Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wreath Making 101

There has been some interest in how I make a wreath (OK, one person but that's a biggie for this blog). So I made another wreath to give as a gift and took some pictures to share with you.

Here is what you'll need:

An old wire hanger, florists wire, wire cutters and a pair of garden clippers. This hanger happened to be wrapped in some sort of green coating so all the better. Snip off the hook and bend the wire into a circle. It doesn't have to be perfect, the greenery will hide any wonky parts. Snip off the excess wire and twist the ends to join:

Clip sections from your greenery and make a little bunch, like so:

(Keep in mind that mistletoe is toxic if you are using it for your wreath, so it should be kept away from little helpers and hung up high)

Place the bunch along the wreath frame and wrap it a few times along the length of the stems with florists wire. If you are not dexterity-challenged like me, you can leave the wire on the spool and wind it around the frame; I find it easier to work with 12-inch sections of wire. Make a new bunch of greenery and lay it along the frame so it is covering the stem ends of the previous bunch and keep wrapping with the wire as you go:

Working around the frame and covering the wire on the previous bunch as you go:

(Yes, that's blood on my finger. I thought about GIMP-ing it out, but I'm all about keeping it real. I should probably add a band-aid to the list of things you'll need)
Until you are back where you started. Then tuck the ends of the last bunch up under the first to hide the last of the wire. Snip off any greenery that is hanging out and messing up your circle-y shape:

The back:

For larger projects that carry a bit more weight, I have a little different method. That ugly thing on the left is a "real" wreath frame like you might find on a wreath that you've purchased. I mocked up an example of a frame that I've made in the past using heavy wire that I scavenged off something. That's what you see on the right, just two circles wired together at intervals with a lighter gauge wire. It can be made standard-sized for your door or ginormous for a space like over your garage doors.

Again, clip sections of greenery until you have a nice full bunch. Cut a 5-inch section of florists wire and form it into a hook:

Put the loop of the hook over the ends of the greenery:

Give it a couple twists to secure and lay the bunch along the frame. Use the ends of the florists wire to attach it to the frame:

Keep making bunches and layering them on the frame as in the previous example. Tucking in sprigs of different evergreens or random berries looks lovely too:

Keep going until you get all the way around (I didn't have enough fir, the neighbor ran me off his property) and clip the stray ends to clean it up. Wrap it with pretty ribbon, tie on a bow or just hang as is.
Any questions?

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