Wreaths and garlands are booming in popularity, and over the last few years, they’ve become sought-after decorations for Easter, autumn and Halloween. However, despite being increasingly used throughout the year, wreaths and garlands will always be synonymous with Christmas.
Plenty of gorgeous wreaths are available ready to hang from the front door. But the most beautiful wreaths and garlands are those that are handmade. Making your own wreath or garland allows you to get creative and ensures nobody else on the street has the same wreath hanging from their front door. Creating both a wreath and a garland also means your indoor and outdoor holiday decorations match, tying your holiday decor into a cohesive look.
The good news is that you don’t have to be particularly crafty to create a stunning winter wreath. A DIY wreath or garland is surprisingly easy to make. All you need is a base fresh greenery, ornaments and a few tools. Oh, and a little imagination doesn’t go amiss!
Find more wreaths online at Christmas Trees Direct.
Materials You’ll Need to Make a Wreath
Gathering the supplies you need before you start is a great idea. It means you won’t get flustered trying to hold ornaments in place while you scramble around to find the wire cutters or ribbon. Having everything you need ready to go ensures that wreath-making is a relaxing activity you can enjoy.
What You’ll Need
- A frame. Your Christmas wreath frame can be made of wire, straw or twigs (known as a grapevine wreath form.)
- Greenery. Choose from traditional fir or festive holly, or use both to add texture and depth to your wreath. Ensure you have the owner’s permission before cutting any tree branches for your DIY Christmas wreath-making project.
- Ornaments. Whether you’re decorating your Christmas wreath with baubles, pine cones, berries or other seasonal embellishments, have them ready to attach before you begin.
- Floral wire. This is the easiest way to secure decorations onto a homemade wreath or garland.
- Tools. Wire snips and scissors are essential to have at hand when making a fresh Christmas wreath. A pair of sharp bypass secateurs or pruners are also handy for cutting foliage.
- Gardening gloves. Pine needles can be extremely prickly, so it’s always best to wear decent gardening gloves to prevent scratches.
The Best DIY Christmas Wreath Decorations
It’s actually quite tricky to make a fresh wreath or garland NOT look good. But that’s not to say you shouldn’t consider the decorations you use carefully.
The easiest thing is to decide on a theme. For example, do you want your Christmas wreath to look natural, or would you prefer it to have a bit more bling? It’s also worth considering how easily ornaments can get secured and whether they’ll be too heavy for the wreath or garland to hold.
- Pine cones. Forage your local woodland for pine cones to use on the wreath. They can be left natural for a rustic effect or covered in silver or gold spray paint for a bit more sparkle.
- Berries. Again, these can be found on a foraging trip (get the kids involved in picking up the best sprays – they’ll love it!) Holly berries work well on wreaths, complementing the foliage and providing a pop of bright red colour.
- Dried fruit. Dried apple, orange, and lemon slices produce a rustic Christmas wreath oozing with country charm. Add cinnamon sticks and enjoy the Christmassy scent as you brush past.
- Ribbons. A ribbon bow at the top or bottom of the wreath is a classic look that will never go out of style. Alternatively, tie several smaller bows all around the wreath.
- Baubles. Shiny baubles add a contemporary feel to a Christmas wreath. Choose icy blue and silver ornaments for a shimmering wintry look.
All these decorative ideas are easy to come by and simple to attach to the wreath form using floral wire.
Putting It All Together
Once you’ve gathered your materials and decided on your theme, it’s time to put it all together to create a beautiful Christmas wreath or garland.
Attaching the Foliage
- Start by clipping tree branches into manageable segments, around 5-10 inches long.
- Add the greenery to the garland or wreath frame and attach it securely with floral wire. You might want to gather segments into bunches to create a fuller, bushier effect.
- Step back to check the foliage looks full and balanced, adding branches to any sparse areas.
- Fluff the wreath out and use the secateurs to clip any wayward branches.
- Gather your ornaments and lay them in place. Step back and check everything looks good in position.
- Take the floral wire and tie it around each decoration, then pull the wire to the back of the wreath form and twist the ends together to secure it in place.
- Continue with all the adornments, securing them to the frame one-by-one.
- Have another look at the overall effect and add, remove or adjust anything that isn’t sitting quite right.
Where to Place Your Finished Christmas Garland or Wreath
When your garland or wreath is finished you’ll want to display it in a prominent position where family and friends can enjoy it. In the case of a Christmas wreath, you can show it off to passers-by and even the postman!
Garlands are traditionally hung from the mantel above the fire but they can be draped anywhere around the home. Staircase railings, sideboards and windowsills are all popular spots to wrap or hang a garland. Or you could lay it along the middle of the dining table as a lovely green centrepiece to admire during Christmas dinner.
Hanging a Christmas wreath on the front door is the most popular way to display holiday decor. However, if you like to be creative (or if you have more than one wreath to display), consider hanging your DIY wreath in a bay window, where it can still be seen by passers-by, or on the wall above the television or fireplace, where you can enjoy it snuggled up watching a Christmas movie.
Avoid placing a fresh Christmas wreath or garland too close to a working fireplace or other heat sources. As well as being a fire hazard, the heat will dry out the foliage and reduce the lifespan of your carefully created festive decoration.
How Long Do Fresh Wreaths and Garlands Last?
How long your fresh Christmas wreath or garland lasts depends on where you hang it. Some conditions are better than others for longevity. To ensure your wreath-making efforts last as long as possible, soak it in a bowl of water before hanging it. Doing this will help keep it hydrated for longer.
Garlands and wreaths made of real festive foliage will last up to 3 weeks kept inside. Misting fresh garlands and wreaths every couple of days helps keep the foliage hydrated and helps it look great for longer. Hot air is the main culprit when it comes to garlands turning brown prematurely. Wherever possible, keep them away from fireplaces, radiators, sunny windows and other heat sources.
A wreath or garland hung outside will last significantly longer, looking great for around 4-5 weeks as rain and cooler temperatures contribute to keeping the greenery fresh. Try to keep it out of direct sunlight, which can dry out the branches, turning them brown and crispy.
A fresh garland or wreath is a unique work of art, but you don’t need a talent for crafts to make a wreath of your own. With the right materials and supplies, making Christmas wreaths and garlands is a simple task that is fun to get into. Once you’ve made your first one, you’ll already be planning how to decorate next year!