Monday, November 29, 2010

Wreath Making 101

My husband is from Oregon, so every year since we've been married we make Christmas wreaths with cedar and fir boughs from the trees on his parents' property. It's so much fun, and we really enjoy doing it. We usually make 3 or 4 wreaths and deck our whole place out with them. :) This year, however, we weren't able to go to Oregon during Thanksgiving, but I found a way to make them anyway! I was able to purchase a big ol' box of spruce boughs from the local nursery--they just cut them off of their trees for me. I'm sure any nursery would do that--just ask! I used some of our old ornaments for decorations, and I bought a few sparkly Christmas picks for a few dollars at the craft store. I also got my wreath ring and floral wire there. I made the bow with some ribbon I found in a box, but you can buy one just like it at the dollar store or Walmart. So total, I spent maybe...$15. If you've got a lot of bushy trees in your yard, you could even cut some boughs off those and do it for almost free!

If you'd like to try making a wreath of your own...you're in luck! I typed up some instructions for Enrichment Night--so here they are! If you have any questions, please email me or leave me a comment. I'd be more than happy to help you!

Materials:
Fir, cedar, spruce boughs (whatever is available—I like to do a mix of a couple types for variety)
Nippers
Gloves
Floral wire (I used 22 gauge)
Wreath ring
Ribbon for bow
Ornaments, floral picks, anything for decorating your wreath

Directions:
1. Wear gloves while working with the boughs.
2. Cut your boughs into about 12 inch lengths.
3. Anchor your wire to the wreath ring by twisting it around one bar a couple times, then wrap it around all the bars 4 or 5 times. Don’t cut the wire. I leave it attached to the spool the entire time. The spool serves as a great gripping device so you can pull the wire really tight.
4. Gather together 3-4 boughs at a time and arrange them in a bunch in your hand. Hold the boughs in your left hand with the full branches pointing left toward your elbow, and the ends of the stems pointing to the right. There should be about 3-4 inches of stem sticking out from your hand. This is where you’ll wrap the wire around the boughs to anchor them to the wreath ring.
5. Now you need to grab the wreath ring and add it to the boughs that are in your hand. You will still be holding the boughs with your left hand—just grab the wreath ring, too. Hold really tight. 6. Using your right hand, take the spool of wire and wrap it around the 3-4 inches of stem that is sticking out from your left hand. Wrap around them 5-6 times, pulling tight each time and holding the wire down with your left index finger so it doesn’t loosen. Don’t cut the wire. You will just pull it over tightly when you are ready for the next set of boughs.
7. Once you’ve wrapped it around 5-6 times, you can let go, set it down, and gather your next bundle of boughs.
You will be rotating the wreath ring counterclockwise during this process.
8. Repeat steps 4-7. Overlap the boughs so that the full branches cover the stems and wire of the previous bundle of boughs. Be sure to overlap them enough so that the wreath looks full.
Once you’ve worked your way completely around the wreath ring, you will need to end your wire. Just wrap the wire around itself in the back. (The floral wire will be vertical, so just wrap it around itself several times.)
9. You can also create a loop for hanging if you’d like by wrapping the wire around itself, then making a loop, then wrapping it around itself again to secure the loop. Be sure wrap it enough times so it doesn’t come loose. I usually don’t use a loop—I just hang the wreath by the wreath ring.
10. Cut the wire.
11. Now hold your wreath up and check for holes. If you see spots that need to be filled in, just anchor the wire in the spot that needs more, gather an adequate amount of boughs, work them in where they’re needed, then wrap your wire around the stems tightly as in steps 4-6. You will need to skip to step 10 to end the wire.
12. Once your wreath is full, you can trim it around the edges and in the center—any branches that are too long or stick out can be cut off to make it look neat.
13. Now you can decorate it. Use any ornaments, floral picks, or bows you’d like. To attach ornaments, I just get a long piece of floral wire, put the ornament in the center, twist it to secure it to the wire, then I place it where I want it and pull the wires around tightly and twist them together in the back.

Hang your wreath and enjoy!

2 comments:

  1. Following you back! Love your wreath, I actually bought stuff to start one, but I don't have fir. I just found a wreath out of sticks on sale for a dollar so we'll see how it turns out!
    Katie
    miamoodesigns.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

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