If you are blessed with an abundance of evergreens, or if you have access to a woodlands it is a very easy task to create your own fragrant wreath.
First, I must note that you should never, ever cut branches off these beautiful trees just to make a wreath.
Instead, simply wait for windy weather and when the skies calm, go out and you will find what you are looking for right on the ground! A true 'windfall'!
Or, if you have put off trimming your own trees, now is an excellent time and you can put to good use all of the trimmings.
Gather your materials.
For this large wreath, I gathered a large laundry basket full of Douglas Fir branches from our recent storm, a 20 inch grapevine wreath, a spool of green florist wire, wire clippers (or an old pair of scissors), and a small basket of fir cones.
Also, (not shown here) a pair of pruners or gardening shears or use that old pair of scissors.
First, create a hanging loop by folding a 24 inch length of wire in half and twisting to form a loop. Wrap ends around wreath several times and tuck the sharp ends in or clip.
Finding this hanging loop once you are done creating your wreath might be difficult, so I recommend tying a brightly colored ribbon to the loop that you can remove later.
To begin, trim 3 or 4 sprigs to a length of approximately 8 inches. I used a pair of gardening shears, but clippers or an old pair of scissors will work fine. You will not want to use your good pair, as this process will dull the blades!
To begin, wrap the end of your spool of wire around the wreath once and twist the end around the strand of wire to secure tightly. Tuck or snip the sharp end.
Gather your handful of 3-4 trimmed sprigs and position them pointing upwards along the front of your grapevine wreath.
Wrap the wire tightly around the wreath, capturing the bundle near the ends, leaving about 3 inches to form a base. Wrap around wreath, capturing this bundle 2-3 times, pulling to tighten. (Not too hard, you don't want to break your wire)
Trim any excessively long ends.
Continue this process, angling your next bunch slightly outward and a little lower than the first. Your third bunch should be angled slightly inward, always moving a little lower for each bunch.
As you proceed, turn the wreath so that the first bunch of each layer of three is always pointing upwards.
Trim any long ends as you go along.
Just keep adding bundles in this manner until you cover the whole wreath, carefully tucking the last few into the beginning bundles to hide the ends.
Once you are done, create bundles of cones by cutting lengths of wire approximately 12 inches, and starting at middle of wire, slide it into the base of the first cone about 2 or 3 scales up, twisting wire together to secure. Add the other two cones in the same manner, using the ends of the same wire to twist around each base. Trim off or tuck in any loose ends.
Next, cut another length of wire about 12 inches long and fold this around the middle of the bundle, catching the previous wire in the fold, twist the two ends to secure and then wrap each end around the wreath, carefully lifting the greenery out of the way and nestling your pine cone cluster snugly. Twist the wire ends together on the underside of wreath securely and clip or tuck in.
You can space each cluster evenly as I have done, or create a grouping in one area.
Now the best part! Hang your creation and trim lightly if needed.
Fresh evergreen wreaths are best kept outdoors, as they dry out quickly inside heated homes.
But, bringing them inside for a special event is a lovely and fragrant way to decorate. Just be sure to replace your creation outdoors as soon as possible to keep it fresh.
Using this technique of wreath making, you are free to experiment with many different types of evergreens and embellishments.
The possibilities are as endless as your imagination!
Happy Wreath Making!