Making a fresh boxwood Christmas wreath for your home is a fun Christmas DIY activity for the whole family. A simple to assemble wreath that will last the whole Christmas season. Making fresh boxwood wreaths will become a family tradition that you will pass on to your kids and the next generation. Complete step by step tutorial.
If you like to DIY your Christmas Decoration you will love this fun family fresh DIY boxwood wreath tutorial. This year instead of the store-bought plastic wreath, hang outside with your Christmas decoration a beautiful woodsy fragrant boxwood wreath. Made with a moist base the wreath will last all Christmas and still be green and vibrant for New Year’s Day.
Our Family Tradition making Boxwood Wreaths
Every year we make a fresh boxwood wreath for our front door and this year we are making a candy cane shaped boxwood wreath for the front door for the kids’ playhouse. I say we are making as the simple method that we use for making quick wreaths with boxwood is a method my husband learned in his youth.
Jim learned how to make wreaths with boxwood that would last all Christmas season from his neighbor lady who was in the garden club. The garden club in the 1980s wanted to reproduce for their home a traditional Colonial Williamsburg boxwood decoration for Christmas.
The first Christmas was the learning process and then the next year, Jim being an ambitious teen made 6 for his mom, the church and the neighbor ladies. Jim made boxwood wreaths every year after that and when we were married in 1987, we started making them for our house.
The History of a Williamsburg Boxwood Christmas Decorations
Colonial Williamsburg is decorated each Christmas with fresh fruit, and fresh greens. Wreaths, pine roping, and swags decorate every building. Many of the decorations are made with oranges, apples, okra pods, cockscombs, cinnamon sticks, peppers, and cotton bolls.
When you look at the wreaths of Williamsburg they are also decorated with pinecones, nuts, berries, and grapevines. The traditional wreath is round in many different sizes.
Historic Williamsburg was not decorated in full until 1930,s when the co-founder of Colonial Williamsburg, Rector Dr. W.A.R Goodwin started the tradition.
In the 18th century common greens of the area were used, pine, ivy, mistletoe, magnolia leaves, and holly. Boxwood, balsam, and cedar are used in current times decorating 8o buildings in the historic district.
What is Boxwood?
Boxwood is a dense, small leaf, slow growing, evergreen perennial shrub that is used in landscaping as it can be trimmed and shaped. The plant can be used in a very formal English garden or a casual setting. The leaves are attached to stems that can be cut off and trimmed to the size you need for your wreath.
Boxwood has a distinct aroma that if you are unsure if a plant is boxwood rub a few leaves in your hand and you can smell that it is a boxwood plant.
Because of its historic uses boxwood is used today for formal gardens in large estates in the south of the United States. But boxwood was not original to the southern United States but was used as far back as 4000 BC in Egypt. There are many different varieties around the world today at about 70.
How long will a Boxwood Wreath Last?
As with all fresh greens wreaths at some point, a fresh boxwood wreath will dry out you will need to dismantle the wreath for next year. However, as you are making the fresh wreath with wet sphagnum moss as the base will last all Christmas season.
We have made this type of boxwood wreath right after Thanksgiving and they are still fresh in mid January when we take down our decorations. The wreath will stay fresh for 2 to 3 months as the base is the wet moss.
I have seen several wreaths where the sprigs are just tied to a metal frame. This will work but the live sprigs will not have any water to keep them fresh and fragrant.
Leave the wreath as is when you take them down and store. Next year you can remove the dry stems from the frame. The frame then can be reused with the sphagnum moss still wrapped in the green plastic. All you have to do is soak the frame wrapped in the plastic with the sphagnum still on the frame under the wrap in water to refresh the frame.
Now you have last year’s frame filled with the moss and wrapped with the green plastic, next year’s wreath will go even faster.
Can I put a Fresh Boxwood Wreath inside the house?
You can put your fresh boxwood wreath inside, on an inside door or above a mantel. The wreath will not stay fresh as long and will dry out faster because of the dry heat in your home. You can extend the life the wreath by spritzing the boxwood was water. Spritzing every 3 to 4 days will give the leaves water and keep them from drying out.
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- Candy Cane shaped Holiday Wire Wreath Frame 20″ Green
- Green Floral wire 22-gauge
- Long Fibered Sphagnum Moss Gray
- Polyethylene Wreath Wrap 3 Inch
- Fresh Boxwood Stems (your local garden center), Important: store the bottom of the stems in water until time to use.
- Floral U-Pins optional
Step by Step Tutorial
Soak the sphagnum moss. Remove the sphagnum moss from the package and soak in a bucket of warm water. Layout a towel on your work station as this first process will be wet.
Adding the Moss. With the frame laying flat, take a handful of the sphagnum moss squeezing out some of the water but making sure it is totally saturated with water. Lay the moss in the wreath frame. Fill the entire frame with compacted wet moss.
Wrap the frame with the green wreath wrap. Secure the end of the wreath wrap at one part (the end for the candy cane) of the frame and start wrapping the entire frame with the wreath wrap. You can use floral U-pins or tie the end to the frame. Make sure to cover the whole frame and the moss so the moss does not fall out. Secure the wrap at the end of the frame when you have it all covered.
Inserting the boxwood stems. Take a stem of the boxwood out of the water and cut off or break off a sprig. You want this to be about 3 to 4 inches long and make the stem to be a point. (the sprigs do not have to be exactly the same size as you are going to trim your wreath when you are done)
Start at the bottom of the candy cane (or at one point in a round wreath) and insert the sprig at an angle through the plastic into the moss. If you are having difficulty getting the stem through the plastic, you can cut the stem to more of a point or use the tip of a narrow scissor to make a small hole in the plastic.
Continue breaking off sprigs and inserting them at an angle until the entire frame is covered.
Trim the Wreath. Stand back and take a look at your wreath, make sure that the whole frame is covered so you do not see any of the plastic wrappings.
Take good scissors and trim the wreath to a uniform shape. You can leave the wreath untrimmed for a more rustic look but trimming makes the wreath look more professional, and has the wow factor.
Add a hook on the back. On the back of the wreath make a hook out of floral wire to make it easy to hang.
Mini Lights. Before you start to decorate you will want to add lights. The wreath can have its own lights or you can leave the lights off and put a spotlight on the wreath.
Decorate the wreath with Christmas bulbs, plastic fruit or nuts, and a Bow. Use the green floral wire to secure the decorations.
Your beautiful DIY fresh Boxwood wreath is finished. Depending on the size and shape of your frame will depend on how long it will take. We were able to make the candy cane in about an hour, with another 15 minutes for decoration and a bow.
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