Winter Wreath tutorial

I took down my evergreen Christmas wreath when we put away all of our Christmas decorations, and my door looked very lonely. I wasn't feeling ready to put up my Valentine's welcome hearts yet, so I wanted to make a new wreath, more winter, less Christmas.

This is what I came up with.

Not quite what I had planned originally, but it's pretty anyway. I had planned for 2 doves, and a big ribbon bow, with more little bally things (white ones with the red and gold). I think the wreath was too small for my plans because once I got the dove and flowers on I was thinking that was ENOUGH.

That's OK.  I think this works, and I have supplies enough to make a couple more.

Here's a quick tutorial on how I did it.

Supplies I purchased for this wreath:

  • Straw wreath base (12 in. diameter)
  • red and white artificial poinsettias
  • white wired ribbon (I think this is 2 inches wide)
  • decorative balls on wires (white, red and gold)

I also had other items and tools already on hand that I pulled out for this project:

  • decorative doves
  • florists wire
  • bow maker
  • small needle-nose pliers
  • small wire cutters
  • hot glue gun and hot glue

First I took apart the decorative balls - starting with this:

ending with these:

I also did this to the white ring of balls, but I didn't use them at all in the wreath after all.

Then I used the ribbon to wrap decoratively around the wreath base.  The ends were secured on the back of the wreath with hot glue.

I decided to put a dove at the top of the wreath, slightly off-set.  The bird had wire feet which I stuck into the straw and then hot-glued it's body in place to be sure it wouldn't move.

Next I used my wire cutters to clip the wires on the large flowers to about 2 inches long.

My intention with this wreath was for it to be more white than red. So I decided to center one white flower at the bottom of the wreath and build out from there, ending up with alternating white, red, white, red, white flowers.

The flowers were added to the wreath by sticking the wires into the straw. Using the wires means that you can still position the flowers a bit but also provides a deep anchor into the straw so the flowers won't come out.  I push the flowers as far into the straw as I can.  Once I have them positioned where I want them, I put do hot-glue right under the base of each of the flowers to keep them in place on the straw.

If the wires are cut too long they will poke out the backside of the wreath - they can either be clipped off, trimmed flush with the back, or if they are really long they can be bent over, providing more anchor for the flower.

When I got the ribbon, dove, and 5 poinsettias on this wreath, it really looked like I wasn't going to able to add much more. I wanted to keep from getting gaudy with it.  In my book, simple is usually better.

I did decide to add some of the decorative balls, on the side opposite the dove. Because they are on wires, they can be positioned just the way you want them.  In this case, I just curved the wires a bit to an arc similar to the wreath's curve.  I stuck the wires into the straw and got them positioned where I wanted them, then hot-glued them in place.

Once the decorative balls were added, it seemed to my eye like the wreath was done.  Now all I needed was a hanger. Using one of the clipped wires from the poinsettias and bent it into a u-shape, then bent the ends up with my needle-nose pliers to create hooks to embed / hook into the straw.

Placement of the hanger is often tricky, especially with asymmetry like I have on this wreath.  Using this kind of hook method gives me the ability to reposition the hanger until I get it to the right place.  In this case I opted for the hanger to be placed over the top edge of the wreath.  Often I will chose to have the hanger completely hidden behind the wreath.  My decision this time was made in part because of the position of the ribbon on the back of the wreath.  I would have had to change the hanger, or unglue the end of the ribbon, or hook the hanger through the ribbon if I had wanted to have the hanger completely hidden behind the wreath.

Once the hook was placed where I wanted it, I was able to hook through enough straw that it could have held on its own, but I decided to add some hot-glue just to be extra sure.

Then my wreath was finished and I hung it up on my door on the large magnetic hook I have for wreaths and things.  (If I was using a traditional over-the-door hanger I would not have needed a hanger on the wreath itself.)

I didn't end up using the bow maker, small white flowers, white decorative balls or the florists wire, though sometimes I need the wire to add extra length to the picks or wired flowers I'm using.

You can use the same basics to make other kinds of wreaths.  This is the first kind of this type that I've made with flowers like this.  I have used evergreen boughs with other decorative picks.  I could have opted to do a big ribbon bow on the very top of the wreath with the ribbon ends hanging down into the center of the wreath instead of doing the off-center dove.  I could have used the smaller white flowers I bought in place of the outside 2 white flowers and left more room for more decorative balls in among the flowers, as well as up the sides of the wreath.

This is an example of another wreath I've made with doves - using flower garland from our wedding decorations.

We've made lots of Christmas wreaths like this to give as gifts, using plaid ribbon, velvet ribbon, all kinds of different variations, all with the straw wreath base.  Larger wreaths are easier to add more detail to.  The options are limited only by your imagination.

I like the straw base for wreaths because I can position and reposition things fairly easily by sticking them into the straw with wires, and the wires are completely hidden within the straw base.  Grapevine wreathes may be as easy to position things in, but wires won't be as easily hidden.  Evergreen wreaths usually have a wire frame behind them, so you can easily attach wires to that.  It's not as easy to hot glue things to evergreen wreaths though.  The straw base is very easy to glue things to.

I found lots of supplies for wreath-making when I was pulling out my stuff today, plus the leftovers I have from what I bought.  I will be making a few of these wreaths to put in my online shop I think, as well as to sell at a local show I'm doing with a friend next year.  I love making these wreaths.  I'm very pleased with this Winter Wreath, too!


Geeta Singh January 12, 2011 at 10:42 PM  

that so nice well done!!

Web Hosting India September 8, 2011 at 4:20 AM  

Beautiful...I love This Winter Wreath.Keep it up !!!

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