Trimming the tree, baking cookies, watching classic movies… the holiday season is always sprinkled with fun memories. Another nice thing about this time of year: There are many reasons to gather with your nearest and dearest. And throwing a wreaths decorating party is a sweet way to spend an afternoon. From fresh seasonal decor to delicious sips and snacks, this party has everything you need to create stunning wreaths as you catch up with friends. Keep reading for all the how-to’s.
Welcome guests with a wreath-building bar
“In celebration of the holiday season, we thought it would be fun to have a little get together with some of our close girlfriends,” says party pro Jacquelyn Kazas, founder of Beijos Events. “We like to call it a Beijos Lady Date!”
To get the look of Kazas’ party, above, start off by setting up a wreath-building bar filled with crafty supplies and wreath “ingredients.” First, top a long table with a white cloth, then set a large vase or pail at the center and fill with seasonal greenery and berry branches from the florist or the backyard. Then, add additional wreath-making essentials to the table, like wire circlets, floral wire, scissors, more berry bunches, mini baubles and the like. For a stylish surprise, set out succulents and air plants from your local nursery (guests can attach a few to their circlets using floral wire). Add a festive on-theme DIY party sign to finish.
How to create perfectly layered wreaths
Natural wreaths look impressive, and they are surprisingly easy to create! To start, wrap a spool of floral wire across the rings of a metal wreath form a few times, forming a 2-inch band. Tuck 3 foliage sprigs into the wire and secure with more wire. Layer 3 more sprigs on the form, slightly overlapping the greenery already placed; secure with wire. Repeat, moving around the wreath form until covered.
For a detailed step-by-step instructional video, check out the wreath-making tutorial from the floral and plant pros at ProvenWinners.com, below:
Sweeten up the day with too-cute cupcakes
These adorable treats perfectly complement your wreaths decorating party! To do: Bake and cool a batch of vanilla cupcakes. Tint vanilla frosting green with food coloring, pop a star-shaped piping tip into a disposable piping bag and add icing. Hold tip against a cupcake, squeeze and gently pull the bag quickly to form a star shape; repeat to form wreath shape, then add red sprinkles to finish. (Click through for more easy Christmas recipes using candy.)
Add instant ambience with a cozy wreath candlescape
This beautiful candle wreath display adds a warm and inviting glow and fills the air with the invigorating scent of pine. To create the display, set a 12-inch soaked floral foam wreath on a large round serving platter. Insert evergreen sprigs (like pine and fir) into the foam, pointing the branches in the same direction and adding until fully covered. Hot-glue holiday sugar cookies, pinecones and faux white berries to toothpicks, then insert toothpicks into foam. To finish, place 3 or 4 battery-run LED pillar candles (Buy from Amazon, $24 for 3) in the center of the wreath; tuck one or two craft-store figurines into the evergreens. Display finished candlescape at the center of your wreath-making workstation or on an entryway table to welcome your guests!
Snack happy with a sweet and savory charcuterie
Filled with irresistible cheeses, meats, fruit and crackers, this holiday grazing board invites guests to create their own flavor pairings. To make: Simply position two cheese wheels (like Brie or Camembert) on opposite corners of a long cutting board. Add a ramekin of pomegranate arils, then fill the board with groupings of deli meats, crackers, cookies, fruit, candy canes and prosciutto-wrapped apple slices, going all the way to the edges of the board for a look of abundance. (For more charcuterie inspiration, check out these fun grazing board ideas.)
Raise a glass to holiday fun with apple-cranberry sangria
Infused with flavors of cinnamon, star anise and other wintry spices, this festive take on sangria will get everyone in a spirited mood. For a batch that serves 6 to 8, fill a pitcher with 2 sliced apples, 1 sliced orange, 1⁄2 cup of cranberries, 5 cinnamon sticks, 4 star anise pods, 1⁄2 cup of cranberry juice, 1⁄4 cup of spiced rum and 1 bottle of dry red wine. Stir, then chill to let the flavors combine. When ready to serve, pour into glasses and garnish with cranberries and rosemary. (Click through for our Very Berry Sangria recipe.)
Ensure your wreath’s greenery lasts longer
Whether you’ve picked greenery from your yard or purchased branches at the florist shop, a little easy prep work ensures wreaths last longer. (Also smart: Check your local tree lots for deeply discounted evergreen cuttings. They’re often available for next to nothing — or even free!) After snipping branches, submerge greenery in cool, clean water and let sit for at least 24 hours (this allows the stems to absorb as much water as possible for proper hydration). Then place branches, cut side down, in a bucket of water in a cool spot until ready to use at your wreaths decorating party.
Tip: There’s nothing like the scent of freshly cut pine and evergreens, but the branches often leave your hands sticky with sap! If you don’t have any disposable gloves on hand, you can still keep your hands free from the sticky stuff with the right helper: vegetable oil. Just rub your hands with a few drops, using a paper towel to loosen up any stubborn bits of sap. Then wash your hands with soap and water. Easy!
Craft up wreaths for a good cause this Christmas
After your wreaths decorating party, keep the heartwarming spirit going by signing up for National Wreaths Across America Day on December 18. On that day, volunteers coordinate wreath-laying ceremonies to honor veterans. To find a ceremony near you, go to WreathsAcrossAmerica.org and search by your ZIP code. Then click on a ceremony to sign up as a volunteer to place wreaths or sponsor a wreath.
For more inspiring Christmas decorating tips: