In December, decorating your home for the holidays is a fun tradition. Swags, garlands and wreaths can be purchased, but making your own is easy, creating a one-of-a-kind look.
To make a wreath, you’ll need a wire, grapevine or straw wreath frame. Or you can use a coat hanger – bend the hook around to create a loop for hanging, then work all the angles into a round shape.
You can use any evergreen trimmed from your yard or land such as pine, spruce or fir. Here, I’ve used Fraser fir (Abies fraseri) and golden Threadleaf False Cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Sungold’).
You can purchase bundled greens from a vendor; exotic greens, like juniper or cedar, are especially decorative. You will need about a grocery bag of greens trimmed into six-inch pieces.
Using a spool of 24-gauge wire, begin by securing the loose end of the wire to the frame, then lay spool to the outside. Choosing a bunch of 4-5 evergreen pieces, place and fan around frame at point where wire is attached; wrap wire around stems gently, but firmly (too tightly, the stems will break; too loosely, they will fall out), securing with several loops around the frame.
Advance by wrapping wire several inches along frame; place the next bunch overlapping the first and wire against frame. Repeat procedure as you make your way around the frame. Try to position bunches evenly, aiming for symmetry in size and shape as you work along. You can trim tips later to adjust edges, if needed.
When finished, loop wire a few times around frame, then snip spool away and tuck end securely into frame. Assessing where the wreath looks fullest, which will become the bottom, cut a six-inch piece of wire and slip into the rear opposite side to create a loop for hanging. Mark location with a scrap of ribbon so it is easy to find later. If using a wire hanger where you already made a loop, you can simply trim.
Now decorate with ribbon, berries, pinecones, and cranberry/popcorn garlands or decorative picks available at craft stores. Create a theme such as feeding birds, children’s toys, or based on color. It can be glittery or natural with seed heads and berries collected in the wild. It is your unique expression; so let your creative juices flow and have fun with it!