How to make a Christmas wreath for nothing

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In another moment of domestic goddessness and probably because I have been looking at Martha Stewart’s website too much I decided to make a Christmas wreath.

I used to make them years back at our old house.  Back then we had a lovely front door that invited the addition of a wreath and I had more time as I didn’t work full-time.  Our front door now is Ok but its UPVC so you can’t attach anything to it.  I have tried numerous stick on hooks but they just don’t take the weight of a wreath.  Last year my son put up a hook by the front door and it looked better than I had anticipated.

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I was going to collect some holly from work where it grows plentifully in the grounds but then I remembered how badly I used to react to the scratches it causes as you try to assemble the wreath.  Instead I stopped at my parents and cut some Golden Cypress as the background plant for the wreath.  My parents have a ridiculously large Golden Cypress that they inherited with the house and are only too pleased to see another bit chopped off!!

I then collected a range of evergreen foliage from my garden and was pleased to see how many evergreen plants I have.  I went to a talk earlier in the week and the speaker suggested that you should have 50% evergreen plants in the garden for it to look good.  This did seem rather a lot but I can see the point.  Anyway, I collected ivy, rosemary, choysia, euonymous and shiny dark green leaves from an unidentified plant.

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When I used to make wreaths I used one of those really thick wire coat hangers you get from dry cleaners.  As I didn’t have any of these I used two lesser wire coat hangers and wired them together for strength.  Then I started by wiring a layer of Cypress around the wire hoop.  I had gone to buy florists wire this morning and a big red bow but the florist was shut.  I then realised that I had plenty of wire in the garage from tying in various climbers etc.  Having created a base I then built up the layers with the other bits of foliage, wiring each in place.

As I couldn’t get a red bow to embellish the wreath I  had bought some wide gold ribbon to try to make one.  The ribbon turned out to be one-sided and very stiff and the bow I created was just too big and bulky for the wreath and looked incongruous.  The only other thing I could find was some of that thin gold ribbon you use on presents so I tied a few small bows around the wreath and I have to say I am quick pleased with the effect.

It isn’t as rich and colourful as the wreaths I used to create but I think it has a certain elegance about it and it cost nothing which is even more satisfying. The rosemary also gives off a wonderful scent

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25 Comments Add yours

  1. Christina says:

    Rosemary is a lovely idea. I usually use Bay because we have such a lot around and I like the smell of that too. I think your wreath is beautiful and elegant and certainly much nicer than the ones you can buy that cost a fortune. Christina

    1. patientgardener says:

      Thanks Christina – I meant to use bay but I forgot to pick it and then I decided I had enough foliage

  2. Its lovely Helen – You’ve inspired me to try and make my own this year. I especially like the choice of foliage!

  3. Like Christine you have inspired me… I will make use of the ivy that is STILL growing in the garden. I have rosemary too. 🙂

    1. patientgardener says:

      Ronnie and Christine – glad you feel inspired, have fun.

  4. Judy says:

    It is a beautiful wreath. Here in New England, we’d call it a true Yankee wreath because you repurposed, reused and recycled things in order to produce a beautiful product. As someone else said, it is much prettier and means more than one you can purchase.

    1. patientgardener says:

      Hi Judy, I shall call it my Yankee wreath. I have noticed that some US homes have wreaths all year themed for the season, is this common?

    2. Judy says:

      Yes, folks over here love their wreaths. After the Christmas holiday season, they start right up with the next holiday and usually use grapevines or styrofoam bases to create their wreath base. It never ends – hearts, shamrocks, eggs, spring, summer, fall, pumpkins and we’re back to greenery. But, the real accomplishment is when you make something beautiful with things you have on hand like you did.

  5. I am going to try this one ! good tip ! thanks !

    1. patientgardener says:

      Hi Gwen – glad you like it, have fun

  6. djdfr says:

    Well done. I know what you mean about the holly.

  7. Mark and Gaz says:

    Wonderful work there Helen! I was just looking at door wreaths earlier and noting how expensive they were for what they are. But they are pretty and cheerful so understand why the demand is there. Your comment about the uPVC made me smile as yes, some doors seem to merit having a wreath on it over others and wooden period doors are the best candidates. uPVC doors we have as well, fortunately it has a knocker so that’s where we can hang one. Perhaps next year though when we actually manage to finally sort out the front garden…

    The Golden Cypress is a good substitute for Holly, why can be as vicious as handling cacti at time and you’ll need thick gloves to be able to wire it in. Using Choisya is quite unique too 🙂

  8. patientgardener says:

    Hi Guys
    Glad you like it. You could make one with lots of exotic looking foliage – would be fab

  9. Cathy says:

    I like the idea of using some aromatic foliage, but it’s good to forage in your own garden for your own greenery, whatever it is (don’t think I have any aromatics). Mine (picture in a recent post) is traditional holly and ivy of which we have plenty, and I learned the hard way about the holly! You can get hooks that actually hang over the door but perhaps that would still be a problem for your door, and a good ribbon to use is a wide gauzy one that has thin wire edges so you can form it into whatever size and shape bow you want and it will maintain that shape. It’s reusable too.

  10. Anna says:

    Oh I like that Helen or should I say Martha – it is simple, green and most fresh looking. A bargain too as most of the ready made ones cost a small fortune. Our local Country Market has a seller who makes festive wreaths each year for a reasonable price so I’m hoping to pick one up this week.

  11. Nice job, classy result. I’ve got a uPVC door too, and haven’t quite worked out where I could put a hook, but you have inspired me to give it a go, and I have plenty of evergreens to use despire having dug out three enormous spotted laurels!!

  12. Hi Helen, your Wreath looks lovely, i’m definitely going to give it a go when I get a chance.
    Your dark green glossy leaves look like Mahonia.

    Sounds like someone needs to invent a UPVC door wreath hanging device…….. Hmmmm, will it make me rich I wonder…?

    Incidentally…. is it snowing on this page.??

  13. indygardener says:

    I like your wreath… you made it look pretty easy. I should give it a try.

  14. Lovely, Helen. I clearly need more evergreen foliage in my garden, for wreath making alone!

  15. hillwards says:

    A lovely verdant wreath to cheer up the grey days of winter.

  16. Really like that Helen. It is lovely to see the variety of green. Ian has been making willow circles to make some more for us and a couple to go to the cemetery for family graves. They look really good too!

  17. commonweeder says:

    My wreaths cost ALMOST nothing, but I do begin with a wire circle that I get for a couple of bucks. And it is reusable. Fortunately I have lots of different evergreens in the garden and in our woods. I do enjoy the project, and I have even made a wreath for friends. A great gift.

Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

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