How to make a beautiful Christmas twig wreath from tree trimmings

December 11th, 2016
Posted In: Decorations/parties, Garden style & living

A Christmas twig wreath is easy, quick and stylish.

And it’s free, if you use your garden trimmings.

Winter is a good time to prune many trees, shrubs and climbers. So before you dispose of your branches and twigs, give them a starring role in your home decorations by making a Christmas twig wreath.

Make a beautiful twig wreath - quick, easy and free

You can also use this twig wreath base for decoration at other times of the year. It would make a beautiful basis for an Easter wreath.

How to choose the right wood for a twig wreath

Christmas twig wreaths are easy. But it’s not quite as simple as winding any old twigs into a circle and tying them. I asked award-winning floristry teacher, Julie Davies, of Julie Davies Flower Workshops for her tips.

If you find watching better than reading about it, find out more in this ‘How to make a Christmas twig wreath’  YouTube video:

Which twigs make a good wreath?

Firstly, you need to choose the right twigs. We went round the garden to find the right ones.

We considered ivy, but Julie pointed out that the leaves were too big. ‘These big leaves will make the wreath ungainly. Although you could cut the leaves off and just use the stem, because it’s pliable and long.’

However ivy works brilliantly for extra-large wreaths. To make a huge wreath, wind ivy round a child’s hula hoop, then add more decorations. There are more details in this post on the rise and rise of the extra large wreath here.

You can also trail ivy down the centre of a table for a super-quick festive centrepiece. If you’ve left table decorations until the last minute, just nip outside and cut some. There’s more about super-quick table decorations from the garden here.

Next, we looked at our Lawson Cypress. The tips have pretty little cones and are pliable. ‘But there isn’t enough length in the pliable wood to give you one complete circle plus the extra you need to,’ explained Julie.

How to make a twig wreath

From left to right: ivy leaves are too big, privet leaves will die out of water, and the pliable tips of conifer branches aren’t long enough for a wreath.

You need a length of pliable wood or twig that will go round your circle once, plus around a quarter leftover.

Ligustrum (privet) is pliable enough, but the leaves will die quickly out of water. ‘Better for Christmas flower arranging,’ says Julie.

Our pergola has a mess of clematis, honeysuckle and akebia quinata climbers. ‘These would work well,’ advised Julie. And we need to cut it back anyway.

Silver birch is a winner for a Christmas twig wreath

Best of all for a twig wreath – silver birch. You don’t necessarily have to prune the silver birch either. After a strong wind, there are often useful twigs and branches on the ground.

However, if you do want to prune your silver birch, it’s best to prune it before Christmas. The sap starts to rise very early in spring, so it’s good to prune it before that happens.

What equipment do you need?

You only need secateurs (otherwise known as pruning shears), scissors and some twine. Julie uses a bindwire, which looks like raffia but holds like freezer twine, such as Oasis Bindwire.

(There are some affiliate links in this post, which means you can click on the highlighted words to buy. If you do, I may get a small fee, but it doesn’t affect the price you pay.)

Kit for making a Christmas twig wreath

All you need is scissors and secateurs, plus florists’ binding twine.

How to make the Christmas twig wreath

Gather together 4-5 lengths of twig or wood, with all the cut ends together. It feels a bit like making a witch’s broom.

Step-by-step twig wreath

Gather together several lengths of twig, keeping the cut ends together.

Holding the bunch near the cut ends, bend it round in a circle. Leave around one quarter of the bunch of twigs poking out at the end of the circle.

Step 2 - make a twig wreath

Make a circle with the twigs, with around a quarter of their length poking out from the top.

Step 3 - making a twig wreath

Holding the wreath firmly where the circle joins up, put your other hand through the wreath, take hold of the surplus twigs and draw them through, winding them around the wreath.

Keep repeating the process until the Christmas twig wreath is the size you want it. The wreath is held together by the bunches of twigs wound in around it, but you can also tie it with twine if you like.

Poke stray ends to neaten it – or leave them free and wild. If the wreath isn’t quite circular, you can work it into shape.

Add decorations or leave it simple?

You can add decorations, lights, greenery or flowers – or leave it beautifully simple. If you want to add lights, you can conceal the battery underneath a ribbon.

There are lots of small and pretty battery light sets available now – I’ve used these Lights4Fun Micro Warm Lights to wind wound wreaths or put into jars.

How to make a twig wreath

The twig wreath without decorations, hung simply on the door. I rather love it plain, too!

More Christmas decorations with twigs and garden clippings:

Julie Davies has also created some super-easy and very stylish jam jar Christmas decorations, using just twigs, dried seedheads, jam jars and rubber bands.

It’s really very easy. Use glue or rubber bands to tie twigs or evergreen leaves to the outside of jam jars. Then cover up the rubber bands or glue with a pretty garden twine or natural straw ribbon. There are more details here in Jam Jar Christmas decorations.

Jam jar Christmas lights

These jam jar decorations are perfect for night lights or battery operated fairy lights.

How to make a giant wreath on a tiny budget

Super-sized wreaths have become fashionable. They look stunning hanging on a wall, over a mantelpiece or even on the outside of a house. But they’re expensive to buy. Find out how to make a giant wreath without blowing your budget here or see it on video here.

Giant DIY wreath

Hang this giant wreath on a wall – inside or outside your house!

A wreath made with a coat hanger and garden clippings

Julie has also been working with the delightful new online magazine Faversham Life, where she shows you how to make a wreath from a coat hanger and garden clippings. Like our Christmas twig wreath, it’s so pretty and delicate, but you can give it a good shake and it won’t fall apart.

Wreath with coat hanger and garden clippings

See how to make this pretty wreath from garden clippings on Faversham Life. Photo by Lisa Valder.

Or a wreath from dried leaves from your garden trees

You can also use dried tree leaves to make a wreath. Look at author and garden writer Francine Raymond’s blog to find out her tips for ‘bringing the outside in’ at this time of year. She made this gorgeous wreath out of leaves from her garden.

Dried leaf wreath

The leaves for this wreath came from Francine’s garden trees.

She dried them flat and glued them onto a florist’s wire wreath ring.

Home-made Australian wreath

And now a wreath made from garden trimmings in Australia. A friend sent me this photo – the frame of the wreath is made with rhodendron trimmings twisted in with dead cordyline leaves. She then wired variegated holly into it, and added baubles. You can tell it’s from Australia because the berries are white!

More Christmas inspiration

If you love seeing lights and decorations in the garden when you look out of the window, but are worried about the effect on wildlife, read this about Wildlife-friendly Christmas decorations for the garden.

And Zero-waste Christmas decorations is a round-up of my eco-friendly Christmas decorating posts.

And one way of revitalising your box of Christmas decorations is to have a different theme every Christmas. You could pick out an unusual colour – a pink Christmas can be just as vibrant as red.

If you looking for Christmas gifts for gardeners and garden lovers, this post has recommendations from a range of top garden influencers and bloggers.

Pin to remember Christmas twig wreath how-to

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4 comments on "How to make a beautiful Christmas twig wreath from tree trimmings"

  1. Kristen says:

    Thanks Alexandra,
    I would suggest, if you share some tips to related to gardening and decorations. It will be helpful.

  2. Kristen says:

    Hey Alexandra,
    Just wanted To reach out to say “thanks” for all the stuff you have been publishing lately at your blog.Don’t you think if we paint the twigs, it will appeal more?
    Keep up the awesome work :)

    1. Painting the twigs sounds a great idea! Thank you for your comments.

  3. It was such fun working with you on this blog post Alexandra.

    I thought your readers might like to know that I’m running a winter giveaway over on my Facebook page. All you need to do is post a photo of your door wreath in the comments below the pinned video (or scroll down to 4 December) and I’ll pick a winner at random on 21 December. The prize is a place on my 4-week online flower arranging class – a great gift for Christmas (or to treat yourself with in the New Year). This giveaway is valued at £99. There is no cash alternative.

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