There is an outdoor decor project I’ve been wanting to create for a couple of years now, and, that will be an upcoming post. For now, I’d like to show you how I made this twiggy branch decor wreath to be used in that project. You could call making this wreath, the first step in creating my outdoor decor project.
I wanted to use a grapevine–type wreath for my project, and not a wire wreath form. I had the idea of making my own – not with grapevines, but from either shrub or tree branches that were already in my yard. I knew I would need slender branches that were flexible, and would not break under the pressure of shaping them to form the curves of the wreath.
I went through trial and error with selecting the right type of tree or shrub branches. I intended to use branches from honeysuckle shrubs that were in need of pruning anyway. But they didn’t work for me – the older parts of the shrub were just not flexible and the younger, thinner branches snapped very easily.
So I had to consider what other plants in the yard might be conducive to wreath making. There are some trees in my yard whose branches turned out to be just what I needed. I have a few buckthorn trees whose smaller branches would be just right for making this wreath.
These buckthorns don’t really have thorns like you find on a rose stem, just a woody spine here and there. They were easy to snip off with a hand pruner, along with the leafy twigs that needed to be removed.
I first removed all the little twigs and leaves from the cut branches.
These are some of the shapes I used. I had started curving the branch on the far right – it was very straight, but you can see how it is taking on the curved shape (see how I curved it below).
I did leave some of the small twigs on some branches to give fullness to the wreath –
They can be gathered and secured with wire, or tucked into the wreath, to keep them from fanning outward too much.
Making the Twiggy Branch Wreath
The branch that is used to make the first circle, or foundation, of the wreath has to be long enough to make a complete circle, and, to overlap a bit so that the ends can be secured with wire. The thicker ends of the branches will probably require using more wire because they can be a bit resistant and not as pliable as the willowy end of the branch.
If the first circle isn’t round, the additional layers of branches will help to shape it.
I used paddle wire, doubled to hold the branches securely. There are other wires, like floral wire, that would work, too.
To curve the thickest part of the branch, I wrapped the branch around a small plastic bucket (be sure to use something that won’t break!) and held it in place for about 10 seconds, and then continued to curve it where needed along the branch. I learned that this has to be done slowly so the branch holds the curved shape, and also, so it doesn’t crack. After a few ‘wraps’, you will see the branch become curved.
The remaining branches can be shorter in length, because they will be attached to the first branch with the wire. As I curved that remaining branches around the first branch, I could tell where the branch needed to be secured with the wire.
A pliers can come in handy with twisting the wire snug –
For the project I am working on, the wires do not need to be hidden, but you can attach the wire in a way that it won’t be visible if necessary for your project.
Making a branch wreath is a layering process. My wreath is a good size for the project I will be using it for, but you can layer more branches until you get a wreath with the appearance you like.
I’ll be posting the rest of this project soon!
Update: I used my wreath to make an outdoor Ivy Covered Wreath Topiary for my porch. Click on over to see the tutorial.
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