Step by Step Tutorial – How to Make a Live Winter Wreath

Have you ever wanted to make a Winter wreath using tree branches from your yard, but didn’t know where to start?

I am going to show you how to make a beautiful live wreath. I will admit that this is my first attempt at making a live wreath, so it’s not perfect by any means. I learned how to make this wreath in a floral design class I am taking. The process is very time consuming and the larger the wreath, the longer it takes – and the process is very messy…I’ll show you why.

In the class I am taking we had a choice of which greens to use to build our wreath, boxwood, pine, spruce or a combination. I wanted to make a boxwood wreath so I chose to use all boxwood branches.

But first, we need the proper tools to make the wreath. You will need the following items:

  • Wire Wreath Mold HERE
  • Shears for cutting the branches HERE
  • Long Fiber Sphagnum Milled Moss HERE
  • Thorn Stripper HERE
  • Wreath Wrap
  • Floral Pick HERE
  • Greening Pins HERE

pXO+zKaAT42J9tHEND0dkgTo make our wreaths, each of us were allotted 8 pounds of greens, that’s a lot of greens! I think I used between 5 and 6 pounds to make my wreath. Considering I would cut the stems off many of the branches, in the end the wreath is holding probably less that 4 pounds of stems.

bJR6GBboQoKDXDOfNoDjPwBegin with your mold, concave side up.

fullsizeoutput_91d6In order to preserve the stems and make our wreath last as long as possible, we used Sphagnum milled moss. The branches will be inserted into the moss, where they will receive nutrients hence prolonging the life of the wreath.

Start by soaking the moss in a tub of water until it is very wet. This doesn’t take long, just a few minutes.

wWQcCJlfQAmXip77HbFP2QPull out handfuls of the wet moss and arrange it around the wreath form. Do not wring the moss to eliminate the water, just have the water drip off the moss as you pull it out of the bucket.

0uV8YAU4ScSOSYpnPNNR3QIt is a messy job, so do this on a table or area where you won’t mind water spilling on the ground.

+bfoIUQkQcCkwaHeLphcUAOnce you have the moss evenly distributed around the mold, start wrapping the moss and the mold with plastic wrap.

9TzNkBRNR6Gg6vB+JupEwwContinue wrapping all the way around the mold. Don’t use a lot of pressure or wrap the mold too tightly, wrap to make snug.

VjZYr0t%RMCCOcc1D03MqAThis process doesn’t take long but is a bit messy.

G9Ph%2HtRjuNTrxdlpFOrQSecure the end of the wrap using a couple greening pins.

oqt+Ja5NT5W93paTkHP8AANext, we start inserting our branches into the mold.

3wIJASu+QWOkrjDfXZ24sQBefore we insert a branch into the mold, we need to create a hole in the wrap. Using a pointed floral pick, make a hole in the plastic wrap.

kQlCbiyBR7WNRiQMKfGuGwBegin inserting a branch into the hole of the mold. The pick does not stay in the mold, it is only used to make the hole.

nB1o+fwES9ezgx1gY9KnTgYou want to make sure that the ends of the branches you insert into the wreath are free of leaves. Use a de-thorner to remove the leaves on the ends of the stems.

CHjd5SpmQo+Sstq7JdimLAThis is a time consuming process and requires some patience. I wanted a very full wreath so I used large branches. If you want a smaller looking wreath with shorter branches, cut off the stems of the branches and insert those into the mold.

Z5vex%XhRuibQfgGtzkSewPhew! Half way complete.

WLbh67OPTNaE3yqSfF0F1QContinue inserting branches all the way around the wreath.

JguIH0wJT72vDrUVIQeLMwMake sure to fill in areas you may have missed with shorter branches.

fullsizeoutput_924cIn the end, my wreath turned out pretty well for a first attempt. To preserve the wreath, it should be placed in a tub of water once a week to rehydrate the moss. Or you could place it on the ground during a good rain storm to restore it and hydrate the branches but I suggest removing the bow first.

fullsizeoutput_91e4.jpegMy boxwood wreath is placed on our mudroom door along with 2 Christmas planters. You can read more about Decorating the Front Porch for Winter. The area feels so festive now and looks pretty. Making the wreath was fun and I learned a lot from the process like which moss to use. It is very important to use long fiber moss when you make your wreath…you can’t use just any type of moss…it has to be sphagnum long haired moss.

Other ideas for your wreath can include inserting juniper branches with berries or holly branches with red berries. There are so many different types of wreaths you can make. Start by selecting branches from your yard and create your own design. Let me know how it turns out! If you make a wreath using my step by step tutorial, tag me on Instagram HERE.

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4 thoughts on “Step by Step Tutorial – How to Make a Live Winter Wreath

    1. Thanks! It was a great experience learning how to make it. You are so crafty, I bet you know all the tricks florists use in creating beautiful arrangements.

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