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Wreath Making Mechanics Video Tutorial

Interested in making wreaths? Do you want to make them for yourself or to sell but not quite sure how to go about putting them together? Well look no further! I’m sharing a series of design school videos starting with wreath mechanics. The first videos in the instructional library are based on the tools and basic mechanics of styling a wreath. I’ll talk to you about using proper tools, getting started with wreath prep, and how to get line and symmetry with your flower placement.

In part one of the video, I show the tools I use that can be found on the Tools and Resources page here.


The second part of the video I talk about line and symmetry and placement of focal flowers. I will be adding another video of how to finish off the wreath soon!

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Natural Arranging

Having a dinner party and forgot to pick up flowers? Well never fear, just head out to your garden and pick some fresh (and free!) flora from the yard. You can even shop in your refrigerator for a few delictibles to add to your piece.  This design is simple, natural and flowing.  I used things on hand to create this which include plants native to my yard –

Bradford pear tree branches

Mums

Creeping Jenny

Crepe Myrtle Branches

Succulents

Verbena

I also used some grapes and a plum I had in the fridge. First step was to soak some oasis fresh foam and cut to size in one of my favorite vases. img_2569

Then I added the greens – Crepe Myrtle and Bradford Pear. I let the natural shape of the stems dictate the placement.img_2571

Then I started filling in the middle using the mums, verbena, and plums. Some of the items used had no stems or small stubby ones so I used some green wired picks to give them height.

I finished it off with the Creeping Jenny, grapes and succulents..img_2576img_2582

Delightful!

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Wreath 3 Ways

If you are like me, you’re always looking for shortcuts, time savers and deals! That is exactly what I will be showing you with this next creation, wait…creations! I call this big little guy ‘Wreath 3 Ways’ –  because that is exactly what you will get, a wreath that you can add to over the holiday season. It will get you through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. Also, this wreath has no glue as well, just simple mechanics for easy dismantling.

So before we get into the play by-play, just a little background on this process. The changing wreath is an old tradition with designers, it was not born of desire for change rather, necessity. Often times fall wreaths wouldn’t sell or designers were stuck with fall supplies such as berries and foliage. Same thing with Christmas silks and ornaments. Rather than store them to sell the next year, we try to use them up in other ways. You see, we love shopping for new things also and not being able to buy the latest and greatest from suppliers would crush our spirits.

Another old trick designers use is smart shopping – I’ll show you what I mean in the pic below. Basically designers buy simple pre-made wreaths. Most are just foliage, berries or a vine of one type of flower. Pre-mades are pretty cheap, skimpy and could never probably make it as a standalone wreath. You can find them at every craft and big box store the world over. Here are two that I will be working with today, plain berry and wheat grass –  wreath 3 ways 1

First order of business is to fluff the wreaths. Fluffing is not difficult, lay the wreath on a flat surface and pull the individual stems toward you. It should look odd and like your wreath just exploded. If you have achieved that look, you did it right. Next, I take the berry wreath and lay it over the wheat wreath. Once I have it centered, I pull the wheat stems between the berry stems, twisting them around as I go to secure the wreaths together. Not all stems have to be twisted together, but at least in four key places to hold them together. Once finished, it will still look as if the wreath exploded…perfect! wreath 3 ways 1-2

I added a gourd to the center for an autumn look wreath 3 ways 1-5

Next up, Christmas! I removed the gourd and added pinecones and that’s it. Pretty simple I know, but you can add an ornament or two if you like or even a bird’s nest with a cardinal – the possibilities are endless. No need to glue, just wire them in.wreath 3 ways 1-3

And finally, a little extra for after Christmas. I left the pinecones in and added iced hanging berries for a winter look. Only 2 stems needed and they were of course wired in.wreath 3 ways 1-4

And that’s it! One wreath, 3 ways and I am set from September to February!

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Home Grown Goodness!

Although I am no longer a practicing florist, my love of flowers and arranging them has never faded. I also love gardening and harvesting the bounty of mother nature. Some of my favorite flora to plant and work with are roses, peonies and variegated greens of all types. Any ornamental foliage you can name I love! Typically I leave the flowers in my garden alone, save for the occasional pruning for health and beauty, but every now and again I can’t resist taking a few of the really showy ones indoors.

If you want to create arrangements from your garden grown beauties, keep in mind they will only be beautiful for a day or two. Is it really worth chopping into your rose bush for blooms that will be short lived? Some varieties are bred for larger blooms with longer life on the stem, but even those will wilt after 5 days. Now, if your willpower runs dry, (like mine does), cut them from the plant with as little damage as possible and only choose the blooms that have already begun opening.

Here is an example of a gorgeous all natural, backyard grown arrangement I created for the young lady who had bought our previous home. I wanted to welcome her home and show her just how beautiful her new garden is, but also secretly hoped it would encourage her to continue caring for my blooming babies.

I used pink Peonies, yellow roses, variegated sedum, and lemon thyme to add some scent and create a cascade effect. When cutting the peonies, I took blooms that had lots of leaves on them to use as filler in the vase. The leaves also served the purpose of lacing, which held the bouquet together without using a tape grid, florist frog, or wire. I personally do not use tape grids and never have, I let the natural leaves of flowers to do the work for me.

If you want to grow plants that you can cut and bring indoors with ease here is a list of easy grow, easy cut blooms –

Roses

Peonies

Sedum

Lavender

Thyme

Rosemary

Heather

Stock

In a future post, I will do a video tutorial on how to arrange flowers in a vase without using grids or other mechanics so stay tuned!