A DIY Guide from Pink Grizzly
For sure, there is no better sign of the coming holidays than Christmas wreaths. They bring the sights, sounds (if you put bells on them), and smells of the holiday season right into our homes. Wreaths look great placed on flat services, with perhaps a candy dish in their center, or hung on walls, doors, mirrors, and windows—reminders to all who see that Christmas is coming. And in just a few minutes and a handful of readily available materials, you can make your own.
Clippers or hand sheers
Coat hanger, heavy wire, or wreath ring
Floral wire or black twine for tying
Accents and embellishments
- Set up your work station, laying out your greens, embellishments, and tools.
- Trim the greens to about 9 inches in length and form them in to a uniform handful using 3 to 5 sprigs of greens. Shape them into a “turkey tail,” so that they fan out nicely.
- Tie the greens or clamp them securely to the top of your coat hanger or wreath ring. Leave a 12-inch tail of wire or twine, so that you’ll have enough to tie on the next handful of greens. Hang this extra in the center of the circle.
- Make another handful of greens. Place your second handful counterclockwise over the top of the spot where you tied your first handful, so that half of the first handful sticks out along your circle. Continue securing handfuls of greens uniformly along the circle until you have a completed wreath.
- Decorate your wreath by tying on your accents with floral wire or black twine.
- You’re done!
A wreath’s main component are evergreen boughs. Gather about six that are between 3 and 4 feet long. They can come from subalpine fir, grand fir, Douglas fir, lodgepole pine, ponderosa, spruce, cedar, and even juniper. The choice is yours! My choices are subalpine, grand, and Douglas firs, which all have a fresh pine scent, are bushy, and fill out wreaths with fewer branches. Spruce and juniper don’t tend to smell as pleasant as other varieties, but still look beautiful in a wreath.
Where do you get evergreen boughs? For many of us, in our yards. And for those without evergreens close at hand, our national and state forests are a great place to collect them. (Note: If you go this route, first check to see if a permit is required.)
Find embellishments! These can be anything: pine cones, accent greenery, dried flowers, shrub branches, holly berries, English ivy, painted twigs, wheat and grains, or eucalyptus. Again, the choice is yours!
A note about your wreath ring: A coat hanger works well, or you can purchase a wreath ring at a craft store or some local nurseries. It is easiest if the ring or wire is shaped into a uniform circle. Some rings come with clamps welded to the ring for easy clamping of greenery to the circle. You can also use black twine or thin floral wire to tie the boughs in place.