Tips to make a spectacular holiday wreath

Whether you make your wreath, pick up a wreath base at a grocery store or ask a florist to custom design a holiday wreath for you, there are a few tips to make your wreath look amazing. The first thing to think about is style. What is your style? And, what is the decor style of your home? Next, think about your personal preferences. Do you like a more traditional, rustic, modern, and colourful look? Whatever your design style is, spend some time figuring out what your style is. Or, if you are having difficulty ascertaining your style, perhaps think about a theme. Themes can include religion; maybe you would like to recreate a mini-nativity scene, naval, gardening or hobbyist-themed wreath.

The next consideration is scale; where are you hanging your wreath? Door, wall, post or gate? A wreath should look proportionate to the space where it is hanging. Not too big or not too small. If you are hanging your wreath on a door, the wreath should not go to the edge of the door but have a space around the wreath to see the door. 

The next thing to think about is type, a question that loops back to style. Do you like a more traditional wreath, mixed evergreens or perhaps you appreciate a more rustic look that might use a base of grapevine with a few additions of evergreen boughs? Or, perhaps, a faux wreath base. Whatever wreath base type you choose, the most interesting wreaths have a lot of different textures and varied coloured tones. Wreaths displayed outside tend to fade in the mid-winter sun, so if you start with a more robust colour palette, the colour will generally fade a bit over the winter. Below are a few considerations of different items that can be added to a wreath base:

  1. Evergreen boughs (real or faux or a combination) I love pine, cedar and juniper evergreens.
  2. Berries (real or faux) Ilex or Sumac is my go-to real berry look that weathers well through the winter.
  3. Bow (Satin, burlap or none) I love a traditional plaid ribbon with ribbon ends tucked around the perimeter of the wreath.
  4. Ornaments or decorative elements-a few Christmas baubles in gold and red or iced branches?
  5. Pinecones (real or faux or a combination) natural is so chic.
  6. Dried elements-Lagurus or bunny tails and bleached Ruscus are fun additions to wreaths.
  7. Live elements that dry nicely
  8. Lights-battery-operated LED lights can be fun to add a twinkle to the wreath.
Your glue gun is your friend. Glue guns are very forgiving, aside from getting burned once in a while. Make sure that you have plenty of glue sticks and that all the elements are WELL glued. Outdoor wreaths are subject to all the elements, and wind can easily ruin your wreath. I can go through 2-5 large glue sticks per wreath, depending on the volume of elements added. The metal rings from the fresh evergreen wreath varieties can be reused. Take an afternoon to forage for evergreen branches and create your own wreath. All you need is paddle wire and patience. Create small packets of mixed greens and wire them onto your wreath base. Then glue on the elements you would like to showcase on your wreath. Change up your wreath for each season or holiday. 

Most wreaths in our store average from $85-150. We just finished our workshop series in November that offered wreaths and outdoor urns workshops. Keep an eye on our Events at AVF Calendar on our About Us page.

I’d love to hear your tips on creating your holiday wreath.


Alta Vista Flowers

Co-owner of Alta Vista Flowers with Michael LeRoy. We operate a full service flower shop that has been in business for 60 years, with our very dedicated staff.
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