Jen Richards of Paradiso Flowers in Kingston, Ont. says it's easiest to start indoor and outdoor wreaths and swags with ready-made models of boxwood, fir, myrtle, pine or spruce (available at floral supply stores).
To accent any outdoor versions - and any outdoor arrangements in containers - she suggests you choose dried citrus fruits, magnolia leaves, pepperberries, pomegranates, quince or rosehips (once frozen, soft fresh fruits and berries may rot and discolour), along with pinecones, and twigs such as red dogwood or curly willow, for the accents. Or you can always opt for great fakes.
Arrange your greenery and twigs, then fasten smaller accents in place using floral wire or a glue gun.
Here are 5 designs for you to try:
Circle of stars (Click here to see completed wreath.)
24-gauage florists' or hobby wire
40 to 50 large and small stars (see cookie cutter ornament instructions below)
18- to 24-in diameter grapevine, twisted-wire or evergreen wreath
1.5 m of wide wire-edge ribbon
With short lengths of 24-gauage florists' or hobby wire, wire 40 to 50 large and small stars to 18- to 24-in diameter grapevine, twisted-wire or evergreen wreath. With 1.5 m of wide wire-edge ribbon, tie double bow at top.
To age grapevine wreath: Brush on coat of flat white latex paint; let dry. With almost-dry brush, paint raised areas with a coat of flat green latex or metallic grey paint; let dry.
Cookie cutter ornaments
Sheet metal, wood or corrugated cardboard
Star cookie cutter (can use other shapes if desired)
Dimensional fabric paint
Awl or drill
On sheet metal, wood or corrugated cardboard, trace around star cookie cutter. Cut out design; smooth edges. Using dimensional fabric paint, outline each shape, then decorate as desired or write a word or message on front. Using awl or drill, amke hole(s) in each ornament for ribbon or wire hanging loop.
Page 1 of 4 -- On page 2, find instructions for three other fabulous holiday wreaths.
61 cm (24-in) long branches: 5 of silver fir, 7 of curly willow, and 7 of silk oak
6 magnolia-leaf clusters
4 pepper berry clusters
2 coconut pods or large pinecones
Medium-gauge florists' or hobby wire
Start with 61 cm (24-in) long branches: 5 of silver fir, 7 of curly willow, and 7 of silk oak; 6 magnolia-leaf clusters; 4 pepper berry clusters; 2 coconut pods or large pinecones. On work surface, place three of the fir branches (tips up) in a bunch. With cut ends overlapping approx 25.5 cm (10 in), place remaining fir branches (tips down) on first bunch to form swag bottom. Using medium-gauge florists' or hobby wire, wire ends together at each end of overlap. At back, thread second piece of wire through first; twist ends together to form hanging loop. Using secateurs, clip curly willow, silk oak and magnolia to desired length; at front, tuck stems in so foliage conceals wire. Wire on berries and pods.
Lacquered or plain grapevine wreath
Wide wire-edge ribbon
Tuck ends of feathery foliage into side and top of any size lacquered or plain grapevine wreath. Through top, tuck in shorter lengths of broad-leave foliage. Tie generous length of wide wire-edge ribbon in bow at top of wreath; tuck bunch of artificial berries into bow.
Bronzy magnolia wreath
28-in magnolia wreath
2 or 3 m length of 2- to 3-in-wind wire-edge organza ribbon
1 to 2 m length of same ribbon
On back at centre top of 28-in magnolia wreath, tie 2 or 3 m length of 2- to 3-in-wind wire-edge organza ribbon. Approx 30 cm (11-7/8 in) from first knot, tie ends together again to form hanging loop. Hang on door, arranging ribbon ends as desired. Make three or four bunches of 4 or 5 cinnamon sticks each; wrap centre of each with elastic band. Tie 1 or 2 m length of same ribbon around bunches, covering elastic, then tie into wreath front.
Page 2 of 2 -- On page one find photos and instructions for a country wreath of circles and stars.