ISSUE 49  |  Holidays on Ice

DIY on a Budget: A Silvery Holiday Wreath for $20

December 09, 2015 2:00 PM

BY Erin Boyle

When I set out to make a wreath that could hold its own for the whole holiday season, my first thought was to forage. I imagined twists of grapevines and tangles of bittersweet woven into an elaborate wreath to last through the New Year. But living in a city, I knew it would be hard to find these in the wild–and too expensive to buy them from florists.

Instead, I decided to make a wreath from materials that are easy to find in farmers’ market. For less than $20, I bought enough eucalyptus and sage to make an aromatic, silvery wreath.

Eucalyptus leaves will last indefinitely. Sage leaves will become dry and brittle over the course of a few weeks, but will retain their shape and color through the holiday season.

Photography by Erin Boyle for Gardenista.

Materials

  • Dark Annealed Wire; 20 gauge; $5 for 50 feet from Brenda Aschweder Jewelry on Etsy (or use a ready-made Wreath Ring; a 6-inch ring is $2.49 from Joann Fabrics)
  • Floral wire
  • 1 large bunch eucalyptus
  • 4 or 5 bunches of sage
  • Work gloves (optional)

While I found it easier to use bare hands to put this wreath together, eucalyptus can get sticky. You might want to use gloves when handling it.

Above: I used thick annealed wire to make a wreath frame, and thinner floral wire to secure the greenery to the frame.

Above: To make the frame, I formed the annealed wire into a double circle and twisted the ends to secure the frame. If you’d like to make the project even simpler, you can use a wreath ring, like the one listed above.

Above: I picked over the greenery and discarded tattered or yellow leaves before I attached it to the frame.

Above: I began attaching small bundles of stems to the wreath frame. I started the process by compiling a small bundle of eucalyptus. 

Above: I secured the first bunch of stems to my frame using thin floral wire. 

Above: After adding the eucalyptus, I added a bunch of sage and attached it to the wire frame an inch or two behind the top of the eucalyptus bundle so that the two overlapped. As I continued adding new bunches to the frame, I sometimes secured my bundle at two points to be sure that none of the leaves flopped too far away from the frame.

Above: As I added the bundles, I made sure all the stems pointed in the same direction.

Above: After I finished covering the frame, I found it helpful to place the wreath on my work table, where I could look at it from above and identify areas that I wanted to fill in. When a section needed more, I lay the stems flat against the back of the frame and discreetly secured the bundle by wrapping floral wire around both stem and frame, making sure to not crush too many leaves in the process. Happily, the large eucalyptus leaves are fairly forgiving and excellent at covering the places where I secured extra filler greens.

Above: In the end, my wreath had a loose, organic shape.

Above: I hung my wreath on an existing hook inside my apartment–the 4-inch Iron Hook ($6) from Brook Farm General Store. If you’re looking for something that doesn’t require screws, you might choose an over-the-door wreath hanger instead. A Large Brushed Black Wreath Hanger is $5.49 at Jo-Ann Fabrics.

For another long-lasting holiday wreath, see DIY: A Succulent Wreath To Display All Year.