Fresh evergreen wreaths are easy and inexpensive to make yourself so, there's no need to pay a fortune for one from the florist's. I make at least two fresh evergreen wreaths at the start of Advent. I make one to hang on my front door and another to place on our coffee table.
The wreath meant for the coffee table will be decorated with four candles, one for each Sunday in Advent. In this post, I'll show you my method for making fresh, natural Christmas wreaths, how to keep them fresh and give you some tips for hanging them on your door. If you need some inspiration for decorating your wreaths, I've also included photos of a few of my previous Advent wreaths to give you some ideas.
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What do evergreen wreaths signify?
Evergreen wreaths carry many meanings which are both biblical and pagan. The circular shape of a wreath signifies eternity because it has no beginning and no end. You could say, it celebrates the circle of life.
Evergreen on wreaths is said to represent memory, hope and new life.
Why do we hang a wreath on the door at Christmas?
We hang a wreath on the door at Christmas because evergreen wreaths are a sign of hope that the dark winter days will end and new life will begin again in Spring.
What greenery do you use to make evergreen wreaths?
You can use various types of evergreen clippings. Choose whatever takes your fancy!
Here are a few ideas:
- Thuja (Tree of life)
Where to collect evergreen clippings
Christmas tree farm
My best tip for where to collect evergreen clippings is from a Christmas tree farm. That's where I usually get mine every year for free! At our Christmas tree farm, anyone can cut their own tree if they want and there are always cuttings left behind from where people have trimmed their tree down. We are allowed to take any evergreen cuttings that are laying about - there are usually plenty!
Collect branches from the garden
I'm lucky enough to have various evergreens like holly, thuja, ivy, privet and juniper growing in my garden and I like to take cuttings from these for my evergreen wreaths.
Sometimes, on top of the cuttings from the Christmas tree farm and my garden, I buy a bundle of various fresh evergreen branches from my local garden centre. By adding more textures and colours of evergreen, you will prevent the wreath from looking flat.
How to keep evergreen clippings fresh
You can keep evergreen clippings fresh by cutting the stems on the diagonal and placing them in a bucket of water. Unless the temperatures are below freezing, keep the bucket in a shady place outside. The north side of the house would be the perfect place for storing your evergreens.
Materials for making fresh evergreen wreaths
- A wreath base (I used a straw wreath)
- You could also use a wire wreath base.
- Florist's wire
- Wire cutters or scissors
- Evergreen clippings
- Small gnarled sticks
Materials for hanging fresh evergreen wreaths
There are various methods of hanging wreaths on a door. Here are a few alternatives you could try:
- Wreath hanger
- Nail on the inside of the door and string or ribbon etc. for hanging.
- Attach your wreath to a door knocker with string or ribbon.
- Stick-on hooks
Materials for decorating fresh evergreen advent wreaths
These are just some of the items I use to decorate my Advent wreaths.
- Four stump or stick candles (in your colour of choice, to suit your Christmas décor). We use this kind of stump candle.
- Wreath Candle holders.
- Mini Baubles.
- Pine Cones.
- Christmas decorations like this Nordic Christmas decor set.
- Tiny LED lights to add a bit of sparkle.
How do you make a wreath without a form?
If you don't have a straw or wire wreath base, you could make one from some firm cardboard. Just draw it the diameter you need and cut it out with scissors.
How to make fresh evergreen wreaths
Step one - Create evergreen bundles.
Cut the evergreen branches into small clippings. Combine a few of the clippings to make bundles.
Step two – Bind the bundles to the wreath.
Wrap the florist's wire around the wreath and twist to secure. Make sure not to cut the wire yet, we will be wrapping the bundles continuously and will only cut at the end. Bind the bundles in such a way that each bundle overlaps the previous slightly. Doing this makes the wreath look full and avoids the florist's wire from being seen.
Step Three – add holly and some sticks.
As you are binding the bundles, add some holly or other evergreens and some small gnarled sticks now and then.
Step four – Add strings of ivy.
Fix strings of ivy in place by weaving it in and around the bundles of evergreens.
That's how to make fresh evergreen wreaths!
Continue adding bundles until your evergreen wreath is complete. Then cut the wire and tie it off or make a small loop for hanging if you wish. Now it's time to hang it on your door or decorate it as an Advent wreath.
How long do fresh evergreen wreaths last outdoors?
That depends on how fresh the evergreens were and where you hang the wreath. If your evergreens were fresh and the wreath is hanging in a shady place, it will last the whole of the Christmas season and well into January. Eventually, it will turn brown although mine is usually replaced with a Spring wreath before that happens!
How long do fresh evergreen wreaths last indoors?
An evergreen wreath made for the coffee table, traditionally decorated with four candles, will dry out much quicker. The dry air inside the house, coupled with the heat from the candles, will deplete the wreath of moisture much sooner than a wreath kept in a cold, outside environment.
I usually find, that by fourth Advent Sunday, the wreath is starting to look dry and brittle. That's when we stop lighting the candles for fear that the dry sprigs of evergreen will catch fire.
TIP: Add a small string of simple Christmas lights to your wreath. Your wreath will continue to sparkle even after the candles have burned down or you stop lighting them when the wreath gets too dry.
How do you make a Christmas wreath last longer?
There are a few things you can do, to make your fresh evergreen wreath last longer.
- Use very fresh evergreen cuttings and make your wreath no less than two weeks before Christmas.
- Keep it moist. Spray your evergreen Christmas wreath with water every day. Advent wreaths for the table will benefit from being left outside overnight. Cover them with some burlap if the weather is a little frosty.
- Use a preserving spray. You can usually find this at the garden centre. You will probably see the staff using it on the wreaths for sale.
What can I use to hang a wreath on my door?
We hang our wreaths from a nail which we hammered into the top of the inside of the door. Then, we use string or ribbon to attach it.
- You could use a long metal wreath hanger.
- Use ribbon to attach it to a door knocker.
- Stick some self-adhesive hooks to your door.
How high should a wreath hang on a door?
Traditionally, you will see wreaths positioned in the centre of the door at eye level.
How do you decorate a fresh wreath?
As promised above, if you are in need of some inspiration for decorating your fresh evergreen wreaths, here are a few of my previous creations. I hope they give you some great ideas of your own.
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