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Friday, December 16, 2011

How to make a wreath

The wreath symbolizes everlasting life with the
green symbolizing hope and new life.
How to make a Wreath:

Supplies needed:

1. A variety of greenery
2. wreath rings
3. floral wire
4. wire cutters and/or branch clippers
5. rubber gloves
6. decorations/embellishments for wreath
7. Christmas music
8. Hot chocolate
9. A good friend to join you                                                                                                                        

The round shape of the wreath symbolizes the circle of life. It is a way of showing no matter what, life goes on in circle like flowers that come up in Spring, bloom  in the Summer, die off in the Fall, rest in the Winter, and come up again the following Spring.
The greenery in the wreath is a sign of everlasting life. Even in the middle of winter, and the darkest times something is living and thriving.-By: Colette McCormick

I have made every sort of ornament over the years with my kids. I have bought fake wreaths beautifully decorated from my sister when she used to make them. Never had it occurred that I could make a homemade wreath with "real" tree branches. It always seemed like it would be too hard.

My friend Christine (pictured to the left) asked if I wanted to make a wreath this year with her. I said "sure" thinking in terms of just decorating a fake wreath. Then she began to tell me she will start gathering branches from her yard and I realized that we were going to make a real wreath.

This is what Christine showed up with, a bin of embellishments. These can be anything from tinsel to pinecones, a variety of bows, ornaments, bells, etc...

I was really excited. I asked if we could make a "How to" make a wreath post for the blog together...and here it is. (Make sure to scroll down for the steps) :))

First step:  Find a work space that is big enough to make at least two wreaths on, and  it would be easy to clean.  I picked my dining room table and covered it with paper so it would be easy to clean up the needles.
 Step Two: Pick your greens. Christine picked: Douglas Fir, Blue Spruce, Oregon grape, a variety of Holly, Wild Noble Fir, Ivy, and Cedar.
Some of the greens she found in her own back yard, and the other ones she went down to the local hardware store where they were selling Christmas trees and asked if they had any tree clippings.
Step Three: Pick out the size of ring you want for your wreath. (This may go along with step two while you are at the hardware store.) Also you will need floral wire. It comes in many sizes. We had 24 gauge/58 millimeter.  A pair of good wire cutters or just branch clippers would also be helpful. Rubber gloves were nice to have on because of the sap and thorns from the Holly.

Step four: Must have Christmas  music on while making wreaths
Step five: Pick a long branch. We picked the Douglas fir  because it could easily bend and wrap around the ring. Began by putting the end in the middle section and under the nub that is sticking up. Then lace  in and out of the wire carefully. 

Step six: Hold branch with one hand and take the floral wire and bend and attach it to one of the rings sections. 

Step Seven: Begin to wrap floral wire around branch and the ring tightly.
You can use the bent edges to make the wire secure. Do not cut the wire, leave it as one long wire that wraps around the whole circle. Note: The first wrap around is very critical to keep the branches stable. So you will want to wrap it tightly.

"If it's a live wreath, it's an organic process"
-Christine Gust
Step eight: Keep wrapping around branches into empty spaces by pushing end of branch into vacant space.
You can also add other kinds of branches into wreath by just putting smaller pieces under floral wire where you think they look nice. Make sure they are secure under the floral wire. If needed cut a small piece of floral wire and attach around branches or leaves where needed.

If you want to make wreath bigger you can look for a thick wooded branch and  wrap around outside of the metal circle. 
Make sure to tuck floral wire in between branches to show wood.

Christine wanted a wreath using a little bit of all the greenery.

My wreath was made with the Douglas fir wrapped around the circle and with Blue Spruce pieces stuck into  spots, then a tiny bit of Holly.

Here is my finished wreath with the added embellishments. I just wedged some of them under the floral wire  and /or added a small piece of floral wire to secure them on.

My six year old made this wreath using Cedar branches.

Thank You! Christine! It was fun!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love the natural, simplistic beauty of your wreath Meagan.