How to Make a Holiday Wreath (Barn Swallow Gardens Style 🕺🏽)
Feelin' Crafty? Oh good. Me too. I'm in the thick of making wreaths right now, so what better time to share the process. Are you ready? Let's jump in.
1) Dry Flowers
My wreath journey starts in the heat of the Summer with hanging flowers to dry. Some of my favorites are Strawflower, Larkspur, Starflower, Globe Amaranth, Statice and Grasses like Bunny Tails. I hang them upside down, out of direct light, then once they're dry, carefully store them in cardboard boxes until.... now! If you don't have dry flowers, that's ok! You can add foraged pinecones, dried citrus, and ribbon if you want to fancy it up a little.
2) Wreath Bases & Greens
Next I gather my wreath bases (this year I'm using a traditional three wire base) and floral wire. Then, off to foraging! Luckily I have some wonderful parents who let me forage Incense Cedar, White Fir, Manzanita, and Sugar Pine from their little slice of forest.
The diversity in greens lends to great texture in the wreath, and I've found these specific varieties hold their needles and leaves well through the season. Last year I had a Red Fir wreath that lasted through Easter! (We left it up because a robin made her nest in it and she hatched out 3 little ones. It was a Spring highlight!). I process the branches into 6-8 in. segments and make sure I have a pile to work with which makes the process flow smoothly and helps me find my wreath groove 🕺🏽.
3) Start Bunching and Wrapping
Wrap floral wire around the base as pictured at the left.
Make a bundle of greens that will be your first addition. The one to the right has white fir, cedar, and manzanita. Take the bunch and wrap 3-4 times all the way around the base with your floral wire. Pull it really tight!
Next, I make another bundle of greens, this time, with flowers! I like to make a few different types of wreaths. Ones with bundles of flowers sprinkled throughout and some with flowers in an arrangement to one side or the bottom. The one pictured here has the flowers interspersed throughout the wreath. Once you make the bundle with the flowers, lay it on top of the first bundle, hiding the wire, then wrap it tightly to the base just like the greens bundle. Be sure that you line of up the stems and cut them to the same length so you catch all the pieces when you wrap and everything stays secure.
4) Keep going! For a wreath that has flowers throughout I alternate bundles of straight mixed greens and ones with flowers. For wreaths with a pop of flowers I start by covering 2/3 of the frame with greens, then add the flower bundles.
Keep adding all the way around until you close the loop! Don't get discouraged, it takes practice to keep the tension on the floral wire and place your bundles so they feel full. The most important part? Have fun! Try something different, add a fun element, the joy of creation is in the process.
5) Finish up and Enjoy
For the last bundle lift up the first one you secured and hide the floral wire underneath as you wrap. If you have some loose elements, not to worry, I keep a glue gun handy to secure any bits that are trying to escape, but for the most part, all you need is wire, a frame, and some creativity. The most important step is to enjoy your creation. Pat yourself on the back that you tried something new and created something beautiful.
Drop me a comment, what do you like to add to your wreath? Feel free to reach out with questions, I'd love to hear from you.