As we were driving home in November, I spotted a brilliant, beautiful red-berried shrub alongside the road. It was growing on an abandoned lot, so I took a mental note of its location. Naturally, I went home for my garden shears and returned later that day. It was a very spiky shrub, but I was smitten by the festive color of the berries. I snipped several of the branches, and placed them in the back of our van. At home, I assessed my treasure. Were these fit for a vase or wreath? With Christmas on the way, I decided on a wreath and gathered the necessities: an old metal wreath form from a previous project, twine, and a table to handle the mess!
The history of wreaths dates back to ancient Greek and Roman times. Ring-shaped wreaths were made using fresh tree leaves, twigs, small fruits, and flowers. Worn as headdresses, these wreaths represented one’s occupation, rank, achievements, and status. Christians have adopted the circle shape of the wreath to represent Christ’s eternal love, his strength, and the creation of new life. Evergreens are commonly used in the construction of the wreath due to their heartiness throughout harsh winters.
Have you ever made a homemade wreath? They are quite simple in their construction but delightful in their beauty and the way they add a bit of nature in the home during the barren winter months. Here is what you will need:
Wire wreath frame. I purchased my wire wreath at my local craft store. They come in a variety of sizes to suit your space and design. For this project, I used a twelve-inch wreath form. I save mine so I can make a new wreath every year.
Shears to cut the branches and the wire.
Branches. There are so many options (evergreen, grapevine, berry branches, etc.). I used Ashe Juniper branches cut in nine-to-twelve-inch long pieces.
Ribbon for decoration and for hanging.
How to make a wreath:
Gather three branches, wrap the bundle together three times with your floral wire, lay the bundle on your frame, and attach the bundle to your wreath form by wrapping the wire around the form at least three times. Take a second handful of branches, repeating the process and covering the stems of the first bundle. Continue working in a clockwise fashion, adding branches until you have gone around the entire wreath form. Tuck the last bundle under the first bundle. Finish by tying your ribbon around the top or bottom for added color and for use in hanging the wreath. I like to keep mine very simple, but you could always tuck pinecones or other bits of nature into the secured branches.
Any size and variety of wreath makes an excellent gift for a friend or neighbor. Gather a few evergreen branches and make your own. You will find them to be so simple you will want to make one every year! Happy Christmas! xo