Thursday, 13 November 2014

How to Decorate (or Re-decorate) a Christmas Wreath Like a Florist

How to redecorate a Christmas wreath using wire

Although I am no longer a professional florist, I still have a very healthy appetite for floristry as a hobby. For years I worked as a florist in my small town, and loved every minute of it. Now I take a great deal of pleasure in creating holiday arrangements for my home!

    One of my favorite arrangements is the humble wreath. This year I’m tackling an old Christmas wreath (I can’t even remember where it came from) and transforming it to new glittery levels with some dollar store poinsettias and bits and bobs from around the house. Here is what I will be using:

Supplies for decorating a Christmas wreath

  1. Old Christmas wreath
  2. Scissors
  3. Floral wire
  4. Wire cutters
  5. Assortment of floral decorating ‘picks’
  6. Candle and matches (missing from image)

    I’m opting to use wire instead of hot glue. The reason why I choose to use wire is three fold: a) I was taught using “old school” floristry techniques and prefer using it due to it’s strength  and flexibility and b) wire allows the pieces to be changed out easily so that I can re decorate the wreath every year, and c) you can bend, shape and fluff the wreath after storage! If you are decorating your own wreath and don’t want to take the extra couple steps to use wire, you can use glue if you really want;)

    Also, I know the photos are not as bright and beautiful as they could be. Full disclosure: I am not a good photographer. I borrowed a camera from my friend to take these photos and thought I could try manual. SMH...needless to say if anyone knows any tips, tricks or blogs I could read to improve my skills, I would greatly appreciate it!

Original Christmas Wreath
The original wreath.

    First things first, I’m going to remove the bits I don’t want. Like I said, this was an old wreath in a box that never got opened last year. I want this wreath to be red and silver, so I’m starting by removing the green and gold ribbon and gold bits (keeping for another project)and fluffing up the remaining greens and reds. If the wreath contains hot glue, now is where you curse it. Hot glue makes it hard to take pieces off the artificial fir cleanly, so some of it ends up getting cut.

    Next, I’m going to take apart my flowers from the large stem by snipping them off with wire cutters, or tearing them out of the paper wrap. Now is a good time to test run where everything will go loosely on the wreath. Here is a general idea of how I would like my wreath to look:

Christmas wreath assembly

I then take any pieces that do not have enough wire to securely attach to the wreath and add wire. In order to attach small pieces to the wire I light the candle (for optimum festivity make it a Christmas scented candle) and heat up just the tip of the wire.

Once the wire is heated to glowing (2 or 3 seconds depending on wire thickness), quickly pierce the hard plastic stem at the base of the flower head. Pull the wire through several inches and and snip, leaving several inches on either end. (Whatever is comfortable, the ends will be snipped off so better too long than too short, but I like to loop the wire 1-3 times around the wreath while securing other pieces, so I’m giving myself lots of extra) I then grab the base of the flower and give one side of the wire a couple quick tight wraps around the plastic stem just to stop it from potentially wobbling.

Any pieces of twigs or berries can be wired by looping through the branches and wrapping tightly around the base like this:

I also like to take some of the leaves off and wire them to the wreath to fill up what is already there. In order to do that fold the leaf in half, heat the wire and pierce the leaf about half way up the leaf, in the center:

 Pinch the base of the leaf and give a couple tight twists and trim the wire to size. By putting the wire in the center of the leaf you can reposition the leaf after you attach it to the wreath.

Once all the floral pieces requiring longer wire stems are wired, I begin attaching them to the wreath. start by threading your wire through part of the wreath and wrapping and twisting until secure. Make sure you trim all your wire ends and stick them into the wreath so you don’t accidentally poke your finger. I’m telling you this because I know from experience. It hurts.
Finally, I like to wrap the spool of wire around the finished product to secure the pieces from the high winds we experience here. Be careful not to bring the wire over any floral pieces, pinning them down.

Once all the pieces are wired and placed in the wreath I add finishing touches like ribbon, etc. I’m going to use some silver wire from a former project and wrap it around the exposed grape vine to add a bit of holiday sparkle:)

Decorating a Christmas Wreath: The final product

And that’s it! Done! Because everything is secured with wire the wreath can be fluffed up, it’s sturdy and redecorating is as simple as snipping a wire and removing! The whole project took just under 2 hours, including stopping to take pictures and fielding a phone call from a telemarketer.
 I hope you enjoyed my tutorial, please comment below what you thought! And if you have any requests for a floral project please let me know:)

If  you enjoyed this post, you may also like:

12 Christmas Traditions From Our Family to Yours

No comments:

Post a Comment