form as opposed to the wire ones used above. I don’t know about you, but I have TONS of shiny old orb ornaments lying around. You can even hit some local antique spots and try to score some vintage ones. The crustier the better!
At this point, plug in your glue gun to make sure that it’s hot and ready for action. Place the foam-core wreath form on a table, and slowly start gluing the shiny globes from the inside out. This one also may require a little extra creative spirit to make sure that all of the pieces are evenly spread out and you end up with something that resembles a wreath. Be careful with the hot glue as you go, because that stuff can BURN.
Towards the end of the process, hang a ribbon from the wreath form and hang it up so that you can access the back and all sides evenly. Be careful when storing this bad boy to avoid shattering the ornaments.
Did I mention that I love the smell of evergreen? Well, I do. I thought I’d mix it up here and toss in some other plants that really please the nose. Use the similar steps from the wreaths above, but use bushels of laurel, rosemary or eucalyptus and hang in the kitchen for a lovely aroma that makes a great substitute for your holiday air fresheners. You can even use the dried laurel leaves as bay leaves for cooking once you’re done using the wreath! Be careful to keep these away from any lit candles since they are similar to the Holly and can get extra dry and flammable!
Even for those that aren’t the craftiest, wreaths are surprisingly simple to make. Small or large, scented or unscented, they will warm up any room in your house!
- Step One – Needed: wire cutters; florist wire (12-18 gauge); Fresh (or dried) herbs such as sage, eucalyptus, thyme; and pre-made, covered foam wreath base.
- Step Two – Lay herbs on wreath base as shown
- Step Three – Wrap herb ends with wire around the wreath base to secure. Repeat until completed.