Decor, Holiday

Wreath Making 101

wreath

By no means do I crown myself an expert, but three hours in a floral studio this past Sunday taught me a lot about the art of wreath making. And you know what? It’s not that hard to do. A lush, organic-looking wreath is hard to come by in retail circles – unless you’re willing to spend a pretty penny. So, why not skip all of that nonsense and have a little fun in the process?

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SUPPLIES:

Short-needled evergreen boughs

2-3 varieties of complimentary greenery or accents (i.e. berries, cedar, etc.)

Pine cones

Pruning snips

Green wire wreath frame – preferably one with four rings

Wire cutters (I got by without these and cut wires with the pruner, but it’s your choice)

Wire easel

Green floral wire:

Package of lighter weight wire (like this)

Package of heavier weight wire (like this)

STEPS:

1. Set your frame on a flat surface and survey the scene. Visualize your finished wreath hanging upon your front door, ever so inviting. What does it look like? Great – now manifest it.

2.  Cut up your base greens (your short-needled boughs) into manageable pieces, but do it strategically. Keep the sections fairly large to minimize the work and to maximize the hearty appearance of your wreath. Make sure each piece will curve to fit the shape of your frame. If it’s not a good fit, snip it into smaller pieces to use for filler at a later stage.

3. Working around the wreath frame in one direction, begin to secure greenery sections –  overlapping significantly as you go. Fold strands of your lightweight wire in half and thread from front to back on either side of a hefty branch. Twist the wire tightly on the back of your frame and make sure you’re capturing a portion of it each time you fasten a branch.  Snip off the excess wire and tuck under as much as possible. Now is not the stage to be stingy. If you want a full wreath shape, pile on the greens.

4. Once you’ve made a complete circle with the base greens, hang your wreath on the wire easel and take a step back. Use smaller pieces of greens to fill in empty spaces and balance the shape.

5. Using your next variety of greens, work around the frame again in one direction. You’ll want to incorporate enough of the new addition to make a visual impact, but not so much that you cover up the work you’ve already done. Take the heavyweight wire and thread through your existing greens to secure the ornamental pieces with a twist at the back of the frame. At this stage, I used “Blueberry Cedar.”

(I found it easiest to keep my wreath on the easel at this point, but play around  to find what works for you.)

6. Follow suit with your next variety. As a contrast to the structured appearance of your base green, use something more willowy.  I used “Incense Cedar,” but something like Leyland Cypress could be a nice option, too.

7. Place your wreath back onto the easel (if it isn’t already). Touch up your work using all three varieties of greens. Use your own judgement and surely keen eye.

8. Now, for the pinecones. Wrap your wire once around the pinecone towards the base, taking care to bury the wire as much as possible so it’s not too visible. Twist to secure the wire to the pinecone before you go any further. Then, thread each of the three pinecones through the greens and secure to the frame at the back with a twist. Cluster in a group of three (odd numbers are best).

9. Voila! You’re a regular Martha Stewart. Only younger and hotter.

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