Thursday, December 12

DIY Fresh Minimalist Wreaths

I've been on team faux-greenery my whole life. It's easy and affordable (even more so since most of mine was handed-down or bought second-hand). But this year, I'm branching out.

We have an abundance of pine trees in our backyard and I guess I just realized I should be taking advantage of that beautiful and free foliage! So this year I ditched the faux wreathes in our upstairs hallway (cheap though they were) and went foraging in my backyard to freshen things up with these simple and beautiful wreaths!

I love having just a touch of Christmas to cheer up that space and I realized a couple years ago that wreaths were the fastest, easiest way to get it. With five doorways in a small space, it just made sense to put a wreath on each door.

I bought faux wreaths for $5 each and they did a good job cheering up the space, but they can't hold a candle to these fresh wreaths. Fresh branches have a warmth and freshness that no faux greenery can compete with. And they have a wonderfully modern farmhouse vibe.

And guys, they were so cheap. I spent under $15 for all the hoops (versus the $25 I spent on faux wreaths), and the rest was totally free - branches from my yard and a little leftover twine and wire. After Christmas I can clip off the branches and save the hoops to reuse next year!

Supply List:
  • a wreath hoop
  • foraged (or purchased) ever green branches
    • you can also use faux greenery instead
  • wire
    • ideally green floral wire so it blends in, but I used some regular old silver wire we already had (Dave Ramsey-approved!)
  • wire clippers
  • twine or ribbon for hanging
  • command hooks for hanging
Start by cutting (or purchasing) your branches. We have several pine trees in our yard so we just cut from them. Most of the branches we cut were about 18" long and we ended up trimming them shorter. You can also use a fresh garland (I've heard Home Depot and Trader Joes both have pretty affordable options) or do this project with faux greenery so you can re-use your wreathes each year.

I thought this would be a fun project to do with the kids! And while they loved clipping branches... the did NOT love anything else about it. Ever green branches are much pokier than I gave them credit for and, once we got inside, all the boys abandoned the mission within minutes.

 We also  brought several spiders into the house. This project was so much more than I bargained for.

Once you have your greenery, you can start laying out branches on top of your hoop until you like the look. Feel free to stack and trim branches until you're happy!

I worked on a trash bag just in case any sap caused problems. This also made it easier to spot the spiders. Highly recommend a white trash bag.

Once you like the arrangement, secure the branches to the hoop with bits of wire.

I snipped pieces of wire about 3" long and they worked well. Keep working your way around the hoop until the branches are holding the shape you want. Be careful to tuck in the ends of the wire so it won't scratch the door.

For most of my wreathes I started from the middle and worked up both sides, but I also tried one asymmetrical wreath with all the branches starting on the left side and wrapping toward the right:

Perfect if you're feeling more adventurous! 

Once you're satisfied with your greenery, you can add any other decorations you like! You can look for pinecones while you're foraging, add a bow, or these sweet little bells! Ours are plain evergreen for now, but we have orange slice ornaments drying in the oven that we might add tomorrow. Check out my round-up of the easiest handmade Christmas decor for more ideas!

When your wreath is done, tie a loop of string or ribbon to the top for hanging it.

It's ready to hang! And this is my favorite trick: put a command hook on the back of the door! Put it near the top of the door upside down. Then you can run your ribbon up over the top of the door and loop it onto the hook. Damage free wreath hanging! And the thin ribbon or cord doesn't impede our interior doors closing like metal wreath holders did. I just leave the hooks up year round since they blend in with our white doors. Easy.

Upside down command hook on the back of the door.

That's it! It took about an hour to make all five wreaths, including clipping branches around the yard. 


I think they got better as I went - the first couple look a little wild. But it's all character, right?

Just for fun, here's a comparison to last year. I love the lighter and more natural feel these wreaths have.

And one more just-for-fun: I also did a fun project with my mother-in-law this weekend and we made this sweet Christmas sign. It was so much fun!

 What have you been making?

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