By Anna Noriega / Photos by Matt Rice Photography / Photographed at the Deering Estate
The holidays are here, and what better hallmark of the season than a wreath? We display ours to better deck the halls and share end-of-year cheer, but they can hang on your front door to greet guests all season long. From rustic to radiant, wreathmaking is an art.
As an event and floral designer, I get to play with pretty and fun things all the time. But nothing is as exciting or festive as working with real pine trimmings. The scents remind me of warm fires and hot cups of cocoa with my parents under the Christmas tree. So, why not gather a group of friends and share in the holiday spirit by hosting a wreath party?
Making a stunning Christmas wreath is simple. With two basic application techniques—using wiring materials to attach them to metal forms, or applying them to rounded straw or foam bases—you can make a variety of holiday wreaths, from greenery wreaths meant to last through the holiday season to heirloom wreaths that can be treasured for years.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
1) The basics: Gather a container filled with essentials—floral wire, craft glue and fabric work gloves to avoid sticky sap and prickly evergreen needles. I suggest a 16-inch double frame for optimal aesthetic, but your intended placement will guide the size you ultimately choose.
2) With all the trimmings: Pick up some leftover pine tree trimmings from your local tree trimming market—they’re probably free—and purchase an iron wreath frame from a local craft store. Place clippings of pine all around your frame, tying groupings of pine together with wire to the frame. Once you’ve been able to go all the way around with the trimmings and leave no exposed edges, you’re ready to decorate.
3) Designs of the times: Asymmetrical designs are popular this season, and incorporating wood elements into your décor brings the outside in and adds a touch of rustic flair. Metals are good for the holiday festivities, too, as they easily pair with any other texture or color and add a seamless touch of elegance. Supplies can include miniature toys, ornaments, ribbons, picture frames or pine cones.
4) Color your world: Create your wreath palette using hues already incorporated into your home décor. Don’t be afraid to mix it up with nontraditional holiday colors or themes such as nautical or Disney-inspired wreaths. You can establish a color theme by matching the wreath to your flower pots or window gables for extra style points.
5) Ode to nature: I love to draw inspiration from nature in all our designs, and what better time to incorporate the great outdoors than during the holidays? Use pine cones to add a beautiful and festive touch. Don’t be afraid to incorporate elements such as fruit or even vegetables (like pumpkins, squash and corn) into your wreath. For an unconventional look, spray-paint some of your branches gold, silver or any color you might want to stand out.
This is the one time of the year when there is no such thing as overdecoration. Show off your festive spirit to your neighbors and house guests by hanging your homemade wreath on a sturdy hook—and enjoy all winter long.
Anna Noriega is a celebrity event and wedding designer and the founder of award-winning Alorè Event Firm in Miami. She also hosts a variety of educational, hands-on design workshops. To sign up for one, visit eventsbyalore.com. Follow her on social media at @norianna13 or @aloreeventfirm.