My great grandpa was a master gardener for a castle-like estate in Germany. Sadly, I didn’t inherit his (very) green thumb, but my mom did. When I told her about a dream I had for our kitchen Christmas decor, she was kind enough to help me with it and pass down some of my Great Opa’s knowledge of real evergreen wreath making to me. Thanks to my Great Opa and my Mom, I now have some gorgeous, real evergreen wreaths on my windowed kitchen cabinet doors that smell divine and remind me of some special history in our family.
(This post was first published in November 2014 and has been updated with new photos & a video.)
My Great Grandpa taught my mom how to make these when she was little, and last week my Mom showed me. So special! My mom said that her grandpa used to make these at Christmas time to use as advent wreaths. We made smaller versions than what he would have made so that they would fit on my cupboard doors.
Great Opa would have used fresh willow branches and bent them into a circular shape for the wreath base. We simply used the longer spruce tree branches that were bendable enough to make our bases. We made small wreaths, so it totally worked! You could also use a wire wreath form, but I really love the completely natural look of a branch base.
To tie the clippings to the wreath base, we used simple floral jute twine. It worked great, and it looks so rustic. My Great Opa used a similar and slightly thicker jute twine.
Here’s a larger version I made in 2017 that looks beautiful as both a door wreath and an advent wreath:
Here’s how we made our natural evergreen wreaths:
- Cut branches off of a Spruce tree, making sure some are long and flexible enough to form into a wreath base (or use wire or willow branches for the wreath base).
- Cut a long piece of jute twine (about 6 feet long for these small wreaths worked well). Gently bend a branch into a circular shape, tying it together with the jute twine and leaving the long tail. I made my wreaths about 7″ in diameter.
- Trim little pieces off of the branches to use in your wreath. Ours were about 4-6″ long.
- Grab a handful of trimmed branches, and tie them to the wreath base with the jute twine (use the tail from tying the wreath base together). We found that about 3 pieces at a time looked nice on these smaller wreaths, and they’re tied about 2″ apart from each other. Hold the branches against the base of the wreath, wrap the jute twine around them and the base…
- … pull the end of the twine through the circle you just made…
- and pull tight to secure. You’re basically making a blanket stitch with the twine to secure the branches to the wreath base.
- Continue tying handfuls of trimmed branches to the wreath base, in the same direction, until you’ve filled the full wreath base.
- Even the back of the wreath looks pretty with the stitched twine showing!
That’s it! Hang them from cupboard doors with ribbon, use them outside, stick them on your mantel, or make a larger one for an advent wreath.
These don’t last too long, so if you’re making them to use as Christmas decor, wait until about 1-2 weeks before Christmas to make and hang them. Happy wreath making!