Wednesday, January 02, 2013

wreath making

As I mentioned last week, one of our favorite holiday activities this year turned out to be wreath making.  We almost didn't even do it because it was so late in the month (December 22nd!), but I am so glad we went ahead with the project anyway! 
The first thing you need, obviously, is lots of greenery.  There are many inexpensive ways to get fresh greens.  In fact, all of ours were free!  We clipped cedar and holly from our yard and picked up a whole trunk load of Douglas and Frasier fir cuttings from Lowe's.  We get cuttings from Lowe's almost every year- just go to the tree cutting area and ask someone for the branches that are leftover when they trim up the trees.  The people at our Lowe's are always happy to help and even give us large sheets of plastic to put down in the trunk of the car. 

We bought two 12" metal wreath forms from Joann Fabrics.  We used 50% off coupons and got them for $1.25 each.  We also bought one roll of thin green floral wire, also with a coupon, for $1.00. 
For each wreath, we chose two types of greens to use.  I used Douglas fir and cedar and Steve used mostly Frasier fir with some holly thrown in.  The first thing you want to do is to make little bouquets with your greens.  I used 4-5 pieces for each one and twisted some wire around the bottom to hold them together. 

Once you feel like you have enough little packets to fill a whole wreath (I probably used about 20 on mine), you can start wiring them on.  We found that the easiest way to do it is to pick a spot to start and then move around the wreath wiring each new packet so that it covers the end of the previous one. 

We didn't do anything fancy with the wire to attach the greens- just wrapped it around the base of each packet and through the wreath form 3 or 4 times. 

Sometimes, we'd think we were finished, but then step back and see bald spots that needed to be filled.  When the wreaths were finally full enough, I took the clippers to them and shaped them up a bit, so there were no super crazy long branches sticking out and so that they each had a nice opening in the center. 

Steve hung his wreath on the bird feeder.  We can see it from our kitchen and it adds a nice bit of cheer to the backyard.  Also, the birds love to nestle in it.  Super cute. 

My wreath is hanging above the fireplace and still looks great, even after a week of being warm inside the house.  I'm leaving it up indefinitely, that's how much I like it. 
So, next year, we plan to make like a million more.  The whole project took about 2 hours, but we really gained momentum once we figured out the best way to do it.  It was awesome being bundled up outside in the cool air and doing something productive. 
Today is gray and wet and I'm trying to catch up on work and laundry and life in general.  Steve and I had a lovely talk last night, by the light of the fire and the Christmas tree, about our hopes and dreams for this year.  I'm so thankful to start out the year feeling healthy and ready to tackle anything. 

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