Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Winter Decor - Christmas Wreath

Christmas Wreath As My Son Requested

Christmas wreath?  Yes, I almost forgot.  My ever-so-supportive son said to me last night: "Mom, you should share on your blog how you make your Christmas wreaths.  They are beautiful."  (Don't I have the best son in the world?)

Celestial Christmas Wreath

It's a good thing I had already made a few wreaths in November (see 11/18/12 Post).  Now, all I have to do is add greenery and decoration.  I like to use three different types of evergreen, but if you only have one type, that's ok too.  For my first layer, I will use Boxwood.  Cut the Boxwood branches in different sizes and strip the leaves off the bottom quarter of each branch.

Insert each stem securely into the wreath, starting from the bottom middle, then go up on each side.  I like to do both sides simultaneously; it's easier to keep the wreath balanced.

Remember to follow the stems' natural curves when deciding which side to affix them to.  Each time you add a stem, layer it by tucking the bottom of that stem in the wreath under the previously inserted stems.

If you want to secure the Boxwood, once you are done with your first layer, tie the Boxwood down to the wreath with some wire at small intervals.

Christmas wreath
with first layer of Boxwood

I like to use Cryptomeria Japonica for my next layer.  Follow the same technique used with the Boxwood, but this time, start at the top middle, then go down on both sides.  It's very important here that you work on both sides simultaneously and let the curves in the Cryptomeria branches dictate which side to affix them to.  The wreath will look more natural if you follow the Cryptomeria's natural bend.  Use as much Cryptomeria as you want, but make sure to allow the Boxwood to be seen too.  It's important that you not try to match both sides.  First, that will be more difficult and can be frustrating.  But, more important, a random look is more natural.  If you want, you can secure the Cryptomeria with some wire as you did with the Boxwood.

Christmas wreath
with Cryptomeria added over Boxwood

I like to add a third layer to soften the look of the wreath and to add a little depth and texture to it.  Cedar is perfect for this task.  Cut Cedar stems a little shorter than the Boxwood and the Cryptomeria.  Randomly insert Cedar stems in among the Boxwood and Cryptomeria.  Remember to insert the Cedar not only on the surface of the wreath, but also on its outer and inner sides.  Doing so will give your wreath depth.

Step back and study your wreath.  Adjust, add or delete what is necessary.

I trimmed the bottom half of this wreath a little because it was too full and added a few stems of Cryptomeria to the top half to even out the entire wreath.

Now the fun part: decorate your wreath.

If you want to, you can add a nice bow and be done.  But why stop there?  It's Christmas!  This is the only time of year when you can risk crossing over to the "tacky" side if you ended up over-decorating your wreath.  So have fun!  Add fruits (such as small apples and orange slices), cones, nuts (with shell intact), cinnamon sticks, Christmas ornaments, birds, beads, lights, angels ... whatever strikes your fancy.

 Pick a theme and a color scheme and have fun! 

It's Christmas!


 Go crazy!  Have fun!


BTW:  I recently learned from a few florists and flower wholesalers that Cryptomeria Japonica is not readily available for purchase as a cut flora item.  That's a pity because they are so beautiful and versatile and they have a very long vase life.  We are only at the very beginning stages of our cut flower business so we are not yet equipped to ship merchandise.  Next year around October/November, we will be ready to take your orders for Cryptomeria.  You will love them!

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