Contemporary Christmas Wreath

The perfect way to greet your guests during the holidays is with a fabulous wreath on the front door. There are a multitude of styles for wreaths, from very traditional to festive and whimsical to ultra-contemporary. In this video Leanne creates a beautiful contemporary Christmas wreath with nothing more than assorted foliages and bits of birch bark. The end result is stunning. You will love the techniques that she shares. Enjoy!

Video Transcription

Welcome to the Flower School .com video library. I'm Leanne Kesler, director of the Floral Design Institute, and today, I want to share with you a contemporary Christmas wreath, perfect for your front door.

The base of the wreath is just a single hoop. They come in different sizes. This is a 14-inch hoop. You can do larger or smaller, depending on what you like. To make it all work, paddle wire, UGLU strips, the classic hot glue gun, and then foliages and birch bark. With the foliages, you want to cut them down. I have a shout-out here to Teacher Michelle because she foraged these for me from her own property, so they have some great varieties.

Look at that, with the little baby cones on there. I cut them down all about the same size, and then some of them have bigger cones on them. Isn't that grand? Again, cutting it down. Then the birch, also cut it down. I have the bark, and then I cut it into various sizes: some squares, some rectangular, some little tiny squares, but a variety of different shapes and sizes that will be perfect to finish off the wreath.

The technique to make this easy is to use a single UGLU strip. Pull off the tab. Pull it off, getting it ready to stretch, and then just placing one end down onto the ring, and then pulling it tightly all the way around as far as you can go, securing it, then going back and stretching out the other end as far as it will go. It's easier if you take your foliages and stack them in small piles so that you have a variety of different things in every cluster, some of each kind. That way, it will coordinate as you work. Oh, I love that cone. Put that in there. The baby cones, little bit in each pile.

Then, starting with one, gather in your hand, lay it together. Decide if you like the way it looks. Maybe, what, one more piece to tuck in there, then laying that right up against where you place the glue, and that way, it won't spin because you've got that glue to help lock it. Using the paddle wire, lash it round and round. Twist those two ends together, and then go on around, securing it directly to the ring. Set it down. Grab another bundle. Again, gather it in your hands. You want each bundle about the same size, adjusting, then overlap so it goes right next to the first one, and then paddle-wiring it in place.

If you've taken Basic and Advanced Floral Design, become a Certified Floral Designer, you recognize this technique from garlanding. You're just doing the garland directly onto the hoop, and again, one more bundle, overlap, and wrap it around.

The goal is to have about two-thirds of the hoop with foliage and one-third left bare, again, thinking back to your flower school, we're using the Fibonacci sequence, just softened down. My last bundle, gather it into my hands, making sure I use the same types of materials so that it all coordinates and matches. This time, shorten it down a little bit. You don't want quite so much stem length, so making it a little bit shorter, then overlapping and wrapping taughtly one more time round and round. Then you can tie it in a knot by just pulling it through on itself, and again, pulling taught, and do that again. You want to make sure it can't fall apart. At that point, I've got the coverage I need, and I'm ready to finish.

To make it easy with the birch, you want to start by gluing some pieces together so that you've got a starting point. Just using your hot glue gun, dab of glue, adding in a piece. Maybe you want another one there, just, again, a little bit of glue. You can see the color variation, texture variation. Maybe another. You want just random groupings, which then will adhere to the hoop.

One more strip of UGLU directly to the hoop makes it easier because everything will adhere so much more completely, pulling it down, then stretching it around. Coming back to meet where you finish with your foliage on the other side. Then starting in with the bark, taking pieces, glue. You're using both hot glue and UGLU to make sure that it sits nicely. Some can go underneath. Others can go on top. That, I did underneath so that I started back to the hoop, and another one that will go underneath. You're sandwiching the hoop between the bark pieces. Back under. I've got one more that I'm going to set underneath. Letting it bond, then coming back with pieces across the top. Little bit of glue. Put glue directly on the hoop. Letting it start to set. Then as you're working, continue to bring it up underneath and up over so that you can seal all your mechanics, and no one can see the magic of how you created this.

Once you have the mechanics hidden, then you can go back and just add more for a little more depth, little more texture, think about where you might want a piece. Tap in a little bit of glue, and then slide it in, giving little more bulk. Maybe another one just layered on top, and again. Every time you add a piece, it changes the look just a tiny bit. Catches the light differently. Even taking it and sliding it in from the side just to make sure that the side mechanics are concealed as well. Then when you're done, you're ready to hang it on the door.

What a fun, contemporary approach to the traditional evergreen wreath. It's perfect for the front door. Thanks, again, to Teacher Michelle for harvesting all the foliages for me. We have more creative inspiration and more Christmas wreaths on the website at Flower School .com. If you have questions, you can reach us through there, or pick up the telephone at 503-223-8089. Now, it's your turn. I'd love to see what you create. Make a wreath, take a photo, post it on social media, and tag Floral Design Institute. That way, we all can see. As you get started, have fun, and do something you love.

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