Each of us decorates differently around the holidays, but a homemade wreath hung on the front door is a welcoming vision to all in fall and winter. Rhiannon Smith from San Francisco’s Farmgirl Flowers
shows us how to make a holiday wreath using year-round favorites such as rosemary and olive foliage, along with the seasonal flourish of bittersweet berries.
Follow her instructions to create the wreath pictured here, or choose foliage cuttings from a local florist or your own backyard for a completely custom look.
Foliage sprigs cut 4 to 5 inches long, such as (from left):
- Seeded eucalyptus
- Silver bell eucalyptus
- Bittersweet, or other winter berries
You can use many kinds of foliage for your wreath, or keep it simple with just a few. The wreath Smith demonstrates here is made from olive, rosemary and Oriental bittersweet. (In areas where the Oriental variety is invasive, American bittersweet is a good substitute. Both species are toxic.)
Other Materials and Tools
- Pruning shears
- Floral stem wire cut 4 to 5 inches long
- Wire cutters
- Wire wreath frame (8-inch frame shown here)
- 22-gauge paddle wire
1. Cluster together five or six sprigs. Try to keep them somewhat uniform and their cut edges aligned.
Smith puts olive and rosemary at the back, and a couple of bittersweet pieces toward the front for visibility in the wreath.
2. Wrap a piece of floral stem wire a little more than halfway down the sprigs to form a bundle. Wrap as tightly as possible and secure the wire end.
Make 10 to 20 bundles, depending on the wreath’s size. Use the same foliage combination for each, or vary the the materials. Here, the bittersweet is in only half the bundles.
Smith suggests assembling all the bundles before you start wiring them to the frame. This will help you achieve a more uniform look.
4. Place the first bundle on the frame and wrap the paddle wire three times around the bottom of the bundle and the wreath frame as tightly as you can to keep it in place. Do not cut the wire.
5. Put the second bundle on top of the first so that its loose leaves conceal the paddle wire and wreath frame beneath. Wrap the wire around the bundle and frame three times. Continue adding bundles (and leaving the paddle wire uncut), varying them if you made different kinds.
As you work your way around the circle, make sure none of the paddle wire or frame is visible.
6. Tuck the ends of the last bundle under the loose leaves of the first.
Wrap the paddle wire around the foliage and frame a few extra times, then cut it with a wire cutter. Tuck the loose end into the greens to hide it.
Add a bow or ribbon, or just hang the wreath from the wire frame.
Your wreath will stay fresh for about a week, but it will slowly dry and last one to two months or more as a dried decoration.
Experiment with different foliage combinations. Here, Smith used olive and silver bell eucalyptus. Try other foliage types that may be more available where you live, including bay, pine or oak.
via Make a Sophisticated Natural Wreath for Fall and Winter