Homemade holiday wreaths are beautiful and inexpensive to make. They’re a great excuse to get outside with the family and everyone can help in their creation. Here are some step-by-step directions on how you can make your own homemade holiday wreaths.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
- A wreath frame (available at most craft stores)
- Floral wire
- Pruning shears
- Wire cutters
- Pliers for wrapping the wire
- Glue gun
- Glue sticks
- Large basket or bag for gathering
- Gloves (optional, depending on how prickly your native fauna are!)
GATHER YOUR MATERIALS
Use what you’ve got: pine, holly, juniper… even grasses or palm fronds, if that’s what’s in season where you live. Part of the charm of these wreaths is that they’re naturally seasonal and local, because you use whatever is available in your area. Gather a variety of greens, plus small embellishments like flowers, pinecones, berries, etc.
We used a combination of juniper and piñon evergreen branches. Since they’re a fairly shrubby tree, we gathered many small pieces. However, if you’re blessed enough to live somewhere where trees grow long boughs of holly or pine, you could place them in a large pan or bathtub of water overnight. That should make them flexible enough to bend into shape around the wreath frame.
We chose juniper pieces with berries and added piñon pine cones plus rose hips and grass flowers for a touch of color.
ASSEMBLE THE WREATH
Begin by arranging the pieces over the frame to get a general plan of how you’d like it to look. Once you have a general idea, you can start attaching the branches to the frame, one by one.
- Starting on the top side of the frame, begin attaching branches using the wire.
- Cut a piece of wire about 2-3 inches,
- Fold the piece of wire in half and place it over the branch and through the frame.
Turn the frame over and use the pliers to twist the wire to secure it to the frame.
Trim the remaining branches as necessary, and use wire to attach each to the frame, as above.
Layer the branches over each other. Work your way around, layering branches and attaching as you go, until the entire frame is covered.
If possible, attach flowers and embellishments with wire. If the pieces are too small, use the glue gun to attach berries, pine cones, or flowers to the greens.
Some of the leaves or berries may drop off over time. A fixative spray is available, but I think it’s a great excuse to make another one! The wreath frames are reusable, all you have to do is cut off the wires (being careful not to damage the frame) and you have a fresh canvas for your next masterpiece.
Santa Fe native Melyssa Holik earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design and photography from New Mexico State University. She currently writes and photographs for localflavormagazine.com as well as for her own site, holikdesign.com. She loves food (growing, cooking and eating!), art, travel and adventure.