how to: make a winter wreath

If you've been procrastinating like me this season, you may still have a couple things to do before Christmas: shop, bake, wrap, carol... make a wreath. But it's not too late! You still have 5 days! And this gorgeous, simple olive wreath is so easy you'll be on to rolling out your dough in no time. Read on below for simple instructions...

First, here's what you need:
  • Floral Wire (can be purchased from your local flower shop or nursery)
  • Clippers
  • Olive branches (if you don't fancy olive, this 'how to' can be subsituted with boxwood, cedar, pine, etc.)

Step 1: 
Start by clipping small pieces of olive, ranging from about 6-8" in length. If you cut your pieces first you'll find it easier later on, so you won't have to cut pieces with one hand while trying to hold your wreath with the other.

Step 2 & 3:
You'll see that the individual olive branches (or other green you've chosen) all naturally fall or curve in one direction. Begin to place the pieces together curving in the same direction (almost like a puzzle). Continue by layering more pieces in that same direction until you have a some-what full looking bunch in your hand. 

Step 4:
Start wiring around the bare stems of the branches. Leave an extra 5-6" of wire at the end to tie it off at the end. You will need to pull fairly hard and wrap the wire as tight as you can. 
*TIP Wrapping the wire tightly is especially important if you are using fresh greens, because as the greenery dries it will shrink, so if you've wrapped the wire to loosely the wreath will fall apart.

Step 5 & 6:
Continue to add pieces of olive branch in the same direction, this will eventually create a natural round shape. There's no need to cut the wire as you continue adding pieces, using one long strand will ensure that you can keep the wire and branches tight. Don't worry too much about exposed wire. As you continue to add more stems it will get covered up eventually.

Step 7 & 8:
Keep adding branches until you've reached your desired fullness. When you have come all the way around and your ends meet you simply wire them tightly together. At this point you can cut the wire and for good measure do a couple extra twists around the ends to make it secure.

Step 9:
The wire will now be exposed where you've tied the ends. You can correct this by taking smaller clippings of stems and tucking them in to cover up the wire. You can also do this to the entire wreath, giving it a 'once over' to ensure there are no holes or pieces of wire showing.

Step 10:
The finishing touches! At this point everything is fair game... ribbon, ornaments, whatever your heart desires! Tie your accoutrements over top of where you tied off the ends of the wreath.

And just like that, a simple and elegant handmade wreath... Now get shopping! 

Photos by the amazing Vicky Starz 

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