Every year when Christmas rolls around I really miss working in the craft store. I was their floral/display designer and to have an entire store’s inventory to choose from is absolutely delicious. Since I was only making wreaths for our house, I wanted to show you how to make a Christmas wreath, at least, how I do it. There really isn’t a right or wrong way when it comes to Christmas but I thought I’d give you a few guidelines so you don’t have to pay an exorbitant price for a ready-made wreath.
Before we get into it, a little more on my ‘career’ as a floral designer at Christmas time. Besides wreaths, I had numerous trees to decorate as well as the store window displays, ‘models’ all over the aisles to give shoppers inspiration and so on. It was hectic and tiring and I loved it. So much so that I eventually started decorating people’s homes.
That was a total dream job, scoping out places in the homes for decorations, shopping all over for their products and then scrambling to put it all together before the inevitable Christmas party. I wish I’d taken photos of everything but, honestly, by the time I was finished I just wanted a hot bath.
Now, when I walk into Michael’s or Hobby Lobby I get so nostalgic for those days. (And I like to pick apart the designs that get shipped into the store lol.) I hate being on a budget, but I do know how to stretch a dollar.
Want to know a few tips for saving money on wreaths?
- Buy the lower quality wreaths. You can add natural foliage to them or just so many decorations it really doesn’t matter.
- Buy floral bushes rather than stems. Much greater bang for the buck.
- Don’t forget your dollar store. I always find filler flowers and more there.
- Use ‘cheater loops’ for bows. More on that below
- Repurpose some of your broken ornaments or those that don’t make it on to the tree for your wreath(s).
Let’s see How to Make a Christmas Wreath now!
You’ll need these basic tools: a glue gun – low temp so you don’t burn your fingers! Scissors, floral tape, wire and wire cutters. For wreaths I use 20 gauge wire on a paddle because I’m normally using it to wire things that I don’t want to glue. It’s pretty malleable.
A little tip on floral tape, it’s waxed tissue paper and works best if you stretch it and at the end, adhere it to itself. It’s so great to take a piece of wire, attach a flower and then tape the whole wire. You can extend anything with wire and floral tape!
First, gather all of your supplies. In fact, gather more than you think you’ll need if you can. It helps with the designing to have a lot to choose from, if you have it.
I use a selection of large flowers, then some secondary or filler flowers, some ornamentals, and then some long line flowers or twigs. Not all of these are necessities, of course. Just a general rule of thumb. If you’re doing a snowman wreath, you might want to use little snowflake ornaments instead of flowers. Or for a kitchen wreath, gingerbread men and cookie cutters make an adorable wreath.
Don’t get me started.
Ok, after you have everything gathered, cut all the heads off the stems, leaving a few inches, 3-4 or so.
I found these cute wooden words at Michael’s and they fit perfectly in this 24″ wreath. You want to start with your largest focal item, be it a sign, a snowman or poinsettia. I took the paddle wire and wired the word securely into the wreath.
I take a long piece of wire, bend it into a hair pin shape and go thru, back to front on to items, twist and secure. Doing it this way ensures you won’t have a stray wire scratch your front door or anything else.
Wreaths can hang in many places. Many! Mirrors, walls, windows, smaller wreaths on the back of chairs, etc., etc. You’re only limited by your imagination.Now we get the ribbon ready. Most people like the look of a large florist bow in their wreaths. I rarely do that, instead preferring to weave pieces of ribbon thru the wreath. This year I changed it up and used ‘cheater loops’. These loops do a couple of things. One, they save a TON of ribbon, therefore saving you a ton of $$. A normal florist bow takes a minimum of 4 yards. Some ribbon comes in a put up of only 3 yards so you see where I’m going here. Second, most people don’t know how to make a large florist bow. If you’re one of those, don’t feel bad. It takes lots of practice.
A while back I made a video demo of how to make a florist bow, if you’re interested.
To make a cheater loop, cut 8-10″ of ribbon, fold in half, gather the ends in your fingers and wrap with floral tape or wire. At first this will feel cumbersome but keep at it. It’s worth the effort.
We also want ‘tails’ for our bows to make them look realistic. Cut a couple lengths of ribbon and do the same thing, scrunch one of the ends together and secure with wire or tape. I prefer tape but I’ve been doing this for a while. Try the wire if the tape gives you fits.
Now you have everything ready and you can start placing on the wreath. No glue yet. We want to see how it looks and make any changes before gluing. I tend to work in clusters. For this wreath the poinsettias are one cluster with pinecones, secondary flowers and berries. The bow becomes the other cluster with berries on one side.
I could’ve added more in the gaps but this is for our front doors so I wanted to go bold. I didn’t ‘need’ anything else. Totally up to you and what you want. Fill ‘er up if you want to!
Now it’s time to hot glue everything in. Remember I said LOW temp glue. I can’t tell you the amount of burns I had before low temp glue came out. Yes, I’ve been doing this for a bit, ha!
When you’ve glued everything in you’ll have strings of glue from hither and yon. Just take your blow dryer on low and blow them away.
ssshhh. I actually stole the burlap ribbon from last years’ wreath. Don’t tell.
Once you have everything cut, taped and gathered, making two wreaths is super easy.
And the two together! Fun, yes?
Full disclosure: I didn’t take a full shot of our doors because my lil bistro set is off to the left and is need of serious repainting. I can do Photoshop but I’m not that good at it, ha!
Are you ready to make your own wreath now? I hope so! Let me know if you have any questions at all. Either hit me up on Facebook or email me at mailto:email@example.com.
I’m happy to help!