Foraged Christmas Wreath | DIY

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Hey guys! Happy Wednesday!

Today I wanted to stop by and share a fun little project/tutorial I did last week. I love fresh Christmas wreaths but I never buy them because they're always so dang expensive. I have a few fake ones that I like and are really pretty, but they don't have that good smell that fresh ones have. Then I realized, duh! I have a forest behind my house and tons of evergreens! So I decided to make my own. I enlisted the help of my little sis to be my photographer/videographer (hey Tiffany!) and I created a tutorial to take you through the process in case you decide to make your own too!

We live in a pretty wooded area, and we have lots of cedars, sugar pines, and douglas firs growing on our property. One of the most fun and easiest steps of this project was gathering what I could from our backyard! But even if you don't have as easy access to trees as I do, there's other ways to go about it.

Maybe you live within driving distance of some woods. In some areas you need a permit to forage and other places it's free. Just call your local county, BLM, or forest service to find out what rules apply where you live. If you go adventuring to forage for your wreaths, just make sure to always tell someone where you're going, and even better, take someone with you too!

I've also heard you can sometimes find Christmas tree vendors that will sell their trimmings for cheap or you could use trimmings off of your own tree if you purchase a real one.

If you do forage for your greenery, just make sure you don't get too crazy. Don't go onto private property without permission, don't take to much off of any one spot on the tree, and leave the place as you found it. I found that I didn't really have to trim much at all off my trees, and I had way more than enough to make mine.

Even if you've never made a wreath before (like me!) it's actually pretty simple once you gather all your supplies. And it's so much cheaper than buying one! I went and spent around $7 on a few supplies and some faux berries (since those were the only thing I didn't have growing naturally here, maybe I need to plant some in the future, hmm?).

The things you'll need for your wreath are:

  • A Wreath frame (I used a 12 in.)
  • Green floral wire
  • Accents (optional: faux berries, ribbon, bows, pinecones)
  • Garden shears
  • Wire cutters (I just used my garden shears) 
  • Greenery trimmings (about 12 inches long) 
  • A Workspace cover (I used kraft paper to keep the pitch off my table)

The first thing you'll need is a frame unless you want it to be more loose and wild, in which case you could try making the wreath just out of your greenery, but I wanted that extra support (plus something to hang it by). I just used a basic metal one that I can re-use every year, but you could also choose a grapevine or other type of frame. You'll also need some floral wire (green to blend in), and any other accents you might want like pine cones, faux berries or ribbon. 

I used my garden shears on my floral wire, which is probably a no-no, but it was so thin I don't think it really hurt them. They do have wire that comes on a roll with a cutter, so that would be a really handy way to go if you didn't want to buy them separately.  

Once you have all of your greenery, all you have to do is start connecting it with your floral wire!

I gathered trimmings that were about 12-18 inches long and then I cut them down into smaller pieces.  They probably ended up being about a third to half that once I cut them up and started combing them into bunches. I would either do all one type or I would use a couple pieces of cedar, and add them to a piece or two of fir and wrap them together at the bottom with wire. 

Next I would use another piece of wire to wrap and secure it to my frame. After I got going I realized it was faster to make up my bunches of greenery and once I had several, add them to the frame. You want to work from top to bottom, layering each consecutive bunch over the bottom of the one before it to cover your wire.

After you work your way around the frame, you want to go back in and fill in any bare or thin spots with smaller bunches. Sometimes I'd used multiple types of greenery together but with smaller pieces and sometimes I would use one individual piece to fill in a small spot.

All you want to do is make sure that you're attaching them in a way that your wire will be hidden by other parts of the wreath. If you use the green wire it blends in pretty well though.

I also recommend picking it up off your workspace periodically so you can see how well everything is attached. I had some parts that wanted to fall a little from the top of the pieces, so I had to wire them on the tops too. That should only be a problem on one little section though, just because of the direction the greenery is going. 

After you have all of your greenery connected, it's time for accents! You can go as simple or elaborate as you want, but I opted for just a few faux berries and a couple of pine cones. My pine cones were almost completely closed up still, but I was able to wrap my wire in between the rows of petals (is that what you would call them?) and then use that same piece of wire to connect them to the wreath. And I wired my berries onto some smaller pieces of greenery then wired them to the frame too.

And you're done! Like I said, this project is so much fun and you can go as basic or ornate as you want to. It's a simple process either way, and it's a pretty quick project that you can do by yourself, or with friends and family. I plan on making it a yearly tradition now, and maybe sometimes I'll make a party out of it and invite all my girls over to make some too!

Hopefully it all made sense with the pictures and instructions, but I have a video too! You can watch me make mine, so it should make the process that much easier if you decide to make one too. 

I've been wanting to start creating some video content for the blog, so I made a youtube channel and I plan on doing more videos in the future if you guys like them! I love to watch videos, so definitely let me know if that's something you'd like to see more of :)

Alright, thanks so much for stopping by today, and I hope you enjoy your wreath making! Please share them with me if you do make them, email me or tag me on Instagram or Facebook because I'd love to see them! Have a great rest of your day friends!

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