Thursday, December 11, 2014

DIY Christmas Wreath 2014

With Christmas fast approaching, I gathered supplies to make my annual home-made Christmas wreath.  After spotting some small "gourmet" Christmas wreaths at a local florist for upwards of $50 each, I figured this was a much more economical decision.  Plus it's fun.  Perhaps you would like to make one of your own too? 
I began my project by collecting greenery from the neighborhood.  There was a wind storm recently so lovely branches of evergreens are strewn all over the street.  It's fantastic, because I found branches with small pinecones still attached!  An excellent find.  I collected all kind of various shrubbery, including some unusual looking flower bud sprays from my neighbor's overgrown ivy. 
I formed piles of the different greenery and then laid them on my wire wreath shape in small bundles.  You can refer to this detailed wreath tutorial I made for a previous year here.  Unlike previous years where I cut strips of wire and tied each bundle on, I just secured the first bunch by twisting the wire to itself and then used the wire spool to wrap two times over each bundle.  Pull snug, but not so tight that the wire wreath shape warps.  This is a much more efficient way to create your wreath and it should be easier to take the greenery off at the end of the holidays.
I alternated between different kinds of greenery as I moved around the wreath.  Look how nice those ivy buds look as sprays around the wreath.  I also quite like how the pinecones stick out in natural places since they are still attached to the branches.  It's quite convenient.  I don't know how long they will stay attached, but I can always wire them back into place if they fall off.
It was dark when I finished the wreath, so the lighting isn't the greatest, but you can see how florist-quality this wreath is compared to something you might buy premade at Costco or Home Depot.  It's loaded with unique greenery from the neighborhood.  
I made a nice, big, wired red bow from some ribbon I bought last year on sale at Sears and tied it on with wire.  I liked it simple like that, but my mother wanted more red stuff on it.
So I added all of the artificial berries and apples that I had left over from last year's wreath.  The effect is rather stunning.  It think it was a good idea to add the decorations at the end since they really stand out.
You can compare it to last year's wreath where the ornaments were added at the same time as I added branches.  They got a bit too covered up, I think.  Also, last year, I did not experiment with adding different kinds of greenery.  I mainly used pine/Christmas-type greenery.  The big, red ribbon was also a good new addition, I think.
I had a lot of greenery left over so I covered all the railings outside my house.  This is where I also put some of the wild holly that I found, plus some sticks with moss on them.  I like moss covered stuff, and it looks nice and natural.  For the railings I used strips of wire to tie the branches on.  It seemed wasteful to use the wire wrapping method since the railings are so wide and harder to maneuver around.

If you decide to make a wreath too, send me a picture!  I would love to see how yours turn out. 

Happy Christmas Planning!


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