Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Live Wreath Making

One of my favorite parts of the Christmas holiday is shopping the outdoor nursery in search of my live greenery for the holidays. Wreath making is my favorite.  I guess you can say I have a very dimensional mind as everything I do is in layers.  I think most people see the world pretty flat.  Don't just picture the earth as a flat space but see its sphere.  The earth has dimension through natural landscape, right?  From mountains to trees, the earth has dimension.  When I begin my venture for my wreath, I am imagining how to make it as lush as possible.  I search for different varieties of greenery to layer. I layer and mix my wreaths using pine, spruce, and boxwood. 

Below:  layered from the bottom up, 20" pine, 20" boxwood and a 20" magnolia wreath. Although they are all 20" wreaths, they have different fullness, therefore appearing staggered in size.


Above:  Each layer is bound together tautly by "heavy gauge" floral wire.  On the back, with the wire, a heavy duty hook is made.

Before you decide to take on this project, you really need to be confident that you have a door that can support the weight of this layered wreath. It works for me because I have a wooden door.  I have a thin but sturdy nail placed dead center on the top of the door where it meets the frame (it's pretty permanent as I don't ever remove it ) and has enough clearance to close the door.  If not done properly and carefully, this can crack your door.  I'm a risk-taker when it comes to beauty, but don't say I didn't warn you if it goes bad!  I use the heaviest duty clear fishing tackle I can find to suspend the wreath on the door.  This is normally a two person project, but I'm the kind of person that wants something done and wants it done now, therefore I will do it myself.  I've become a regular ol' pro at doing it myself.  I basically have to thread the fishing tackle through the wire wreath form on the back, get on a ladder, and like a pulley (with gloves on), I begin by wrapping the tackle around the nailhead on the top of the door with the tackle, and start hoisting the wreath up until my large door knocker is center with the wreath opening.  It's not an easy task due to the weight of the wreath.  I often slip and lose my line and the wreath comes crashing down or the tackle slips as I tie the first knot at the base of the nailhead and it no longer is centered with my door knocker.  It's a frustrating task but as I was taught well by my mother,  "beauty is pain."  All things good come with a price and hard work.  If you are looking for a challenge that will be worth it in the end, then this project is for you.  I'm not sure how you would suspend this from a metal door other than a sturdy wreath hanger.
Above:  I start with an (extra large) 20" mixed double faced wreath for the bottom layer.

And the final layer below: Another mixed double-faced wreath.



-With a spray bottle, mist your live wreaths regularly with water to keep them looking fresh and prevent them from drying out.

-A wreath such as this is an elegant statement on its own.  Over embellishing will take away from the beauty, uniqueness and lushness.  Keep it simple with a plain bow or simple elegant touches.

Below:  My front door wreath from last Christmas was adorned with a Tiffany inspired blue bow and a white polka dot ribbon peeking out from behind it.  Elegant snow white birds are placed symmetrically around the perimeter of the wreath.

Below:  The wreath that hung two years ago on our front door


Now get outside in that fresh cool air, with those heavenly scents of nature, and bring them to your front door!

Good Luck,
Jamie Gottschall
The NYClifestylist

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