It all started when we moved some things around in the family room. When everything was in place, Ryan and I looked at each other and realized there was no room for the Christmas tree. He came up with the idea to put the tree in the entry – which I liked – but it also felt important that I add some Christmas love to the family room. After all, it is the room where we spend most of our time and I adore the warmth of twinkling white lights that we usually have from the tree.
We came up with a plan to hang wreaths on each of the four windows with twinkling lights in hopes that it would give us that Christmas-y feel, even without a tree.
Well, once I decided to do wreaths in the family room, I couldn’t help myself and decided to deck the rest of the downstairs windows (minus the kitchen and dining room) with matching ones.
But I had a dilemma.
Nine fresh wreaths can get expensive. Nine really nice looking faux wreaths can be even more expensive (plus you have to store them carefully). Last year, I made a cute grouping of wreaths using fresh greenery, florist wire, and embroidery hoops. It was a very cost-effective project, but it took FOREVER to just make a few and they didn’t have the fullness I was hoping for the windows.
Then, inspiration came upon me and I came up with a plan to take a super cheap wreath from the craft store and fancy it up with fresh greens.
Years and years ago, I hung a bunch of these wreaths in our windows (see them here in an oldie Christmas post from 8 years ago!). They are nothing special and they certainly don’t look or feel real. But what they lack in style they definitely make up for in price ($4 each!) and size. I knew they would be a perfect way for me to get the full, fresh look I was going for at a fraction of the price of any other option (under $40 for 9 wreaths).
Let me show you what I did …
I am thankful to live in the Pacific Northwest where greenery is plentiful. I just walked out my front door and clipped a bunch of evergreen branches from trees and shrubs. If you don’t have an abundance of trees and shrubs in your yard to clip from, don’t be shy about asking a friend or neighbor, find a vacant lot or neighborhood park (don’t tell anyone I told you to do this!) or find fresh-cut greenery at the grocery store, florist or wholesale flower market. For my wreath, I ended up just using three of the clippings: cedar, boxwood and rosemary.
STEP ONE | fluff up the storebought wreath
The little wired branches just need a bit of straightening out, moving around, fluffing up to give it a full look. You can get this same 24″ wreath here.
STEP TWO | clip greenery to size
I cut up the cedar branches into more manageable sizes – around 8-10ish inches each.
STEP THREE | tuck in clippings
Start by tucking in a clipping. Just poke the stem into the center of the wreath and it will catch on the wire branches. You really don’t need to wire the clippings in, but if you’d like (or if a clipping is particularly loose), use one of the wired branches to wrap around the clipping to secure. No floral wire necessary!
I laid my branches in a counter-clockwise direction. Start on the top left, tuck in a branch then move down and around counter-clockwise so that the tips of each clipping overlap the last. You’ll end up with something like this:
For some variety in texture, I also tucked in little clusters of boxwood:
And a few sprigs of rosemary:
And it’s done!
To hang, I looped a thick piece of grosgrain ribbon around the wreath and used a thumbtack to secure it to the wall. Doesn’t it look so pretty hanging in my office window!
Because I really wanted some sparkle, I bought 9 sets of battery operated fairy lights (on sale for $5 a set) and wrapped the lights around the wreath.
I am so happy with how these turned out. So far, I have made five – two for my office and three for the living room. Next up are the four for the family room where the idea originated :)
Now that I’m looking at these pictures I feel like maybe I don’t love the green ribbon. I might try fishing line to make them appear to float … or maybe the same macrame rope I used last year … hmm, we’ll see.
I’ll share more pictures once the rest of wreaths are up!