How to make wreaths for the front door from your garden

 

A new season, a fresh wreath on your door, right?

Well, it should be because making a wreath is a lot easier than you might think and fun too! All you need is a couple of simple things from the craft aisle and, most likely, your yard has a lot of things you can use for making a seasonal greeting for your door.  And after reading this article you don’t have to wonder anymore how to make wreaths for the front door.

The wreath on your door welcomes you and your guests and it tells something about you and your home to the people who walk in. And what would resonate better with your home than a self-made wreath made out of flowers from the garden surrounding your house?

Table of content

Before we get into work, let me briefly take you back in time.

History of wreaths

So basically, a wreath is a group of flowers, leaves, fruits, twigs, or various plants that are formed to form a ring. And oh boy! it has a long history to going back as far a 400 BC.

A wreath was a symbol already in Greek myths, and ancient Romans did wear them as diadems on top of their heads. Did you know that at the original Olympic Games, Laurel wreaths were used to crown victorious athletes? 

The tradition of hanging wreaths on the doors comes from ancient Greece, where Laurel or Olive wreath was believed to bring protection against crop failure and plagues.

Christmas wreaths were hung on the door on the first Sunday of advent since the 16th century and were first used by Lutherans in Germany. Evergreen wreaths symbolized everlasting life brought from Jesus, and circular shape represented God, with no beginning and no end.

Wreaths are widely used in funerals and ceremonies to represent a circle of eternal life. And in Europe, wreath customs have persisted over many centuries in May Day celebrations, and there I remember making my first flower wreath at the age of six. You can read more history of wreaths from Wikipedia.

For me, a wreath symbolizes an eternal joy because I can enjoy my garden flowers longer, and I think they look so pretty that I have them hanging indoors and outside my house. Anyway, after reading this, I realized that in this article, we are not just doing joyful crafts but taking forward thousands of years old hand skill and that’s something.

What flowers you can use

Home gardens have so many lovely plants that are easy to dry and use in wreaths. You shouldn’t think wreaths are just for Christmas. Spring and summer offer gorgeous blooms that you can dry and use in a wreath. If you store your wreath properly, you can enjoy it for years. Here are some common flowers that dry out quickly and look beautiful.

My article of 30 best perennials has many great plants to try in wreath making and The Farmers Almanac has a long list of well suitable flowers to dry, maybe there’s something you have on your yard too. 

After the flower season, ornamental grasses offer beautiful tufts for wreath making. Ornamental grasses like Pampas Grass, Maiden Grass, and Bunny Tails Grass looks amazing in a fall wreath hanging on your door. Many shrubs have bright berries to use and keep your eye on attractive looking seedpods and cones, you can even use twigs you pruned off from your bush, be creative. I collect material from my garden year-round and hang them in my garage to wait and dry.

In the wintertime, evergreens traditionally make a beautiful wreath. When you use fresh branches it’ll look great for weeks, or months, depending on the plant before needles and leaves begin to shed off. Keeping it outside in low temperatures makes it last longer. 

If you don’t have any evergreens in your yard to use, garden centers sell many different kinds of ornamental branches individually to make decorations before Christmas. 

Almost any evergreen plants are suitable for wreath making if they look pretty. Keep your eyes open, and think if your yard has anything that needs cutting back or thinning out.

If you feel like taking a walk, nature is offering a lot of plants to use in wreaths (remember to ask permission before taking anything and check the local regulations for that). Many road-side flowers, grasses, different reeds, Heathers, and ferns make a beautiful base to wreaths and you can usually find them in abundance from nature.

How to dry plants

To give your beautiful wreath the longest possible life span and for restoring the best appearance, I recommend drying the plants first. This way, you can preserve the best color and form without seeing any mold or mildew or fading in the colors. 

The best time to cut flowers for drying is when pedals haven’t fully opened yet, so they are more likely to stay intact. Here are three easy ways to dry plants for use in wreaths.

Dried flowers in baskets on a market table.

Air-drying

After collecting flowers, remove the leaves from the stems and make loose bunches so that air can still easily flow through. Tie them tightly with rubber-band because the stems usually shrink when they dry out. 

Hang them upside down, preferably in a dark place because sunlight fades the colors, and cool because the slow drying process helps to hold the shape best. 

A good air circulation benefits in the process, so places like an attic or garage are great for drying flowers. Different varieties dry in variable speed, but usually, flowers are completely dry in two-three weeks.

Drying in a vase

I believe this has happened to so many of us. You have a bunch of flowers in a vase, and you forget to add more water, and then flowers slowly dry up while standing in the vase, and you end up with a bunch of dried flowers. 

The benefit of drying at a slow pace is that it helps to keep the pedals beautiful, and they don’t get as wrinkly as they otherways would. Hard stemmed flowers, for example, Hydrangea and Baby’s Breath, are great for this. In this short video, Garden Answers gives more useful tips for this technic.

Drying with silica gel powder

With this method, you can preserve the flowers so that they look like you just picked them from your garden.

All you need is a jar with a lid and a bag of silica gel powder that you can get, for example, in Amazon.

First, cut stems off from flowers and pour some silica dust on the bottom of the jar, and set them in. Fill some powder lightly inside the petals and keep filling around the flowers until they are fully covered. Close the lid and let stand for two weeks, or for faster results, you can microwave the jar from 2-5 minutes and let stand for 24 hours. While this method holds the color and forms the best possible way but keep in mind that the stems must be cut off, so you need to glue the flowers on your wreath. The good thing is that you can have great success with even challenging varieties like Peonies or Lilies.

How to make wreaths for the front door, step-by-step

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Grasses, Cotton stem, straw ring, cutters, wire and pins on a table.
  • Difficulty – easy
  • Time needed – 1-2 hours.
  • Tools required – Scissors, wire cutters, garden cutters
  • Supplies needed – Straw wreath, greening pins (U-shaped pins), wire.
  • Pampas Grass, Bunny Tails Grass, Cotton stem. (You can use any flowers, grasses or evergreens that you have in hand.

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Hands attaching Pampas grasses to the ring with pins.

Start your wreath by bending Pampas tufts around the sides and attaching them with pins from several points to secure them. Keep going around and make sure the tufts are overlapping last ones stem to create a continuous look, like a wheel. (If you don’t have this type of long branches to cover the sites, you can jump straight to the next step.)

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Hand holding a bundle of grasses arranged together.

Cut big blooms into smaller sections and use wire to arrange plants into little bundles. Put 2-3 smaller grass tufts together, depending on their size, but larger ones could work individually. Tip! When you are arranging flowers and you want to create a natural look, put focal points in groups of odd numbers, like 1, 3, 5, 9. After ten the number doesn’t matter anymore. Prepare all the bundles ready that you think you’re going to need for covering the ring.

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A hand hiding the last pin under a tuft.

Begin pinning bundles on the wreath so that the new bundle is always overlapping the last one and covers the visible stems on the wreath. When you come to full circle hide the last ones stems to create a cohesive look. The trick to secure these hooks really well is to pinch them slightly together when you press them down so that the tension holds them tight.

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A grass wreath with cotton blooms and twigs added for focal points.

Finally, you can add some focal points. I have here Cotton deco stems which I cut into smaller sections and carefully pinned them in between already secured ones. It’s a good idea on time to time, take a couple of steps back and see what looks the best. I created a symmetrical look with five blooms circling the ring but it could also have just one bigger focal point either up, down or one side with decorations. I personally like more simple wreaths with one to five natural-looking components but you can get as crazy as you like with your creation, you know your style the best.

A ready made fall wreath hanging on the door.
Hang it on your door and enjoy!

Decorating

Many kinds of decorations can be used in a wreath, like dried fruits, cinnamon sticks or little ornaments. In winter season wreath looks great if you spray some fake snow on it or fall-season wreath with golden sprayed accents here or there. I’ve been using a lot of fairy lights in my holiday season arrangements while the control panel is so small and lightweight that you can hide it easily in between the foliage and they look so beautiful.

A bow is the most classic deco in a wreath, and I think this the best video where you can see how to make three different kinds of bows and you get also some great tips for choosing a ribbon.

Wrapping it up

Did you get inspired? Now you know what flowers and plants are great for making wreaths, and I introduced you to some great technics how you can dry them. and in the tutorial, I showed you how to make one type of wreath. I hope you had a great time reading this!

Now it’s your turn to go and create your masterpiece!

Well, how did it turn out? Did you run into any problems? Let me know in the comments down below, I’ll be happy to help! 

-Mari

For easy pinning, so you don’t forget!

8 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Hi,

    This is very informative post, I really like the way you have enunciated every single details of making wreaths, I like your tip of using silica gel powder to preserve the freshness of flowers. I had a question: Will fresh wreath require daily watering and a misting with an “anti-transpirant” like WiltPruf Plant Protector to keep the wreath fresh throughout the season? Would love to hear from you on this ?

    1. I’m happy to hear you found the post helpful! Wiltpruf type of protecting sprays for evergreens will make the wreath last longer but usually, keeping it outside in cold air makes it last for months. Watering the wreath is not necessary but it’s a good idea to store the branches in water until you start to work with them. Happy crafting!

  2. Dear Mari
    Thank you very much for your fantastic website. It is amazing that you show people where to start and what steps to take towards looking after their garden. I hope more people will know about your website and follow your guidance.
    Kind regards,
    Andrey

  3. I have never thought of this! This is a great idea to make use of the beautiful flowers you have. I think it makes your wreath much more meaningful!

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