When it comes to Christmas wreaths and garlands, I prefer the real thing. But real evergreen wreaths and garlands that are packed full with a variety of greens are hard to find and very pricey. Likewise, starting from scratch and making my own is a time consuming process and trying to find large quantities of fresh greens isn’t always easy either.
For the past several years, I have been going semi-homemade and its a process that has worked well for me – affordable and doable. I start with the standard white pine garland that is readily available at the home improvements stores and even the local supermarkets. I got mine at Shop Rite this year for around $9. I do the same for the wreath – I purchase a plain jane evergreen wreath without any bow or decorations for about $10. This year, it was Shop Rite for the wreath as well.
For the garland, I lay it out from end to end on the ground and then fold it in half. That way I get double the thickness. I then gather whatever evergreens are available from my yard, as well as limbs that we cut off our Christmas tree. Holly, boxwood, arborvitaes, cedar, cypress, etc. will all work. This year, I had boxwood. I simply wired on a few sprigs of boxwood every foot or so to the doubled pine garland. I secured the pieces with the floral wire where ever needed along the whole length of the garland. This turned my $9 skimpy garland into a garland that looked a whole lot more interesting and lush.
For my basic wreath, I did a similar layering technique. We had a few small boxwood wreaths leftover from the Hope Christmas Show so it was super easy to just layer a boxwood wreath on top of the basic evergreen wreath and secure it at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock with the green floral wire. Had I not had a boxwood wreath, I would have added sprigs of whatever I had in the yard, to the wreath, just like I did to the garland.
I like making my own bows so I can coordinate them with my decor and get the size I need. I save them from year to year although this year I decided to make some new ones. The plaid ribbon I chose came from Michaels. It is actually the wrong side of a flannel ribbon which I preferred over the flannel. I used one 25 foot roll of ribbon to make 3 large bows.
Making a bow can be intimidating but a very useful craft to master. Here is a link to a bow making tutorial similar to my method. My bows have a total of 9 loops but you can make them with as few as 2 loops or as many as 14 loops as shown in the tutorial.
For the bows in my urns, I wrap the wire from the bows around the top of a dowel (a pencil would work also) and then stick it deep into the soil in the urn.
So that’s it … semi-homemade outdoor decorating!
Fr0m our families to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas.