A wreath made with fresh materials is a lovely way to celebrate the winter season. Whether you include holiday ornaments or use all natural pieces, a fresh wreath to adorn your door or mantel will bring seasonal beauty to your home.
Begin by gathering your materials. Select one to three varieties of evergreens you will use for your design. Cedar, holly, boxwood, and pittosporum are all good options. Fresh greenery can be purchased or harvested. If you want to incorporate accents onto your wreath some seasonal ideas include dried orange or lemon rounds, cinnamon sticks, pine cones, holiday ornaments and ribbon. To assemble the design, you will need floral shears, a thin gauge floral wire on a paddle, wire wreath frame and possibly a pair of scissors.
Using your floral shears cut the greenery stems to about 3-inches in length. For a less trained appearance you can cut the stems longer so the greenery will hang off the frame further. Create multiple bunches of greenery bundles by wiring several stems of the greenery together. You can use multiple varieties of the greenery in each bundle. Layer the greenery so each variety is visible when laid against the frame.
Attach one of the bundles of greenery to the wreath frame using the paddle of wire. Wrap the wire around the stems several times first and then wrap wire to the frame with several loops securing the bundle in place. Position the second bundle of greenery on the frame in the same direction as the first bundle so the greenery of the second bundle will cover the stems and wiring of the first. Attach the bundle to the frame using the same wiring method as previously. Continue with this process until the frame is covered with the greenery bundles. I found it easier to attach all of the bundles with one continuous length of wire. The bundles are more securely attached with this method and it saves you from having to attach the wire ends to the frame repeatedly.
Adding accents to the wreath is the next step. Cut individual lengths of wire for each accent. The wire should be about 6 to 10-inches long. Shape the wire into a hairpin by folding it in half. Wrap the wire around the accent and then push the ends of the wire through the wreath and out the backside of the frame. Twist the ends of the wire together to secure the accent to the wreath. You can cluster multiple accents, such as pinecones into groupings prior to attaching them to the frame by wiring them together at the base. Alternatively, you can use hot glue to attach the accents together. Position the accents around the wreath to create balance in your design. Try adding just three accents and spacing them uniformly around the wreath.
If you choose to add a bow you can attach it with wire to the greenery or frame. To add a hanger to the wreath, loop a length of ribbon about 12-inches long through the top of the wreath frame. Attach the two ends of the loop together by tying them or stapling them. The bow can be attached to the base of this loop, if desired.
There are endless options of how to design a fresh wreath. By displaying your wreath in colder temperatures outdoors, it will likely last two to three weeks. These make great homemade gifts as well as fun family projects.
Cynthia Domenghini is an instructor and coordinator for K-State’s horticultural therapy online certificate program.