Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Fresh Christmas Wreath Tutorial

Christmas wreaths get more expensive each year, and they're not even REAL!  Make your own evergreen wreath with boughs from your neighborhood trees for less than $5!  Here's how:
 You will need:

  1. Large metal wreath frame.  (I got mine at Michaels with a 50% off coupon, so it was only $2.)
  2. Florist wire.  (I got mine at Michaels for under $2.)
  3. Evergreen branches from the neighborhood trees. (I gathered about 2 grocery bags' worth, but I had a lot of branches left over, so maybe 1 or 1.5 bags full is enough.)
  4. Real red berries or artificial berries. 
  5. Optional: Pinecones and ribbon.
  6. Pruning shears to cut the branches and the wire.
  7. Garden gloves to protect your hands as you work.

Place the metal frame with the rounded side up.

Gather 2-3 stems of your evergreen branches.  Layer them on top of the metal frame. I had two kinds of evergreen available and I put the prettier/denser one on top.  Use a long strip of florist wire to twist-tie the branches securely to the metal frame.
If you have real berry branches, you should include them in each cluster of branches.  I couldn't find any real red berries in my neighborhood, so I added fake berries.
 Gather another three branches together.  Lay them on top of the first cluster, but move down a little.  Tie them to the metal frame with florist wire.
 Here's a close-up of florist wire tied to the metal frame.  Trim the excess wire off with your pruning shears, and tuck it safely away.
 Keep adding clusters of 2-3 branches along the metal frame.  The closer you put the clusters, the rounder and more full your wreath will be.

 Keep adding clusters until you are all the way around the wreath.
 For the last cluster, you will need to lift up the first cluster branches to get underneath.  Tie the last bough down with florist wire.
 Ta da!  You've made it all the way around!
 Now use the pruning shears to snip off any stray branches that make the wreath not-round.  You can snip any super long branches shorter too if they look out of place, and tidy up the center of the wreath too.  If you have any bald spots, tuck an extra branch in and tie it down.
If you had real berry branches worked into the wreath.  It will look amazing and be finished.  If you don't have any real berry branches, you can use fake red berries.  I had a bunch of random red berries left from previous wreaths.  Some of these berries fell off of Christmas tree decorations, I think...

Honestly, you could just leave the wreath without any additions.  It looks really nice with just the evergreen branches.
I wrapped my berries with wire and tied them to branches, weaved them into the branches, etc.  Then I adjusted them so that they were more visible.  
If you have pine cones, you can wrap them with wire and tie them in too.
Now, if you have some big ribbon, you can tie it on and make a bow.  I rather liked mine without any other additions so I left it.  
Here is a second wreath that I made a few days later.  I found some real berries to include with the fake berries, so I tied them down with each cluster of branches.  I also included some other random branches that had small, oval leaves and tiny red berries.
So, there you have it.  For under $5, I have a lovely Christmas wreath to brighten my doorway.  When Christmas is over, I'll snip all the branches and florist wire off and save the metal frame for another year.

I hope you will have fun making your own wreath too!

Don't forget to post photos of your finished work on the Flickr page here.

Arts and Crafts Tutorials


Otter said...

Such a pretty wreath! Sadly I don't live where I can get access to such lovely branches but if I ever do, I'll definitely try this. I made my own wreath too but mine was made from things I had around. I love the fresh greenery though! said...

Hi Otter,

Aw, it's too bad that you don't have these kinds of branches in your area. You can use other kinds of plant branches though. You would just gather small bunches and work around the frame in the same way.

I love your music sheet wreath though. That was a really good idea and it turned out great!