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Do you love the smell of cedar, pine and redwood? This DIY fresh Christmas wreath is something anyone can make in less than an hour using fresh evergreen cuttings of conifers and berries!

With the cooler temperature outside and a little bit of mist, rain or snow, it will stay fresh for days or even weeks! All you need are some cuttings, and a few simple materials to make this DIY fresh Christmas wreath for this holiday season!

If you are looking for more DIY Christmas wreath ideas for indoors and outdoors, here is a collection of 30+ creative wreaths using materials you can find around your home!

Step 1: Gather materials for your DIY fresh Christmas wreath.

( Some of the helpful resources are affiliate links. Full disclosure here. )

The only materials we need besides botanical cuttings: an 18 inch wire wreath frame and some natural jute twine.

Try to find different kinds of conifers with foliage color variations such as bright green, blue green, yellow green, etc.

You will also need some cuttings from evergreen shrubs or trees that have clusters of bright colored berries.

Step 2: add cuttings to your DIY fresh Christmas wreath

Take an 18 inch wire wreath frame and “weave” a piece of conifer branch about 18″ to 24″ long through it.

The photo below shows how the branch is held securely by the wire frame without the need for any florist wire.

Continue “weaving” more branches through the wire frame, tucking the end of each branch under the foliage of the adjacent one.

You will need 6-8 branches to complete the circle.

Evergreen branches can also be used to make beautiful gift wrap! Check out 16 amazing gift wrapping hacks here-

16 amazing gift wrapping hacks.

Back to our Christmas wreath:

Step 3: add colorful elements to the DIY fresh Christmas wreath.

Since it is a fresh Christmas wreath, we are using red berries and blue spruce, which reminds me of ice and snow.

Blue spruce is quite prickly, so be careful! Wear gloves if you need to.

Tie a berry branch and a blue spruce branch into a bundle using natural jute twine.

Tie the bundle to the wire frame.

Jute twine has a natural look that blends with the fresh cuttings. You can have the jute twine showing, or tuck it under the conifer foliage.

Continue with more bundles until you are happy with the look.

I used six bundles in this wreath.

Here’s the video to show you how easy it is!

Final touches and variations:

When you finish, step back and look at the wreath: is there any part that seems out of balance?

If some of the branches extend out too much, use jute twine to hold them in a bit.

You can also add fun touches such as ribbons or ornaments.

Don’t have a wreath form? Here is a super easy way to make wreaths without a wire frame!

Another easy holiday decor DIY: giant 3D snow flakes from a few sheets of paper!

Happy creating!

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Holiday DIY: Foraged Evergreen Garland

Home December 12, 2016 | by Megan

I have always been a gatherer. As a kid, my pockets were full of rocks from the beach or a collection of flowers from a walk through our garden or even a few frogs or turtles that were discovered near the pond at my grandparents home. I have always collected and chosen things. It is a natural instinct for me. Every season there are new things to be collected and winter is no different.

There is nothing I love more than the smell of fresh pine and cedar this time of year. In Michigan, the smells fill the woods you hike in even in the dead of winter and the evergreens that surround you are the smiling contrast to many gloomy days. They are the reminder that soon enough the snow will disappear and our world will be green again. The textures and character of these plants are so beautiful and special. They also are by far my favorite type of foliage to work with. I told Mike as I made our garland you see here, that evergreens are the best because they hold their shape, they are low maintenance, but they hold so much personality.

After creating all of our garlands this year, I decided I needed to share with you just how I do it. If I could and had the time I would fill our whole home with garland. It is so fun and honestly has been such a wonderful creative outlet on snowy days. I love the free form and wabi-sabi nature to creating our garlands. There are so many types if greens and more you can add in, but I wanted our’s to be the picture of what surrounds us. I wanted only to use what was out our front door and I would suggest for you to do the same. The easiest thing we can do with our holiday decor is to use what already exists and in fact, it is also the cheapest. I spent a total of $4 on all this garland when in previous years I tried to do fancier things and spend more than I care to say and in all honesty, this is my favorite I have ever made. Maybe it is because it feels like home because it celebrates what surrounds us or maybe it is because this year I learned how to get sap off of my hands. Either way this year I am sharing how you too can celebrate what surrounds your home just as easily as we have.

Now, for before I dig into how to make this and what you need let me tell you some ways to get greens on the cheap if you do not have a yard full of evergreens.

Check the Christmas Tree lots:
Most lots or farms where you would get your tree will have piles and piles of leftover greens that they trim from the tree base to prep the base for netting and loading on the cars. Most of the time they will give them away for free. Because they are the low branches they aren’t always the top notch ones, but gather enough and pick through them well enough and you will be surprised how much you can get from about a dozen good branches. I made a good majority of our garland from the trimmings of our tree from the tree farm.

Trader Joe’s:
We do no have a Trader Joe’s anymore in Traverse City, but I waited for the day that they would get their greenery in at the one by our home in Raleigh. They have great prices on it, but since many times it isn’t a stiff bristle fir but usually a white pine, you will want a few strands to get the job done.

Go for a walk and watch the side of the road:
If you leave in a city that does have some great walking areas just outside of the city itself or even have a friend with some great property outside the city, go for a walk. Take a basket or bag along and gather up fallen branches or even nab some if policy allows or your friend allows. Foraging is 100% okay but do it respectfully.

What I use in this tutorial is below, but in all honesty you can use nearly any type of varietals. The key is to have at least one type of Fir. They have stiffer branches and their bristles are shorter. These will act as the structure for your garland. The rest of the types I use (also could use Eucalyptse or Rosemary or Thyme) are simply to add color and variety to the garland.

So to get started you need to have:

At least 1-3 types of greenery. 1 being a stronger structural type green. This is the one you will use the most of.
22-gauge floral wire
Heavy Duty Scissors that can cut wire (this is not the time for cute styling scissors)
3 Command Hooks (you can use nails as well but this is what we used)

Now let’s start having some fun!

1. Measure:
You will want to measure the area you are creating the garland for. I eye-balled mine because I like to embrace the imperfect, but if you are wanting to be a little more exact I highly suggest measuring the trim of the doorway and adding an extra 6-12 inches depending on the size of bow you want to your garland.

2. Organize your greens:
I always want to see all of what I have before I start. I think of garland making similar to painting. I love to know what I have to work with so I can make a plan. I want to know the character of the greens and the textures they have. The thing I love about making anything with foraged greens is that you have to be okay with the imperfect and unfinished lines of it. I love to allow the greens do their thing and to kind of help them do it. I get really excited when I see some funk to a piece because I know it creates a fun challenge to incorporate it properly.

3. Choose your ends:
In my survey of greens, I look for the one with the proper character to end each side of the garland. For instance, this one I am showing above has the perfect drip to it that will close off the right hand side perfectly.

4. Lay and layer greens in a line to create the structure:
I always ALWAYS begin with the stronger of all the greens to make sure I create a structure that will hold up to being hung. I loved using the Fraser Fir for this, but honestly, any Fir will do the trick. I lay all of these pieces down in a line and look them over and move things around. What I am looking for is to hide the ends and fill any weird gaps while also making sure there is a good balance of strong branches and greens mixed together. If you have a weird hole don’t worry too much just yet, this is will be taken care of, right now your focus is to create a strong structure.

5. Trim and Shape:
This is key. Not every branch has to be kept full in tack. Many times I take a whole branch and break it up some to fit in the line better. Typically you can snap them pretty easily but using your scissors can help as well. This is where that sap starts gathering on your hands, if it hasn’t yet.

6. Wrap floral wire to hold together:
This is the most important piece of the garland creation. You will want to get your floral wire and I begin by wrapping a strong little knot over the first overlay of branches and then I just start wrapping it around. I keep it tight but I keep the wrapping focused on going around the main branches of the garland and not over the whole thing. I let as much of it go wild as I can. You do not want to cut or end the wire until you reach the end. Keeping it as one long piece of wire will add to the structure you are creating.

7. Securely Knot Each End:
I make secure knots on each end like I mentioned above, but the end of extra important because it can come unraveled. So, make sure you have tightened and secured it properly.

8. Create Loops for Mounting:
If you want to make it a little easier to mount it, you can use the floral wire to make small loops to connect to the hooks or nails you have placed appropriately on your wall or trim. You can do this by simply making a loop and twisting the base till the loop begins fully and securely closed.

Now you should have that garland base all created! Now comes the extra fun stuff.

9. Mount the garland on hooks:
If you haven’t yet, set your hooks. I highly suggest two for single doorways and three for double and four for triple width doorways. Our doorway was perfect for three hooks to be mounted. Once you have the hooks where you want them, attach the garland either by the loops you created if you chose to or if you are like me just by the wire you find haha. I like to not have too much planned and let things take shape naturally.

10. Fill in the Gaps:
This is the part I get so excited about and could spend HOURS doing haha. Now is the time for all the extra pieces you have gathered. Now you can use the structure of the garland to place various greens into the garland. I love spreading out the different types and letting them add depth to the garland. It is so fun to kind of just let the garland take a shape as you place more and more greens into it. You can decide when it is finished for you. I typically work on mine throughout the week as I forage new things they will be added to over the course of a few weeks and it makes for a fun ongoing project in our home.

That is all it takes to make your own garland for your home this holiday season. if you have any questions or any other tips feel free to leave them below! I would love to hear and to answer.

Have you guys started decorating? What is your favorite thing to do each season for your decor? Oh and this week I am also sharing how to make that wreath back there too. A super easy DIY as well!

10 best real Christmas wreaths

From her floral design studio in London’s Kensal Rise founder Nikki Pierce has created a natural looking Christmas wreath of fresh mixed pine, eucalyptus and pinecones on a simple bamboo frame.

No ribbons, no glitter – the effect is relaxed, unfussy and ultra-chic.

Buy now

Tregothnan Signature Collection Christmas Wreath, 45cm diameter: £95, Tregothnan​

As well as producing its own tea and honey, Tregothnan sells flowers, all grown in the gardens of this historic country estate in Cornwall or sourced from British growers and tenants.

This year’s Signature Collection wreath is a charming blend of traditional and modern, with red berries and pinecones dotted against green foliage and soft fir sprigs.

It looks delightful and would work equally well on the front door of a city apartment or a country pile.

Buy now

Pod & Pip Scents of Christmas Wreath Kit, 50cm diameter: £55, Pod & Pip

For the personalised touch, why not make your own wreath? We particularly like this one from Wiltshire-based florist Pod & Pip.

There are four kits to choose from – Silver Tones, Pink Peppercorns, Scents of Christmas and A Country Christmas – and the wreaths are straightforward to make. We tried the Scents of Christmas kit and it contained everything we needed, including a wreath ring, wire, moss and fir for the base and dried oranges, fir cones and eucalyptus foliage to decorate it. The instructions were easy to follow and we were thrilled with the result.

Pod & Pip also runs a series of Christmas wreath workshops,

Buy now

Rebel Rebel White Wine at Christmas Wreath, approx 75cm long: £70, Rebel Rebel

You can always rely on east London florists Rebel Rebel to come up with something utterly original and this year is no exception. Founders Mairead Curtin and Athena Duncan came up with the name Rebel Rebel because they like to do their own thing and David Bowie is, as they say, “a bit of a hero”.

Their White Wine at Christmas wreath is flamboyant and exuberant. Instead of being a conventionally circular, this wreath is asymmetric, with traditional ivy, eucalyptus, Ming fern and a tropical fan palm. Some leaves have been lightly sprayed in pink and purple – which all adds to the fun.

We tested the medium size but there are smaller and larger sizes, too.

Buy now

The Verdict: Best Real Christmas wreaths

We tested some magnificent real Christmas wreaths around this year but we reckon Bloom & Wild’s Scented Garden and The Real Flower Company Nordic Foliage Door Wreath are the prettiest of the bunch.

If you’re happy to splash out, then the Larry Walshe Decadent Golden Outdoor Wreath has the real wow factor.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

Ring in the holiday season and reduce the spread of some invasive species by using them in your seasonal decorations!

English ivy (Hedera helix) is an evergreen vine long associated with the holiday season, from carols (“The Holly and the Ivy”), to its use as a mainstay of British Christmas church decorations since at least the 15th and 16th centuries. In southwestern BC, it is commonly planted to provide quick cover for walls and buildings, and as ground cover in commercial landscapes. Unfortunately, it is also recognized as a serious, smothering invasive.

English holly (Ilex aquifolium) has also long been associated with Christmas, due to its green shiny leaves and bunches of bright red berries. Unfortunately, garden plants have spread throughout the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. Originally from Eurasia and northern Africa, English holly is a large, evergreen shrub that grows to the height of a small tree, up to 13m tall. The berries are eaten by birds.

How to Make Ivy and Holly Wreaths
Cut long strands of older ivy vines (with woody stems) that have grown up the trunks of trees or over walls, and wrap them around in a circle, tying them together with some light wire. This ivy wreath makes a nice decoration on its own, decorated with a red bow, or add in some holly branches for more colour (and invasive species reduction!).

Caution: Holly and ivy berries are poisonous – keep away from small children and pets!
Note: make sure you dispose of these invasives properly after the holidays – birds eat berries from both holly and ivy, so bag them securely for the garbage, or burn the wreaths after the holidays.

How to Make an English Ivy Wreath

English Ivy image by Keith Pinto from Fotolia.com

Making wreaths is usually done using flowers, but English ivy makes a lush green alternative, and using a live ivy plant makes it even more special. Using wire forms to train the ivy to climb over the form creates a work of art that is perfect for decorating your home, inside or out.

Fill a plant container with potting soil to within 2 inches of the top. The container should be large enough for the size form you are using. A well-draining soil works best for ivy plants, and the container should have drainage holes.

Place the wire form into the soil in the container a little off center. Push it down into the soil far enough that it is stable.

Plant the ivy in the center of the container so it can be wrapped around the wire form. Tamp the soil firmly around the ivy and water well to settle the soil.

Separate the ivy vines. Then, one at a time, wrap the vines around the wire form. Secure the vines to the wire with green dental floss every few inches or so. Continue wrapping the tendrils until the form is covered with the ivy.

Water the ivy about two times a week. Water deeply until it runs out of the bottom. Feed your ivy with an all-purpose fertilizer, such as 5-5-5 every month. Water well after application.

Train the vines to grow around the wire form by checking the ivy’s growth every few weeks and winding the vines as needed to stay on the form. As the ivy grows, trim the vines periodically to keep it to the shape of the form

To many gardeners Ivy can be a nuisance. You plant it and let is grow, and before you know it, it takes completely takes over. I have a front wall covered in Ivy that I am forever trimming to keep in shape. But I can’t wait for new shoots to grow so that I can use them for home decor crafts.

Grapevine and Ivy wreaths and decor

Ivy or Grapevine is perfect for making wreath frames, topiary frames, twig balls and bird nests.

I used Ivy to make the basic shape for the nest and then threaded through lavender sprigs. As it dries it has a wonderful scent. You can use Ivy shoots in so many ways and in this feature I’ll show you how to make a basic wreath frame.

First off you will need to collect some ivy. Cut off lengths of about 1 metre long. Peel off the leaves and use a pair of scissors to cut off any offshoots or bent sections. For the first two pieces you will use, bend them gently all along the length to make them more pliable.

After bending a length to make my circle, I use fibrous leaves to join them together with neat knots. Grasses and palms are perfect for creating your own ties, as these leaves are tough to break. Use the tapered ends of your grasses to ties small knots.

CONTINUES BELOW

These are the first two lengths that have been tied together to create my basic wreath frame. Because I softened the ivy, it is far easier to shape.

Use more grasses to tie all the pieces firmly together. This frame will form the basis of the wreath.

Now you are going to start weaving more lengths of Ivy around the basic frame. Don’t soften these – it’s easier to work with them in the springy form. Hold one end while you wrap the other end around the frame.

Continue wrapping lengths of Ivy around the frame until it appears sturdy enough. You can tuck any stuck out ends into the frame for a neat finish. You need to let this dry for a few weeks before you use to create a spring wreath. Or put it aside until December so that you can create your own Christmas wreath.

Here are some ideas to use for your spring wreath. Natural materials work best for crafting a spring wreath: fresh spring flowers, twigs and branches, sprigs of herbs, and small decor accessories that you can easily make yourself.

craftaholicsanonymous.net

My favourite! Those brightly coloured felt flowers definitely say that Spring has arrived.

DIY spring wreath featured on projectwedding.com. They even provide step-by-step instructions on how to decorate the wreath.

Spring wreath as seen on moonlightgiftsonline.com.

A homemade wreath with fabric flowers from socialsalutations.blogspot.com. For this wreath you will need to add more lengths of Ivy to create the bulky frame.

Add colour to your spring wreath with Rust-Oleum 2X spray paints and dress up with foliage and flowers as done by makeandtakes.com.

copycatcrafts.com

You can also use your wreath frame to create a wonderful spring centrepiece for the table, as seen here on flickriver.com/photos/kristenhenschen/tags/teal/.

Natural Moss Wreath 10cm

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How to Keep Your Evergreen Wreath Ever Green

There’s nothing like the fresh scent of evergreens greeting you as you walk in the door and for many of us, the hanging of the holiday wreath is a tradition we treasure. But sometimes, especially when winter temps are more moderate, the grens just don’t stay, well, green. From fresh garlands to wreaths to your holiday tree, here are few tips and tricks for keeping it fresh as long as possible.

Keep It Fresh
Select the freshest possible! Make sure the wreath or swag doesn’t look dry and that when you touch it a ton of needles don’t fall (a few needles falling is normal). Typically, greens purchased through a nursery or tree farm tend to be fresher and better cared for vs. those out front of your supermarket.

Location, Location, Location
Choose your location! Hang your wreath outside, ideally in a spot that doesn’t get a ton of direct sunlight. Inside, fresh wreaths and greens tend to last no more than a couple of weeks. For a festive indoor wreath, try out one of these cute DIY versions that are less perishable. If you must put it inside, make sure it’s not near a heating vent or fireplace (even though that garland looks soooo good draped over the mantel).

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Spitz it!
Keep a small spray bottle on hand with water and spritz your greens a couple times a week in cooler climates, and up to once a day if you live somewhere warm. This will help keep them moist and hydrated.

Drink My Pretty
Before hanging and once a week or so, you can fill a shallow container with water and place your wreath in it so that the backside of the wreath is in water. This is the same principle you use for adding water to your cut Christmas tree. The cut branches will essentially suck up the water.

Super Spray
Some nurseries and cut tree farms recommend the use of a spray-on product like Wilt Pruf. It’s basically a protective waxy coating that you spray on. You can use it on all your greens including swag and Christmas trees. but you have to apply it first and let it dry completely before adding on lights, bells and bows. Most of this kind of product are non-toxic, but if you have a very large tree or length of garland, it’s going to be an awful lot of spritzing to cover it.

Do you have any secrets for keeping your greens fresh? Share them with us in a comment below.

—Amber Guetebier

photo: Tracey Adams via flickr

How to Make Your Fresh Holiday Wreaths Last

One of the many things we love about the winter season is the crisp, fragrant air outdoors and all the wonderful scents associated with the colder months, like peppermint bark. Whether you prefer cozying up inside or taking a brisk stroll through a snow-coated forest, there’s no denying that we all have a mutual favorite winter pastime: decorating!

From trees, wreaths, garlands (and many more!), there are just so many options when it comes to sprucing up your home. We know that greenery is everyone’s go-to for the holidays, especially the ones that bring in all the rustic smells of fresh pine, cedar, and magnolia. That’s why you’re probably curious about how you can keep your wreaths and garlands as fresh as they were when you first brought them home.

You know what they say: ask, and you shall receive. We have some helpful tips when it comes to making your fresh front door wreaths last as long as possible!

Choose Wisely

When you’re bringing home a fresh wreath or garland, there is a good amount of care needed to make sure your greens aren’t wilting within the following few days. If you’re buying your fresh greenery from a local vendor or a farmers’ market, you might be tempted to snag the ones that are heavily decorated with bows and little ornaments, but it’s important that you consider how fresh these greens actually are.

Is the foliage remaining intact? Are the leaves well-saturated or are they looking brittle? These are some of the questions you can ask yourself when you’re looking at the selection.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

You might think that bringing home the freshest greenery you could find at the nursery wouldn’t require any immediate care, but they actually do!

If you have a large enough container place your wreath or garland inside – make sure the container is large enough to fit everything inside, no stray leaves or branches poking out! Then fill the bin, bath tub, kiddie pool, what-have-you with enough water to cover the entire live greenery. Let them soak for the time being, but if you want optimal results, your wreath and garland should be left in the water for a full day.

Spray Treatment

We all know that winters can be quite dry, and sadly, we’re not the only ones affected by this – our fresh greens are too! In order to help our front door wreaths and indoor garlands retain as much moisture possible, you can stop by your local nursery and purchase an anti-desiccant spray. Spritzing your fresh greenery with this helps them retain moisture by sealing the pores on the foliage – the more you know!

Climate Control

If you decide to hang your fresh wreath or garland indoors, keep in mind that they probably won’t last as long because they require a colder climate to thrive. Since a lot of us end up turning on our indoor heaters at full blast during the winter season, our greenery will probably dry out faster than usual.

However, you can still maintain them by misting the foliage every day. You can also place humidifiers nearby the greenery so they won’t dry out too quickly!

Here Comes the Sun

It can be tempting to place our wreaths and garlands in spots where they’re drinking up plenty of sunlight. All life needs sunlight to survive, after all. But you know the drill: direct light can dry out your fresh greenery, whether you’ve placed them indoors or outdoors!

We suggest placing them in slightly shaded areas of your home. You can hang sheer curtains over your windows to prevent any sunlight from landing directly on your indoor greenery. If your front door is usually exposed to partial shade, then you’re safe to adorn it with your holiday wreath!

Also, another last-minute tip about lights: if you’re planning on decorating your wreath and garland with string lights, make sure you’re using ones with low-heat lighting (like LED lights). They won’t dry out your greenery as quickly, leaving you with fresh and festive decorations that last throughout the holidays!

Whether your holiday greenery is made of fresh pine, cedar, or magnolias, there’s always ways to keep them jazzing up your home for weeks and weeks!

The Bouqs provides the freshest holiday floral centerpieces and door wreaths that are sure to give the best welcome to any guest you decide to have over. Let us help put some warmth back in the winter season, and shop from our holiday collection today!

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