You can’t beat the beauty of nature. It’s beautiful outdoors, but just as lovely indoors. In the dead of winter it’s colour and scent really can give your mood a lift.
You could pay a fortune in a shop for a “fresh made wreath”, but there’s no reason to give up your hard-earned cash to someone else if you don’t need to! This year make your own bespoke wreath and have fun doing it.
What you’ll need to make your wreath:
- Dogwood or willow stems (or any other plyable wood, I’m thinking the lilac bushes I had in Canada would have worked). Try to get straight sticks. The number you’ll need will depend on the size and style of your wreath. I used about five.
- Holly, ivy, or any leafy greens. If you cut them in larger bunches, you can later cut them down to smaller bunches as you put your wreath together.
- Berries are optional. If you do use berries, keep in mind that some are poisonous and could harm children and pets if they’re ingested.
- Ribbon to use for hanging, as well as a pretty bow.
- Scissors or pruning shears.
- Wire to hold pieces together if needed. I used some I had in my craft supplies, but stripped twist-ties would do the trick nicely.
- Gloves are optional, but recommended if you’re using holly as those pointed leaves are very prickly!
- Decorations to personalise your wreath. Balls, bells, pine cones, dried sliced oranges, etc.
Note: If you don’t have access to the materials on your own property, be sure go get permission from the landowner, and don’t forage in places where it isn’t allowed.
How to make your foraged wreath:
Take your first branch and curve it into a circle. Continue to curve the wood around over itself until you reach the end.
Add another branch and do the same thing, starting where you left off. Braid/twist/weave the ends of the branches into each other so that they become self-secured. Keep adding branches until you’re happy with the result. You can make a big, thick wreath form, or just a small, skinny one. I made a smaller one, but it became bigger once I added the leaves.
When you’re satisfied with the result of your wreath form, start adding your greenery. Add one group of leaves at a time and work your way around the wreath. Just tuck in the ends of the leaf bundles through the branches and weave them into the form. They should hold themselves in, but if you need to use a little wire to hold things in place, then that’s okay.
When your wreath is full of green, add some berries, balls, bows, candy canes, or any other decorations. The children decorated ours with some shiny balls that we found in the attic when we moved in – another frugal find.
Each wreath will be unique, depending on what you can forage in your area, and how you choose to embellish it. That’s the beauty of making your own Christmas decorations!
When your wreath dries out, you can either replace the greenery, or simply remove the decorations and wire and either toss it in your fireplace, or into the compost to nurture the earth so she’ll produce your supplies for next year’s wreath.
Crystal McClean is a Canadian expat raising her family in Northern Ireland. She loves teaching her home educated children about world cultures, nature, crafts, and how to live on a shoestring budget. You can connect with her through her blog, Crystal’s TinyTreasures, email subscription, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, or Pinterest.