Handmade holidays with family: wreaths!

The past weeks have been a whirlwind. Arriving in the US in time for Thanksgiving means we jumped head-first into holiday gatherings with family and friends, though I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I’ve been treated to a birthday dinner with a gigantic chocolate and peanut butter cake, a holiday play at my nephew’s elementary school, apartment-hunting in New York followed by lambrusco dinner parties, welcome-back cocktails, and brunches with friends, and even a quick trip to DC that resulted in a snowstorm and an extra 4 hours on a bus in New Jersey but because I had my knitting, I didn’t even mind.

Recently my family started a holiday tradition of getting together for an annual wreath-making party, and I was excited to join them. With metal frames from old store-bought wreaths now reused every year, we wired-in fresh greens from the yard. I was encouraged to just go for it — freeform wreaths! No rules DIY is my kind of DIY.

Look at that gigantic pinecone!handmade holiday wreathsWe snipped small bits of juniper, evergreen, holly and magnolia and wired them into clumps, wired them to our frames, and filled in as needed. Sometimes we put a bird on it.

My first attempt! A juniper wreath Attempt #2, a magnolia wreath with hollyhandmade holiday wreathhandmade juniper wreathhandmade holidays! by Saké PuppetsMy wreaths look a little more wild and haphazard than the pros, who have been doing this for a few years now. But they were really easy and fun to make, and the room smelled amazing. And, they cost us nothing!

What are you making for the holidays? I might graduate next to a swag, or maybe even a garland — it’s a handmade holiday party in here!

15 thoughts on “Handmade holidays with family: wreaths!

  1. These are really lovely. My favorite still is the one you made in elememtary school out of plastic bags and spray paint. I still hang it every year.

  2. I think the last one looked the best. The greens on that red door with the holly accent. Incredible. It is awesome you were able to find all that in your yard (except the cardinal or course, at least I hope that was fake).

  3. What a lovely way to start the festive season! I know from experience having done this myself with a German girlfriend for an Advent wreath which had four candles placed on the table that the wreaths smell beautiful! Hope you are settling down in your new city and wish you a Merry Christmas with your family Ang.
    Should I get to the Tokyo Quilt Fair in January, may I ask what was the name and address of your little local craft shop in Tokyo?

    • Hi Karen! I’ll try to send you a note before the fair, but you can also check out my favorite shops at tokyocraftguide.com. We have free content listed on the blog, as well as a PDF guide. Have fun!

  4. What a lovely tradition you have! And the results are beautiful.
    I’m afraid we don’t have this kind of tradition in my family but I always try to make myself a new decoration for my Xmas tree each year… This year I’m planning to make a “Totoro” themed decoration… :-D

  5. Being Jewish and of a crafty mind, 35 or so years ago I made 5 wooden-toy-encrusted menorahs and a Chanukah wreath (the first of its kind?). This year I freshened up the wreath using vintage wrapping paper from my NY friend and decorative flowers. Maybe I can share a photo. I will have to figure that out!

  6. Beautiful wreaths – a true endorsement of the old adage – less is more! Those at my local garden centre are truly ‘overdone’ and I draw the line at paying for a wreath then undressing it!

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