A flower wreath hanging on your front entrance is the most glorious door dressing. It’s a vibrant sign of life and the warmth and colour to be found within. Rust coloured chrysanthemums and glowing orange lilies for Halloween; traditional holly, ivy and red roses for Christmas; pastel coloured scented hyacinth for Easter – they are gorgeous, but wreaths aren’t just for holidays or special occasions. They are a timeless decoration that can add a touch of natural beauty to your home all year-round.
NB: You can make things even simpler by using an Oasis foam wreath base to push materials into, but I prefer wire or twig wreath shapes; it’s a matter of personal preference to choose whatever you prefer. The instructions below are for a wire/twig base.
First, ensure you have all the necessary materials laid out and ready to use. You can gather garden flowers (my mother set a tradition of growing flowers for the house specially), forage hedgerows and, of course, buy flowers – flower markets are good places to buy unusual things without going to great expense.
Think about the colours and sizes of flowers when you select them, as well as textures. Sometimes I sketch out ideas in my creative journal before gathering my blooms and greenery. Remember, your wreath doesn’t need to be symmetrical, but a good flow that draws the eye is desirable.
Don’t forget you can use edibles such as small decorative cabbages, squash and nuts as well as flowers and foliage. I like to make sure my wreaths last as long as possible, so I think about the flowers that last a good while in a vase in a cool room.
Start by trimming your flowers and greenery. Make sure to leave enough stem to secure them to the frame – about 1.5 to 2 inches should be sufficient. I use corsage stems for flowers. These contain a little reservoir of water that flowers can be eased into to stay fresh longer.
The reservoirs are hidden by foliage. You could wrap them in florist tape, but I like to leave them accessible enough that if a bloom wilts I can pop it out and put another in its place.
You can also wire together small collections of blooms to attach as a group if you prefer.
If you’re using a wire wreath frame, you can jump to step 4 and start attaching your moss right away. If you’re using heavier gauge garden wire to make your own wreath base shape, shape it into a double circle of your desired size and secure the ends together with thinner wire.
Once you are satisfied with your wreath base, cut a length of wire and create a loop behind the top of the wreath. Secure it to the base to allow you to hang your wreath on a door or wall.
Attach the end of your reel of floristry wire to the wire base. Take hand sized clumps of moss and attach them to the base by wrapping this fine wire round the clumps. Keep it taught so the moss attaches firmly. Repeat until your base is covered. The moss looks lovely and by misting it you will keep the wreath fresh.
Begin attaching your greenery to your wreath base. I like to use at least 3 types for texture. You can use green floral tape or wire to attach the greenery – make sure it is firmly attached. Start at one point and work your way around, ensuring to layer the greenery so that any floral tape and wire are covered. This forms the backdrop of your wreath.
Personally, I like a good amount of foliage and use some woody pieces with waxy leaves such as magnolia, bay or viburnum, as well as clumps of twiggy pieces wired together (especially good colours such as dogwood) and finer spiky greenery such as lavender or rosemary – with the added benefit of scent.
Now, start adding your flowers. You may choose to arrange them in a repeated series pattern according to your personal preference. Odd numbers of elements work well and are easy on the eye – 3 or 5 blooms of a particular type for example.
I pop my blooms in corsage stems so they last longer and wire them onto the greenery in a way that hides the reservoir. Again, choose flowers that fit your colour scheme but vary textures, sizes and shape. I like to mix soft rounded blooms like cabbage roses with exotically shaped, alien orchids and seed pods for interest.
Add any extra decorative items. If you are making a seasonal wreath you may like to echo that – tiny nests for spring; small ghosts or witches hats for Halloween, baubles for Christmas, for example. Think creatively and see what you have at home in your stash of goodies or craft box. I sometimes felt tiny things to add to my wreaths for a unique decoration.
Making a flower wreath is one of those delightful projects that makes you feel ‘Martha Stewart’ levels of accomplished – and who doesn’t want that? Wreath making offers a satisfying blend of creativity, artistry and hands-on crafting. It’s a labour of love, where each carefully selected bloom combines to create a piece that will bring joy and your loving care into your living space.
If you have a go at making a wreath for the first time, we’d love to hear about your experiences and see your photos, so please share them here in the comments and on our Facebook page.
Have you ever made a wreath with fresh flowers? Was it a special occasion? What sort of wreath would you like to create most?
Tags Arts and Crafts