Green Christmas: How to Make a Christmas Wreath With Greenery
A Berry Wreath Creates a Vivid Door Decoration
Making Christmas wreaths creates festive decorations and holiday memories. Living green offers the year-round benefit of living lightly on the earth by reducing waste and choosing reusable, recyclable and renewable resources in our home and all areas of our lives.
At Christmas, or the holiday of your choice, celebrate the season with a closer connection to nature. Reconnect with holiday memories by making Christmas decorations by hand. Select greenery, shape it and add color with natural materials for a sense of satisfaction that no store-bought decoration can equal.
Wreath-making offers an opportunity for solitary contemplation on the circle of life -- the bounty of trees, fruits and the web of nature as it cycles through the season. Making a wreath together can create a sweet experience for couples or families. Hand-crafting skills give children a chance to add to the Christmas festivities. And this adventure in do-it-yourself green Christmas decorating doesn't have to cost anything.
Make this year a green Christmas by choosing natural materials and refraining from buying disposable and plastic décor. Create homemade wreaths with materials at hand and basic equipment to save money and have fun -- no specialized skill required!
How to Make a Christmas Wreath
- Form a flexible, sustainable material into the desired shape for your wreath. For example, bend a piece of wire into a circle and twist the ends together. This creates a wreath form.
- You can also use a sapling branch, grapevine, young bamboo, or start with a flexible evergreen branch. Use the pine, spruce or other favorite holiday evergreen trimming from your yard to form the wreath, if the branch is flexible enough to bend into a wreath. Although a circle is customary, you can make an oval wreath or any other shape you can get the branch to take.
- Trim greenery and sprigs of berries so all the stems are a similar size, such as 12 to 18 inches long, depending on the size of the wreath. Wire evergreen or other desired materials to the wreath form or evergreen wreath shape. For example, use branches of holly or other colorful berries.
- Place the stems of the greenery or berries against the wreath form and wrap wire around them three or four times to secure the stems. Cut the wire and add the next piece of plant material to the wreath. Overlap the top of the next branch over the wired stems to hide the wiring. Continue this process of overlapping each added branch to create the fullness you want for the wreath.
- Wire decorations into the wreath. For example, create a Nutcracker themed wreath by attaching toy soldiers and ballerinas to the greenery. Attach Christmas ornaments, if desired, by threading wire through the hanging loop on the ornament and then twisting the wire around the wreath frame. This conceals the top of the ornament and secures it to the wreath. Create a multicolored wreath with Christmas ornaments from years past, or create an unexpected color combination, such as purple and blue ornaments or bronze and pewter ornaments.
- Finish the wreath with a big bow or a special symbol, if desired. Use natural materials, such as fabric ribbon, wood or metal decorative objects or reuse a spectacular bow from a gifts. Adding things you treasure and find meaningful to your Christmas wreath personalizes it and connects it to your heart.
- Bend a strong piece of wire into an oval and wrap its ends around the wreath form to create a hanger for the wreath. You can hang it over a nail or hook to keep the wreath secure.
- Note: Use color-fast materials for a wreath that's exposed to the elements. For example, pre-wash cloth ribbon to make sure the dye won't run, and avoid fragile elements such as velvet or heirloom ornaments.
A Symbolic Homemade Wreath
- Certain foliage and berries can be toxic. If you aren't sure, keep these materials out of the reach of pets and small children.
- Wear gloves when you work with branches and holly. This will protect your hands from difficult to remove tree sap, splinters and prickles.
- Experiment with unexpected Christmas decorations -- make a gift wreath incorporating someones favorite toys, animals or a symbol for the recipient's business or hobby. A personalized wreath creates a heart-warming gift and conversation piece. Instead of a store-bought wreath, decorate your home with a wreath decorated with fruits or vegetables. Use favorite Christmas ornaments from past holidays. Make a cowboy wreath or a movie star wreath.
Wreath-Making Materials and Equipment
- Greenery, such as evergreen branches, young bamboo, or sapling cuttings
- Grapevines (optional)
- Berries (optional)
- Garden Shears
- Bendable wire
- Wire Cutters
- Decoration: toys, ornaments, cloth ribbon and metal or wooden symbolic items. If you're craft and sewing oriented, make a Grinch or Santa out of cloth or a sock to decorate the wreath. Birds made from a stuffed kid's sock and found feathers make a fun kid's wreath project.
Christmas Wreath Tips
Use evergreen wreaths for outdoor Christmas decorating. The oils in evergreen trees are highly flammable. Cut evergreen branches dry out indoors and present a fire hazard.
Monochrome wreaths create a strong effect against a contrasting background. If your door is a dark color, create a door wreath with light colors so that it stands out, and if your door is light-colored, use dark colors in the wreath. Notice the impact of the all-red wreath against the white door in the first photograph.
Explore creating wreaths from unusual materials. Toys that withstand moisture add a whimsical touch to wreaths.
Weave tropical foliage into a jungle-themed wreath.
Create a North Pole wreath with birch branches and polar bears.
Celebrate family members who are no longer with you by adding pictures and mementos of them to a special wreath.
Happy holidays from California.
Copyright Travis Arts 2012, 2013 protected by Copyscape. Updated December 2013.