This season, the holiday spirit starts at your front door.
There are few images more synonymous with Christmas than wreaths of holly or garland, dripping with ornaments or other festive additives, tacked to someone’s front door. This year, don’t go to a purveyor of half-priced holiday cheer — wreaths are yet another possibility in the realm of do-it-yourself projects. Whether they are made from fresh plants, plastic, silk or ribbon, the level of difficulty is up to you.
And while you may find inspiration for your wreath on Pinterest, this one creative attempt won’t end up in the illustrious realm of “Pinterest fails.”
Fresh wreaths crafted out of live plants may not last as long as their silk counterparts, but the sight and scent might be enough to make up for the lost longevity.
“Pine cones, seeded eucalyptus, evergreen pine, leland cypress — all that stuff you can make your fresh wreath with,” said Carol Slaughter, owner of Occasions Florist on Washington Street in Gainesville. “There are a bunch of different kinds of greenery (you can use).”
Trimmings of those plants can be found at any Florist such as Occasions or a local nursery.
Any wire can form the base of the wreath, including wire coat hangers. Twist the wire into the circular shape of your choice and wrap the florals around it. Be sure to secure your design with lightweight floral tape, which can be found at any craft store.
Be sure to take care of your live wreath as you would a live Christmas tree.
“Ideally you should be able to soak them once a week or once every other week, but that makes them last longer,” Slaughter said. “If you can’t soak them, then mist them down. They need water. It’s a live green, and you want it to last as long as it can.”
If live plants aren’t your scene, handmade wreaths also can be constructed out of store bought materials. While you can’t engineer the fresh scent of a live wreath, it will be just as decorative.
“Burlap is still popular this year,” said Nancy Ackerman, president of the Helen Arts & Heritage Center. “Mesh and burlap do really well. Outside they both hold up good, in the season or all year round.”
Ackerman is scheduled to teach a class on crafting a wreath out of polymesh ribbon, a popular craft fabric that can be contorted into practically any shape and will last all season.
Thanks to their durability, polymesh wreaths aren’t just for holidays.
“(Polymesh wreaths) are great for baby showers, baby rooms,” Ackerman said. “You can add ornaments indicating a special interest. We do (polymesh wreaths themed by) sports teams. We did one for White County that was white and blue. You could do a black and red one for UGA Bulldawgs.”
Whether you choose a live or polymesh option, don’t be afraid to search the Web for inspiration.
“A good thing to do is just to go onto Pinterest’s website, and bring up wreaths and look for what inspires you,” Slaughter said. “You can take a design that inspires you and you can go from there, add your own little touches to it or change the colors.”
If you do choose to go the live route, what fragrant plant does Slaughter recommend to anyone looking for the best holiday scent to fill up their home?
“Evergreen pine,” Slaughter said. “That’s Christmas.”