How to make a wild holiday wreath

Floral designer Lauren Wilson shares a step-by-step guide to creating this festive and foraged fixture.

Floral designer Lauren Wilson shares a step-by-step guide to creating this festive and foraged fixture

Artist Lauren Wilson hanging a wreath on a wall.
(Photography by Tom Wood)

A wreath can be many things all at once: a chance to make a statement, an opportunity to collaborate with a friend, or a thoughtful gift. It's a symbol of festivity that invites creativity and has few rules.

In this article, we delve into making a wild, foraged wreath. However, please note most of the materials mentioned below can be found at your local florist shop.

For greenery, I used pine, cedar, sumac and tamarack.

December is my favourite time to venture out. The diversity of evergreens and flora at your fingertips, as well as all the gems on the forest floor such as moss and pine cones, are abundant.

The first step of foraging is an act of noticing. Allow yourself to be in the moment, to observe the nature around you and interact with it. The process should be leisurely. I like to go for a walk with a pair of clippers, snipping just enough so as to not harm the tree or bush. Foraging requires surrender to the here and now. I always like to think that I don't find the materials, but rather, the materials find me.

A hand holding branches of greenery that's sitting on a green table.
(Photography by Tom Wood)
Overhead shot of a green table with green velvet ribbon, floral wire, pine cones, cedar branches and a hand holding floral scissors.
(Photography by Tom Wood)

Here are a few winter foraging tips:

  • Always make sure you're dressed warmly. Long johns, layers and warm boots are encouraged.
  • Bring a nice hot beverage with you.
  • If possible, bring a dog for companionship. I like to bring my dog Pascal.
  • Choose a pair of clippers that can cut through thick branches.
  • Bring a sack or basket and twine for bundling.
  • Always make sure you have permission to snip from the owner of the land.

Once you've collected all of your materials, it's time to build your wreath. Make sure to have the following tools handy:

  • A pair of clippers.
  • Floral wire (available at most craft stores).
  • A wreath frame (you can use metal or grapevine; your local holiday shops or craft stores should have a selection).
  • Accents such as ribbons, dried fruit, candies or ornaments.
2 images side by side. Left: a hand holding a wreath base made of grapevine. Right: a hand holding a wire wreath base.
(Photography by Tom Wood)

Now that you have laid your materials out in front of you, you're ready to build your wreath. I like to work with one material at a time, starting with the greenery. Layer each piece, then secure it with wire. Weave in and out, play with volume and make sure each individual piece is firmly attached as you go.

Next, add in your second material, whether it be another type of greenery or an accent like sumac, tamarack or pine cones.

2 hands securing greenery to a wire wreath base.
(Photography by Tom Wood)
2 hands attaching evergreen branches, pine cones and branches to a wire wreath base.
(Photography by Tom Wood)

I always like to hang my wreath on a wall while creating it. Don't be afraid to blur the lines of its circumference. There are no rules! Make it wild! 

Incorporate gestural accents that extend far beyond the frame of the wreath, creating either a clockwise or a random flow. This is an opportunity to follow your instincts.

Finally, add your bows and any remaining accents. Then, place your wreath. Whether it's above your mantel or on your front door, it will bring the perfect amount of festive charm to any space.

Artist Lauren Wilson crouched in front of a fireplace, lighting a fire. A wreath of greenery hangs above the fireplace.
(Photography by Tom Wood)
A dog standing on its hind legs with its paws on a green table that has some greenery from wreath-making on it.
(Photography by Tom Wood)


Lauren Wilson of Timberlost is a Toronto-based floral designer and land installation artist. Her breadth of projects includes set design, creative direction, bespoke arrangements and weddings. Follow her @Timberlost or visit

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