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Supplies for Making Wreaths

A List of Tools and Plants for a DIY Wreath

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Hanging a wreath on your door is one of the simplest and most welcoming ways to decorate your entry or porch. It reflects the change of the seasons, celebrates the beauty of the local landscape and adds a personal touch outside your house. Wreaths are also one of the easiest decorations to whip together in a couple of hours while giving you viewing pleasure all season long. Find out about the variety of looks you can achieve with familiar and surprising materials.

Wreath-Making Tools

fake leaves, faux leaves, silk leaves, florist's wire
Photo © Lisa Hallett Taylor
While it's not imperative that you follow step-by-step instructions for crafting a wreath, you should at least have the tools necessary to do the job. These include:
  • A good-quality pair of florist's scissors that can cut wires and woody stems.
  • A knife with a short, sharp-edged blade that is not too flexible.
  • Floral wire in fine, medium and heavy-gauge varieties.
  • A trusty glue gun with extra replacement glue sticks.

Other supplies and tools to have on hand:

  • Wire cutters.
  • Pruners.
  • Pliers
  • Floral tape.
  • Mosses: bun, sphagnum, Spanish and reindeer.
  • Raffia strands.
  • Sturdy cord.
  • Thick twine.
  • Dry foam balls for dried flower spheres.
  • Wet foam brick, which can be cut into any shape for a wreath of fresh flowers and / or foilage.
  • Wet foam wreath base, also a good choice when using fresh flowers and foilage.
  • Ready-made circles or bases formed from natural plant materials, like grapevine.
  • A wire wreath frame.
  • A variety of ribbons, including wire-edged, thick, thin, cloth, paper, etc.

Fresh Foilage for Wreath Making

Hebe
Photo © Lisa Hallett Taylor
Foliage provides the unifying backdrop for flowers' colorful display. While green is an obvious choice, don't ignore the great variety of plants with variegated leaves or colors like rust, bronze or yellow. Consider:
  • Bougainvillea branch
  • Hebe
  • Cypress: Cupressaceae
  • Tree asparagus: Asparagus officinalis
  • Viburnum
  • Japanese maple cuttings
  • Eucalyptus
  • Blue spruce: Picea pungens
  • Dogwood: Cornus
  • Rosemary: Rosmarinus officinalis
  • Fishtail palm: Caryota
  • Bells of Ireland: Moluccella laevis
  • Smilax
  • Hebe

Fresh Flowers for Fall Wreaths

mums
Photo © Lisa Hallett
The fresh flowers available for a door wreath are unlimited. Your resource can be your own yard, a local florist, nursery, or from the garden of a friend or neighbors. Those late-summer blooms, like hydrangeas and sunflowers, look beautiful in autumn wreaths. Fall-blooming fresh flowers you might want to include in a wreath:
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Dendrobium orchid
  • Guernsey lily: Nerine bowdenii
  • Golden wattle: Acacia pycnantha
  • Delphinium
  • Alstroemeria: Alstroemeria Ligtu Hybrids
  • Stock
Strawflower: Helichrysum bracteatum
  • Hydrangea
  • Sunflower: Helianthus annuus
  • Yarrow: Achillea filipendulina 'Coronation Gold'
  • Yellow kangaroo paw: Anigozanthos flavidus
  • Lavender: Lavandula spica

Dried Plant Material

sunflower pictures
Photo © Lisa Hallett Taylor
Dried flowers and foliage, seedheads and pods work well in wreath arrangements, because they never die (they're dried) and you can make them whenever the materials are available in your yard. However, some dried plant materials should not be kept for more than nine months -- after this time period they start to fall apart. You can try cultivating and drying flowers and foilage yourself, provided you follow instructions, or obtain them at flower markets, garden centers and craft stores specializing.

Flowers and foliage that work well for drying include:

  • Field poppy: Papaver rhoeas
  • Artemisia
  • Larkspur: Delphinium staphisagria
  • Sunflower: Helianthus annuus
  • Statice: Limonium latifolium (Sea lavender) and Limonium bellidifolium (Caspia Statice)
  • Rose: Rosa
  • Lavender: Lavendula
  • Bird of Paradise: Stretlitzia
  • Yarrow: Achillea millefolium
  • Horsetail: Equisetum hyemale
  • Copper beech: Fagus sylvatica
  • Love-in-a-mist: Nigella damascena
  • Cockscomb celosia: Celosia argentea
  • Prince's feather or Prince-of-Wales feather: Amaranthus hypochondriacus
  • Bottlebrush: Callistemon; Beaufortia
  • Shepherd's purse: Capsella bursa-pastoris
  • Manzanita: Arctostaphylos
  • Strawflower: Helichrysum orientale

Fruits and Vegetables

mini pumpkins
Photo © Lisa Hallett Taylor
Visit a local farmers' market to get ideas for an autumn wreath or garland. Many have such beautiful shapes and colors -- perfect for a fall harvest wreath. Vegetables, fruits, berries and pods -- some familiar, some a bit more unconventional, include:
  • Garlic or strings of garlic
  • Physalis, aka Cape gooseberry, has juicy orange fruit
  • Baby globe artichoke
  • Limes
  • Pomegranates
  • Clementines
  • Pink pepperberries, from the shrub, Schinus molle
  • Bird's eye chilies
  • Cinnamon bark
  • Hop vines -- good for garlands
  • Pine cones
  • Tamarillo -- ruby red fruits, nice for swags
  • Whiteheart cherries
  • Pattypan squash
  • Miniature pumpkins, squash and gourds
  • Tropical seedpods
  • Walnuts in shells -- spray gold or silver if you aren't going for a rustic look
  • Crabapples -- these will last a few weeks if attached to their stems
  • Mangosteen -- a fruit from Malaysia
  • Red chilies -- they stay shiny even as they dry and become more wrinkled
  • Dried mushroom cones

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