ISSUE 48  |  California Dreaming

Required Reading: The Wreath Recipe Book

December 05, 2014 2:30 PM

BY Janet Hall

“When it comes to making wreaths, it’s pretty easy to make a gourmet-looking one with a humble pantry of ingredients,” say Jill Rizzo and Alethea Harampolis, the creative team behind the San Francisco floral shop Studio Choo. They share their secrets in The Wreath Recipe Book, a comprehensive guide packed with step-by-step wreath and garland recipes arranged by season and accessible to even the DIY-averse whose idea of a making a wreath is to buy one at the grocer.

Looking for winter wreath inspiration? The duo offers up their recipe for a pussy willow wreath below. 

For a look inside their shop, see our earlier post Studio Choo Blooms in San Francisco.

Photography by Paige Green.

Above: From the winter recipe collection, the Juniper Wreath includes exotic (but easy to source) air plants and orchids.

The Wreath Recipe Book opens with a simple guide that includes wreathing tool basics, branch cutting and attachment techniques, hydration tips, and step-by-step building instructions.

Above: The fragrant tallow garland is made of just three ingredients: tallow sprigs, bay laurel, and Spanish moss brought together with twine and wire.

The recipes branch out from wreaths, cooking up garlands, centerpieces, place settings, swags, and focal arrangements.

Above: Pussy willow’s woody shoots hold up well over time and dry nicely. In the pussy willow wreath recipe, they are complemented by bleached pine cones and blue-green spruce for a simple, woodsy variation.

Pussy Willow Wreath Recipe

(excerpted from The Wreath Recipe Book)

Ingredients:

  • 4 spruce branches
  • 5 pussy willow branches
  • 10 bleached and wired pine cones 

Materials:

  • Grapevine wreath frame
  • Medium-gauge wire 

Step 1: Start with the grapevine wreath frame. Grapevine Wreaths are available at many florists, craft stores, and online (eGrapevine store offers many options). 

Step 2: Bend three spruce branches around the frame and secure them with wire. Allow the branches to hang over the wreath as desired.

Step 3: Bend the pussy willow branches around the wreath, tucking in the ends to secure.

Step 4: Attach the bleached pine cones (you can make your own by soaking pine cones in a solution of two parts bleach to one part water) around the wreath at pleasing locations. Finish by tucking in the last spruce branch on the upper left side.

Above: The Wreath Recipe Book is $18.60 through Amazon. 

For more wreath ideas, see: