From show-stopping festive door wreaths to more subtle half-decorated vine wreaths, these easy-to-make decorations have never been more popular. Once seen exclusively as a decoration for festive doors, wreaths can be made from seasonal foliage and changed throughout the year.
The first wreaths date back to ancient Greece and Rome, where laurel wreaths were used to crown the winners of the early Olympic games. Harvest wreaths originated in ancient Europe and were associated with spiritual beliefs, often hung on doors throughout the year.
If you fancy making an autumn wreath for your home, read on to find out how. It’s much easier than you might think!
How to make an autumn wreath step by step
To make a traditional wreath you’ll need the following:
- A wire wreath ring
- Florist’s wire
- Sharp scissors and/or secateurs
- Leaves, flowers and ribbon of your choice
Step 1 – fill your wreath ring with moss
I used a 12-inch wreath ring as I wanted to make quite a large autumn wreath with sizeable foliage but you can choose whatever size you prefer. The first step is to pack the wire wreath ring with moss. You can use dry sphagnum moss or fresh moss from the garden. Fresh moss is messier and you’ll have a few creepy crawlies to contend with but it works just as well.
A wire wreath is a great choice if you’re using fresh foliage as it won’t rot and you can use it again and again. It’s also easy to attach the wire to it.
Fill one side of the ring with moss, using your wire to secure it in place. Add the moss in sections and cut shorter lengths of wire so you don’t get tangled up. Whilst you are tying in the moss, add a wire loop so that you can hang the wreath up.
Continue until the whole ring is covered with moss and looks like the wreath pictured below. The moss helps to give the wreath a good shape and holds moisture, keeping the foliage looking fresher for longer.
Step 2 – Create bunches of foliage
I’ve chosen fir (foraged from the Christmas tree farm) and lavender from the garden. Cut 4 to 5 lengths of foliage around 6-7 inches long and tie them together into a bunch with wire. You’ll need at least 10 bunches to make a really full wreath. Don’t worry if there aren’t enough, you can easily make more as you go.
Tip – Try to choose evergreen foliage for the base of your wreath as it will last for weeks. Conifer, fir, eucalyptus, rosemary, holly and ivy are good foliage for wreaths
Step 3 – Attach foliage bunches to the wreath
Cut a length of wire approximately 30cm long and thread it through the moss wreath. Place the first foliage bunch on the wreath as pictured and tie securely in place, twisting the wire as you go. Make sure any sharp ends are folded in and not sticking out at the back of the wreath where they could scratch the door or wall.
Add the next bunch on top, covering the end of the first bunch. It should overlap this bunch by around a third. Keep going around the wreath until you’ve completely covered the moss.
Stick the end of the last bunch under the tips of the first to hide the wire. It’s a bit fiddly but you don’t want to see any wire if possible. Once finished, it should look like the below. Trim any straggly ends to tidy it up.
Step 4 – Add extra foliage or dried flowers
You may decide you’re happy with your wreath as it is, but if you’d like to add more, try inserting dried flower seed heads like poppy and honesty, feathers, cinnamon sticks, teasels and pine cones. You can wrap the wire around the ends and insert them through the wreath.
Tip – Insert your seed heads or pinecones in the direction of the wreath instead of sticking the stems straight through, this way they’ll stay in place much better.
Step 5 – Add a ribbon
Not all wreaths need ribbon but it can finish off your design and add extra sparkle!
How to make a natural autumn wreath
If you’d like to make an autumn wreath with leaves, follow the steps above and once your wreath ring is covered with moss, create bunches of beautifully coloured large leaves such as maple, sycamore and Virginia creeper, pinecones and bunches of autumnal berries.
You could also use willow stems for your wreath ring, bending them into a circle and securing the ends with wire.
Tip – Try inserting branches of bright dogwood and stems of honesty seed pods for added interest.
How to make a half autumn wreath
Super stylish half wreaths are bang on-trend, easy to make and look incredible. To make one, you’ll need the following:
- Wicker or metal ring wreath
- Flowers or foliage of your choice, fresh or dried
- Ribbon for hanging
A wicker wreath is a perfect base for a half wreath as it looks attractive, is sturdy and it’s really easy to thread wire through it when securing your chosen flowers or foliage.
Start by selecting the flowers you wish to add and make them into small bunches.
Place the bunches along the wreath, following the direction of the circle. When you get to the last bunch, turn it around so that the wire is hidden under the previous bunch, this way you shouldn’t see any of the wire that’s securing the bunches together. If your foliage has a central focal point, you can attach the bunches on either side of this in opposite directions.
Dried flowers that work well in autumn wreaths include bunny tails, lavender, salvia, pampas, craspedia and eucalyptus. You can buy bunches of dried flowers specifically for crafts from places like Etsy and online flower shops that specialise in dried flowers. Choose natural hues or go for something completely different with rainbow coloured flowers.
Tip – To make your own dried flowers, forage for salvia, ears of wheat, yarrow, sea holly and grass flowers, hang them upside down and leave them to dry for 2-3 weeks.
How to make an autumn ribbon wreath
Popular in America, ribbon wreaths are a great way to add seasonal colour to your home and they’re really easy to make.
To make your own ribbon wreath you’ll need:
- Craft foam wreath
- Ribbon in different widths, colours and textures
Step 1 – Paint the wreath
This is optional, but it’s a good idea to paint the wreath before you start, especially if it’s a white or green foam wreath.
Step 2 – Add the ribbons
You’ll need around 50 lengths of ribbon for an 8-inch wreath. Each ribbon length should be around 10 inches long if you’re tying knots or slightly longer for bows.
Simply tie the ribbons around the wreath and finish in a double knot or bow. Keep going until the wreath is fully covered. Choose contrasting textures like satin, cotton and sheer or glitter ribbons and use as many or as few colours as you like. Think orange, black and white for a Halloween theme or red, gold and orange for an autumnal palette.
Step 3 – Trim and tidy
Once all the ribbons are tied in place, it may look a little messy, grab your scissors and tidy up any uneven ends, so that the ribbons are roughly all the same size.
Step 4 – Add decorations
You can embellish your ribbon wreath with buttons, leaves, feathers, pinecones or anything else that takes your fancy.
How can I make a budget autumn wreath?
Wreaths needn’t be expensive to make, the wreath I made above cost less than £10. Wreath rings aren’t costly and if you can get hold of willow twigs, you could even make your own.
Forage for foliage; evergreen conifer and laurel hedges are perfect for wreaths and your local Christmas tree farm or garden centre will be more than happy to let you have the offcut branches from trees.
You might also like: 14 autumn wreath ideas to beautify your door