I really love wreaths. They’re symbols of the season, of hospitality, of personality. A wreath says so much about you as an individual, or as a family. Wreaths have been a part of who we are as a Western culture for thousands of years, with these decorative rings made of fresh greenery dating back to ancient Greece and Rome. “Worn as headdresses, these wreaths represented one’s occupation, rank, achievements, and status,” according to ProFlowers. They were also awarded to the champions at the ancient Olympic Games.
Fast forward to the here and now, and wreaths are still firmly a part of our cultural framework, except now we don them on our doors instead of our heads. They’re also super expensive! And while the price tag of a beautiful, fresh wreath is not for nothing, I don’t have enough disposable income to pay upwards of $100 for a piece of door decor.
So, I decided to try to make one! And it worked out shockingly well. Read on for what I looked for and how I went about making this mammoth of a magnolia leaf wreath!
I wanted to forage as much as I could for my wreath, so I only ended up buying two bunches of eucalyptus from Trader Joe’s ($4 each) and an 18-inch metal wreath form from my local craft store ($3).
I’m lucky enough to live in an area with a lot of old growth magnolia trees, so I asked a neighbor if I could take clippings. I spent about 20 minutes clipping leaf bunches off her tree, and ended up with roughly 15 bunches. It’s super important to make sure you’re using a bunch of at least three to four leaves and to leave at least a two-inch stem!
I also clipped eight bunches of red berries off a shrub outside my house, and lastly, I found these little feathery guys at the end of a big open field. So… to summarize:
- 1 x 18” metal wreath form
- 1 x spool floral wire (I used 24 gauge, but I think you could use a thicker one)
- 15 x magnolia stems
- 8 x berry stems
- 8 x feathery guys!
- 2 x bunches eucalyptus
I watched a few YouTube videos on how to make a wreath and pretty much followed those directions. The magnolia leaves serve as the base, so they’re always the first and fullest layer.
Working on the wreath in sections, take a magnolia stem and securely wrap it around the wreath form with floral wire. Feel free to overdo it on the wrapping, nobody will see it. Next, simply layer up the eucalyptus, berries, and feathery guys! I had more eucalyptus than berries and feathers, so I used that as the “second” base. Fill up the section until you’re happy with how it looks, then move counterclockwise to the next section. Add another magnolia stem, layering it so it covers all the wrapping you just did! Repeat the process until you get to the last section, which is the trickiest.
3. Finishing it up
Like I said, the last section of the wreath is the trickiest. I ended up making a bundle of magnolia stems, eucalyptus, and berries and gathered it in a rubber band. I then worked it in where I could and tied the floral wire tightly but minimally. That seemed to work!
After I finished that part, I hung the wreath. There were definitely a few bare areas, which I just filled in with extra magnolia leaves and eucalyptus stems until the wire no longer showed.
4. The results!
The ending result is BEAUTIFUL… I sorta can’t believe it! Best part is I only spent $11, and the actual wreath-making itself only took about an hour. Foraging materials definitely was the most time and labor-intensive part of this project, but I really enjoyed it. You could of course purchase your own materials, but I really like being resourceful.