The extent of my fall decorating varies from year to year based on the craziness of life, our current budget, etc. Those gorgeous, vintage style pumpkins can get pricey! And to be honest, some years I blink my eyes and it’s Thanksgiving week already. Then you might as well skip the fall decor and go straight to Christmas, right? However, there is one fall tradition I’ve managed to hang on to every year without fail: making a fall wreath. Yesterday my sweet friend, Kacey, and I got together for some fall crafting. It was so relaxing and the perfect way to bring in the season. And full disclosure, an essential part of creating this tutorial since my 8 month pregnant belly kept getting in the way of the pictures. Ha!
So whether you’re ready to indulge in some glorious alone time or looking for a fun activity to do with a girlfriend, grab your favorite fall drink and let’s make a wreath!
STEP No. 1 | PICK YOUR WREATH BASE
There are a few options when it comes to wreath bases. I prefer to use either a wire base (pictured above) or a wrapped stem base (pictured below). Wire bases work best if you prefer a more symmetrical, classic style wreath because you will have to fill the entire circle in completely to cover the wire. Other benefits: you control how wide your wreath is and they are perfect for reusing year after year. Wrapped stem wreaths provide a more relaxed, whimsical look and are more forgiving about filling in holes. I like to use them when I’m not planning on filling in the entire wreath base.
STEP No. 2 | CHOOSE A BASE FOLIAGE
Some years I start with fresh foliage that will dry well. Some years I scavenge in my backyard for pretty leaves and berries. This year I used pre dried foliage from the natural foliage section of Hobby Lobby. It’s usually right across from the wreath bases. Choose 3-5 different types of foliage (a larger amount of one type for the base foliage) and get a little more than you think you will need. You can always return what you don’t use, and there is nothing more irritating than having to stop in the middle of a project to get more supplies. I choose a dark dye, silver dollar eucalyptus for my base foliage.
STEP No. 3 | PLAY WITH THE SHAPE
Trim a few pieces of your base foliage and start to play with the shape by wrapping and tucking different pieces into the wreath base. Do you want the foliage to go all the way around the wreath? Or do you prefer an off center look? Don’t be afraid to trim and bend branches or leaves to get your desired look. When I do wreath workshops, this is usually the step that can provide the most frustration. If you feel yourself getting stuck with a shape you don’t like, just keep playing around with it. If one particular branch isn’t working, set it down and use another one.
STEP No. 4 | CHOOSE EMBELLISHMENTS
Once your base foliage is arranged how you want it, go ahead and secure it with floral wire. Lay your remaining foliage options out around you and choose which ones you want to embellish your wreath. Again, don’t be afraid to play around with your options. This is a no pressure scenario here. You can always remove something if you aren’t feeling it later.
STEP No. 5 | CREATE MINI BOUQUETS
The key to making embellishments look good is creating mini bouquets that will sit snugly into the base foliage. Ok, that was a whole lot of wreath lingo. 🙂 Be sure to make them small enough so they don’t overwhelm the entire wreath. Do this by cutting assorted small pieces of foliage and securing them together with wire.
STEP No. 6 | SECURE WITH WIRE
Once you have everything in place, secure each piece with floral wire. Hold up your wreath and look at if from different angles. You may need to add or remove a piece of foliage here or there.
STEP No. 7 | A FEW OTHER TIPS
If you’re finding floral wire tricky to work with, use hot glue instead. Standard wreath size is 24″ once it is filled, so choose a wreath base that is a little smaller in circumference. It will grow in size when you add the foliage. Don’t be afraid to go with the less is more approach. Some of my favorite fall wreath styles are made from just one type of foliage. Here are a few types of foliage that are great for making fall wreaths:
Enjoy making your wreath, sweet friend. And be sure to use #flowerandfigwreath for a chance to be featured on @flowerandfig’s instagram story!
Be realistic about what you have on your plate. Is this a crazy season of life for you? Plan for shortcuts. Serve cheese and grapes instead of the wrapped baked brie. Find the best gathering hacks and stick to them. We often procrastinate when the task at hand seems overwhelming. Be kind to yourself and keep it simple.
This bread recipe freezes very well. Make sure your loaves are completely cooled and wrap tightly with freezer paper. To serve, set the frozen loaf on the counter 1 day before. Also, if you don’t need your bread to be gluten free, substitute all purpose flour for the Cup 4 Cup.
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