Each December, a few of my dear friends from the neighbourhood get together and make our Christmas wreaths together. That time means more to me than any gift I could get from them. Today I want to share some of the best Christmas wreath ideas I’ve made over the years for you to craft with your loved ones this holiday season.
My favourite thing about the holidays is celebrating traditions with friends and family. When those holiday traditions also include fresh air, plants, crafting, and Prosecco, it becomes a party that I look forward to all year. The annual Christmas wreath making day is one of the best of the year!
It all started in 2009 when one of my neighbours (a gardener by trade) invited me and some of the women from the block over for “bubbly” and wreath-making. We laughed and chatted and crafted up these enormous wreaths from all the clippings she had collected from winter clean up in her clients’ gardens. The afternoon quickly became an annual event of bonding and garden therapy.
Since 2009 was also the year that I started blogging, I have photo journal of my wreaths of Christmas past and today I’m sharing them with you. Soon you’ll have your very own outdoor Christmas wreath to call your own!
In this post, we will cover:
- Basics of Wreathmaking + FAQs
- 14 Christmas Wreath Ideas
- 1. Pacific Rainforest Christmas Wreath
- 2. Giant Pink Hydrangea Wreath
- Bleached Pinecone Wreath
- Fresh Magnolia Wreath
- A Study in Green Wreath
- Everything Wreath
- Dried Hydrangea Wreath
- Holly Wreath
- Evergreen Wreath
- Culinary Herb Wreath
- Red and Green Outdoor Christmas Wreath
- Blue Hydrangea and Hawthorne Berries
- Oval Christmas Wreath
- The Wreath that Started it All
- More Posts You Might Like:
Basics of Wreathmaking + FAQs
Once you make your own Christmas wreath, you won’t ever go back to buying them during the mad holiday rush. Gather the foliage for your wreath by foraging through your neighbourhood or the woods, or purchasing greens from a store or online. Look for a contrast of shapes, colours, and sizes.
Next, find a form for the base of your wreath. You can make your own (like this grapevine wreath or purchase one.
Start bunching your greens. Use one sturdy stem as a base and add a couple of other small branches to it. Wrap the base of the bunch in wire or twine and secure it to your wreath.
Repeat this process until you’ve gone all the way around the wreath. Overlap each bunch over the one before it to make it appear lush and full.
Snip off any branches you don’t like and add any final touches such as additional decorations. Hang from a wreath hanger. For more detailed instructions, be sure to check out this post with step-by-step instructions and a video tutorial.
After you have your wreath made of bunched greens, you can go ahead and add in some extra decorative pieces if you wish. Items can either be wrapped in, poked in, or glued in if necessary. Some great additions include:
– Lights (battery operated)
– Feathers (natural or coloured)
– Sparkly elements (such as ornaments)
– Living plants (air plants are a great one)
– Gourds (good for a Thanksgiving theme)
– Dried berries
– Dried flowers
– Ribbon or bow
The first item you’ll need for your wreath is the base. I like to use grapevine wreaths or wire wreath forms, depending on the type of wreath I’m creating.
For greens, holly, contoneaster, pine, cedar, yew, pieris, laurel, fir, boxwood, camellia, magnolia, and cypress will all last long on your wreath. You can also add herbs such as lavender, rosemary, and sage.
To attach your greens to the form, opt for twine (natural) or wire (good for beginners). You may also want to buy a wreath hanger if you plan on hanging it on a door.
The more organic materials you use, the better! You can make your own grapevine (or other woods such as willow) wreath as a base and opt to use twine rather than wire for wrapping your greenery around.
Avoid the use of floral foam as it is not compostable. Alternatively, you can use a sturdy wire frame that you reuse every Christmas. You can fill wire frames with straw or moss as a base.
Of course, fill the wreath in with as many fresh or dried greens and avoid the use of any plastics or non-natural materials that can’t be composted. Ideally, you should be able to chuck the whole wreath in the compost bin at the end of the season if you wanted to!
Most often, you’ll find wreaths hanging on a front or back door. You will want to make a wreath that is the right size for your door length and width. You can also hang them on doors inside, but keep in mind that wreaths don’t last as long inside as they do in the cool air outside.
Other popular places outside include over top of windows and on garden gates. Inside, you can place it over the fireplace mantle, on kitchen cabinets, in the entranceway, or lay it flat as a table centerpiece with candles or other decor in the center.
14 Christmas Wreath Ideas
1. Pacific Rainforest Christmas Wreath
This wreath celebrates least 13 different plant varieties that were cut from within 1 km radius from my home. I used cedar, pine, blue spruce, heather, English ivy, holly, Nandina, Sarcococca, and more to add a ton of texture and color to the wreath.
This seems to be my go-to style, as you will see it’s pretty similar to the wreaths from a few of the previous years. You will also notice that I have become a better wreath maker over the years, as this one has a dense and even form, with a clear hole in the middle. Both of these characteristics help to make the wreath look intentional and refined. I made sure to have a few sprigs popping out here and there so it still has that homegrown/homemade look that I love.
2. Giant Pink Hydrangea Wreath
Last year I decided to “Go Big or Go Home” with an enormous wreath that rivals those at a 5-star hotel with an opulent entryway.
That being said, I don’t live in a 5-star hotel and my entry-way is pretty average-sized. I hung the wreath (it held!) but it was pretty hard to get past it to get in the house. See how that looked here. The holly snagged everyone that came to visit, oy!
Bleached Pinecone Wreath
This wreath can be displayed indoors and last forever. I went for a rustic, neutral wreath made entirely from pinecones. Bleached pinecones, to be exact.
I love how the soft, weathered look of the pinecones pairs with the natural ribbon that I used to attach it to the wall. The whole thing came together to look cozy and festive while remaining simple and clean.
Fresh Magnolia Wreath
I’m lucky to live by so many magnolia trees. They have the most gorgeous copper brown undersides that contrast with the dark green, shiny leaves.
For this wreath, I used Magnolia Grandiflora leaves and was sure to show off both sides. This created a beautiful contrast that the eye just can’t ignore. I also added in incense cedar for fragrance and little bit of texture variety.
The best part is, this wreath will last for months taking you through most of fall and winter.
A Study in Green Wreath
The year I made this wreath, it was unusually cold and snowy. For 7 weeks it hovered around freezing so there was a thick layer of ice on the roads and sidewalks. I got Yaktraxs ice cleats to put on my shoes so I could still get around outdoors and enjoy the snow!
I love that when there’s snow on the ground it makes everything green stand out all the more. This wreath was inspired by all of the gorgeous varied green hues of the winter season. Snippets of bright green cedar, blue-green spruce, and everything in between come together to celebrate the season.
When I made this Christmas wreath, I couldn’t quite decide on a theme, so I decided to make it with a little bit of everything, and boy am I glad I did! It turned out beautifully, didn’t it?
It contained a lot of traditional holiday elements like holly and pinecones, but the hydrangea flowers added an unexpected yet equally festive vibe.
Dried Hydrangea Wreath
After I started adding hydrangeas to my wreath, I thought why not make a whole wreath out of just hydrangea blooms!
Every year, I make an effort to dry my hydrangea flowers because I adore their weathered, yet vibrant vintage colouring. As long as you handle the wreath with care, the dried flowers will last for as long as you like them. You could use this wreath year after year, inside or out.
Don’t be scared to do all but one kind of foliage. I went for a traditional holly and laurel wreath. Holly really is such a stunning plant and it grows like crazy here in the Pacific Northwest, so it seemed like a good idea to showcase it in all its glory.
One of the cool things about evergreens is that they’re not all green. They come in lots of different colours and varied textures, making them look great all pulled together in one wreath.
Culinary Herb Wreath
If you don’t have a ton of evergreen garden clippings, perhaps you have a prolific herb garden! I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing a wreath like this smells inside the home.
You can use it as an outdoor Christmas wreath, but I think it looks just as good indoors any time of the year. The herbs will dry on the wreath and look beautiful, but also allowing you to harvest and use the herbs whenever you’re cooking.
Red and Green Outdoor Christmas Wreath
Using glossy green leaves like laurel, holly, and English Ivy, and magnolia made for a long lasting wreath that doesn’t drop so many needles. I love the ivy flowers just before they are about to form berries.
Ripping out big handfuls will also prevent this invasive plant from spreading and it does make a long-lasting wreath green. This year I also went “crazy” and added a burlap bow to the wreath (I think I was probably just filling in a bare spot, but don’t tell anyone that!).
Blue Hydrangea and Hawthorne Berries
I made this wreath for the first Christmas in my new home. I moved away from the street that my wreath-making sisters live on to a house 7 blocks away.
It was sad to leave my close friends but it’s not like I went that far. Even so, it did change things. There have been less impromptu drop bys and garden visits since then.
It’s adorned with hawthorn berries harvested from the tree in front of my old house, the blue hydrangea blooms, Aucuba, and Skimmia came from that street as well.
Oval Christmas Wreath
In an effort to make a wreath from scratch, I made my own wreath form from grapevines. I wanted a bit of a different shape so I made an oval. Many of the greens that I’ve used each year can be seen, but you may also notice some Sedum Autumn Joy flowers.
Some years they look quite good at wreath making time. It depends on how much rain we get in the fall. The red garage door of my old house was painted to match the Japanese maple I planted in front of the garage.
The Wreath that Started it All
My very first homemade wreath! As you can see, it was made up of snippets of all sorts of greenery which looked festive on the red front door.
I included a teeny bit of red here there with some holly berries, but you can see that this year I was feeling pretty green. It’s a bit messier and has some curly willow twigs added for interest. I love the wreath that started it all and I hope that you do too.
Which of these outdoor Christmas wreaths was your favourite? Let me know in the comments!
More HOliday Posts to R Ead
- DIY Grinch Tree
- Gather Around this DIY Christmas Candle Wreath
- A Magnificent Magnolia Wreath Brings Cheer to the Season
- Get to Know Your Poinsettias: History, Growing, and Styling
- The Best Garden Greenery for Holiday Decorating (and Which Ones to Avoid)
- Gardening for Your Front Door: Making a Fresh Wreath
Hello! I’m very late to the site, but make live wreaths during the holidays. I live in the Mid Atlantic area, so we have weather that goes up and down a lot. When do you make your wreaths? How long do they last? I noticed some leaves that would wilt in our environment. Also, are the hydrangeas drying? They look so fresh and have so much color.
I usually make them in November. My wreath for this year is still up now, although it’s starting to wilt and brown a bit so I’m thinking of taking it down soon. They last about 3-4 months for me and look pretty good for most of it!
also: https://gardentherapy.ca/dry-hydrangea-flowers/ and https://gardentherapy.ca/hydrangea-wreath/ will answer your questions about hydrangeas! have fun :)
After reading and looking at all your beautiful wreath pictures I am going to give it a try for the first time.
Simply awesome wreaths. Thank you for sharing.