Creating Homemade Wreaths for Holiday Decorations

Create a beautiful homemade wreath this holiday season from nature's leftovers. Includes information on plants and nature items to use for Christmas wreaths.

| December 1995/January 1996

MOTHER's Handwork column shows you how to make a holiday decoration for free by creating homemade wreaths from nature's leftovers. 

Creating Homemade Wreaths for Holiday Decorations

One of the many side benefits of living close to the woods is that you can create a beautiful holiday season wreath from nature's residues—for free—while others are buying their wreaths for ten bucks a pop.

A wreath on the front door, as a table centerpiece, or over the mantle can be ornamented with cross or menorah to celebrate your choice of traditional religious festivals. On a more earthly plane, if decorated with a few dry seed heads, beanpods, and other garden residue it can express gratitude for the harvest season just past. To the druidic among us, the circle of greenery observes the ancient, mythic wellspring of all year end celebrations, the winter solstice—December 22 on the modern calendar—and the space-and-time portal between fall and winter. A wreath defies the darkness of this, the year's shortest day, when the sun is farthest from earth. Rather, its hoop of living boughs affirms the endless circle of life and celebrates the solstice as the first day of the sun's return journey, with its promise of spring and the earth's annual renewal.


To frame a wreath, collect supple willow whips, or better, vines of native fox grape or bittersweet in the North, kudzu or musk grape in the South. At home, weave your whips in bulky lifesaver shapes in sizes to fit the use. Weave loosely to provide niches to poke evergreen stems into. Notch outer edges of woody branches to keep them from breaking. Fasten joints and loose ends with some tight loops of soft florists wire from a craft shop or hardware store.


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