Making a Wreath Today???
My tradition is to put my tree and Christmas decorations up the day after Thanksgiving. Because I put it up so early, we have opted for an artificial tree. It took me quite a while to find one to fit my tiny house, but I found it! It is a five-and-a-half-foot pencil tree. I can still decorate it using my ornaments and it fits nicely tucked in the corner of the living room. For the past several years, that has suited me. But for some reason, this year is different. I am definitely missing the smell of pine. How to incorporate it into my home? One year I did a bouquet of pine branches and some Bittersweet cuttings which was pretty and easy to replace as the needles dropped.
It seems to me a wreath would do the trick, and not only smell fresh and piney, but also look festive. A quick search finds fresh wreaths are expensive! They range anywhere from $35 up to hundreds! I can make wreaths for very little and maybe an hour of my time. Years ago, when I had my gigantic herb garden, I had all the ingredients for wreaths in all seasons and made them a lot. I used to have wreath forms of various sizes. I grew a big patch of the silvery, soft and velvety Lamb's ears. Those leaves dry perfectly and they remain beautiful. And the silvery pale green is a good contrast. Believe me, anyone can grow this stuff and although it is wonderful for wreaths, it takes over if you let it. I had ingredients for all kinds of wreaths; spring, summer, fall and winter. These days, I have a few herbs, and also some pine trees and pinecones. A holiday wreath is still within reach! I have a few different pines; eastern White Pine, Blue Spruce, and Juniper.
But I want my wreath to last through the holiday. Should I make it now? My best bet is to wait about a week. Live pine wreaths indoors should be made two to three weeks before the holiday itself. There are also a few tips to help keep them fresh. Hang them in a space away from fireplaces or heaters. A nice cool place out of sunshine would work well. You don't have to, but daily twice a day misting will prevent browning and dropped needles. It will also preserve that pine scent longer. Just a plastic spray bottle filled with water will do.
First step is to find some kind of form. Grape vines, twisted Willow branches or any type of wire that can be twisted to a circle will do. I rummaged around the barn and found the perfect circle of rusted barbed wire, twisted in several rounds. Perfect for tucking those branches in. Next thing to do is harvest some branches. You'll want to bundle three with varying textures. Tie the bundles tightly with wire or string. You will be layering the sprigs over each other and tying them in tightly. Once it is full as you want it you can think about decorating, making it as simple or elaborate as you want. Use freebies and hot glue them in. Pine cones, pieces of artificial holly berries or other decorative dried materials, buttons or old jewelry pieces, slices of dried citris slices such as orange or lemon or even homemade cinnamon ornaments are all good. The last thing to do is wrap with a bright shiny ribbon or attach a big bow and a string to hang.
It really isn't hard and it comes together pretty quick. If you use items found around the home, a wreath can be created for next to nothing. In fact, it is just as easy to make two while you are at it. One for you and one as a gift. It is sure to be treasured by whomever you choose as the recipient.