How to Make a Fall Wreath

Making natural wreaths is a great way to bring life into your house in the fall.

| October/November 1991

Learning how to make a fall wreath starts with accepting gifts from the woods.

Between the woods, fields and roadsides all around us, you have all the supplies you'll need to create unique natural wreaths and gifts. I've been collecting my supplies naturally for eight years and am continually finding something new that nature has to offer for my creations. When I forage for natural material, I either go out looking for a particular item or just walk, looking for what nature has to offer at that particular time of the year. The more you walk the woods and fields of your area, the more keen your eyes become. You'll soon have a place to collect your vines, another for collecting your nuts and others still for your milkweed, moss and pinecones. (Did I mention that you'll be walking a lot and getting some great exercise? What a terrific benefit from this new interest!)

Think you may not have room for all this? If you decide to start collecting nature supplies to create several wreaths for yourself, plus a couple of gifts for friends, all you need is an area big enough to hang your dried materials, room for a couple of trays of nuts, moss, nests and fungi, and several cans to store your silica-gel flowers (more on that later). You'll also need a worktable when you decide to put a piece together. I often bring dried naturals home and hang them in the kitchen or on the front porch.

When I go on a foraging walk, I take several large baskets with handles and lots of bags. The baskets are great for flowers and grasses; the bags work well for moss, nuts, etc. A friend of mine prefers a nylon bag slung over his shoulder for everything.

Remember your hand clippers, as well as a canvas carpenter's apron with lots of pockets to store your small collectibles in.

Different supply needs will take you to different places. Looking for vines will take you to wooded roadsides, usually up or down an embankment (remember to be careful). If you need some milkweed, Queen Anne's lace or yarrow, a large open field is a good source. Moss and fungi are usually found in the woods near streams or attached to the undersides of logs.

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