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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Homemade Holiday Wreaths

Homemade Holiday Wreaths

Wreaths have been a time-honored decoration ever since the days of the ancient Greeks and Romans. A traditional symbol of victory, celebration, remembrance, and the strength and eternity of life, today the wreath has become a familiar symbol of the holiday season.

Creating wreaths from scratch, as opposed to buying ready-made ones from the store, is a fun activity for the whole family and doesn’t require a lot of time or money. They can be made from many different materials — including non-traditional one like newspapers, plastic bottles and tissue paper — and can be a beautiful addition to the home for occasions beyond the winter holidays.

The traditional evergreen wreath is the most popular and well-known style during the holiday season. This wreath can be made using a styrofoam or soft straw ring base and is very kid-friendly to make.

Materials you will need for this wreath are:

- A Styrofoam or straw ring of any size you like (it is a good idea to scope out the place you are going to hang the wreath to decide how big you want it, 18″ is pretty standard)

- Medium gauge wire to hang the wreath

- Wire cutters

- Wire cutters

- Floral greening pins (pins traditionally used by florists often for their flower arrangments)

- Enough hardy greenery to create a full, lush wreath such as spruce, pine, holly, cedar, or hemlock — collecting the greenery is a great activity to do with kids on a sunny autumn or warm winter day

- Extra decorations, such as pinecones, ribbon, beads, gold cord, bows

Except for the materials you can collect for free from your backyard, the woods, or your neighborhood park, all of these materials can be purchased inexpensively at your local craft, floral supply, or discount store.

Prepare your materials and find a clear space to assemble your wreath, such as a kitchen table or even the living room floor. Decide which side of the ring is going to be the top and attach a piece of wire for hanging. Test it by hanging it in a spot you like to make sure it is at eye level. Next, cut or break the greenery into pieces 4 to 6 inches long (6-10 inches if the wreath is particularly large). Arrange the pieces into clusters and attach these clusters to the wreath foundation with the greening pins, making sure to cover the entire ring. As you move along the ring try to cover the greening pins with the new clusters you pin on. When enough greenery has been attached to create a full, rounded wreath, decorate your wreath with ribbon, beads or gold cord by wrapping it around the ring. Pin the pinecones in place with the greening pins If attaching a bow, fasten it the bottom of the wreath with another pin. Hang and enjoy!

Note: This wreath can also be made using a simple wire ring that has been purchased or made using an old coat hanger. Fasten the greenery around the ring using a spool of wire, taking care to wrap the wire around each cluster until the ring can no longer be seen. Fasten decorations to the ring with the wire as well.

Happy holidays!

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.