One of my favorite traditions around the holidays is going to cut down a fresh Christmas tree! We always find one that is way too tall, and we think it will fit every year. I love being in the mountains and smelling the crisp, fresh air. One of my second favorite traditions is using the boughs from our extra tall tree to make a wreath. Several years ago, I was invited to a wreath making party by Nicole Land with Soil and Stem, and I fell in love with making wreaths. Since then, I have thrown my wreathing party with friends and family in my little townhouse. I fill my car with several loads of greenery, and then fill my kitchen with a lovely mess! One of my all-time favorite quotes is:
“The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before.
Everyone can create. You don’t need money, position, or influence in order to create something of substance or beauty.
Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty.
Isn’t it remarkable to think that your very spirits are fashioned by an endlessly creative and eternally compassionate God? Think about it—your spirit body is a masterpiece, created with a beauty, function, and capacity beyond imagination.
But to what end were we created? We were created with the express purpose and potential of experiencing a fulness of joy. Our birthright—and the purpose of our great voyage on this earth—is to seek and experience eternal happiness. One of the ways we find this is by creating things.” Dieter F Uchtdorf, Happiness, Your Heritage
I believe as people and especially women create, they feel something different about themselves, and they feel proud of themselves for creating something so beautiful. I have done this for four years now, and every time I have someone new come, they say I can’t do this, I am not creative, and they always leave so proud of what they created. My favorite part is hearing their excitement with building a beautiful fresh wreath.
After my party, I go and hide one somewhere in Cache Valley and then I post a photo on my Instagram, and the first one to it gets to keep it! It is so much fun! One of the catches is that the person must pay it forward to someone else.
Here is a little tutorial on how to make one of my favorite wreaths. This wreath was made with all foraged items, so it didn’t cost anything!
For my wreath base, I collect the sticks from willow bushes, the best ones I have found are usually by a river, I try to choose tall and straight sticks. You can also use any other type of vine; I loved using grapevines, you only need one or two long ones to create a good base.
Recipe for this wreath; Douglas Fir, Wild Boxwood, and Juniper. The Douglas fir is from our Christmas tree, you can also go to Christmas Tree lots and they usually have some greenery for sale if you can’t make it to the mountains. The Wild Boxwood was growing beneath some of the pine trees where we were cutting our tree down. I loved the vibrancy of the green! While my husband Cole was searching for the perfect Christmas tree, I was on the hunt for the foliage for the wreaths! Juniper grows a lot lower in the mountains, and it has the most beautiful dusty blue berries on it! Just beware some Juniper trees are pokey!
I first start with three branches that are about the same length; I use my thumb to bend and soften the sticks all of the way down. I will do this to all three branches.
Once I have them all softened up a bit, I will hold the end of the branches in my left hand, and then I will braid the sticks together with my right, they don’t have to be tightly braided. After I bring the ends together and create the wreath ring, I use green floral wire to attach them. You will then need to mold it to form a circle. Usually you will have to bend the thicker part of the sticks a little bit more.
Once I have my base ring together, I will bend some more sticks, and then I wrap it around the opposite direction so that where the sticks are thinner in the braid, they now have some support from the thicker ends of the sticks.
Once I get it to the desired thickness I will start adding my greenery, for the first few layers you will need to attach it with the wire, once you get a good base you don’t need to add wire to every branch.
I will cut off small pieces of greenery that makes it a little easier to control the look of the wreath. I started with the Douglas Fir, and then I added little spots of the Juniper and the Boxwood.
For the finishing touches, you can add sticks, ribbon, other berries or dried flowers; I also added some dried Lunaria to add a little bit of elegance!
Here is my finished wreath! I love not filling the entire ring, but you can definitely fill it all up, and it will be just as beautiful. There is no right or wrong way! Just be creative and have fun!
These are all of the items that I had at my wreathing party; it is so fun to have a variety of things. It is my favorite to see how different everyone’s wreaths are!
I think these are pretty finishing touches. In the end for my wreath I added a few pieces of Lunaria. I am kind of obsessed with that plant, and it is kind of magical. The little silver dollars are dried up leaves from a flower, and those are the seed pods, and when you find a bunch of them it feels like you hit the jackpot! A lot of parking lots have good selections on Crab Apple. Learn how to correctly prune a tree before you start gathering trimming. The Acasia Feather, Privet Berry, and Rosemary were purchased.
These are the evergreens that I love to use. The Juniper and the Douglas Fir are the only ones that I foraged, the rest I got from Ensign Floral. I purchased the Red Cedar at Trader Joes, they usually have great prices on garlands and boughs that you can use for your wreath. And while you are there, you can stock up on your favorite Trader Joe holiday treats, I love grocery shopping there!
I foraged the Wild Boxwood all of the others I purchased. I love having some leafy options to add variety and depth to your wreath. And the Eucalyptus also smells fantastic!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial; I enjoyed putting it together. I had my tripod set up over my head, and with the Canon 5D Mark IV I was able to photograph this all by myself! I wish someone could have filmed a behind the scenes of it because I was laughing at myself the entire time!
If you don’t have the time to make your wreath, I have several floral friends that sell beautiful wreaths for the holidays!
Salt Lake Area: