I have a little obsession with wreaths–especially this time of year when they seem to be everywhere. My only hang up is that they are always SO EXPENSIVE. I can’t justify spending $50 on a fresh evergreen wreath that is going to lose its needles in a month. Luckily, after a little trial and error, I’ve found a foolproof way to make a fresh wreath for about $5.
For this project, you’ll need:
- Grapevine wreath, any size (I got an 18″ one at Walmart for less than $5)
- Evergreen clippings
- Floral wire
- Burlap ribbon *optional
- Battery-powered lights *optional
The first step is to gather evergreen clippings. I know that certain places will sell clippings for fresh wreath making, but the point here is to save money, not spend it. When we went to our local Christmas tree lot to pick up this year’s tree, I kindly asked if I could look through their scrap pile. Christmas tree lots almost always have to cut the bottom few inches of branches off of each tree, so they’ll usually have a big pile of clippings that are ripe for the taking. The employees may give you a strange look when you ask for these scraps, but at least they won’t charge you for them! 😛
Sort your clippings into piles based on branch length. I clipped a few extra branches from the trees in my backyard, so I made separate piles for each type of branch as well (pine, fir, spruce, etc). Don’t throw away any pieces that might look too small right now; you might need them for filler later.
Attach one end of your floral wire to the grapevine wreath. Twist the wire around a section of the wreath a few times to form a secure base. Keep the whole spool of wire attached to this base and lay it to the side.
Next, place your biggest evergreen pieces onto the wreath face one by one until most of the area is covered. Each branch should overlap the previous one by at least 1/3 of the length. I like to lay them all the same direction, but that is totally personal preference. Pick up your floral wire and slowly unroll the spool/paddle while going around the wreath. Try to get at least two pieces of wire holding down each piece of greenery.
Now that you have a base layer of greenery, move on to your other piles of clippings. Wire down a later of medium clippings, followed by a layer or two of small clippings. You can turn the smaller pieces outward to make a “fan-like” edge, OR you can wire them down tightly to make a more cylindrical wreath. The small clippings are good for covering the wire from previous layers. Keep going like this until you’re satisfied with the fullness of your wreath. The nice part about using a grapevine wreath as a base (rather than wire or foam wreath bases) is that you don’t necessarily need to cover every single inch of the base with greenery; if a little bit of the grapevine shows through, it will just look like part of an evergreen branch.
You can add any embellishments that you want to make this fresh wreath your own. I made a simple bow out of 4″ burlap ribbon and attached it to the wreath with more floral wire. I also stuck a strand of star-shaped lights into the wreath, tucking a few of the stars through the exposed floral wire to keep the lights in place. (Make sure to use battery-powered lights if you want to go this route; it makes hanging a lot easier!)
If hung outdoors, your fresh wreath should last at least a month. Mist the greens with water if they begin to look dry. If hung indoors, the lifespan will be a lot shorter (maybe two weeks) and you’ll have to mist the wreath every other day or so.