A holiday wreath is an easy way to make the front of your house look festive without the blow up Santa and lights that twinkle to Jingle Bells! It is also a holiday decoration that can be fairly low in waste and you can save yourself money by doing it yourself (I promise it is easy)!
Did you know that during the holidays the waste created in most households increases by 25%?
Imagine, if you take out one bag full of garbage each week, that means during December you will have to take out a whole extra bag of garbage! Try to cut your waste as much as possible this year by doing 5 simple acts:
Bring the bag…the reusable bag shopping with you.
Avoid the temptation of plastic packaged foods at the grocery store
No over-cooking or baking!
Use plastic & foil free wrapping paper…try some great options HERE
Buy from eco-friendly and local businesses
Anyways, back to making your own wreath!
You will be making this wreath out of a few simple things, most of which you probably already have at home. The greenery you may even be able to find outdoors, however I did buy mine from a local shop because I wanted a better variety of greens. I find that the best greens are cedar and fir. Spruce can be very spiky so I try to avoid it (spiky spruce, friendly fir). You also do not need to buy fancy wire or twig circles sold at craft stores. The structure of this wreath can be reused throughout the year too by switching the decorations. More on this at the end!
DIY Holiday Wreath
First, you will need to collect a few items:
Thick cardboard at least 12 – 16 inches in diameter (if using cardboard like a cereal box, cut 2-3 circles to increase thickness and structure). Brown paper (or newspaper, tissue paper or a combination) Twine or yarn (whatever you have) Greenery
Pine, fir, cedar, berry bush, pinecones, any soft evergreen, juniper, a few stems of eucalyptus, dried leaves or flowers, real or fake berries. Take your pick!
Pencil Ruler Scissors/exacto blade Pruners (if you have them… I do not and I broke my scissors trying tocut pine branches!)
How to Make a Live Holiday Wreath
Step One: creating the cardboard frame
Draw a circle on one piece of cardboard. The circle should be about 10-14” in diameter. I used a bowl I had that was roughly 10” and traced around it. This circle will be the inner circle of your wreath. An inner circle measuring 10-11” will make a small wreath, while 12-14” will make a larger one. Next, take your ruler and measure out 2 inches from the inner circle and make a mark with your pencil. Make several 2 inch marks all the way around the circle, until you can connect them all, making a larger circle around your smaller one.
Now that you have your two circles, cut around both circles, creating a cardboard donut.
Step Two: adding structure to the cardboard frame
The structure of the wreath is going to come from the paper and twine we will wrap around the cardboard circle. Take your brown paper or newspaper and bunch it up into a long crumpled strip. Wrap the paper around the cardboard and keep wrapping until the cardboard is covered. I prefer using shorter pieces of paper (1-2 feet at a time) to make it easier to wrap around. Don’t worry if it unravels a little as we will be wrapping twine around in a moment. The paper should make the cardboard donut more of a 3 dimensional donut!
Take your twine and tie it around the wreath and back onto itself. Start wrapping the twine around and around the paper covered wreath structure. Go around the wreath with the twine a couple of times. This not only secures the paper in place, but it is also what will help attach the greenery.
Step Three: adding the base greenery
The best greenery to start with are larger stems of cedar, fir, or pine. They have bushier stems that can cover lots of space and curve well around the wreath. Larger stems also need to be secured under several pieces of twine which is easier to do at the beginning.
Cut pieces of greenery ranging between at least 6-10 inches in length. Take one and stick the end of the stem through the wrapped twine (at least 3-4 pieces of twine to secure it). Once that one is secured, place another branch through the twine. Make sure all the branches are going in the same direction. Space out the branches at first, then begin cutting slightly smaller branches to fill it in. The goal is to cover all the paper and twine areas with branches. Don’t forget about the inside and outside of the wreath. The only area you do not necessarily need to cover is the back, which will be sitting against a door or flat surface.
Now the wreath is just missing some lovely additions to the front of the wreath. Cut small stems of eucalyptus or whatever fun greenery you choose and find a branch that can move slightly away from the wreath. Stick the eucalyptus behind it and into a strand of twine. Continue this until the wreath looks balanced. If you aren’t sure what I mean by this, try spacing these pieces a third of the way around. Lastly, place the berry branches or pinecones onto the wreath.
And now your wreath is complete! If you would like to add a wire or string onto the back for easy hanging, you can attach it to a few pieces of twine.
Preserving Your Wreath
Wreaths do best when kept in cool weather. Store your wreath outside. You can also spray it with water, especially if it will be inside for a number of days.
After the season is over and you decide to compost the branches, take your wreath apart and keep the cardboard and paper wreath frame. You can use this frame next year for the holidays! This wreath frame can also be used throughout the year by changing the decor every once in a while. In the spring I change my wreath to one covered in scarves. Then I place some dried flowers and leaves in it too!