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How can I Make a Christmas Wreath?

By Kate Monteith
Updated Feb 15, 2024
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A cheerful Christmas wreath is a wonderful way to announce the advent of the holiday season. A fat, round balsam wreath makes a great Christmas decoration, and offers a warm welcome to all who see it. Undecorated wreaths can provide a background canvas for all sorts of crafty decorating ideas. Christmas wreaths can be big or small, modern or traditional, simple or showy; it’s all up to your chosen style of holiday decor.

As with all Christmas decorations, a beautiful wreath will convey a certain style that is carried throughout the entire piece. A traditional Christmas wreath will usually sport a large, crimson bow at the top or bottom center. Some people are satisfied with this simple display, but others think a few sprigs of holly and some scented pine cones make a nice, natural addition. A sprinkling of tiny white lights can add holiday decor sparkle, and helps the Christmas wreath stand out as darkness falls.

You can make a Christmas wreath from fresh pine boughs available at florist shops and Christmas tree lots, but it can be a little tricky. First form a circular framework of thick wire, such as wire coat hangers, for a sturdy base. Arrange the pine boughs around the frame one at a time, securing each branch to the frame with florist tape. The branches should all swirl clockwise, as you work counter-clockwise overlapping the boughs to form the wreath shape. If you prefer to start with a pre-made, undecorated balsam wreath, they are widely available during the holidays.

For a decorator look, try making a Christmas wreath out of shiny, round tree ornaments. An ornament wreath in a single color can make a striking visual statement. The ornaments should be in 3 different sizes, small, medium and large, and clustered tightly to form the wreath shape. Begin with a frame cut out of nylon mesh, and use floral tape on the ornament's hangers to secure them to the mesh. When all the balls are attached, glue the mesh backing to a matching shape made of stiff wood or cardboard to stabilize the ornament wreath.

For long-lasting holiday decor, many hobby stores sell a variety of realistic imitation wreaths at Christmas time. There is often a good selection of attachable bows, holiday-themed ornamental picks, and small decorative pieces that are perfect for decorating a Christmas wreath. It’s a good idea to take the undressed wreath into the pick department to “try on” the various decorations. Be sure to purchase a roll of florist wire in a green shade to help secure the pieces to your wreath. Imitation wreaths can be a beautiful part of your Christmas decor and will continue to bring joy for many holiday seasons.

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Discussion Comments
By behaviourism — On Nov 14, 2010

@panda2006, those are all good ideas. I like when I see wreaths that are a little different from the setereotypical wreath of pine, holly, and maybe a little ivy. To be honest, I also really like artificial Christmas wreaths, mainly because you can get away with lots of color and different pieces that are harder to find or preserve in live wreaths.

By panda2006 — On Nov 14, 2010

In addition to pine needles, I have heard many other great Christmas wreath ideas. Some people like to use ivy or other vine plants that grow near them. If you have any leftover autumn leaves, those also can look very nice even in the winter time, adding some color that's not expected in Christmas decorating. Poinsettias, a more traditional Christmas plant, also look great in wreaths.

By helene55 — On Nov 14, 2010

One of the easiest sources of pine boughs for a fresh Christmas wreath is your own Christmas tree, if you buy a real one. Most trees could use at least a little pruning when brought into a home, and these branches are ideal for easy decorating.

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