What could be more festive then making your own Christmas wreath and hanging it on your outside door to welcome visitors? Natural Christmas wreaths have a wonderful fresh scent and if you keep them outdoors where the air is cool, the wreath will last through the Christmas season. This is a project that the entire family can to do together and best of all; it won’t cost you very much, if anything, in obtaining the supplies. If you live in a rural area, you can find evergreen trees as you travel thought the countryside, but before you grab your nippers and begin cutting, ask for permission if you don’t own the trees. Sometimes you can find evergreen limbs that people have cut and discarded at your local tree recycling center, dump, or maybe your neighbor next door has recently trimmed theirs and will give you limbs. . The more layers you put on your wreath, the fuller it becomes and the heavier the wreath will be.
Gather Your Greenery
Gather some evergreen greenery such as fir, pine or cedar. The amount you need depends on how large a wreath you want to make, but if you fill a large shopping bag or a box you should have enough to make up a nice, big wreath. When you get the pieces home, soak them in some water. This will help the tree to retain moisture until you are ready to make your wreath. Cut the evergreen tips so they are around 6 inches or 9 inches long. When you cut, make sure that the nippers you use are sharp so you don’t tear the bark. You want to make a clean cut otherwise you will damage the tree making it susceptible to disease.
Fashion the Frame
Cut a 6-foot long strand of heavy wire and overlap the ends to make a double circle. To keep the two pieces of wire together, you need to cut four 5-inch pieces of bailing wire. Wrap each piece of bailing wire around the top, bottom and sides of the wires to secure them. If you don’t have any heavy wire, you can improvise by using a wire coat hanger. Unbend the hanger into a circle, but leave the hook on because you can use that as the hanger for your wreath.
Unroll some #24 floral wire, but do not cut it. You need the continuous length to hold the evergreen branches onto the wire wreath. Twist the end of the floral wire onto the wire circle wreath for your starting point. Gather four or five pieces of evergreens together. If you found some holly berries or other kinds of tree tips with berries, place them throughout the bundles. As you gather the bundles together, make sure that the thick stems are toward the back and the tips are facing toward the front of the wreath.
Beginning the Wreath
Place the evergreen bundles against the wire wreath circle and hold them in place with one hand. With your other hand, begin wrapping the floral wire around them and the wreath frame Wrap the floral wire around two times the bundle and frame at last two times to secure.
Continue gathering, bunching and wiring the evergreens to the wreath frame. As you wrap the bundles, overlap each one to keep the stems hidden. Also, when placing the bundles, make sure to keep the stems facing in the same direction. Repeat this step until you have the entire frame covered with greenery.
Things to Add for the Holidays
Add some accessories to your wreath like bows, pinecones or Christmas balls. When incorporating other items throughout the wreath, you need to secure each item separately to the wreath. Cut a piece of floral wire with an extra length of 8 to 10 inches on both ends. If you want to include pinecones, wrap the wire around the bottom of the pinecone once or twice. Push the extra length of wire through the pine or evergreen boughs toward the back side. Twist the wire to secure. If adding a bow you will need to secure the wire through the bottom section of a bow and push the wire through the back of the wreath to secure. The same thing applies to ornaments, except you will need to take the wire through the ornament hangers.
Above all, have fun and be creative with your live Christmas tree or holiday wreath. If you live in the colder climates like South Dakota, this wreath will look nice for several weeks when hanging outdoors.