If your idea of a wreath is that it's reserved for the holidays, let's get this straight: Wreaths are not just for Christmas. The beauty of wreaths is that they're an anytime favorite—with the right foliage and appropriate materials, they work all year round—in fact, you could consider them the never-fade 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, besides a transformative coat of paint, of course) or even your walls; they last for months, even years depending on the materials you use; they’re hands-down one of the most creative gifts you could give a hostess; and you can make them at home—yes, even those among you that are short on time (and long on DIY phobia).
To help us along this creative endeavor we read up, watched video tutorials, consulted the experts, and put together the best (and simplest) possible step-by-step guide to making a wreath. Just remember, the process is the same no matter the style of wreath, or season.
Wire cutter (use something sturdier than your floral shears)
3 different types of greenery (for example you could pick 2 types of evergreen, like redwood, douglas fir, or pine, and 1 type of a more delicate greenery like bay leaves, holly, magnolia, herbs, or seasonal flowers)
Unless you want to be sweeping up holly spring for days on end, it's probably best to do this outdoors—or spread out some newspaper indoors.
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 be your very best friend here). The pieces should be about 5 to 7 inches long.
2. Begin attaching the bunches—one by one—to your wire frame.
Attach each bunch to your wire frame with the 5-inch pieces of wire, winding around each stem a few times to ensure it's secure. Make sure each bunch overlaps with the previous, to cover the stems. Spin the wreath as you add on more bunches, working in a counter-clockwise fashion until you come full circle.
Once your wreath is complete, check for any gaps and adjust as needed. Depending on how polished you want your wreath to look, cut off any excess stems or foliage; the end result should look have nicely landscaped curves around the outside. For the purpose of hanging, create a floral wire loop and secure it to the back of your form, or you can use ribbon to create a loop. 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: Once you're feeling more confident, try the beautiful, natural wreath inspirations in this book.
A few more tips:
If you include flowers, pick a variety that are easier for drying and that 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, as do most herbs.
Don't feel overwhelmed by the thought of working with many ingredients, and finding ways to combine them. A wreath with a single type of greenery looks just as beautiful.
When you begin layering, pay attention to covering the stems of each bunch. You want the finished wreath to look less twiggy, and more full and lush.
For extra credit, weave eucalyptus or lavender into your wreath for a fragrant scent that will last for months. It's prettier and more creative than a scented candle (and lasts longer too!).
Do you have any special craft projects you're excited to share with us? Tell us in the comments below!
Photos by James Ransom
Food52's Automagic Holiday Menu Maker
Food52's Automagic Holiday Menu Maker
Choose your holiday adventure! Our Automagic Menu Maker is here to help.