Thursday, December 09, 2010

Round two - in the cold

I seized an opportune moment yesterday and got my extra wreath made.  It was late in the evening and I had to work out in the garage, so by the time I was done my fingers and toes were numb with cold.  I started out taking photos along the way, but toward the end I was just trying to hurry and finish so I could scour my hands and go inside to thaw out.

But briefly, to begin you need a wreath form, either one like this:
wreath making - first bundle
or like this:
starting the wire for Evergreen wreath
(the single hoop is much easier to work with, but harder to find)

You also need some florist wreath wire, about 22 gauge.

The other thing you need is your greens.  Noble fir is ideal for Christmas wreaths and smells great.  You can incorporate just about any evergreen or eucalyptus.  You wouldn't want to use anything that will die or brown quickly, unless you're using it in a dried state.  Cut your greens in 5-10inch lengths and sort them by type so you can easily see what you have left and spread your varieties through the wreath evenly.

You need to first anchor the end of your wire on the form so it doesn't slide around.  You will need to pull the wire extremely taut, so it needs to be secure.  Then begin wiring your greens on in bundles of 3.  wrap the wire around each bundle (and around the form at the same time) at least 6 times, and pull it tight enough that the wire cuts into the branches a bit.  How closely you overlap your bundles will determine how full (or flat) your wreath lays.  Every 8-10 bundles hold your wreath form up to make sure your bundles are wired tight enough.  If they are not then they will slump into the center with gravity. (and you'll be making a table centerpiece instead of a wreath).  When you complete  your circle you need to tie off and secure your wire before cutting it off.  (with the double form you go around the inner circle first, then the outer - this is trickier because the wire spool has to be slipped between rings each  time you wrap.)

wreath making - 10th bundle

Once the greens are completed you just hang it up and embellish.  If you want to re-use your embellishments then wire them in.  If not, they can just be affixed with hot glue.  I am cheap so I never glue anything. And most craft stores have their Christmas picks and sprays on sale right now, so it's a good time to pick up embellishments.  Don't be afraid to cut them apart with wire cutters and spread their sparkliness around.  Most artificial sprays are made on a wire base, so the individual flowers, stems, and leafs can be manipulated quite a bit.


The finished wreath should be kept in the coolest environment possible to last as long as possible.  (Outside on a front door is ideal)   Occasionally misting it with water can help lengthen it's life as well.

See, that's not so very complicated!


hairyshoefairy said...

I'm impressed. It's a beautiful wreath! I may have give it a shot. At the end of the season do you pull off all the boughs and hand on to the wire part for next year or do you toss it all together and start new next time?

Em said...

I'm going to attempt cutting the wire off and re-using it. The form is sure to be coated in sap, so we'll see if it's salvageable or not.

The Hodges Family said...

That is a beautiful wreath...well done Em!

Katie May said...

As usual, you make everything beautiful!

p.s. we're totally missing your awesome Christmas treats this year! I'd ask for recipes, but you and I both know I'm too lazy and un-talented to do it like you do!

Brittany said...

Gorgeous Em! And I bet it smells incredible.

Jenna said...

Wow Emily that is BEAUTIFUL!

Kaydee said...

Impressive...especially considering that you have a 9 week old baby! I barely find time to shower! you are amazing

The Perry family said...


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