Naturally Beautiful Fall Wreaths

Try your hand at these easy-to-make wreaths.
Rebecca Bull Reed

Crisp morns and golden light--it’s the time of year when back roads rule and discoveries are limited only by the setting sun. Why let a day’s memories fade? Make a wreath to celebrate a special find, as we did. Here are three that were inspired by a day trip to the mountains.

Barnstorming
Stacked with rolls of sweet-scented hay, the open-sided barn, big enough to host a dance, stirred our imagination. For a moment, we second-guessed city life. But instead, the country came home with us.

  • Start with a length of barbed wire long enough to loop back on itself. Wearing gloves, fasten the ends by twisting with a pair of pliers.
  • Form a base by securing leaves to the bottom one-third of the barbed wire with florist wire. Add berries such as pepper berry, cotoneaster, nandina, or pyracantha.
  • Loop florist wire through the bottom of a bird’s nest, and then twist it around the wreath base. Tuck in dried hydrangea blossoms. Finish with quail eggs, either found or purchased from a crafts store.


Faded Glory

The Amish wagon sideboards were the color of red that only time and honest work reveal. The inscription of the previous owners’ names makes them even more special.

  • Choose an oval grapevine wreath for your base. A round one will work too.
  • Weave rose hips, cut from the garden or purchased from a florist, through the grapevine to secure. They should radiate out from the point where you will place the bow.
  • Add the bow, just off center at the bottom, and then finish with pheasant feathers.
 

Finders Keepers
Acorns were everywhere--it must have been a good year for them. On the way back to the car, we couldn’t help plucking a few from the soft beds of moss that edged the trail.

  • Using a glue gun, attach moss to a straw wreath.
  • Insert lichen, prefitted with skewers cut to 2 inches in length, into the wreath to form a shelf. Add more lichen as desired. Attach sticks with a glue gun, and then tuck in a leaf or two.
  • Display acorns on the lichen shelf, securing with a glue gun, if desired.


Sources

Most of the materials needed to make our wreaths are available at crafts stores or from www.afloral.com.

  • Barbed wire--For new wire, try a farm-supply store, and then spray-paint it with Krylon Brushed Metallic paint in the color of your choice.
  • Bird’s nest--If you can’t find an abandoned one outdoors, try the floral department at a crafts store.
  • Florist wire--Check at any crafts store.
  • Quail eggs--Try eBay (www.ebay.com) to purchase the real thing, or opt for faux look-alikes at crafts stores. If you use real eggs, you’ll need to blow them out as you would chicken eggs.
  • Pheasant feathers--Check at any crafts store.
  • Dried hydrangeas--Dry your own, or look for them at crafts stores.
  • Moss--Any type will work. We used light green reindeer moss from Smith & Hawken (www.smithandhawken.com). Most crafts stores also carry this product.
  • Glue gun--You can find one at any crafts store. A hot-melt glue gun creates a stronger bond.
  • Lichen--Try crafts or floral-supply stores. Tip: Preskewered lichens are a snap to work with.
  • Acorns--They’re easy to find in fall, but you can also buy them on eBay.
  • Straw wreath base--Look at any crafts or floral-supply store.
  • Oval grapevine wreath--Check out crafts or floral-supply stores. A round wreath works just as well.
  • Rose hips--Check the garden first. Many roses, such as rugosas, have wonderful, showy hips. If you have no luck, contact your local florist or a floral-supply company.