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Project

Greenery Wreath with Cranberry Garland

Introduction

Although the garden is nearly bare by the time December arrives, it still bears magnificent color, which can be used in natural holiday decorations. Martha likes to gather foliage from her garden to decorate the front of her house during the Christmas season. She chooses arborvitae, an evergreen in shades of deep green and gentle gold, to form the wreaths for her front door -- a large one-sided wreath that will sit flush against the door, and twin six-inch wreaths that will hang at the upper corners of the door frame.

To decorate the large wreath, Martha uses strands of crimson cranberries instead of a classic bow; she also hangs several strings of cranberry garland over the door between the smaller wreaths. Fresh cranberries are ideal for outdoor winter decorations; the cold weather keeps them vibrant.

You may be able to find the ingredients for your decorations in your own yard. If not, visit your local garden center, florist shop, or Christmas tree lot. If you do collect greenery from your yard, keep in mind that evergreens that have needles should not be heavily pruned. A pine-tree branch cut back to the trunk will never recover. Instead, trim the smaller offshoots down to the main branch, shaping the tree as you go.

Materials

  • 27-inch tubular straw wreath form with cardboard backing
  • U-shaped floral pins (about 250)
  • Arborvitae or other evergreen sprigs
  • Wire cutters
  • 28 feet of 24-gauge floral wire
  • A few bags of fresh cranberries
  • A long length of double-faced satin ribbon
  • 6-pound-test monofilament
  • Metal washers
  • Tapestry needle
  • A few bags of fresh cranberries

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Place straw wreath form on a table, cardboard side down. Do not remove plastic wrap. Use floral pins to attach sprigs of arborvitae or other greenery all the way around, covering the pins with the greenery as you work.

  2. Step 2

    After the entire wreath form is covered with greenery, use wire cutters to cut a 2-foot piece of 24-gauge floral wire.

  3. Step 3

    Twist one end of the wire into a loop. String cranberries, one by one, onto the wire, piercing each berry from end to end. Finish the strand with another loop. Repeat this step until you have 14 lengths of floral wire strung with berries.

  4. Step 4

    Attach the cranberries to the wreath by laying a strand diagonally over the wreath and pushing a floral pin through each loop end into the cardboard backing.

  5. Step 5

    Continue wrapping the berries around the wreath, crisscrossing them in front, making X shapes. It should take about seven pairs of berry strands to cover the entire wreath.

  6. Step 6

    Cut a piece of monofilament to the desired length, and tie a metal washer to the end to form a "stop."

  7. Step 7

    Thread the tapestry needle with the monofilament, and pierce berries, stringing them onto the line one at a time. Finish the garland by tying another washer at the end.

Reviews (3)

  • 13 Oct, 2008

    I would love to see a full picture of the front door, too and try a version that incorporates a big red bow. Isn't it a little minimilist without it?

  • 13 Oct, 2008

    I would love to see a full picture of the front door, too and try a version that incorporates a big red bow. Isn't it a little minimilist without it?

  • 9 Oct, 2008

    I would love to see a picture of her front entryway with the wreaths. Is it posted somewhere?