Check out how to make outdoor wreath decorations with this comprehensive guide. If you’ve ever wanted to make your own wreaths, this guide can help you get started. It includes all the basics, from how to select your supplies, to how to hang your décor when you’re done.
For more information, be sure to check out our other guides:
If you’re interested in this type of DIY project, here’s where to start:
Every wreath is made of two basic components: the frame, or form, and the plants. From there, you can add embellishments like bows and additional decorations.
In order to make a wreath, you’ll have to select these components first.
There are three main types of frames or bases that you can use: foam, twig, and wire.
For anything that’s exposed to the elements, wire is your best bet. Foam tends to be too delicate, and twigs can potentially develop mold or mildew if they get too much moisture.
You can absolutely use the other two options, just keep in mind that they won’t be as durable.
Don’t put them in a place where they’re directly exposed to sunlight or the elements. (For example, a doorway with a covered porch would be a good option.) And in the case of extreme weather, be sure to take them inside.
Foliage and Flowers
In order to have a durable option, you want to stick to artificial flowers and foliage. Dried options are great for indoors, but certain blooms and foliage are too delicate to be used outside.
However, there are dried items like branches, lotus pods, pine cones, and wheat heads that can be used outside. Just keep in mind that they’re still a bit delicate, and won’t do well if they face constant exposure to moisture.
Another functional issue to consider is how you’ll be using the plants later. When shopping, select options that have long stems. This makes the wreath-making process much simpler.
Basic Wreath Making Technique
Once you’ve got your base and other supplies together, you’ll need to start making the decoration.
Luckily, there’s really no wrong way to attach items to your frame. As long as it’s secure and looks good, it’s fine.
But there are, however, a few preferred techniques.
The main way to attach foliage and flowers to a wire frame with through the bundle method. However, before you get into that, consider what your crafting level is first.
There are plenty of ways to make the process easier. If you’re not that confident, try out some different options first, before fully making a wreath.
Adapting to Your Crafting Level
For beginners, you may not want to start with an empty frame. Rather, get a frame that already has foliage.
With these, you can simply attach your flowers and embellishments of choice. You don’t have to worry about building a wreath from the frame up.
Another option is to use something like the hot glue method, mentioned in more detail below. Hot glue may not be as durable for outside decorations. It is, however, much easier to use.
You can also do something like a fabric wreath, or another option that doesn’t require foliage. And they still make perfect outdoor decorations.
But if you’re ready to go the traditional route, continue reading for our guide on the traditional method:
In order to use the traditional method, you’ll need to start by making sure you have wire cutters and high gauge floral wire. You’ll want the wire to be high gauge so that it’s easy to manipulate. (A higher gauge corresponds to thinner metal.)
If you’re a visual learner, check out this great tutorial:
For anyone who prefers written instruction, here are the basic steps:
Step 1: Create Your Bundle
Start by creating a bundle of foliage and flowers. You want one that’s going to cover the width of your frame, and contains whatever plants you want to be visible.
To do this, cut your plants free from their bunches. (Try to leave the stems as long as possible if you can.) From there, lay them out in a pile, starting with the foliage on the bottom. This bottom layer should be your largest, in terms of width.
Layer more foliage and blooms on top, until you get one that’s full and looks good.
While layering it, everything should remain within the largest, bottom-most layer of foliage. You don’t want something that sits taller or wider than that bottom layer. Keep everything contained within.
Gather the bundle in your hand, pinching it towards the bottom just under where the foliage ends. Make any last-minute adjustments to ensure that the plants are in the general place you want them.
From here, you can wrap them together for extra hold. Just take a bit of wire and wrap it a few times around all the stems. (Place the wire just below where the foliage starts.)
Afterwards, tie the wire off, and cut it.
(This is an optional step. If you can hold the bundle together easily, move on to the next step.)
Step 2: Attach Your Bundle
When you have your bundle looking the way you want it, it’s time to attach it to the frame. The best way to attach it is with thin gauge floral wire, although you can also use string. (It just won’t be as durable.)
Floral wire comes in two basic styles: spool and pre-cut pieces. How you attach your bundle will depend on the style you purchase.
If you have spool wire:
Tie the spool wire to the middle of the frame, in the back. Unspool about three inches of the wire. Lay the bundle over the middle two rings on the wreath frame.
Wrap the spool of wire around the bundle. You’ll want to start the wire just above where the foliage ends, and wrap it a few times tightly, moving downwards. Don’t move too far down the stems, since you’ll want to trim those.
If possible, try to pass through the inside of the frame, to attach the foliage to the two middle rings. If not, you can go through to the outside rings on the frame. However, this isn’t as secure, and the wires may also be more visible.
When you are done, do not cut the wire! You can use the same method, moving down the wreath, and then just cut the wire at the end, to tie it off. You can certainly cut the wire if you want to restart with each bundle. However, it’s easier to keep spooling it along as you.
If you have pre-cut wire:
Pre-cut wire is easy to handle. Just wrap it around the bundle and secure it to the frame. Do this along the length of the stems, but don’t go too far down as you’ll want to trim the excess length.
Try to work within the center two rings, so that no wires are showing at the sides.
Step 3: Cut the Stems
Fluff the bundle and lift it, testing to make sure all the parts are secure. At this point, make your final adjustments to the flowers and foliage.
If anything falls out, you can attach it with a separate wire, or try to place it in a more secure spot within the bundle.
Don’t forget that everything has wire stems. This means you can rotate them or fan them out as you please. Just make sure you’re not pulling too hard on the wire that’s attaching it to the frame.
When you have everything where you want it, trim up any stems that are too long. Don’t cut too close to the wires securing it to the frame, or else the stems may fall out. Keep at least a quarter inch past the last bit of wire.
Step 4: Repeat
Repeat this process, layering one bundle over the other until the frame is covered. If you are using spool wire, secure the wire to the frame once the last bundle is attached.
Hot glue is another popular option for attaching items. Unfortunately, hot glue can be tricky to use with wire frames. It’s also not ideal to hang outdoors.
But it easy and quick, and it’s also a simple way to attach embellishments. If you’re after a quick project that doesn’t need to be super durable, it’s still a good option.
If you are going to use hot glue, it’s best to use it for all floral wreaths. For these, just cut the stems as close to the blooms or buds as possible. Then hot glue them onto the wire frame.
Keep in mind that you’ll need a lot of blooms, even if you’re using larger ones, so shop accordingly.
Here’s a great tutorial for this particular method:
Once you have your wreath arranged, it’s time to attach embellishments.
Embellishments are just any additional decorations you want to add on top of the flowers and foliage. You don’t have to use them, but they are a fun way to dress up a base.
Some cute, general options for outside include the following:
- Welcome signs
- Metal Decorations
- Natural items, like lotus pods, birch branches, and wheat heads.
There are also a ton of seasonal and holiday decorations you can choose from.
For more information on embellishments, check out our guide listed at the top of the page.
After you’re done making your wreath, it’s time to display it!
When it comes time to hang decorations, there are a lot of different factors that you’ll need to consider.
The first factor is what surface you’ll be hanging on.
There are actually quite a few ways to hang decorations on doors. If this is you plan, check out our comprehensive guide. It will help you sort out all of your options, and choose the right one for you.
Windows and Patio Doors
For windows and glass surfaces, you’ll need to know how to hang large wreath on outside window.
The main difficulty with these surfaces is that they’re perfectly smooth, and easily susceptible to damage. You want something secure, that can also protect the surface.
To that end, options like command hooks are best. They make hooks that are specifically for this purpose, meaning they can adhere to glass, and withstand the elements.
Brick Home Exteriors
The issue with common home exteriors is that their surface isn’t uniform. This is especially true for things like brick and stucco.
As such, you can’t really use adhesive. Instead, you’ll have to create your own anchor point.
This makes how to hang wreaths on brick a tricky question.
You have two main options: nails and brick clips.
The great thing about nails is their durability. They’re tough, secure, and chances are, you’ll be able to use them season after season, without having the replace them.
Unfortunately, it’s a delicate process to install a nail in brick.
Keep in mind that, for brick, you don’t want to drill or hammer directly into the bricks themselves. This can damage the integrity of the brick, leading to crumbling and cracking. Instead, aim for the area between the bricks, known as masonry.
Chances are, you’ll need special nails and drill bits designed for masonry as well. If you do plan on hanging something in brick, it’s best to check out a trusted guide before you start. This will help you understand the process so that you can do it right.
The easier option is to use brick clips.
These clips attach directly to the brick, and have a little hook that allows you to hang things. They’re easy to install, and they’re also easy to remove. This means you can easily adjust placement while you’re decorating. You can even remove them when your decorations aren’t in use.
Unfortunately, with brick clips, you need to have recessed mortar. This means that some of the brick is exposed, and doesn’t sit flush with the masonry. If this isn’t the case in your home, nails may be a better option.
Siding Home Exteriors
With this type of exterior, you need to know how to hang a wreath on siding without creating holes.
Thankfully, they make products specifically for that purpose. You can purchase vinyl siding hooks online, or in most home improvement stores.
These hooks secure things by resting in-between two sections of siding. This allows them to leave no damage, and keeps them fairly hidden. They’re also very easy to install.
Another option is to try command hooks. Most siding is relatively smooth so it should stick fine. The issue is that, since siding tends to flare outward, your decoration will flare outward as well.
Again, you’re better off using the hook that’s designed for this specific purpose.
General Hanging Tips
When using hooks or nails, you may find that your wreath is too large to be secured. For cases like this, use string or ribbon to create a loop at the top of the wreath. Then, you can hang the loop on the hook, instead of trying to rest the entire frame on it.
Don’t forget that you can also double up on hooks or nails. For really heavy decorations, dividing the weight across more than one anchor point will ensure it stays secure.
Designing Your Own Decor
Once you understand the fundamentals, making your own wreaths can be a surprisingly easy process. It’s an easy project to adapt to just about any crafting level as well. If making a traditional wreath is too difficult, try out some other options instead.
And then, once you’ve mastered it, you can make just about anything you want.
Learning how to make an outdoor wreath is just the beginning, so give it a shot today!