Creating an Evergreen Wreath

Few things speak of Christmas as traditionally as an evergreen wreath.  While some department stores and supermarkets charge a fortune for a simple evergreen wreath, much better buys can be found at farmers’ markets and roadside stands where the proceeds often go to charity.

However, for those on a limited Christmas budget, or who enjoy crafting, an evergreen wreath is an easy and satisfying holiday decoration to make if you have the patience and inclination.  I made the wreath pictured above by wiring short fir branches to a wire coat hanger which had been bent into a circle; the hook makes a great hanger.  The plastic red bow can be purchased for pennies at a Dollar Store.  The trick is to make your wreath full and round by using enough branches and tips.  The tips I used on this particular wreath were gathered from mature trees that grew in woods close to my parents’ home — the trim doesn’t harm the trees.  You may have enough trees on your own property to create a beautiful wreath.  Fir and spruce are probably the most common materials used, but cedar is amazing for its feathery branches and strong woodsy scent.

Rose hips, pine and spruce cones, winter berries, etc. can also be attached with wire in their natural state, or spray painted silver or gold for a very festive touch.  If you’re VERY lucky, you might even find a bird’s nest to tuck into the greenery!

Christmas wreaths are usually crafted in the form of a circle which symbolizes eternity and are most often hung on the front door of a house. The idea to hang them on the front door lies in the belief that round shaped Christmas wreaths bring contentment and good luck in the approaching year. Wreaths with candles symbolize the sun at winter solstice, and the evergreens, red berries, holly and pine cones signify the harvest, a custom thought to have started in ancient Rome.

There are very good instructions and tips on eHow.com about creating Christmas evergreen wreaths.  No matter how they’re made, their forest-green loveliness and heady scent are a wonderful Christmas tradition that many of us couldn’t do without.

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14 thoughts on “Creating an Evergreen Wreath

  1. What a beautiful wreath, Nancy! It does indeed look full and bountiful. And how clever to use a coathanger base and have the hook for hanging it! I just can’t believe the prices charged for wreaths, and God help you if you order one through the mail and have to pay for shipping as well. We buy ours at our farmers’ market, but I’m tempted to try your technique… if I can just bring myself to trim the evergreens! Thanks for the wonderful history and the eHow link, too.

  2. Oh I love it, Nancy! With the snow it is like an early Christmas card. How fast the days fly by during the holiday season. And how slowly they churn along in January and February. I love to decorate with evergreens and additions of berries and seed pods outdoors. Thanks for the tips on the tips! :-)
    Frances

  3. Hi Nancy,
    I’m getting in the mood for all things Christmas. Your wreath is just beautiful…I never had good luck with a coat hanger…maybe I’ll try it again and use more greens. Thanks,
    Balisha

  4. The wreath is lovely Nancy and getting me in the holiday spirit! I love fragrant evergreen wreaths and try to hang one one in the house each Christmas. I’ll try the local farmers’ market to see if they are carrying roping and try your tips! I sometimes wonder what it would be like to live with snow on the ground all winter! It’s so pretty in photos;) gail

  5. Goodness, I wish we had some snow to add to a wreath. We don’t even have a first frost as of yet. Your wreath is lovely and speaks of holiday time and enjoying family and friends.

  6. Beautiful, dear. This year I’d vowed to not touch Christmas. Not one decoration, not one holiday music CD played, not a dinner or a holiday morning. I’m tired of the commercialization of this sacred holiday, and other sacred holidays. However, that said, your post is making me rethink that dark plan, morph it into a simple green and red nature holiday with hollies, cedars, apples, candles and peace. Happy (way too early) Holidays and thanks for the spark.

  7. I’m not ready…not ready…not ready for wreaths yet. Okay, maybe just one. On the front door. And one on the arbour. And one on the barn door. and and and…NOW look what you’ve done, Nancy! LOL. Thank you for this, beauty in words and photo.

  8. Just stumbled on your wreath-making entry. Each year, I have made my own thrifty evergreen wreath, using only a coat hanger reshaped into a circle, wire, and either boxwood from my yard or fir from the bottom limbs of our Christmas tree.
    Readers may be interested not only in the process but also in my book Mama’s Wreaths, draws culturally from wreath making in Southern Appalachia. The skill has been passed along among women who have drawn from the land’s resources. This fragrant story unfolds in a garland of free verse poems and reminds us of the way we touch each other with joy, even when we never meet. End notes give historical background for the story and instructions on making a simple wreath. For ages 8 to 108.
    The book is available on amazon.com. Read more about it and my other books at http://www.juliaebel.com
    Keep your own traditions, your own skills, and your own stories—pass them along!

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