By Susan Martin for Proven Winners
Photographs courtesy of Garden Answer
When fall rolls around and it’s time to start wrapping things up in the garden, we start thinking about ways to bring a few remaining garden elements indoors to enjoy a little longer. It’s simple to craft a charming wreath from dried florals, many of which you’ll be able to forage from your own landscape. It can be so much more personal and meaningful than a generic silk wreath and can last several years if you store it properly. Plus, you’ll be the only person with one just like it since you made it yourself!
We’ll show you three different kinds of DIY wreaths made from dried florals here, all of which were crafted by uber-popular garden influencer and YouTube sensation, Laura of @Garden Answer. She makes it look easy, but truly anyone can make these wreaths using the steps we’ll outline below.
All three wreaths follow the same formula but incorporate different types of plants to get a specific look. The plant list for each wreath is included below, but let’s first review the basic steps you’ll need to follow to complete your wreath. You could also watch a video tutorial on this here.
1. Gather the following basic wreathmaking supplies:
One 18” wire or grapevine wreath form
22 or 24 gauge green paddle wire
Hot glue gun
Floral pruners or scissors
Dried flowers, evergreen branches, seed heads and pods, and cones gathered from the garden or craft store (See plant list with each wreath below.)
When collecting plants to make your wreath, choose ones with sturdy stems and those that retain some color when they are dried. Some examples include:
2. Secure one end of the paddle wire to the wreath form and don’t cut the other end. You’ll be wrapping the paddle wire in one continuous loop throughout the whole project.
3. Group together small floral bundles using 3-5 elements each to create the bulk of your wreath. There should be no need to wire each bundle individually. It’s handy to cut the bundled stems all the same length, leaving about 4” of stem to attach to the wreath form. Try to keep all your bundles about the same size so your wreath doesn’t end up with any uneven spots.
4. Lay the first floral bundle on your wreath form and secure it tightly by wrapping the paddle wire around it 3 to 4 times. When the stems are fully dry, they will shrink a bit, so it’s important to wrap them very tightly so they don’t fall out.
5. Repeat with the rest of your floral bundles, overlapping them so none of the wreath form or stems are showing. Tie off your wire at the very end by securing it to the wreath form.
6. Hang the wreath up to check your work. Use a hot glue gun to secure anything that feels loose and to fill in any gaps with a few extra floral bits you have left over.
7. Optional: Spray the wreath with a dried flower sealant to help it last longer. Keeping it away from direct sunlight and heat sources will also increase your wreath’s longevity.
Project 1: Gathered from the Garden Wreath
Sedum – flowers and seed heads
Yarrow – spent flower heads
Echinacea – cones only, petals removed
Calendula – flowers
Celosia – dried flowers (also available at craft stores)
Lavender – flowers and/or foliage
Penstemon – seed heads
Hydrangea – dried flowers
Golden rain tree – seed pods (can substitute Chinese lantern pods)
Southern magnolia tree – leaves (can be ordered from a florist)
Few ornamental grass blades (optional)
Project 2: Harvest Wreath
Pine, spruce and/or fir evergreen tips – choose two kinds
Southern magnolia leaves – can be ordered from a florist if needed
Seeded eucalyptus – often sold in bunches in grocery stores
This 2’ tall and wide annual globe amaranth plant is incredibly easy to cut and use for a wreath. Each plant yields loads of blooms over the entire season. If you plan ahead and harvest the flowers periodically throughout the summer, one plant could yield enough to make an 18” wreath. Alternatively, you could harvest all of the flowers from 2-3 plants one time at the end of the season. If fewer flowers are available, use a smaller wreath form.
Truffula Pink bears bright pink fresh flowers that have a straw-like feel to them. When the flowers dry, they remain a slightly less glowing, but still bright, shade of pink.
This wreath will keep its color for several seasons if stored in a cool, dry, dark location like in a box in your basement. It is perfect for Valentine’s Day, Easter or spring decorating around your home. Make your wreath this fall so you will have it ready to go when you need it.