Christmas wreath: learn how to make a Christmas wreath

How to make a Christmas wreath

Learn how to make a Christmas wreath from scratch with our ideas using natural materials including a Christmas wreath with succulents, natural materials and seedheads.

Making your own Christmas decorations can be hugely rewarding and your garden has a wealth of materials you can use for making your own decorations.  We have a host of Christmas wreath ideas, all created from natural materials you can find in your garden.

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Not only is making your Christmas wreath from scratch a fun job for you, it’s also excellent for the environment. Below we have steps on how to make  several different types of Christmas wreath, including a large Christmas wreath, a Christmas wreath using succulents, a Christmas wreath using natural materials, including ivy, seedheads, twigs, dried flowers, and many more Christmas wreath ideas.

Whether you’re looking for a Christmas wreath for a large door, or one for a small door, there are plenty of options here, all of which are made out of simple natural materials that you can find in your own garden and designed by floral experts include Kristy Ramage and Charlie Ryrie.

Click on the links below to jump down to the particular Christmas wreath you’d like to turn your hand to and follow the step-by-step guide to commence your Christmas wreath making.

If you’re looking for Christmas wreath ideas that are a little less hands-on, we have lots of Christmas decoration ideas at our Christmas hub page. 

Click to jump to how to make a huge Christmas wreath

Christmas wreath: learn how to make a Christmas wreath
Photo by Andrew Montgomery
© Andrew Montgomery

Click to jump to how to make a Christmas wreath using succulents

Christmas wreath idea
Photo by Britt Willoughby Dyer

Click to jump to how to make a Christmas wreath using seedheads

Christmas wreath inspiration
Photo by Britt Willoughby Dyer

Click to jump to how to make your own bird’s nest Christmas wreath

Christmas wreath made from natural materials

Click to jump to how to make this simple Christmas wreath using berried ivy

Christmas wreath with ivy
Photo by Jason Ingram

Head to our Christmas hub for more festive ideas.

How to make a huge Christmas wreath

By Charlie Ryrie

Materials and tools needed for your huge Christmas wreath

  • Snips
  • Natural twine
  • 30 willow rods 1.2-1.5m long, freshly picked from hedgerow or garden, or soaked in water for 24 hours to make them pliable
  • Large bundle of greenery, such as a selection of Leyland cyprus (x Cupressocyparis leylandii), juniper (Juniperus communis), Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), bay (Laurus nobilis) and cider gum (Eucalyptus gunnii)
  • 10-20 sprigs of curly willow (Salix x sepulcralis ‘Erythroflexuosa’) or yellow dogwood (Cornus sericea ‘Flaviramea’)
  • Length of old man’s beard (Clematis vitalba)

To make

  1. This giant, green Christmas wreath looks particularly inviting on a barn door but could be used to decorate any bare external wall. Its base is also a willow hoop, this time made on the ground.
  2. Cut ten pieces of willow to make pegs about 20cm long, with one pointed end.
  3. For a 1m-diameter wreath, tie a 50cm length of string on to one peg, and place it in the ground. This will be the centre of your Christmas wreath circle.
  4. Stretch out the string and place the first peg at the point where the string ends, then place the other eight pegs at regular intervals around the central peg, using string to measure their positions.
  5. Weave lengths of willow between the pegs, pressing them firmly together and starting each new length by tucking the ends in just before a peg. You don’t need a single willow rod for each layer of the circle, just keep tucking the ends in with each new length.
  6. After five or six layers, pull the hoop upwards from the pegs, leaving them in the ground.
  7. Twist more lengths of willow over and under the hoop to make it secure. Weave any ends into the hoop.
  8. Then decorate your wild hoop by tucking and poking lengths of greenery into the woven willow at regular intervals, building it up until you are satisfied with the distribution and texture.

The only rule is to add all the green material in the same direction. You can use pieces of twine to secure the greenery, but the more materials you add, the less likely you are to need extra ties and the Christmas wreath can be self-supporting. The longer you cut your greenery, the looser the wreath will be. If you want it tighter, just use shorter pieces.

How to make your own bird’s nest Christmas wreath

Christmas wreath made from natural materials

By Charlie Ryrie

Materials and tools to make your Christmas wreath

  • Natural twine
  • 8 plain or coloured willow rods 1.2-1.5m long, freshly picked from hedgerow or garden, or soaked in water for 24 hours to make them pliable for the basis of the Christmas wreath
  • 3-5 larch (Larix decidua) stems at least 60cm, with cones
  • 3-5 alder (Alnus glutinosa) stems at least 60cm, with cones and catkins
  • Length of old man’s beard (Clematis vitalba)
  • 5 x 30-50cm pieces of curly willow (Salix x sepulcralis ‘Erythroflexuosa’) or yellow dogwood (Cornus sericea ‘Flaviramea’)
  • Ribbon or braid to finish to hang up your wreath on the door
The materials needed for a natural Christmas wreath

To make

The willow hoop basis of the Christmas wreath

  1. A willow hoop forms the base of this Christmas wreath. The willow must be pliable so use freshly cut stems or soak dry willow in water for a day to soften it. If the willow is too dry, it will snap when you try to bend it. For a hoop that will make a wreath 20-30cm in diameter, start with a willow rod at least 1.3m long and twist it into a circle, starting from the thicker end.
  2. When you have the size you want, weave the rest of the rod in and out around the circle to hold the shape.
  3. Take a second length of willow and tuck the thick end into your Christmas wreath frame, about 10cm on from the thicker end of the first piece. This will hold it in place while you wrap the piece around the circle of your wreath.
  4. Do this with six to eight rods until the hoop feels rigid. Finish off by tying the thinnest end around the hoop. Thick ends will stick out from the circle at various points; cut them off with sharp snips and the hoop will maintain its shape.

The bird’s nest Christmas wreath look

Tuck lengths of alder in and out round the hoop, then do the same with the larch. Aim for a pleasing shape; you should be able to maintain the circle for the wreath and keep everything in place by winding the stems round the willow hoop, but you may prefer to tie the alder and larch to the willow with a few short lengths of twine. Next, place a few lengths of old man’s beard around the twiggy wreath, then poke curly willow stems through the other materials and wrap them round, leaving the ends flying free.

I use woollen braid for the hanging loop, but for extra attitude try sumptuous velvet or any luxurious trimming and to finish off a glorious Christmas wreath.

How to make a Christmas wreath using succulents

Christmas wreath with succulents

By Kristy Ramage

Bang on trend and easily obtainable, a Christmas wreath made with the rich green shades of succulent plants, moss and foraged leaves will celebrate the festive season with natural style. Below you’ll find a step-by-step guide and a list of materials needed to create the look.

Materials for your Christmas wreath

  • 30cm wire wreath base
  • 1m x 25cm chicken wire
  • moss
  • top soil
  • blackberry leaves (especially the purple tinged ones)
  • sage leaves
  • Vinca major leaves
  • sprigs of rosemary
  • Echeveria elegans rosettes
  • Sempervivum ‘Rubin’ rosettes
  • florist’s scissors or secateurs
  • 2 x 1.8m lengths tarred twine
  • florist’s wire, stub wire (24 gauge) cut to 7cm
  • 26 x 20cm lengths yew, rosemary, ivy berries and leaves
  • 60cm x 9mm ribbon
  • 40cm x 15mm ribbon
  • 30cm length shredded raffia

How to make

  1. To make the Christmas wreath use the chicken wire to form a flat-backed doughnut shape around the wire base. Secure with stub wire. Tightly stuff the cavity with moss, carefully packing soil in beneath the top layer of moss, to give the Echeveria and Sempervivum rosettes something to grow into.
  2. Cut the individual rosettes off the succulent plants, leaving as long a stem as possible. Arrange these around the wreath and tuck each stem firmly into the layer of soil and moss. Use a 7cm length of stub wire, bent in half, to pin around each stem and secure to the base.
  3. Fill in the gaps with sprigs of blackberry, sage, rosemary and Vinca major leaves, pushing the leaf stalks into the wreath and securing with florist’s wire as necessary.
  4. For the Christmas wreath, prepare approx 26 bunches of yew, made up of two to three 20cm lengths. Wind florist’s wire in a spiral down the length of each 1.8m tarred twine. Wire the bunches along the prepared twine (in one direction), overlapping them to avoid gaps. Wire together five longer bunches of yew, rosemary and ivy berries to form a fan shape. Fix to the door at the centre of the two long garlands, add ribbon and raffia then tweak the wired string into position.
  5. Spray Christmas wreath with water when dry.

How to make a Christmas wreath using seedheads

Christmas wreath ideas: with seedheads

Materials

  • 25cm wire wreath base
  • 20cm x 90cm chicken wire
  • moss
  • 120 Clematis vitalba (old man’s beard) seedheads
  • 22 ivy flowers
  • 12 mistletoe berry clusters
  • 1.2m ribbon

To make

  1. To make the Christmas wreath use the chicken wire to form a flat-backed doughnut shape around the wire base. Secure with stub wire.
  2. Tightly stuff the cavity with moss.
  3. Cut clematis seedheads off the main stem, leaving stalks as long as possible.
  4. Push stalks into the moss as densely as possible. Add ivy flowers and mistletoe berries and tie a ribbon on the metal loop at the top.

How to make a simple Christmas wreath using berried ivy

Christmas wreath with berried ivy

By Kristy Ramage

Materials

  • Wire Christmas wreath frame (this one is 33cm in diameter) or galvanised wire to make your own.
  • Reel of soft wire
  • Lengths (20-30cm) of ivy leaves and berries
  • Ribbon for hanging

To make

Wrap the soft wire around the Christmas wreath frame and thread the stems of the ivy pieces into the wire, layering the pieces on top of one another and moving around the circle. Put plenty on – it should feel abundant – and secure with extra wire if needed. The berries should naturally disperse around the wreath, and you can always add more by wiring the stem of individual berry bunches and threading them in between the leaves.

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Flowering (and therefore berried) branches of  ivy are not lobed and trailing, but self-supporting and robust, usually found growing in the sun. So it’s strong, and of course ivy brings good luck and keeps the devil out. This makes it just right to hang on the front door.

Head to our Christmas hub for more inspiration