Sussex County, New Jersey. We lived at
around 1,200 feet above sea level, so early winter snows where the norm. The area where northern New Jersey borders Pine
Island, New York was one of black-dirt farms, quaint country restaurants,
perpetual garage sales, and vegetable stands.
myself trudging through the forest, pruning clippers in hand. Purely on a whim, I had decided to make a
wreath for our front door. I would do so again next year. And the next year. And the next. I think you get where I’m going here.
Make sure you check out the shopping list at the bottom of the post to help you find all the proper tools and items that I used to make the Christmas wreath.
pine, you’re also dealing with shedding needles and small amounts of tar.
Homemade Christmas Wreath
Step 1. Gather the
Folding Table with Drop Cloth Covering.
the lopper and shears, prune 10 – 15 branches 18” – 36” in length.
the branches to the table and assemble them on the floor
has an abundance of fir trees of varying species running on the property
For better or worse, they are
never pruned on our side. That’s where I
proceed with extreme caution and be aware of the laws in your area. Many states and local municipalities have
strict laws with respect to harvesting from public lands. The best source for harvesting is one that
which you have explicit permission.
Step 3. Assembly
with the natural curve of the branches.
You can help it along by bending and holding them for a minute. Fir branches are pretty pliable, just don’t
the “base.” Snip off an arms length of
craft wire and wind it for 6-8 turns near the front of the branch 3”-6” from
the end. Lay the next branch so that
they overlap somewhat. How much overlap
will depend on the thickness and pliability of the branches. Lash them together with the rest of the
wire. How many branches you will need
depend on just how large of a wreath you want.
The one I made this year for the shed took three for the first
the base down on the drop cloth covered table.
Now lay down two more layers of branches. Anchor the one end of the wire spool around
one branch one the base, and start winding it around the circle. The wire should be firm enough to hold all
the branches together but not so tight that it cuts into the wood.
should have a nice firm circle of branches.
Now take smaller branches to fill in the parts where it may be a little
bare. Continue to fill in until the
desired “fullness,” is reached, hiding as much of the wire as is
Step 4. Display
doubled-up length of craft wire is strong enough to suspend this particular
wreath from a galvanized nail resting in the stud of the shed frame.
modest red bow and a string of white lights gives this traditional Holiday
decoration an understated feel.
electrical wire is snipped off about 6” from the plug and then threaded through
a small 3/8” hole drilled into the shed wall.
The wreath is hanging just low enough to hide the entry port of the
wire. On the other side, 2 strips of
electrical tape re-attach the wire to the plug, which is then inserted into the
outlet through a timer. Digital and
analog timers work equally well.