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Natural Christmas Wreaths and Other Crafts

Updated on November 7, 2015
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Here in Louisiana we say, "Let the good times roll!" Holidays are celebrated with crafts, costumes and decorations, to everyone's enjoyment.

How to Make Wreaths and Decorations from Nature's Bounty

We love nature's bounty and enjoy gathering the supplies for our family's Christmas wreath and other decorations. The gathering starts as soon as the interesting seed pods form, usually in the fall. Pine trees abound where we live, so our wreaths have a foundation of pine cones with the additional cones and leaves of the Southern Magnolia and some local nuts and berries all on a homemade grapevine wreath form.

We have also provided videos and links to show you other ways to make Christmas and Advent wreaths. If you don't have time to make your own wreath, then links to beautiful natural wreaths are provided.

Cardinal in Holly

A male cardinal sits in a native American holly tree. Holly berries are one of the natural additions to my Christmas wreaths.
A male cardinal sits in a native American holly tree. Holly berries are one of the natural additions to my Christmas wreaths. | Source

Christmas Traditions Poll

Does your family make and hand down holiday wreaths and ornaments?

See results

We have always been close to nature and when the holidays come around, my decorations consist of collages of objects gathered from the forests and fields. One of my favorite creations is a Christmas wreath made from cones, seed pods, nuts, berries and other gathered plant materials. We start with a flexible, green grapevine, which is easy to find since they grow wild all over Louisiana.

Here's how we make the grapevine wreath:

1. Cut 3-4 strands of green grapevine, about 15-20 feet long.

2. Hold them together so the cut ends are even and the vines are laying in a straight, untangled line.

3. Start winding your wreath from the cut ends, shaping it into the desired size.

4. When you get about 5-6 feet from the end, start winding the vines in and out through the center and around the outside of the wreath to secure the vines and hold the shape.

5. To finish, weave the ends into the wreath to secure them.

6. Now you are ready to begin decorating the wreath.

How to Wind a Grapevine Wreath Video

Yaupon Holly

Native yaupon holly is another good native berry that adds color to a wreath.
Native yaupon holly is another good native berry that adds color to a wreath. | Source

Monarda fistulosa

The seed heads of native Monarda fistulosa add fragrance and color to a natural wreath.
The seed heads of native Monarda fistulosa add fragrance and color to a natural wreath. | Source

Natural Plant Materials for Wreaths and Decorations

There are so many natural plant materials that make lovely wreaths. Since we live in Pine country, we collect pine cones of different sizes. This forms the foundation of the wreath. Grape and wisteria vines can also be twisted to form a foundation wreath on which to glue or wire the decorative elements.

Other interesting seed pods and berries include:

Holly (including Yaupon)

Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)

Magnolia (cones and leaves)

Florida Anise seed pods

Sweet Gum balls

Hickory nuts

Chinese Tallow tree seed clusters

Cotton bolls (with or without the cotton)

Yellow-eyed Grass seed pods.

Chinese tallow tree seeds

Cedar and Short-leaf or spruce pine needles

Look around the woods and your yard for interesting shapes and textures. Magnolia leaves are very tough and will last for a few years. They can even be spray painted with gold, silver or clear finish if desired. Other evergreens like cedar and short-leaf pines also add color and beauty.

Nature Crafts for Christmas: A Step-By-Step Guide to Making Wreaths, Ornaments & Decorations
Nature Crafts for Christmas: A Step-By-Step Guide to Making Wreaths, Ornaments & Decorations

This wonderful book gives step-by-step instructions and techniques for making ornaments, wreaths and other decorations.

 

Magnolia Seed Cones

The seed cones on Magnolia grandiflora are filled with colorful red seeds.
The seed cones on Magnolia grandiflora are filled with colorful red seeds. | Source

We use florist's wire and hot glue to secure the plant materials. Some of the thicker stems can be forced between the vines, but some of the larger pine cones my need to be wired on. You may also want to add artificial berries to make the wreath more long lasting. Finish it off with a big festive bow. You can make your own, but the Dollar Store usually has pretty ones for a couple of dollars.

Red Berries of Native Hollies

The colorful red berries of native holly brighten the winter landscape.
The colorful red berries of native holly brighten the winter landscape. | Source
Deck the Halls: Handcrafted Christmas Wreaths (Crafts From Current, Code 7114)
Deck the Halls: Handcrafted Christmas Wreaths (Crafts From Current, Code 7114)

Many creative ideas for many handcrafted wreaths complete with instructions and pictures can be found here.

 

Christmas Greeting

Author Unknown

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sing hey! Sing hey!

For Christmas Day;

Twine mistletoe and holly,

For friendship glows

In winter snows,

And so let's all be jolly.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Natural Wreath with a Bonus

When this picture was taken, this wreath was over 2 years old. We had a death in the family right after Christmas so the wreath was left up through February and a pair of Carolina Wrens took up residence and turned this ordinary wreath into something special. Next Christmas, all we have to do is add some new Magnolia leaves and some berries (natural and artificial) and some artificial bird's eggs in the nest and we'll have a unique and beautiful natural wreath.

Wreath for the Birds

This wreath is truly for the birds.
This wreath is truly for the birds. | Source

Make a Bird Wreath

A wreath made especially for the birds of winter can be made of seed heads such as millet sprays or sunflower. Colorful holly berries and even Chinese tallow tree seeds will brighten up the wreath and bring birds to your front door. If you want to go all out for our feathered friends, then add pine cones that have been drizzled with peanut butter and lard suet and sprinkled with wild bird seeds. For more visitors, add strings of popcorn and some sprigs of holly berries, too. Hang it on a gate or near a window so you can watch the fun because the seed eating birds really love these wreaths.

Advent Wreath Kit

Advent Wreath Kit
Advent Wreath Kit

Everything you need to make a natural Advent wreath.

 

Wreath as a Centerpiece

A natural Christmas wreath can be used for the door or as an advent wreath or table centerpiece. Adding candles and ribbons put the finishing touches on this lovely creation.

Christmas Plants

Solveig Paulson Russel

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Oh, the mistletoe and holly,

The bayberry and yew,

The needled pines and hemlocks,

And the fir trees, too,

All lend themselves at Christmastime

To make the season gay,

Shedding fragrance and cheer

In their own bright way.

The poinsettia adds its beauty,

And the yule log burns with cheer,

And other plants add to the fun

At the ending of the year.

So here's a cheer for Christmas greens,

And all plants that have a part

In making Christmas blossom

In the gardens of the heart!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Friends and family enjoy the wildflower seeds we include in Christmas cards.
Friends and family enjoy the wildflower seeds we include in Christmas cards. | Source

Native Plant Seeds in Cards

For years, we have been sharing both native plant and easy to grow introduced plant seeds with our friends and family. We discovered that the 2 1/4" X 3 1/2" paper coin envelopes are perfect for giving seeds. We print out a label containing the planting information and description and stick that to the front of the envelope. Then we put a package of the seeds into each of our Christmas cards (more for the gardeners on our list). Most people really enjoy and will plant the little extra gift and it's our way of spreading natives and hummingbird and butterfly plants around.

© 2008 Yvonne L. B.

Tell us about your Family Christmas Traditions.

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    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 4 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      What pretty wreaths! How did I miss this page before? I've now added it to the Crafters Directory of Senior Squids. :) May you have a Happy Holiday Season!

    • Countryluthier profile image

      E L Seaton 5 years ago from Virginia

      Nicely done artisan squid. Your work in wreaths is commendable. Loved the use of the nest!

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 6 years ago

      Your wreaths are beautiful! I'm going to make a birdseed wreath within the next day or two. Hanging it in the tree is one of our Christmas Eve traditions.

    • WildFacesGallery profile image

      Mona 6 years ago from Iowa

      I love this charming wreath and have featured this lens on my Handmade Christmas Lensography.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I love Christmas Wreaths. Thank you for the lens.

    • BetsiGoutal1 profile image

      BetsiGoutal1 6 years ago

      Wonderful lens, I'm feeling the Christmas spirit already! :)

    • pkmcruk profile image

      pkmcr 7 years ago from Cheshire UK

      Really Fantastic Christmas Lens and Blessed by a Squid Angel :-)

    • thepartyanimal2 profile image

      thepartyanimal2 8 years ago

      Yahoo you are a winner in The Squidoo Home for The Holidays Lens Contest So Go Grab your badge.

    • acuares profile image

      acuares 8 years ago

      Love your wreaths. Giving you a 5. I'm glad I found my way here because I've been looking for some Christmas craft ideas.

    • monarch13 profile image

      monarch13 8 years ago

      Very cool. I am starting the Advent Tradition next year. 5 stars and lensrolled to my Top 10 Christmas.

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      What a lovely lens! These natural wreaths are superb, how fortunate you are to live in a beautiful area and to be able to gather the materials in Autumn. This 5* lens is now in my Christmas collection as one of the best decorating ideas (christmas-at-squidoo) Thanks for the demonstrations and for the inspiration!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 8 years ago

      Ah, I was just thinking how I'd like to have a special Christmas wreath and then I found your wonderful lens! You've done a great presentation.

    • piedromolinero profile image

      piedromolinero 8 years ago

      A very nice lens again, showing how to craft own Christmas decorations. Welcome to the Christmas Decorations group.

    • profile image

      J-Stanley 8 years ago

      Nice Lens. I love all the videos and information you provided!

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 8 years ago

      Welcome to the Totally Awesome Lenses Group.

      Lizzy

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 8 years ago

      I love the natural wreaths. we make one for the birds too. We hang in on the birdfeeder. They love it.

      Great lens.

      Lizzy

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 8 years ago

      Love the lens! I used some keds from your Zazzle shop on my Holiday Photo card lens! Too cute! Thanks for introducing me to Zazzle!

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 8 years ago from Croatia

      This is wonderful lens! I love how you combined different elements and Zazzle also! Gonna lensroll it to my Original Christmas Cards!

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 8 years ago

      I enjoyed the story about the wrens. Very comprehensive and enjoyable lens. ***** I love making my own wreath. Some of your readers might enjoy my lens on different ways to use Lavender including wreathes. They can be great feng-shui and can be left up year round.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Great lens and ideas. I still hang a pinecone wreath that my mother made over 40 years ago. I just spray it with a clear acrylic every year and it still looks great. 5*

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 8 years ago from Royalton

      Thank you for taking A Walk in the Woods where there are so many natural plants and seeds to add to your wreaths.