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How to make a wreath: A step-by-step guide

The wreath may be the most iconic Christmas decoration. The most common type of wreath is a ring of evergreen branches, usually topped off with a ribbon. But a wreath can take any form you like (assuming that form is some kind of ring).

We’ve created this step-by-step guide to making your very own DIY holiday wreath. You can use these steps to make a wreath of any style—and we’ve included a collection of wreath ideas to get you started.

Let’s get started! Here’s how to make a wreath with tips from professional interior designer, Lisa Moody:

WATCH ON YOUTUBE – 3:32

1. Gather your wreath-making supplies

No matter what type of wreath you’re making, here are the tools and equipment you’ll need:

  • Hot glue gun
  • Florist wire (about 22-gauge)
  • Wire cutters
  • Garden snips
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon
  • Metal hoop (18 or 19 inches in diameter)
Supplies laid out for the Christmas wreath

With this modern wreath design, the hoop will be partially visible, so you can spray paint it the colour of your choosing. Use whatever size hoop you like, but 18- or 19-inch wreaths are the best size to hang on your front door.

One safety note for working with florist wire: the ends can be quite sharp after they’re cut! Be careful as you’re working with it and wear protective gloves if you’re worried about poking your fingertips.

In addition to your tools, you’ll need some greenery to form the wreath.

You can use almost any branches, leaves, flowers, or other plant material you can find, but for this modern Christmas wreath we’re using a combination of evergreen branches, holly, and magnolia leaves.

Various branches and leaves for a wreath

If you’re lucky enough to have some greenery in your yard, you can snip a few branches yourself. Don’t take anything from public land (or someone else’s yard), though.

If you don’t have your own plants to use for the wreath, pay a visit to your nearest plant nursery or garden centre. They should have trimmings they can give you or, at the very least, be able to sell you something.

2. Lay out your wreath’s base layer

Once you’ve got everything together, you can start making your wreath.

First, find the largest foliage of your collection, something that’s going to work as an anchor or background to the finer pieces on your wreath.

Single tree branch

Lay the pieces out to see how they’ll look on the wreath. Try to keep things balanced between the left and right side.

With this modern wreath, we’re only covering the bottom portion of the ring. If you’re covering the whole 360 degrees, keep your top-bottom balance in mind as well.

Once you’re happy with the layout of your background pieces, secure them to the ring using your florist wire.

Layerings branches on wreath

Wide, flat evergreen branches make the best anchor pieces for our modern-style wreath.

3. Attach your finer pieces

After you’ve got the anchor pieces of your wreath attached, you can start adding the finer details.

Here, you can use bits and pieces of whatever you’ve got:

  • Thicker, fluffier evergreen branches
  • Holly leaves and berries
  • Pinecones or acorns
  • Large leaves like maple, magnolia, or oak.

Just try to include a variety of components—at least 3 in addition to your base layer.

Modern wreath design and layout

Just as you did with the initial pieces, first lay out your highlight pieces and move them around until you’re happy with the look. Again, keep your wreath balanced.

Once you’ve got things settled, start attaching your components to the ring with the florist wire.

Beautiful hardwood shelf with guitar

After everything’s strapped on, use the hot glue gun to carefully glue down any bits that are flapping around, or anything that you couldn’t attach with the wire.

Lisa Moody putting together a modern Christmas wreath

4. Add the finishing touches

There are just two more things your wreath needs. The first is a centrepiece, something to really tie it together.

You can use things like dried flowers or more bits of holly to round out your wreath’s appearance.

Fresh and complete Christmas wreath

After that, all that’s left is to put a bow on it!

Tie your ribbon in the centre of the top part of the ring. Fold your ribbon in half before you start tying.

Then, make a simple knot around the wire ring, leaving a 3-4-inch loop at the top for hanging. The ends of your ribbon should hang down into the centre of your wreath.

Hanging Christmas wreath on a door

And that’s it! Your modern holiday wreath is ready to hang on the front door, giving the entrance to your home a shot of holiday spirit.

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Other creative wreath ideas

The modern holiday wreath we created above is just one possibility. Using the same tools and techniques, here are some wreath ideas for lots of other styles.

White Christmas wreath

If white is more your colour, you can create a white Christmas wreath by incorporating white flowers, or by using spray-on snow to make your wreath look wintry:

Classic Christmas wreath on a red door

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Minimal wreath

For a handsome minimalist wreath, you can use the process we went through above, but pare your wreath ingredients back even more:

Modern and simple wreath

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Flower wreath

Creating a flower wreath can seem intimidating, since you’ll be working with more colours and more fragile components, but you can start simple and follow our directions—just incorporate more floral elements instead of leaves, branches, or holly berries:

Simple flower wreath on a white door

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Burlap wreath

You can also eschew tree branches altogether and make a burlap wreath that could fit perfectly on your home shelves:

Burlap wreath for Christmas

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Outdoor wreath

If you fasten everything well enough, pretty much any wreath can be an outdoor wreath. Just make sure you take it inside during sub-freezing weather if you’ve used delicate plants like flowers.

Large outdoor wreath on a blue door

Farmhouse wreath

To make a farmhouse wreath, use some rustic elements in your design, like grapevines or even tiny pumpkins:

Farmhouse style wreath on a white door

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Ornament wreath

Ornament wreaths are a popular way to make a wreath that doesn’t use plant material at all:

Shiny silver and gold ornament wreath

Evergreen wreath

Arguably the most iconic wreath design, you can make an evergreen wreath by using nothing but spruce or pine branches:

Classic evergreen branch with ribbon wreath

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Pinecone wreath

Pinecones usually aren’t hard to find, and you can use them to make a beautiful pinecone wreath. Try adding a few acorns as well, if you’ve got any nearby:

Various pinecone and acorn wreath

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