Oh what an afternoon! Another FIRST in the books!!! I hosted a wreath making party inspired by my dear friend Tania @thebendflowercompany who hosted one in her new space in Bend, OR last year and said it was a total blast!
We laughed, we learned and we all left with the most beautiful wreaths to display for the holidays. (Well…WE meaning my guests! I was too busy helping and demonstrating to make one for myself. 😊. Next time!)
One thing I learned: you need LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS OF GREENERY!!!! Have you ever purchased a fresh greens wreath from a cub scout or Costco or the local grocery store? They are super HEAVY! A lot heavier than you would think. Approximately 5lbs. each, y’all! So when you are purchasing branches by the 10lb. bundle, you need yourself an SUV to call that cargo home.
I purchased the following:
- 3 Douglas Fir bundles
- 1 cedar bundle (i wish i purchased 2)
- 1 pine bundle
- 2 seeded eucalyptus (looove these!)
- 1 silver dollar eucalyptus
- 1 box of variegated holly (i needed about 1/4 of the box)
I also grabbed a bunch of branches/scraps from the tree farm the weekend we chopped down our tree. (Which I am soooo happy we did, cuz needed it).
TIP: trim off the bottom branches of your own tree to use for making your own fresh wreath!
To accessorize the wreaths–‘cuz us girls love our accessories–I had purchased plastic berry bunches, scavenged fresh pinecones from Sunriver, bought curly willow branches, and acquired lots of spools of ribbon to choose from, most of which I gathered from trips to Homegoods or Joann Fabrics.
Where do you get the tools you need to host a wreath making party? When in doubt, shop the internet. Before Thanksgiving weekend and the craziness of black Friday, I was able to get most, if not all of my supplies from Amazon & Michael’s, online & in-store.
- 18″ wreath forms (wire frames from Michael’s)
- green flower wire on sticks (Michael’s in store)
- pruning sheers (1 per person-some Michael’s, some Amazon)
And that’s it! That’s everything you need to get started!
The night before the party, I set up 2, 7′ tables in my kitchen/breakfast nook. One was a piece of 4’x7′ piece of plywood on top of our kitchen table. The other was our outdoor wooden picnic table we brought in from the back porch. I covered those puppies in craft paper and BAM! We’ve got ourselves some work stations!
On the back porch, I separated the varieties of greenery into big plastic storage bins. I kept the eucalyptus in vases of water to keep them as fresh as possible (although they dry so nicely).
At each table there were 6 stations. At each station, I placed 1, 18″ wreath form, 1 spool of wire, and pruning sheers. The accessories were on a nearby side table and all the greenery was just outside the back door in the bins.
After everyone arrived and enjoyed the signature cocktail, we all gathered in the kitchen at the work stations. Once everyone chose their station, I demonstrated how to trim a douglas fir branch to maximize the usable stems.
I next suggested and demonstrated how to make bundles of greenery, starting with the chunky Doug fir, on bottom, a thinner Doug fir on top, then a third layer of a decorative greenery (eucalyptus, or needle pine, or cedar).
To get started, I had the ladies take their flower wire and attach it to the outside edge of the wreath frame. Simply loop the end around the outside of the frame and twist the wire onto itself to secure. This is your starting point. Next, you start trimming pieces of greenery like I demonstrated, and start to make your first 3 layer bundle.
Once you have your first bundle, place it on the wreath frame next to where you attached your flower wire and start wrapping the wire around the bottom third of the greenery bundle multiple times, securing it to the wreath frame. Cut more greens and repeat with another bundle of 3, placing that bundle OVER the bottom part of the first bundle, to cover up the wired part. Repeat all the way around your wreath till you completely cover your wreath frame.
Once you have your greenery in place, you then head to the accessories table to decide what is going to make your wreath sing?!!! Will it be berry clusters? Will it be the pinecones collected on your last trip to central Oregon? Or are you gonna keep it simple and just add a beautiful bow to adorn your already beautiful, green wreath?
Once you add those details, that puppy is ready to be hung on your front door! Outside, the wreath should last the month if not longer. Inside, your wreath will last a few weeks, if kept away from heat sources and spritzed with water every 2-3 days.
I truly had the best turnout, the best wreaths and the best feeling in my heart after the party. So much so, that I think we might do TWO next year! If you are interested, send me a note (firstname.lastname@example.org) ! I’m taking names for the first invites to go out next year!
Other Party Details
We can’t forget the best part: the food! Actually, this was one of the first parties where the food was really just a “sidenote”.
The guests were greeted with a Cranberry Ginger Cocktail (the party favor was a single bottle ginger beer with the recipe attached). The homemade simple syrup + vodka, juices and ginger beer over rocks was a huge hit! Served in a punch bowl with floating fresh cranberries and sliced limes looked so festive. Plus, having it pre-made in a punch bowl made it so those that wanted seconds would be free to do so at their leisure. It’s the perfect drink for a party!
The food spread was on the buffet table in the dining room where I held the bow making demonstration. After everyone was nearing the completion of their wreaths, not till then did they start to nibble. 😊
Here’s what was on the menu:
- Truffle potato chips (To die for! from Trader Joe’s)
- Ginger Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting (I made a double batch the week before and froze half in the cupcake tins, transferred them to the fridge the night before the party and baked them the day of.)
- Tree-shaped cheese & grapes platter
- Rosemary Nuts (Trader Joe’s)
- Mediterranean Baked Feta Spread (Smitten Kitchen) served with pita chips
Happy holidays to you and yours. May the a magic of the holidays fill your heart and home with joy!