Making a Wreath: Following a Floret Flower’s Tutorial

One of the silver linings this year has been learning to use and appreciate what I have. 

When I thought about my Christmas decorations, I started craving something fresh. I remembered this tutorial for an evergreen wreath in Erin Benzakein’s book, A Year in Flowers. I’d always wanted to make a fresh wreath, but growing up in Southern California, it wasn’t something I’d ever tried.

Every now and then, there are benefits to hoarding craft supplies. I found a 12″ wire wreath form and some floral wire tucked in the back of the closet just waiting for this moment.

At first, I was intimidated by the list of ingredients. Could I really find that many different types of branches? However, it turned out that the hardest part of foraging for supplies was changing out of my pajamas and putting on my gardening boots. Once outside, I found more than enough variety.

In the book, Erin talks about selecting unusual ingredients like ivy berries and seedpods. She has an eye for using unexpected, textural elements, so her wreath is a mini work of art. Since this was my first attempt, I kept things simpler, replying on battery-operated lights for some extra sparkle.

When I look back on this season which has felt bittersweet, I hope I always remember making this wreath.

Here, at the end of the year, I’m tired. I’ve been trying to be intentional about only choosing activities that speak to me. This one hit the mark. I loved being outside in the crisp air and slowing down long enough to notice the difference between a spruce tree and a cedar.

And the smell! You probably don’t need me to tell you that, but all those pine-scented candles have it wrong. My laundry room is now filled with a sweet citrus scent that smells like Heaven.

If you want to try making your own wreath, I added a few notes below. I also made a very short video that shows the process start to finish. (Confession: I’ve watched the clip 83 times now, because I love pretending that it only took me 30 seconds to make it. HA! You and I both know that it took slightly longer than that.)

Supplies I had on hand:

  • Wreath form (12”)
  • Floral wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Something to cut branches with (not pictured): I used various tools I found in the garage plus some hand-held pruners for cutting the branches into smaller pieces.

Practical matters:

I won’t repeat all of Erin’s instructions here, but I did learn a couple of things:

  • The secret to the wreath is to cut your branches into pieces 8″ long and create miniature bundles wrapped with wire.
  • I used 4 types of evergreens I found in my yard plus some fern leaves and holly.
  • Full disclosure: The fern leaves didn’t last very long without water, but while they were fresh, they were showstoppers. It’s possible that there’s some special trick I missed. However, if you want something extra special and lush for a day or two, they might be worth the trouble. You’d probably want to swap them out later for something else.

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