A real, home-made wreath is a rarity in these days of plastic, store-bought wreaths. Technology has tried its best to replace them with garishly plastic, perfumed ones, but it simply can’t replicate the real thing – fresh, heavy with holly, and smelling of the fragrant forest.
Making a Christmas wreath is not at all difficult to do. Gathering the materials is a wonderful excuse for a walk, and almost like a treasure hunt as greenery and winter berries reveal themselves. We found the materials for our wreath on a short walk around the neighborhood, growing just along the road or in hedges. If there is something really lovely planted in someone’s yard, do ask before you start snapping off branches. Usually they won’t mind if you take just a few small branches.
The first thing to start looking for are some trailing grapevines, or Virginia creeper. Two or three yard-long lengths of vine will do for one wreath. Next find some greenery to fill out the wreath. Last of all, find some pretty things to add color and interest. Pine cones, beautiful leaves, interesting seed pods, and twigs with acorns or lichen are also excellent materials for making a unique and festive wreath.
Once you have gathered your grapevine lengths, greenery, and berries or other decorations, start by twisting one of the vines into a circle as large as you would like your wreath to be. Wrap the extra ends around and around so that it stays in a circle. Wrap another length of vine or two around the first one. This is the base to twine the greenery into.
Break the greenery into smaller branches. It is helpful to strip away the leaves or needles a few inches from the bottom of the branch, as this gives you some room to poke the end of the branch into the grapevine base. Work evenly around the wreath, trying not to leave gaps. You can have all the greenery pointing the same direction, or have accents of different textures or colors of greenery facing in different ways.
Once the greenery is in place, it is time to add the berries and other decorations. Poke them into the grapevine base, just like the greenery. If you have a pretty ribbon on hand, you can wrap it around the wreath to help secure the branches. If the ribbon obscures the decorations, you can just tie it in a pretty bow at the top of the wreath.