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 extra boughs from our extra tall tree to make a wreath. Four 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 and the environment that it created. Since then I have thrown my own 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 truly 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 a 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! It is usually found within 15 minutes! One of the catches is that the person must pay it forward to someone else. This year I teamed up with one of my good friends Tosha Seeholzer with Hello Tosha and she gave a print away with it! We had a little too much fun posting about it and videoing the person finding it from the car!
Here is a little tutorial on how to make the wreath that I gave away. This wreath was made with all foraged items, so it didn’t cost anything! This year for my party I did buy some greenery, but I probably wouldn’t buy as much stuff for next year, because I just love the stuff you can get from our beautiful mountains….. and parking lots!
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 grape vines, you only need one or two long ones to create a good base.
Recipe for this years 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 vibrance of the green! While my husband Cole was searching for the perfect Christmas tree I was on the hunt for the perfect foliage for the wreaths! I got a bit distracted! 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 really 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 sticks.
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 together. 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 soften some more sticks and then I warp 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 and fill 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 everyones wreaths are!
I think these are good finishing touches, in the end for my wreath I added a few pieces of Lunaria. I am kind of obsessed with that plant, it is kind of magical. The little silver dollars are dried up leaves from a flower and those are the seed pods, they are kind of addicting to pull apart 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… just wear black and know the how to properly prune a tree. Burger King was good to us! The Acasia Feather, Privet Berry and Rosemary were purchased.
Different Evergreens that are good to use. The Juniper and the Douglas Fir are the only ones that were foraged, the rest were purchased. The Red Cedar was purchased at Trader Joes, they usually have good 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, it is magical in there around the holidays!
The Wild Boxwood is the only one that was foraged in this collection of leafy items. I love having some leafy options to add variety and depth to your wreath. And the Eucalyptus also smells amazing! I hope the smell doesn’t fade in my house for a long time!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, I really enjoyed putting it together. I had my tripod setup over my head and with the amazing 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 own wreath I have several floral friends that sell beautiful wreaths for the holidays!
Salt Lake Area: