It's December! More than Christmas I love the energy and feeling in the air throughout this whole month. It's pure magic. The snow and cold, having a calendar filled with weekend plans for holiday drinks and dinners with people you love, the sparkly lights, the smells of pine and cinnamon, saying "Happy Christmas" to strangers. It's all perfection.
When it comes to decorating for the holidays I keep things pretty but simple. Some fresh greens, white lights, and candles can go a long way in creating the perfect Christmas ambience at home. When you live as close to the mountains as we do you have access to a plethora of gorgeous greens right in your back yard. When I started scouring Pinterest for wreath inspiration it became clear that simple, foraged greens was the direction I'd take in creating a wreath for our home.
We drove west of the city and found a lovely treed spot to search for some of the greens, others we found on a walk in our neighbourhood one evening. The key in collecting the perfect greens/foliage for a wreath is texture and colour. I didn't want to be greedy but I did bring home more than I needed. It's great to have a selection of things once you get started. Juniper branches made up the majority of my wreath. The smell and the gorgeous boughs were loaded with blue berries which made for a variety of colour and texture. Also, don't forget about the branches needed for making the structure of the wreath. I opted to grab some fairly long, new growth branches to make up mine. Another option would be to purchase a wreath form and build on top of that with your greens.
To get started you'll need a few more supplies than just your foliage. I used some light gage silver wire, twine, a good pair of scissors, and some grosgrain ribbon. These were supplies I already had on hand. If you need to go buy some there's usually a good selection of wire etc. that's made for working with florals and greens specifically. My silver wire was thin enough that it wasn't noticeable amongst the branches but if you're worried about it you could grab green wire.
The first step is to assemble a good wreath structure. I found that working the branches first before attempting to bind it together helped immensely. Once I had loosened up the stiffness of each branch it was much easier to wire them together in a circular shape. Don't worry too much here about those loose smaller twigs sticking out, you can work with these later. For now, start with binding two branches together, bending and loosening the branches in a a circular shape as you go. Continue to add your branches until you've achieved the size and shape of wreath that you're happy with. I used 4 branches that were about 36" long each.
Next, I went over the bare wreath with twine. This is where I was able to deal with any twigs that were awry. This also provides a place to begin sticking and tucking in foliage as you build your wreath.
To begin building the foliage of the wreath I started by laying everything flat on my table and arranging it as I liked it. This helped in visualizing and being able to change anything before I had attached it to the wreath. I started with the juniper branches and then added other greens on top of that. I love asymmetry in florals and since I was going for simplicity the asymmetry helped in accomplishing that. Once everything was placed as I liked it I began tucking the greens into the twine I had wrapped the wreath in and then wiring or tying twine around each piece to secure it. To build upon the base foliage I simple tucked in other greens and pieces to fill in any sparse areas. At this point if you want to add lights or bows or bobbles or anything else that makes you happy go for it! That's the beauty in creating your own.
The very last step is to hang your wreath. You can easily hang it as is, but I tied a piece of ribbon at the top and hung it from that. I hung the finished wreath on the exterior of our house so the ribbon was a little more trustworthy than simply hanging the wreath by a nail.
And voila! A gorgeous, simple, foraged wreath!
I have SO many exciting collab, holiday style and entertaining posts planned for this month. Be sure to subscribe at the bottom of the page to receive posts directly to your inbox so you don't miss out on any holiday goodness!