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A Very Merry Fresh Holly Wreath for Christmas

The prettiest sight to see is the holly that will be on your own front door! Without a doubt, holly is one of the most popular evergreen wreaths and fresh decor used around the holidays. If you want to make a classic and timeless holly wreath for your home, keep reading.

DIY holly wreath

A fresh holly wreath dotted with bright red berries is a traditional way to decorate for Christmas. While I love to play with all sorts of different greens (as well as whites, golds, yellows, blues, and reds) for my holiday decorations, the 20ft tall holly tree that adorns the entrance of my urban garden explodes with berries that beg to be used in festive arrangements.

The leaves may be a bit prickly, but they are worth a few bandages for the final result of this easy-to-make fresh holly wreath.

When you think of holly, you undoubtedly will associate it with Christmas. If you have one on your property, you may also think, “Ouch!” and “Ugh!” the two sentiments I utter when a) getting stabbed by the leaves and b) when I have to clean up the leaves that just won’t compost and pluck out all the volunteers around the garden.

Despite how you feel about the prickles, it’s hard not to appreciate the beauty of the glossy green leaves and perfect red berries.

Here’s what we’ll be covering today.

fresh holly wreath dotted with bright red berries hanging on a white front door
The bright red and green are a great contrast against a light-coloured door.

Where to Find Holly for Your Wreath

To make this wreath, I took some clippings from the large tree that borders my new garden and the neighbouring laurels. I’m lucky enough to find lots of holly in my area and can also forage for other materials for evergreen wreaths.

Before you get started cutting evergreens from your garden, please have a quick read of my pruning basics article. While I’m all for decorating with fresh cuttings from the garden, it is important to care for the health of your trees and shrubs’ health.

If you can’t find holly, you can feature other striking berries instead. Here are a few of my favourites:

  • Beautyberry
  • Wintergreen
  • Sweet box
  • Rose hips
  • Black privet

For other greenery, check out this full list of ideas for decorating your wreath.

You can also buy holly from a florist or even a local grocery store. Many florists will readily have these supplies available and would be happy to sell you the greenery to make your wreath.

holly shrub growing full of red berries
Holly is commonly found in woodland areas.

How to Make a Fresh Holly Wreath

Using the holly, laurel leaves, and a grapevine wreath form, this traditional striking wreath can be made in under 30 minutes. But with minimal materials, it makes a big impact hanging on your front door!


grapevine wreath leaning on pile of holly branches
You can use any wreath base, but I like a natural-looking vine wreath.

Make It!

bundle of holly and laurel trimmings in a hand wearing a pink glove
Organize your clippings ahead of time by trimming them down in advance.

Start your wreath by gathering a bunch of laurel branches. Add one holly branch with lots of berries to the top and trim the bottom of the bunch. 

bundle of holly secured to wreath with a bundle of twine attached
To save time, don’t cut your twine. Just keep wrapping with the bundle.

Wind twine around the base of the bunch and then around the grapevine wreath. Secure the bunch by tying the twine in a knot, but do not cut the end.

Continue by making more bunches like the first one and winding them onto the grapevine wreath with twine.

fresh holly wreath dotted with bright red berries
Alternate the directions of your bundles for a more full and natural-looking wreath.

When you come to the end of the holly wreath, tuck the last bunch under the tops of the leaves of the first bunch, then wrestle with the twine and the pointy leaves until you have that last bunch secured. Tie it in a few knots to ensure that everything stays in place.

Now, have a quick look at the wreath. Are there any unruly bits? Use your pruners to shape the wreath and tame down some wild branches.

evergreen wreath made of holly and laurel
Hang it and prune some more to get a better look at what needs extra trimming.

Hang your wreath and have a good look at it. Is there more trimming to be done? Are there more berries needed, or is there a bare spot? Taking time to make these adjustments will make the most refined wreath.

Finally, hang your holly wreath where you are sure to enjoy it most or to create a festive welcome for your guests.

fresh holly wreath dotted with bright red berries
You can add more decorations or leave it as is.

Decorating Ideas for Your Holly Wreath

For my holly wreath, I left it free from decorations as I let the berries take centre stage. That being said, there are lots of ways you can decorate your wreath!

Pinecones always look good on any wreath. You can use floral wire to wrap around the base layer of the pinecones and then secure it in the wreath. Bleached pinecones have a specially unique and festive look.

For other rustic additions, you can add in other dried seed heads and flowers like hydrangea, magnolia, poppy, thistle, and Chinese lantern flower.

Battery-operated fairy lights always look amazing when weaved into the wreath. I especially like these star-shaped ones, as well as these Moroccan-inspired lights.

holiday greenery laying on wood surface
For something a little different than pinecones, try a magnolia seed head.

Frequently Asked Questions About Holly Wreaths

How do you keep a holly wreath fresh?

If you hang your holly wreath outdoors, it shouldn’t need supplemental water to stay fresh. The cold air is usually enough to keep it looking good.

If you want to hang it inside or live in a warm and dry climate, you can spritz the wreath daily with water. You can also try using a finishing spray after making your wreath, which helps to keep fresh greenery hydrated for longer.

How long will a holly wreath last?

A holly wreath should last at least two weeks indoors and much longer outdoors. I usually compost my evergreen wreaths after Christmas because they’re no longer in season, even though they still look fresh!

How do you make a holly wreath without getting stabbed?

Holly can be very prickly, so making a holly wreath can be a little painful if you get poked. The classic types of holly, like English (Ilex aquifolium) or American (Ilex opaca), can be pretty prickly. You can find less prickly varieties like winterberry (Ilex verticillate) or Burford (Ilex cornuta). Otherwise, wear thick gardening gloves and long sleeves, and you shouldn’t get any painful pokes.

Red and Green Natural Christmas Evergreen Wreath on Wood Door
Another wreath of mine featuring holly!

For more inspiration on making fresh wreaths, check out this collection of my wreaths over the years using hydrangeas, lavender, evergreens, eucalyptus, hops, air plants, succulents, and more!

More Christmas Decorating Ideas

DIY Holly Weath

The holly wreath uses fresh laurel leaves and holly berries for a quintessentially Christmas decor piece.



  • Gather a handful of laurel branches. Add one holly branch with berries to the top.
  • Wind twine around the base of the bunch, and then secure the bunch to the wreath by wrapping the twine around the grapevine wreath. Secure twine by tying a knot, but do not cut it.
  • Continue making more bunches and layering them onto the grapevine wreath using the same twine.
  • At the end, tuck the last bunch under the top leaves of the first bunch. Secure with the twine and tie a few more knots before cutting.
  • Trim back any unruly parts of the holly wreath with the pruners.
  • Hang your wreath!


  1. Pingback: 27 DIY Berry Wreath Ideas | Guide Patterns
  2. How long does it last? Good question, and what or should i spray on the wreath to make it last longer?? Answers please

  3. How long does it last? Good question, and what or should i spray on the wreath to make it last longer?? Answers plz!


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