How To Make A Christmas Wreath Like The Professionals
Leylandii Blueberry Cedar And Red Berry Wreath
Christmas Wreath Making How I Got Involved
This Lens shows you how to make a Christmas Wreath just like the professionals do it. I got to learn about this just this year as a friend, whose family has been in the Christmas Tree business for over 20 years asked me to make a web site to promote this aspect of their business.
I was glad to do this for him as he has been a close friend of mine for about ten years now. We both keep horses and his wife boarded her horse at our stable, whilst she was learning to ride. She also happens to work at the same Hospital as my wife.
Anyone can follow these steps and make their own Wreaths from any material they have handy, or you could just buy one from us ready made! Suitable materials to make Wreaths of this class are Leylandii plain and variegated varieties of this cypress both work, Blueberry Cedar, Long Pine, Short Pine, Arbavitae, Australian Pine and Magnolia are all used as well.
You could use Balsam Fir, but the problem with that is that the needles will fall off pretty quickly. All of the materials you use should be from plants that will last once they have been cut. It is also possible to make a wreath, and to wrap the cut ends in a water absorbent material, such as Sphagnum Moss, which you must then always keep damp, Keeping the cut ends damp will result in less wilting and dropping off of the needles.
The professionals, however, use plants that will last, when cut, for at least for the entire month of December. Magnolia which is often used in Wreaths can be air dried, and it will then last for several years. The shade of green will fade and the speed of drying affects this. It is fun to experiment (if you have a supply of Magnolia to experiment with.
Just be careful not to leave a Magnolia Wreath outside, if you are likely to have heavy frosts, as this will tend to turn the leaves black.
You can have a lot of fun going around and finding unique plants, and other materials, to make your own personal Wreath, some of which can be very creative. There are also loads of baubles, bows and berries that you can buy as accessories too, Amazon sells a huge variety of them and discarded older (antique even) items can often be found for sale on eBay.
For the not so imaginative among you, we have our Christmas Wreath site, just click on the picture of the wreath to the right at the top of this article. The artistic and crafty ones could try making your own, like our ladies do it.
Wreaths can be made in any size that you like, use larger and longer bunches for the larger sizes, the average front door Wreath is made on a 14 inch diameter wire ring and should end up with a 22" to 24" finished diameter.
At the end of the instructions I have included a video, as the final step. I did this because I thought holding a Champagne Party, like that in the video, was appealing to me, and maybe to others too!
All of the images used here were either taken by our supplier(s), or are from Wreaths that we have sold, and they are used with appropriate permission.
Time required: 20 mins to several hours
Cost: $45 to $150 (bought or own material)
- 3lbs of Leylandii Branches cut into 8 to 12 inch pieces
- 3lbs of Blueberry Cedar Branches cut into 8 to 12 inch pieces
- 14 inch Wreath ring
- Roll of Florists Wire or Tape.
- Wire cutters
- An artistic person
Raw Material Growing
1. Growing the Leylandii in our suppliers field, there are many other types of tree and plants that can be used to make Wreaths. Most long lasting Evergreens will do. Good choices are Cedars, Arbavida, Long and Short Pine, Magnolia, and Boxwood.
Of course you do not have to grow your material quite so formally, but this is how we actually do it. Trees are planted and grown to the optimum age before we cut from them. You can use branches from any appropriate trees you have in your yard, or you could ask kindly neighbors if they allow you to use a few from their trees.
Selecting Raw Material
2. Sorting the branches to be used to make the Wreath. You can cut long branches and take them home before cutting them into 8 inch to 12 inch lengths for making your Wreaths.
Use small bunches of a similar size and always lay them in the same direction as you go round the Wreath ring. You should wrap the ends of the stalks with florists tape to stabilize each bunch. Try to keep bunches about the same size, so that the finished Wreath looks even. If the Wreath is not even you can cut the extraneous ends off, to make it look more presentable, at the end.
Attaching To The Wreath Ring
3. Here one of our ladies is wiring selected bunches of leylandii to a Wreath ring. In the background you will see her wire cutters, if you look closely. This lady is working in an anti clockwise direction.
The direction does not matter, but once chosen all bunches are tied pointing the same way. You can use florists wire or tape to attach the bunches to the ring. These ladies use wire, but the choice is yours.
Bunches are evenly spaced around the ring, the spacing will depend on how long you cut the bunches. The idea is to cover the bare part of the stalks so that the Wreath looks as if it is made entirely of the leaves.
Adding Red Berries
4. Here the lady is adding on Red Berries to the Wreath. The ladies all wear gloves to protect their hands and to stop rings from getting caught, they also tend to hand twist the florist wire to hold the bunches on the ring.
I would suggest that people at home use pliers to do this as their fingers are likely to be more sensitive. The ends of the cut wire can be very sharp, so be careful.
5. Here the Lady is showing us a nearly completed Variegated Leylandii and Arbavitae Wreath with Red Berries. She has one more bunch to fill in the final space on the ring.
The secret to a good Wreath is to keep the spacing even and to hide the attachment areas with the head of each subsequent bunch. Try to make the Wreath full, but not overloaded with plant matter.
6. A finished Wreath similar to the one shown in step 5. This one is Variegated Leyland, Blueberry Cedar and Arbavida with Red Berries.
The Berries are artificial, as we have found that real berries will drop off and are a target for hungry birds! For personal use at home you could use real Holly berries, as we did in the past.
You will not have to ship the Wreaths great distances like we do, and it is therefore possible they will hold up better.
A Fun WayTo Make A Wreath With A Friend!
7. This is a video that shows you how a British Florist and her friend make a Wreath, it looks like fun! They give quite a few ideas for additional add on items.
However this Wreath probably cost her more to make than it would have to buy one (It required her to buy a bottle of champagne), she also needed a good friend and an evening to spare!
Base Material The Ring
All wreaths are formed by attaching the material to a ring. This is a metal ring similar to what our ladies use.
Rings that are bio degradeable are now available and you may prefer these.
Floral Tape For Binding
Our ladies actually use floral wire, but this requires skill and sharp pliers to use it effectively. You can also use floral tape for biding to the ring. Some will find this easier.
Small But Sharp Pliers
If you use floral wire then you will need a small pair of pliers with a sharp wire cutter blade.
Wreath Making Floral Wire
This is the type of floral wire that you saw the girls using above.