Wreathes are one of the most common holiday decorations this time of year, used to dress up homes, businesses, schools, offices and myriad public spaces. But why just put up a plain wreath with a red bow when there are so many options to make it uniquely yours? Here are some tips on how to make a one-of-a-kind wreath for you, or as a gift for someone special.
First off, choose a theme. It can be a color combination: red and gold, mocha and metallic, or hot pink and aqua. Make it natural and rustic with pine cones, berries and cinnamon sticks. Or make it dazzling with shiny ornaments and lots of bling. If you have sports fans around, add some Patriots or Red Sox memorabilia. You can theme a wreath around elves, teddy bears, religious symbols, cooking utensils, Santa, musical instruments, the Nutcracker or just about anything else you can think of! Mahoney’s has a huge array of “ingredients” to get your creative juices flowing, or you may have some special items at home already that you’d like to use.
When planning your wreath, keep location in mind. Inside wreathes don’t need to withstand wind, freezing temperatures and snow, and some materials may not hold up outdoors.
Next you need to decide if you want the wreath to be artificial or made of live greens. Both have their advantages. The latter look fresh and feel genuine, but artificial wreathes make less mess indoors and can be used for years to come.
You also need to decide on shape. While wreathes are traditionally round, there are square options and even other shapes available. And before you go shopping for a wreath, you need to determine what size will be most appropriate for the place where you plan to hang it. Whether a door or a wall, a wreath will show to best advantage if there is some space around the edges.
Many wreathes have a bow as a major feature. You can buy these pre-made or make your own choosing from hundreds, if not thousands, of ribbons that are available. But you don’t need to have a bow either. Create a major focal point with a spray of dried flowers, a big cluster of ornaments or a special item that helps establish the theme.
Once you’ve gathered the materials you want to include in your wreath, it’s time to put them together. If you want lights on the wreath, I usually put those on before doing anything else, evenly distributing the lights, trying to hide the wires as much as possible, and keeping in mind where I want the plug to end up. If an outlet is not convenient, or you simply want to avoid wires altogether, you can upgrade to using the new battery powered LED lights.
If there is a bow or single major focus to the wreath, position that next. Then pick a few other focal points evenly spaced around the remainder of the wreath to locate other items of greater interest. The wreath may look better if you cluster items around these focal points rather than just distributing them randomly. I recommend positioning these major elements before you start attaching anything, so you can adjust the design as you explore various possibilities.
Once you know where you want everything to go, the last thing to do is attach them to the wreath. In a natural wreath, you can likely just poke in stems of additional greens, berries and dried materials and they will stay in place. Other items can be wired onto the greens or onto small wooden stakes and then poked into the greens. With artificial wreathes, a glue gun or zip ties may also come in handy for holding things in place.
Once everything is secure, it’s time to hang your new wreath for all to enjoy!
Carey Erdman, Erdman Design
Interior and Exterior Landscape and Holiday Design for Greater Boston
Carey Erdman is president of Erdman Design, a firm dedicated to enhancing homes and gardens through interior design, urban gardening, flowers for special occasions and holiday decorating. Examples of their work can be found at www.erdman-design.com.
Prior to officially getting into the design business seven years ago, Carey worked with satellite imagery and aerial photography, primarily for the defense and intelligence communities. He also served as CEO of a high-tech software company for ten years before making this rather drastic career shift.
In his spare time, Carey volunteers with Community Servings, Boston Natural Areas Network, and the Claremont Neighborhood Association. He also sings with the Cantata Singers, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops. You can reach Carey at (617) 816-6467 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note: Not all wreath decorations are available at all 8 stores.