I've always loved boxwood, and especially for the holidays it can be a more subdued, slightly more sophisticated stand in for the traditional balsam for decorating. It's easy to work with and turns out beautifully. This holiday season, I wanted to put a new twist on my holiday wreath and send out a message of peace and love, so I went with this super easy DIY boxwood wreath that has both a modern and timeless feel. Yesterday on Shop Small Saturday as my mom and I were browsing around downtown looking for holiday gifts we stopped in one of our favorite shops, Hidden Gardens, and picked up a bunch of boxwood clippings for around $20. This was WAY more than enough for our wreath, and I already have a bunch of smaller crafts planned with the rest of the clippings. At AC Moore I got the wreath frame (plus a couple mini ones for the kids to make their own) and some green floral wire and that was all I needed.
The cuttings come in different lengths, so you will want to pick ones out that have the most leaves on them and trim off any branches that are missing leaves. Cut a bunch of wire into u shapes that will be used to "pin down" the boxwood branches onto the frame. These can be in a few different sizes. It helps to have a little pair of pliers as well to help you bend the wire as it can get a little tricky with the smaller pieces of wire.
Start by simply weaving the longest and fullest pieces of boxwood right into the wreath. The AC Moore frame was easy to use because it had spots to weave the branches under to keep them in place. Before you fill it completely in, if you are making the peace sign wreath you will need to secure those wires to the frame first. Simply take a long piece of wire, secure it to either a branch that has been woven in or the frame itself. Add the two smaller pieces of wire next. Don't worry if they slip around a bit at first, once you add the branches they will be more secure. I decided to use just one sprig of boxwood for the middle part of the peace sign, but you can fluff it up a bit with more. Just use a small u shaped piece of wire to secure the sprigs to the wire, and then a small one to secure all three together at the middle part of the peace sign.
After those are secure and you have filled in the entire wreath by just weaving longer pieces in, you'll need to start pinning the branches down with the wire. Gently smooth out the branches around the frame, find a central location to get as many branches under it as possible, and use a u shaped piece of wire over the top of them, securing it in the back of the frame. You will probably have some pieces that stick out, simply trim them down to the frame width so they blend in. Be careful to not secure the wire down too tightly, you want it to be secure but leave just enough room to slip some tiny sprigs in if need be. Also, if there is a little bit of room you can flip some of the leaves out to cover up the wire.
At this point the wreath should be almost complete, but if there are any spots that are left open, trim some sprigs to just poke in to fill in the spots. You can also use a glue gun to dab just a tiny bit of glue to keep bigger pieces secure.
There are so many simple and cute things you can do with any leftover clippings. I plan on making a centerpiece wreath with the leftovers and poking a tiny sprig through a place card for holiday dinners. You can make a garland or a kissing ball, or place sprigs along the mantle with the stockings. You can also preserve your boxwood before you make a wreath to make it last longer. Traditionally, you can expect a fresh boxwood wreath to last about a month. Need more holiday ideas? Check out the Mamatoga Holiday Guide, our area's best resource for doing the holidays in the family style. xoxo