Introduction: How to Make a Homemade, Earth-friendly Wreath for Free (Using Materials From Around Your Home)

These instructions will teach you how to make a home-made, earth-friendly wreath for free. All of the materials can usually be found in your backyard or a park. Because the wreath uses recycled and natural materials, it is a better option than expensive, store-bought wreaths that often use non-recyclable materials like Styrofoam. The instructions will guide you in assembling a basic wreath that you can customize for any occasion. You can hang your wreath on your front door or use it on a table as a centerpiece. The wreath should last for several weeks; however, when using fresh flowers they might need to be replaced every week or so. Any level of expertise can effectively use these instructions and end up with a great result. Below you will find a list of materials, followed by the instructions for the basic wreath, as well as optional steps for customizing the wreath. We also recommend that you create your wreath outdoors for easier clean up. This activity will take approximately an hour and a half.

Note about recycling the wreath: When you are ready to recycle your wreath simply cut it in half (through the vines and cardboard) and slide off the natural, biodegradable materials and take the cardboard to a designated recycling facility.

Materials
• Large piece of cardboard at least 36inches x 36inches.
• Scissors
• Pencil
• Large Circular object for tracing (mixing bowl)
• Smaller Circular object for tracing (saucepan lid)
• Vines (vinca, grapevines, wisteria) enough to fill a 13 gallon trash bag
• Leaves with stems (i.e. Mountain Laurel)


Optional Materials for customizing your wreath
• Fresh-cut flowers (i.e. 6 large roses or Gerber daises)
• Poinsettias
• Large Maple Leaves
• Holly berry twigs (with berries)
• Twine or raffia
• Seasonal fruit

Safety
• While picking the vines, be cautious of thorns, poison ivy, and insects.
• While cutting the cardboard, be careful with using the scissors, and cut away from your body.






Step 1:

Find a large piece of cardboard

Step 2:

Find two circular objects (one large and one small), making sure the smaller one is at least six inches smaller than the larger one.

Step 3:

Place the larger object in the center of your piece of cardboard
             a. Trace around the larger object using a pencil.

Step 4:

Place the smaller circular object in the center of the circle you traced.
                  a. Trace around the smaller object with a pencil.

Step 5:

Cut along the outer edge of the larger circle.

Step 6:

Cut along the edge of the smaller circle. You should be left with a cardboard ring shape, which will be the base of the wreath.

Step 7:

Hold the cardboard ring (as pictured), and with your index finger and thumb hold a vine on top of the cardboard.

Step 8:

Keep holding the vine secure and start wrapping the vine through the hole in the center and back around the outer edge.

Step 9:

When you get to the end of a vine, tuck the very end of it under the wrapped vines (as pictured).

Step 10:

Keep the vines wrapped tight and close to each other, in order to cover the cardboard underneath.

Step 11:

Continue this process all the way around the cardboard wreath, until the cardboard is covered to your desire.

Step 12:

Cut off any unwanted leaves, roots, or stems that are sticking out.

Step 13:

Use the leaves of your choice to fill in bare spaces in the cardboard by placing their stems under the vines in order to secure them.


Step 14: Optional Steps for Customizing Your Wreath

You can customize your basic wreath depending on what theme you want:
Note: Make sure optional decorations are not too heavy for the vines, because they can cause the vines to rip. We recommend testing the strength of the vines with your objects before securing them to the wreath.

Step 15: Spring Wreath

Cut fresh flowers and tuck the stems through the wrapped vines.

Step 16: Holiday (Christmas) Wreath

 a. Add poinsettias and/or holly by weaving the stems through the vines on the basic wreath.
 b. Using twine or raffia, tie onto existing vines any small decorations such as pine cones or seasonal fruit.

Step 17: Fall Wreath

a. Gather large, colored leaves.
b. Tuck the ends of the leaves under the vines

or

c. Poke a small hole near the stem of the leaf and thread twine through hole.  Then tie and secure them to the cardboard ring.


Step 18: Trouble Shooting

In the case that the vines are not staying secure to the cardboard ring, you can use twine or raffia to tie the items to the cardboard.

Comments

author
Pavlovafowl (author)2012-12-16

Very pretty! We always make our own wreaths (even funereal ones). They are much more personal and have much more consideration for the environment. You could also break off little sections of succulent plants and add them to the wreath. Over the Christmas period they would stay alive and probably even start to root and you could then replant them when you come to compost the wreath. Best Wishes from France, Pavlovafowl aka Sue.

author
scoochmaroo (author)2011-03-01

These are lovely! What a great project - customizable and compostable!

author

Thank you :)

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