These last few weeks of the year and the holiday season can often be a bit chaotic. There’s still Christmas shopping to do, plans to make with family, packages to mail, cards to send, work deadlines to complete…tasks and obligations seem to pile up so quickly this time of year, no matter how prepared I think I am. . I know I’m not the only one who feels this way!
My approach to combating the craziness is to focus on things that help me better focus on the season. I like to listen to Christmas music or watch movies in between daily tasks (or better yet, while I’m working on getting some stuff done!) and I also love finding time for a mini vacation or two before the end of the year. These types of projects help relieve stress, and definitely make the season more festive overall. Today’s post features one of my recent stress-relieving crafts: a DIY Christmas wreath decorated with foraged materials from our yard.
I started with a live evergreen wreath purchased from our favorite local Christmas tree farm, Francisco Farms. This year we couldn’t buy a real tree from the farm because I didn’t think our kittens would behave around it, but I knew I could treat myself to one of Francisco Farms’ handmade live wreaths since we keep them outside. And away from prying feet. The wreath has been hanging nice and bare on our front door for the past few weeks, but I wanted to give it a little more personality as we get closer to Christmas and winter officially arrives.
My thinking was to just use things around our yard to add color and texture to the wreath. As fate would have it, we ended up getting our first snowfall of the year on the morning I planned to work on this project, but I was still able to find all kinds of pretty things for my wreath. I stole several branches and bunches of berries from the Heavenly Bamboo (or Nandina) that surrounds the side of our house, and I also cut a couple of branches from the blue spruce in our front yard. I thought all of these would dry well in the cold Virginia weather we’ve been having lately, and that they would also add a lot of natural dimension to our simple wreath.
I brought all my cuttings inside, isolated the kittens so they couldn’t get into my sunroom work area (nandina is toxic to pets), and then set my simple wreath on the ground to get to work. I decided to start with Blue Spruce sprigs since they were quite large and I needed to make room for them. Then I added the leafy stems I cut from the nandina, followed by a layer of berry bunches to finish the look.
I didn’t end up using any wire or glue for the added branches. I just cut off the bottom leaves of each stem with scissors so that I had a little bit of a straight, bare branch exposed, then pushed those leaves into a wreath shape between the evergreen branches. It worked great! It’s worth noting that you may want to do all of this with gloves if you’re working with sharp scraps from the yard. Cutting this blue spruce hurts my bare hands!
The finishing touch for me was an oversized hanging bow made from ribbon I already had from Target. I attached the bow to my wreath using clear fishing line, and then I was done! Since I didn’t use any wire or glue, some pieces fell off when I lifted the wreath from its horizontal position on the floor, but after I hung the wreath vertically on the door with the hook, I squeezed those pieces back into the pattern in a sturdier way, so I knew it would You will never fall again. We’ve had the fodder wreath for about a week now, and the branches and berries are all staying in place well! However, feel free to use floral wire or glue to secure your pieces if you prefer a longer-lasting fit.
This before/after drawing some pictures makes me so excited! I can’t believe this project cost me nothing, but it still added a lot of expensive style to our engagement. I’ll be sure to update you as the weeks go by to let you know if things take a turn for the worse freshness-wise, but I hope all of these forage items dry out in place and look good for the winter. Let me know what you think in the comments! Do you prefer the simple/plain version of the wreath, or the layered/colorful version?
Pssst…you can see this wreath put together in a video I posted on my Instagram feed here.