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How to Make a Christmas Wreath
Wreaths are a traditional Christmas decoration for a good reason. They make a beautiful, natural addition to the home during the holiday season. You can purchase many fine wreaths. But making your own is simplicity itself for those who enjoy doing handicrafts.
The key is to start with a solid wreath form. These can be purchased or made.
Inexpensive wreath forms are available in Styrofoam, straw, wire and other materials. If you select one that's Styrofoam or straw, it will be easy to stick small pins into the wreath form. That provides something to string reeds or other material onto. But other types work equally well.
Making your own wreath form isn't terribly difficult. Start with two wire hangers, formed into circles. There are several ways to form them into the large donut-shape you'll need. One of the easiest is to slide toilet paper or paper towel rolls down each wire. Glue the results together with strong glue and the cardboard-wire frame will provide a sturdy wreath form.
The wreath form can be decorated in a thousand ways.
If you have the right type of trees and bushes nearby, you can gather up pine branches, holly bush leaves and branches, or even just ordinary small birch or apple sticks. You'll need a few dozen.
If the branches are too dry, soak them for a few hours before use. Then wind branch pieces about 8 inches long around the wreath form, twisting as you go. The idea is to wrap the 'donut' in a spiral fashion, moving partly horizontal toward the hole as you work your way around the wreath form. A layer or two covers the form and provides the basic color.
Now for the truly fun part: design and color selection.
Here you get to exercise your creativity to the utmost. You can select flowers, colorful leaves, berries or other natural materials in a dozen different shapes and shades.
Lavender works very well for the outer layer of a Christmas wreath. It's supple and produces a delightful odor. But you could just as well use holly leaves and berries still on their branches. Some will prefer the dryer tone of oregano. Some may prefer the vibrant colors of Vitex or Bee Balm flowers.
Whichever you select, you'll need plenty of glue and floral wire to place them.
Now that you have the wreath form and branch base, just festoon the wreath with herbs or flowers wherever you want color. Depending on what you select it may be easier to attach with wire or glue.
At this stage it's possible to use pins to attach some, but that often leaves the problem of disguising the pin heads. Glue dries invisibly and wire can be purchased in a color that will disappear in the foliage. Work your way gradually around the wreath. If you want to be able to turn the wreath around, decorate both sides.
If you used a Styrofoam or straw wreath form, it's easy to insert a wire hook to hang the wreath. If you used wire coat hangers you can use the curved ends of the hanger. But trim them down and re-bend them so they don't stick up noticeably.
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