WREATH MAKING
 

Mountain Valley Growers USDA Certified Organic Herb, Perennial and Vegetable Plants

 
 

 

Wreath making is one of the most popular herbal crafts. There are endless combinations of textures and colors that can be combined to make wreaths that complement your tastes and decor. Here are a few basic guidelines for making a wreath from fresh herbs that will dry on the frame. This is a very easy way to work with herbs, since they are supple and form easily to the wreath.

 

Step 1: At your table:

Bring together the few tools you need to make your wreath. These include the wreath form, usually straw or moss covered, sturdy wire for making a hanging loop, floral pins, small needle nose pliers and shears.

Wreath Bases and Tools  
 

Step 2: Out in the Garden:

In the cool of the day, take a large basket and your sharpest shears and begin the hunt for inspiration. Look for plants that will make good filler material, like Powis Castle Artemisia, flowering Culinary Oreganos, Greek Bay and Grey Santolina. 

Keep an eye out for plants that will be useful for adding colorful and unusual accents, like Lavender, Bee Balm, Baby's Breath, German Statice, Ornamental Oreganos, Vitex and Butterfly Bush Wands. 

Be sure to cut some special focus pieces like clusters of miniature Roses or Lamb's Ears leaves and heads of Gold Yarrow or colorful Statice.

Cut pieces about eight or ten inches long and lay them carefully in the basket so they don't get tangled up. There will be eight to ten of these pieces in each bundle you pin to the wreath. For a 12 inch wreath it takes approximately 60 bundles, so cut a lot!

 
 

Filler Plants

 

Flowering Italian Oregano and Powis Castle

Culinary and Ornamental Oregano Flowers

 

Above, on the left is flowering Italian Oregano and on the right is a lot of Powis Castle Artemisia.

 

The bright green Culinary Oregano in the basket above is used for filler, and the airy Ornamental Oreganos on the right are used as accents. They include Kent Beauty Oregano, Marshalls' Memory Oregano, Rosenkuppel Oregano and Showy Pink Oregano.

 
 
 

 Colorful Accent Plants

 

Vitex Bouquet

Purple Bee Balm Flowers

Vitex Bouquet

Bee Balm Flowers

 

Basket Full of Accent Pieces

Basket Full of Wreath Cuttings

 

 

Basket full of colorful accents and special focus plants.

 

 

The same basket with all the cuttings necessary to make the wreath.

 
 

All Our Plants and Materials are Ready to Go

Separating and laying out the plants by kind makes it easier to bundle them quickly.

Also, handy nearby is our refuse bucket where the ends of the bundles will be discarded as the bundles are evened off. 

 

Step 3: Make a hanger:
Cut an eight inch or longer piece of a sturdy wire such as Stem Wire and bend it into a U. Insert this in the back at the top for a hanger (below left). Hanging on the wall the wires are poking out the front (below right). Use your pliers to curl the ends back into front of the base. Tie a piece of ribbon or raffia to the hanger so it will be easy to find when you are through.

Pushing the Hanger in From the Back Making a Hanger
Hanger Looped Back into Base

Push the looped wire firmly into the base until it is flush or just slightly imbedded. 
The wreath will end up being quite heavy and having a dependable hanger is important.

Step 4: Assembling the Wreath:
Make your first bundle by choosing several pieces of both filler and accent plants. Adjust the number of pieces to make each bundle very full.
Bring the ends of your pieces together and trim the bottoms off so they are even.

To the right, the Powis Castle Artemisia and Italian Oregano pieces are actually under the sprigs of Vitex and Bee Balm.

The Composition of the Bundle

The Placement of the First Bundle

Start at three o'clock on the wreath. Starting here allows the beginning and end of the wreath to be somewhere other than the top where the eye is drawn. If there is an adjustment to be made at the end, this is a better place to make it.

By not starting at the top, the finished wreath will look more random and natural. Next, place the first bundle in the middle and secure with a floral pin. The next bundle will go straight across on the outside and then a third will follow straight across to the inside.

One Complete Row on the Wreath

Here the wreath has one
complete row.

Notice the gap at the bottom of the stems. The next bundle will be positioned to cover this.

 

Lamb's Ears Fills in the Inner Ring

Work from three o'clock counter clockwise so the uneven stem ends of each pinned bundle get covered by the next bundle until you reach three o'clock again. Bundles can be made to hold a lot, which will make the wreath making go faster, or many smaller bundles can be used. Here a special accent of a Lamb's Ear Cluster is formed to the inside of the ring. Accent pieces like this Lamb's Ears and the Beauty Secret Miniature Roses should be added randomly.

 
The Finished Wreath

It helps to have a place to hang the wreath near the work space.

After it is hung, there is usually a little more tucking and a trim or two that is necessary to tidy up the wreath.

Smaller pieces can be used for this last grooming of the wreath. Sometimes it is handy to tie small stems or bundles of small stems to a floral pick. The pick can then be inserted firmly into any gap that might show itself.

Small Pieces Attached to Floral Picks

Step 5: Drying the Wreath:
The wreath can be left flat to dry or hung up immediately. Hanging while fresh allows the bundles to shift naturally.

Step 6: Caring for Your Wreath:
To extend the life of your wreath, keep from direct sunlight and away from air conditioner and heater vents. Making a wreath using these instructions allows the wreath to be broken down and reused. 

Step 7: Clean up!
Not much left,
but what was left was put back 
into the basket
and left to dry.
Now we have a 
pretty basket too!

List of all plants used in this wreath:
Powis Castle Artemisia, Italian and Sicilian Culinary Oregano, Kent Beauty, Showy Pink, Dwarf Pink and Woolly Ornamental Oreganos, Garden Sage, Lamb's Ears, Purple Statice, Magic Carrousel and Beauty Secret Miniature Roses, Bee Balm Flowers and Vitex.

The Rest of Everything Basket

Wreaths through the Seasons starts with the Summer Wreath!

Grow your own herbs for Fresh Herbal Wreaths with The Crafter's Herb Garden!

 

Joann's is a great source for Wreath Bases. Straw wreaths come in 24, 18, 14, 12 and 10-inch diameters, and grapevine wreaths in 8, 10 and 18-inch diameters. After you click on the hyperlink above, type in Straw Wreaths or Grapevine Wreaths in the search box

For other wreath making supplies, like greening pins, floral tape, flower picks and wire try AFloral.com.

 

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