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We Asked a DC-Area Plant Store How to Make the Most Festive Holiday Wreaths

The experts at Botanologica in Falls Church share seven tips.

Photo courtesy of Botanologica.

What better way to get in the holiday spirit than by making your own seasonal wreath? We stopped by the Falls Church plant and home decor store Botanologica to ask their wreath gurus for the inside scoop on crafting your own arrangement. And good news: the store will host a wreath workshop December 22, so you can also get some tips in-person, too.  

Step 1: Choose the perfect foundation

Begin by choosing the base of your wreath. While traditionalists may seek out circular grapevines, those going for a good Insta are probably adding gold hoops to their Amazon carts. But you don’t have to feel limited by these two popular options. Try using twigs, a wire frame, or even a photo frame for a distinct shape and texture.

Pro TipJulie Liu, one of Botanologica’s co-owners who leads wreath-making classes, says it is important to keep in mind how you want to structure your wreath when selecting a base.

Step 2: Source your materials

You’ll probably want some greens, but don’t forget ribbons, pine cones, jingle bells, or any other “twinkly bits that give it sparkle,” says Liu. Roam crafting aisles, hit up some wholesale retailers, ping a local farmer, or forage in the great outdoors.

Pro Tip: Sometimes the best materials can be found in your own backyard, says Liu. If you are a gardener or live near a wooded area, collecting your own pieces adds sentimental meaning. 

Photo courtesy of Botanologica.

Step 3: Secure the wire

Secure a piece of wire to the base of your wreath. Wrap it tightly to ensure everything stays in place. Don’t cut your wire—you’ll use one continuous strand to create your entire wreath.

Pro Tip: “You want to keep it pretty tight on your hoop. Take it a couple times around so it isn’t likely to spin, but it’s anchored good,” says Liu.

Step 4: Bundle up

Arrange your greenery, florals, and embellishments into smaller bundles. Decide what you’d like to go where, and start securing the bunches. Secure a select grouping all at once. It’s best to make the bundles about the same size so your wreath looks balanced, says Holly Manon, the shop’s other co-owner. “If your bundles change size, your wreath is going to be a little wonky,” she says. “If you want a traditional [look], then your bundle sizes are important.” Hold your wreath in one hand, and wrap the wire with the other to keep everything in place.

Pro Tip: Because your wreath will lay on a flat surface, the back of the arrangement should be relatively flat, says Liu. Keep this in mind when gathering your bunches.

Step 5: Fix your foliage 

Once your bundles are fixed in place with the wire, it’s time to evaluate your wreath. If something needs extra stability, wrap the wire around its base a few more times or keep flighty pieces in place with glue. Fluff your foliage to hide any visible gaps, or add a few extra pieces in. Snip off the tail of your wire once you’re satisfied.

Pro Tip: Liu prefers using a floral glue for lightweight embellishments, since it works with both fresh and dry materials.

Photo courtesy of Botanologica.

Step 6: Spruce it up 

Now that your wreath is almost done, you can pop in a few statement pieces. Add in holly for a festive feel or a figurine that complements your aesthetic. Secure your select standout pieces with the wire. You can also opt to add bows or hang your masterpiece by a ribbon.

Pro Tip: Liu recommends adding unexpected elements like jingle bells, berries, or citrus fruit pieces. Almost anything can go on a wreath—you don’t have to keep it classic if you’re looking to add flair to your space, she says. 

Step 7: Check it twice 

Before setting down your tools, hang your wreath on the wall and make sure everything’s to your liking. Try hanging it in different directions or add an extra pop of color, if need be.

Pro Tip: Be cautious of being married to one particular way to hang your wreath, say Manon and Liu. You might have imagined the bow being perfectly centered on your piece, but once it’s on the wall, try rotating it. The two agree that a slight shift can totally transform your look.

Botanologica; 817 W. Broad St., Falls Church

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Aly Prouty
Editorial Fellow

Aly Prouty joined Washingtonian in September 2019. Her work has been featured in Taste of Home, Milwaukee Magazine, Girls’ Life, and more. She graduated from Marquette University and lives in Northern Virginia.

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