DIY Evergreen Wreath
This wreath is made with mugo pine branches adorned with little pinecones, but you can make a wreath like this one with any kind of evergreen branches you like (sometimes Christmas tree lots have free or nearly free branches available). The basics are the same. You'll need:
a wire frame (the one used in this wreath is 2' in diameter and is available at craft stores)
about 27 pine branches approximately 12-18" long (less if you are making a smaller wreath, maybe more if you use another kind of evergreen)
pruning shears (for cutting branches into smaller pieces; available at home improvement stores)
green floral wire (available at craft stores)
wire snips (available at home improvement stores)
pliers (if you want to use something other than your hands to twist the wire - available at home improvement stores)
1.5 - 2 hours of your precious time (have fun and don't rush!)
Lay your wire frame on a flat work surface. I like to place my branches around the frame first before I start to wire them in place. This allows me to make sure I have enough branches and see how I want to space them around the frame:
Then lay the branches carefully along the outside of your frame and get your wire ready - it's time to get down to business!
Put down your first branch and wire it into place. I cut off about 6-8" of floral wire and shape it into a U shape. Then I put it around the branch, poke the ends through the frame, and twist it three or four times to close. Pressing the branch into the frame with one hand while you twist the wire with the other increases the tension on the wire and will help lock the branch in place. It's a bit tricky at first, but you'll get the hang of it. ;-)
Continue overlapping your branches and wiring them in place as you go. Try to wire down each consecutive branch over the previous one so that you end up wiring each branch in 2 places for extra stability.
Don't worry about snipping any long wire on the back. I just press it or tuck it into the back of the frame. If you cut it, the short ends may scratch your door when you hang the wreath. Plus it's extra work cutting all those ends, and if you're like me, you don't need unnecessary work taking your time.
Sometimes you may need to wire two or more branches together, either to make a bushier branch or make use of some tinier branches that would be unusable by themselves. Just take a piece of wire, shape it into a U shape, wrap the wire around the branches, and twist to close. Then, use a separate piece of wire to secure the bunch to the frame:
If you have branches with pinecones attached, some may fall off as you work. No need to worry! You can wire them to the branches when you are done. Shape a piece of wire into the U shape, work the wire between the scales at the base of the pinecone, and twist to close:
Pick a branch for your pretty pinecone to perch on and wire it in place. Do the same with any other pinecones that have fallen off, add some ribbon and whimsy to suit, and you are done! Hang your creation and celebrate your accomplishment with a cup of warm cocoa (extra marshmallows, please).