I’ve been making wreaths from scavenged greenery since I was a small child, using anything from grass to ivy to palm fronds to conifer branches. This one took about 20 minutes and used nothing but the plants in my yard.
Don’t have any trees to rob from? Christmas tree lots generally give away their trimmings for free, and they make spectacular wreathes. No flowers or berries? Try using herbs, such as the rosemary accent pictured, or pinecones dropped along the street. I make a habit of taking walks just to collect artful pods and cones to later use on decorations like these.
Since they have no wire, ties, or glue, these wreathes can be composted or burned when dry. But even better: once they drop their leaves, they become a perfect base for next year’s wreaths.
Here’s how to assemble them:
Start with several long, thin (1/4-1/2 inch at the base) branches that bend easily without breaking. Willow is perfect, but conifers work well, as do fruit tree suckers. (You can use ivy, crab grass– you name it. It just won’t be as sturdy.)
Bend the longest one into a circle the desired size, starting with the thick end and winding the thin end through and around to secure the ring. Ignore the leaves or needles at this point; you won’t see them.
Gently poke the thicker end of each additional branch between the already woven ones to secure it, starting in varied places in the circle. Wind them around to strengthen each side of the wreath.
When the base feels solid and there are enough layers to poke new greens in without damaging the circle, add the filler foliage.
Use the leafy tips of shrubs and tree branches with enough “stem” to secure it; poke the twig straight through a hole in the base, pull it through until the leaves are where you want them, and in the back wind the remaining stem through another layer to hold it in place. Keep adding until the base is fairly concealed and the wreath appears full and even.
(I’ve made plenty of sparse bare-twig wreathes as well– design it how you like!)
Finally, decorate. Tuck contrasting greens and colorful accents in sporadically; try rosehips, pepper berries, cones, fruit, or dried flowers.
Wreathes make the pretty decorations year-round. Since these use only what’s growing nearby, they are a perfect way of capturing any season as a festive welcome on the front door.