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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Make Your Own Fresh Evergreen Wreath - Tutorial

Every year we get a fresh Christmas tree and I make a fresh evergreen wreath.  Here's how I do it...

Acquire bunches of evergreens.  {Boy do I love that smell!  Nothing brings Christmas memories and spirit to me like the smell of fresh cut evergreens.}  The most common greens are Douglas fir, noble fir, princess pine and cedar.  You can use any one alone, or combine them.  This year I just purchased two bunches of cuttings ($4 each) from the Christmas tree lot where we got our tree.  As it turned out I had to trim some branches from the bottom of our tree to get it into the stand, so I only needed to buy one bunch.  You can also use any evergreens you happen to have in your yard, although you tend to need more than you think you will. 

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Get a wreath form of some kind.  Sometimes I buy a wire frame from a craft store or floral wholesaler (since I used to be/still kind of am a freelance florist).  Last year I bought a wreath from the dollar store, and this year I'm using a grapevine wreath I picked up at a yard sale for 50 cents.  You also need hand clippers (floral or garden), and wire (usually green, but I had silver on hand so that's what I used). 

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Cut off sprigs of greenery varying in length, mine were about 4-6 inches long.  Gather the sprigs, lining up the bottom edges and wrap with wire.  (As shown above)  I usually wrap the wire around once, then twist the ends together like a twist tie, and wrap the rest around so it doesn't stick out. 

Repeat many, many times.

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I ended up needing 3 or 4 times this many bunches.
Secure the beginning end of a very long piece of wire to the frame (I like to use the paddle wire from craft stores for this).  Lay the first bunch on the frame and wrap the wire around the frame, securing the bunch to it.  Lay another bunch down, overlapping enough to cover the wire around the first bunch.  Repeat going around the whole frame, angling some bunches towards the inside of the wreath, and some towards the outside edge to completely cover the frame.  Wrap the long piece of wire around each bunch, securing it to the frame.  (Although when I put down the first bunch I really liked the way the evergreen looked against the grapevines, so I may do some kind of variation in the future.)

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Lay the bunches down pointing in the same direction and continue in the same direction on the wreath. Keep going around and around until you get to the beginning.  Lift up the first few bunches and tuck some more in underneath to make sure the wreath is complete.  Tie off the very long piece of wire and...

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Voila!
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Back view
You can trim it a bit if there are any sprigs sticking out too far for your liking.  Then it's time to decorate!  I gathered up some things I have used in years past for various decorations.  I had a bow and a couple glittery gold snowflakes I used on my wreath last year, some mesh garland I got from the dollar store years ago, and some pine cones, a wooden bird ornament and gold bead garland, all of which I purchased from Michael's this year.  The gold bead garland came with six strands, and was four feet long, but I pulled it apart so I got 24 feet instead of just four.

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Total cost $8-15 (or less, depending what you have on hand)

My four and a half year-old son also made a wreath, almost entirely on his own.  He was very proud of it.  I thought it was pretty impressive for his age, too. 

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We hung his wreath on the front door since mine wouldn't fit between it and the storm door.

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Does anyone else use fresh greenery in their decor?

6 comments:

  1. Those fresh wreaths look wonderful.....so festive and ready for the holidays!

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  2. Great wreath! And I love your sons too. So cute!

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  3. How pretty. I agree there's nothing like the fresh smell. I'm glad your son is enjoying it.

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  4. I, too, and crazy for the scent of fresh evergreen, but I had never thought to make my own wreath with it. Yours turned out beautifully.
    Thanks for linking up to Theme Party Thursday! I hope you have a Merry Christmas.
    -Jami
    http://aintshecrazy.blogspot.com

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