Today: We're wreathed in smiles, and here's why.
If you think of wreaths as staunchly holiday-only, we’re here to convince you otherwise. With the right foliage, a wreath can work in any season—consider them a longer-lasting version of a bouquet. They’re a beautiful way to decorate your door (actually, they’re the only way we know how to decorate a door); they can last for months; they’re hands-down the best hostess gift ever; and you can make them at home—even if you don't have hours of spare time or a penchant for crafting.
We brought in some experts to teach us the technique: the duo behind Franki Elizabeth, a floral design studio in New York.
Onto the wreath you're making—you’ll need the following:
- Metal wreath form (we used a 12-inch round form here but pick any size you like -- you can find them online and at most craft stores)
- 22-gauge floral wire, cut into 5-inch strips
- Floral shears
- Wire cutter (use something sturdier than your floral shears)
- 3 different types of greenery (2 types of evergreen, like juniper or pine, and 1 type of a more delicate greenery like bay leaves, holly, magnolia, herbs, or flowers)
- Ribbon or twine for hanging
Here's how it's done:
1. Lay out your greens, grouping them by type.
It's a good idea to do this outdoors—or spread out some newspaper indoors. This can be a messy project, and you don't want to be sweeping up holly sprigs for days.
Make 6 bunches of each type of greenery (for a total of 18 bunches). To make each bunch, cut 4 to 5 pieces of the greenery using your floral shears (good, sharp shears will make this task infinitely more easy). The pieces should be about 5 to 7 inches long.
2. Begin attaching the bunches—one by one—to your wire frame.
Tie each bunch on with the 5-inch pieces of wire. Each bunch should overlap with the previous one to cover the stems. Spin the wreath as you add on more bunches, working in a counter-clockwise fashion until you come full circle.
More: You deserve some eggnog for all this effort.
3. Take a look.
Once your wreath is complete, check for any gaps and adjust as needed. Depending on how polished you want your wreath to look, prune any excess stems or foliage; the end result should look have nicely landscaped curves around the outside. Hang your completed wreath with ribbon or twine. Keep in mind that a wreath is delicate, so if you're planning to gift yours, make sure it's carefully secured in a box when you transport it.
More: Feeling confident? Get even fancier wreath inspiration from this book.
A few more tips from Franki Elizabeth:
- If you include flowers, pick a variety that will dry well and hold their shape—a dried wreath can last up to a year, and we're all for longevity when it comes to decorating. Hydrangeas and peonies both work beautifully.
- Don’t feel confined by this formula! A wreath with a single type of greenery looks just as beautiful as one with three different plants woven together.
- When you begin layering, pay attention to covering the stems of each bunch. You want the finished wreath to look as full and lush as possible.
- For extra credit: Weave eucalyptus or lavender into your wreath to scent a foyer or room. It's prettier and more creative than a scented candle (and lasts longer too!).
Do you have any special holiday craft projects? Tell us in the comments!
Photos by James Ransom