Wow, this year has gone by so fast hasn't it? 5 weeks till Christmas already, plus Thanksgiving is next week! We can't help but think about decorating and putting up the Christmas tree when Thanksgiving comes around right? We don't put up our Christmas tree or any decorations till after Thanksgiving, why rush things. But this year, I was particularly interested in seeing for myself before the holidays just how easy - or hard, it would be to make some of my own holiday wreaths to decorate my parent's house and my apartment with.
If you're a Michael's or Hobby Lobby shopper I know you've seen those pre-made wreaths and garland they have on display to tempt your urge to decorate NOW...but they're each priced at $50+ depending on how big and decorated they are. I think we spent approximately $200 one year when we bought a pre-lit wreath and garland for our mantel. CrAzY right? Never again will such an expensive purchase be necessary, and here's how you can make that happen with a coastal touch!
Here's what you'll need:
note: total cost was based on what I didn't have that was needed to be purchased. I recommend to purchase everything you'll need at Hobby Lobby (they're cheaper than other stores).
* 1 Round Floral Metal Wreath (or you can use a wire coat hanger)
* 1 Floral Wire Pack (makes about 4-5 medium wreaths per pack)
* 1 Wooden Letter Cutout
* Wine Corks
* Hot Glue Gun
* Wire Cutters
* Salt Dough Starfish Ornaments that you've made yourself (check out my DIY tutorial here)
* Small branches of red berries
* Boxwood branches from your yard (about 9-12 bundles of branches per wreath)
Make this DIY a fun project to do with family over Thanksgiving or invite friends over for a holiday party in December. I asked my mom and sister to do one with me, and they had a great time doing theirs! If you're planning on hosting a holiday party closer to Christmas, you might want to make your wreaths closer to the time they'll be seen so the branches aren't too dried up before everyone sees your masterpiece ;)
As a pre-project side note, I had a few people ask if they could use any other type of bush for the branches, and I did test a wreath made from Hawthorne branches (pictured to the left) and it only lasted about 2 weeks compared to the Boxwood that's still going strong when we made these in October! So I'd recommend to stick with the Boxwood so you can style a wreath like mine! If you don't have this kind of bush in your yard, this is a fabulous incentive to get your man to plant you some bushes ladies - landscape + free decorating supplies all in one, can't get much better than that!ha
So, first thing you'll want to do is gather enough boxwood branches to make the wreath size you want. While your snipping away at your bushes, you'll be glad to know that November is the ideal time to prune boxwood bushes. So this is a win-win project.
PLEASE watch the video from the University of Maryland to know what to watch out for on your boxwood branches. You don't want to snip branches that are sick or have insects living within them!
After you've gathered all your branches and materials, get to crafting! First, you'll want to decide how you will be hanging your wreath. If you need to, add ribbon to make a holder like I did. Then, you'll want to bundle the first group of boxwood branches just enough to cover the metal wreath or coat hanger, and then wrap the branches with floral wire around it. The second group will overlap the first group of branches just enough to cover the bark ends, and then wrap the branches with floral wire around it. Repeat this step as many times as needed until your wreath is full of boxwood branches.
If you choose to do a wooden letter and cover them in wine corks, use a hot glue gun and glue the base of the corks onto the wooden letter and let it dry before hanging on the wreath.
After you've finished all the steps above, now you can add any extra coastal bling, ribbon, shells, or your wooden wine cork letter onto your wreath. Make sure everything is secure by lightly shaking the wreath and seeing if anything falls off. Better to know now than when someone slams your door right?
Guess what, you're done! See below for pictures of our finished wreaths taken by my dad. Remember, very important you've watched the video above presented by the University of Maryland so you don't end up with sick or insect infested branches.
If you make your own wreath I'd love to see it! Just go to the ArtSea Chic Facebook page and leave us a picture of your holiday creation. Have fun!
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