This season, look no further than the backyard to find what you need to fashion natural and elegant holiday wreaths. Photographer, blogger, and floral design teacher Minna Mercke Schmidt crafts wreaths and arrangements from materials culled from her farm and garden in Sweden. She shares these creations on her blog: blomsterverkstad.blogspot.com. "I want to show people that making wreaths from nature is easy and inexpensive," she says. She begins with a frame that she either makes or purchases, and then wires in materials in layers for a lush, full look. Shrubs, such as juniper and boxwood, provide greenery, while berries and flowers add bursts of color.
Pictured: Welcome visitors with a handmade evergreen wreath on the front door this one is constructed from moss, ivy, and eucalyptus. If you're uncertain how a material will age, test it a few days before you plan to use it in a wreath.
"Remember to stop and look at the wreath from different angles and be sure to hide the frame and all the wires," she adds. Florist flowers and foliage can be added when needed. "But use water picks for delicate flowers that will wilt," recommends Minna. This year bring a little of the garden indoors with wreaths that are fresh, natural, inexpensive, and completely personal.
Pictured: Build a heart-shaped frame with wire and cover with straw. Tie bunches of moss, eucalyptus, and juniper greens and berries to the frame with floral wire.
GROW AT HOME
These plants are delightful growing in the winter landscape and for use in holiday decorating:
Holly: A holiday classic beloved for its toothed foliage and vibrant red berries.
Southern Magnolia: The large leaves are dark green on one side and brown on the other.
Snowberry: Gorgeous white berries last through winter.
Juniper: Foliage and the blue berries are long-lasting.
Pyracantha: This thorny shrub produces red, orange, or yellow berries starting in autumn.
Callicarpa: Bright purple berries add unexpected color.
Boxwood: This decorative shrub has small glossy leaves.
Pictured: Wrap a long sprig of fresh ivy around a metal wire frame and attach with wire. Add clusters of berries for color.
When using fresh greens, be sure to attach them tightly with wire, as greens will shrink when dry.
Pictured: Cover a straw frame with moss. Affix dried (or silk) individual hydrangea flowers with pins. Tie with silver wire.
To create these wreaths, keep the following tools on hand: floral wire, wreath frame, wire cutters, gloves, and twine.
Pictured: Bend a wire hanger or floral wire into the shape of a heart. Place the ends into a pot filled with floral foam. Attach bundles of boxwood and hydrangea flowers with wire to the frame.
Wearing thick gloves, bend chicken wire into a 3-D heart. Fill with moss from a florist. Decorate with sheets of paper, such as a copy of your favorite holiday sheet music and wrapping paper, and tie with twine. Add pinecones.
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