Do you have Pinterest-fueled visions of gorgeous homemade holiday wreaths? Want to upgrade your holiday party with a little floral-inspired festive decor? With some expert advice, this can be the year when all of your crafty, wreath-making and flower-arranging dreams come true.
We chatted with Alice Lewis, Founder and CEO of Alice’s Table, to get her insider tips on how to make the best version of these holiday crafts. Alice’s Table offers fun, seasonal flower-arranging workshops across the country. So whether you’re a craft newbie or a DIY pro, Alice has advice to level up your homemade holiday wreath.
Find out what supplies she recommends, how to avoid common wreath-making mistakes, and the items that give your wreath elegant flair.
The basics: What supplies do you need for your first wreath?
A plastic tablecloth: This one investment can transform your post-wreath chores. “Wreaths can shed when decorating,” says Alice. “Lay down a plastic tablecloth to ensure easy and hassle-free cleanup.”
Wire cutters: Don’t damage your everyday scissors by trying to cut through wire. Alice recommends wire cutters instead of scissors because they’re more effective.
20-gauge wire: Want to make sure all of your fabulous flowers and baubles stay attached to your freshly made wreath? Time to get some 20-gauge wire. “Thin wire is key to make sure you can easily attach decor to your wreath,” says Alice.
Avoid these common wreath mistakes
Pick durable materials: “While they look beautiful for about a day, fresh flowers die very quickly out of water. Pick materials that will last a long time and dry nicely,” says Alice. Do some research or ask your florist what plants will last the longest as part of your wreath. Items like eucalyptus, lavender, and yarrow dry easily and can last for a month or more.
Cover up the wire: “In flower arranging and wreath decorating, you always want to make sure you cover the wire,” says Alice. “Try your best to weave the wire under branches so it becomes invisible and lets the decor shine.”
Care for your wreath: It’s a common belief that you have to soak your evergreen wreath in water to make it last. According to Alice, you can skip this step. “There are a lot of old wives’ tales out there when it comes to taking care of evergreen,” says Alice. “Evergreen wreaths will last for over a month all by themselves.”
DIY wreath number 1: For the first-time wreath-maker
Embellish a premade wreath: “Save yourself some time and sanity. Don’t try to start from scratch; it takes much longer than you’d think,” says Alice. If you’re new to crafting or feeling nervous about your first wreath, pick out a simple unadorned wreath and invest your time in adding fun decorations.
Plan your design: Are you looking for an even appearance, or something asymmetrical? Do you want a specific pattern, or a more free-form look? Alice recommends preplanning your design. By plotting out the look you’re going for, you can make sure you have the right supplies to create your ideal wreath.
Bow or no bow? It may sound simple, but before you start attaching items to your wreath, decide whether or not you want a bow and where the bow should be placed.
Level up: Wreath tips for DIY superstars
Add dried citrus: Want to give your wreath a little extra elegance? Alice suggests adding dried citrus, which offers a gorgeous color and delicious scent. Dry your own citrus slices, or pick up premade dried citrus from your florist or local craft store.
Make your pine cones snazzy: “Dip pine cones in glitter for a little sparkle before you add them to your wreath,” says Alice. You can stick to one color, or embrace a spectrum of colorful, glittery pine cones.
Try a homemade bow: This is the detail that can take your wreath to the next level. “It takes a little practice and concentration, but it completely elevates the look of your wreath,” says Alice.
Still feeling inspired? Try these tips for holiday floral arranging.
Now that you have a fabulous wreath, it’s time to add some centerpiece magic and bouquet madness to your festive decorative repertoire.
Stick to a water-based arrangement: If you’re looking for long-lasting blooms, Alice recommends creating bouquets and centerpieces with a water base, like a vase or a container that can hold a small amount of water.
Green your base: “This is the least expensive part, yet most people skip it — it’s the key to florist-quality bouquets,” says Alice. “When we ‘green our base,’ we’re building the skeleton of the bouquet. Typically, we use ruscus or eucalyptus, but around the holidays, I love using evergreen for a little holiday flair.”
Say no to flower flops: We’re seeing gorgeous amaryllis all over the place this holiday season. If you want to embrace this floral look, you need one simple tool. “Place a stick in the stem so it stays straight as it grows — nobody wants the flower flops!” says Alice.
Go outside the box: You don’t have to stick to the typical holiday plants. Mix it up by adding in unexpected, long-lasting elements. “I love succulents for the holidays,” says Alice. “They pair so well with evergreen in an arrangement and last well past the celebration you got them for!”