how to make a wreath from scratch

What better way to decorate your home than with a wreath from scratch using plants in your own yard?

This relaxing wreath project also happens to be environmentally friendly and costs almost nothing to make. It’s highly customizable, so you can make your wreath as understated or as flashy as you want.

wreath from scratch

I’m using natural materials throughout my wreath so that it’s easy to compost later. It could also be disassembled and repurposed for other projects.

supplies and materials

The two craft supplies you’ll need for the wreath are twine and some sort of hoop to serve as the foundation. These will make it possible to have a circular, symmetrical wreath.

wreath materials

For my base, I chose to use an old 10-inch embroidery hoop–the part without the hardware–so that my wreath would be fully compostable.

Embroidery hoops are also really easy to find. You could probably find one from a neighbor in your local Buy Nothing Group or at a thrift store.

If you can’t find them in either of those places, embroidery hoops are usually just a couple dollars at the craft store. You can use the outer hoop for a second wreath–just be sure to remove the hardware before composting.

In addition to the hoop, I’ll be using jute twine to hold my wreath together. Twine is a great all-purpose craft supply to have around if you enjoy making natural crafts. I’ve used it to make everything from candle wicks to clotheslines.

branches or vines

branches for wreath

For the bulk of the wreath, you’ll need a bunch of vines or green tree branches with the leaves removed. I’ll give some tips later on for collecting and prepping these.

decorative plants

putting herbs in wreath from scratch

For the decorative green parts of the wreath I’m using fresh thyme. I also collected an assortment of flowers. You can use any herbs, flowers, or other plants you have available.

prepping the plants

The wreaths you see at the store are usually made from grape vines, so if you have any vines available—for example tomato vines—those would be a great choice for a wreath from scratch.

I don’t have any vines, but these green twigs do the job just fine. To get the twigs needed, collect a pile of young green tree branches. These branches tend to sprout out of the bottoms of trees and need to be trimmed regularly anyway.

removing leaves

Separate the smaller branches by pulling them apart from the larger branches. Keep anything that’s longer than about 8 inches, and about the thickness of a pencil or thinner.

The amount of twigs you need depends on the size and thickness of the wreath you’re making. I made a skinny wreath, so I only ended up using about 50. It sounds like a lot, but they added up pretty quickly when I was collecting them.

Next, remove the leaves by putting your hand around the branch and pulling in the opposite direction that the leaves grow in.

flexible twigs

The branches are surprisingly flexible. It’s important to use these pretty soon after picking, because they’ll start getting brittle after a few days.

Now that the branches are ready, it’s time to move on to the decorative foliage and flowers.

flowers

With leafy plants and bigger flowers that visibly wilt, you’ll need to hang them upside down to dry for a few days. If you’re looking for a shortcut, you can bake them on parchment or a silicone sheet in the oven at 275°F for about 10 minutes. Keep a close eye on them to make sure they don’t burn.

Collect some herbs or other trimmings to use as a base layer of green on the wreath. I chose thyme.

Thin, woody plants like herbs and evergreens don’t need to be dried ahead of time. They will add a fresh fragrance and look to the wreath.

constructing the wreath from scratch

It’s time to assemble the wreath. Start with your hoop, branches, and twine.

wreath materials

Cut a few pieces of twine about a foot long. Then take a handful of branches, about a dozen, and tie them to the hoop.

adding twigs

This step is like a rough draft, so it doesn’t need to be pretty.

Securely tie the bundle of branches in a few places, and then add a second bundle to the hoop. Do the same thing as with the first.

You can bend the branches with your hands to test how the wreath will look later, and add branches as needed. Continue doing this around the rest of the hoop until it’s covered and you’re happy with the amount of branches.

wreath from scratch
zero waste wreath

The result of your “rough draft” should look about like this.

securing the base

Next you’ll need one very, very long piece of twine.

adding twigs

Tie it taut around the wreath in one place, then slowly make your way around the circle, tightly wrapping all the branches to the hoop. When you make it back to the beginning, tie it to the tail of the knot where you started.

zero waste craft projects
how to make a wreath

Trim off any branch ends that are sticking out, then carefully clip off all the original knots of twine.

Avoid cutting into the long piece of twine, as this could undo everything.

how to make a wreath

When you’re done, the embroidery hoop will be mostly covered, with the twigs held in place by the twine.

how to make a zero waste wreath

This is a nice look on its own, so you might choose to go ahead and dry your wreath at this stage. But before I set mine out to dry, I added a few more branches to sort of mask the twine and fill out the wreath a little more.

how to make a wreath

To add in extra branches, first anchor one end of each branch underneath the twine. Then bend it and tuck the other end into a different section of twine.

how to make a natural wreath

Work your way around the wreath, adding these extra twigs in here and there to fill it out. Do this on the outer edges, too.

zero waste wreath base

Once the outer layer of twigs is added in, the twine isn’t as noticeable.

hang to dry

Hang your wreath to dry for a few days.

zero waste wreath

You could probably take a shortcut by drying this in the oven like the flowers earlier.

I hung my wreath outside in the sun.

diy wreath from scratch

After four days, it looked like this. The sun darkens the bark really quickly! The color of your wreath will depend on the type of branches you use.

decorating

To decorate my wreath, I’m going to start with a layer of thyme. Since I didn’t dry it before using, the sprigs of thyme are flexible and smell really nice.

how to make a wreath

For all of the decorative plants, only tuck in in one end of each sprig and make sure they all point in the same direction. Like the twigs earlier, go over both the front and the outer edges of the wreath.

Once the green layer is in, add your flowers. I like to start with the smallest flowers first and work my way up. I tend to add things in threes.

zero waste wreath

To hang, tie a small loop of twine, then secure it through two of the pieces of twine at the back of the wreath.

putting loop on wreath

Use this loop to hang your wreath from a nail or hook.

diy zero waste wreath

This is my finished wreath from scratch.

I hope you enjoyed making this project with me today!

If you have extra flowers left over from this project, try making some easy potpourri with it! This project takes just a few minutes and smells oh-so-good.

How have you been bringing nature into your home lately? I would love to hear about it below!

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diy wreath from scratch