How to make a Christmas wreath: step-by-step using natural greenery and foliage

Learn how to make a Christmas wreath yourself this year in 5 simple steps. Full of eucalyptus, holly and red berries that nods to festive tradition.

making a wreath for a door with a big ribbon
(Image credit: Polly Eltes)

Knowing how to make a Christmas wreath yourself will ensure that your home is brought to life with holiday cheer from the get-go. Because a homemade Christmas wreath adorning your front door is the perfect way to make your home feel instantly more festive and it makes a great excuse to get creative with friends and the whole family at what is the most wonderful time of the year.

This step-by-step nods to traditional Christmas colors and scents but you can DIY wreaths just the way you want to let yours reflect your personal style and create something unique also. Ideal to jazz up your Christmas door decor but, not forgetting that a wreath makes the perfect addition to a mantel or festive table display also...

Traditional eucalyptus and berry wreath

This Christmas wreath makes the most of seasonal and evergreen foliage, with color and scent from berries and dried oranges. Keep costs down by foraging for your own moss but, of course if you live in the city, you can find Sphagnum moss on Amazon and, there are lots of inexpensive bunches of eucalyptus readily available on Etsy too.

You'll need the wire frame which you'll find at Hobby Lobby or any other craft store. We picked up these copper ones from Amazon this year along with some mossing floristry wire for securing everything into place.

You will need:

  • Sphagnum moss
  • Eucalyptus cinerea  
  • Skimmia japonica
  • Crab apples
  • Rosemary
  • Dried orange slices
  • 10/12 inch wire wreath frame
  • Mossing wire
  • Wire cutters

How to make a Christmas wreath step-by-step

What's so gorgeous about making your own Christmas wreath is that it's totally customizable. If you're not into crab apples or rosemary, swap them out for something else like pinecones or red berries for a still very traditional Christmas look. Likewise, if you want something more pared back to complement but not overpower your porch, you can use twigs or stay with just one form of foliage from your yard. Depending on what materials you're adding in you may need secateurs to trim them down.

1. Secure the moss on the wreath frame

Bind generous handfuls of moss on to the wire wreath frame with mossing wire. To do this, fasten one end of the reel of the wire to the ring and wrap around the moss in a circular fashion, keeping it taut, and adding handfuls of moss until well covered. 

For an extra full wreath – say if you're going to use yours as a Christmas centerpiece – you can flip it over and do the same on the other side.

2. Add in seasonal foliage

Add seasonal foliage (such as Eucalyptus cinerea and Skimmia japonica, but you can use holly or other greenery), by pushing the ends deep into the moss base, working to roughly a 45 degree angle. 

Use a variety of materials to create an interesting and textured wreath; here, crab apples were added for color and rosemary for scent and texture but, you can switch it up as you please.

making a Christmas wreath with foliage

This Christmas wreath design is by Georgia Miles from the Sussex Flower School , who runs wreath making workshops from the rural UK Sussex village of East Hoathly.

(Image credit: Polly Eltes)

3. Customize as you please

Insert additional items, such as orange slices or pine cones on a wire. If you want more festive color you could paint them in gold or silver beforehand. And, if you're looking for a more flamboyant finish, pop in a few ornaments that couldn't quite fit on your Christmas tree decor

Before adding the oranges, bundle them together into threes with wire for a fuller, more textured look.

4. Finish off your wreath

Fill any gaps and then finish off the wreath with a generous bow. To make this, first tie the ribbon and then affix with wire. Of course, if you're into the Christmas door bow trend, don't shy away from including a few extras also. And, of course you can get creative with the ribbon design, checked and plaid versions are an easy way to add design interest.

5. Hang your wreath

When your wreath is ready, giving it pride of place on your door, porch or mantel display is a must. Whether you're renting or not, no one wants to put holes in a front door if it can be avoided so learn how to hang a wreath on a door without damaging it for a stress-free festive finish to your crafting project!

If, however, even though you have the best intentions, you just don't have the time to make your own Christmas wreath, don't worry - we have that covered too! Take a shortcut and select the best Christmas wreath from our buyer's guide to the best designs available this year.

How do you make a Christmas wreath on a budget?

Using what you can from your own backyard is a simple way to keep costs down plus, it's fun and totally free. Find that moss, holly (wearing gloves!) pinecones and more yourself with a hand from Santa's little helpers – i.e. the kids – then be sure to resuse your wreath rings year after year to save yourself buying them again and to reduce waste too. And, if you have any materials left over, simply put them towards other family-friendly Christmas crafting projects

Remember if not using what's in your own backyard, to forage responsibly and be aware of any legal guidelines. You should never uproot plants and only take small cuttings. You can forage in the UK so long as it is not on private land as that is classed as theft. However in the US it is illegal to forage in many states so be on the safe side and stick to your yard or buy materials online. 

What do you need to make a Christmas wreath?

Pick up items individually from Amazon, your local garden center or you can find complete wreath making kits online too if you're stuck for thinking and shopping time! A spokesperson at UK-based store wilko says, 'A wreath is one of those Christmas staples that homes just can't go without. This year, why not create your own personalised DIY Christmas wreath to hang on your door and give a festive welcome to guests?'

'The wilko merry make your own wreath pack makes decorating fun for the whole family. The kit covers all of the basic wreath making material you’ll need to start making DIY wreaths. Simply collect your favourite decor and start crafting. For creative homes that want to start simply from scratch, the wilko basic wicker wreath is the perfect item and we have plenty of accessories to add to it.'

Rachel joined the Period Living team six years ago after freelancing on a range of titles covering everything from homes and gardens, history and arts to wildlife. As the magazines Content Editor, she still gets to enjoy all of these things handily packaged together (one way or another) in the pages of Period Living. She loves her Victorian home, but is wrestling with making its cracks, quirks and draughty bits work for a family home.