It seems there are at least a million design possibilities for holiday wreaths. Those who’ve been trying to decide on ones to make or buy know there is a dizzying array of choices.
For starters, wreaths can have square, circle or other forms and be covered with greenery, fabric, feathers or some of each.
It’s up to the maker.
Embellishments, or the lack of them, are another choice. Whatever will make guests feel a special welcome during the season is the way to go.
While there are no right or wrong choices, some wreaths just seem to look better than others.
Popular wreath designers in the Charleston area talked about some of the features that make a wreath attractive.
“Some of the newer features for wreaths are battery operated lights and burlap ribbon,” says Barbara Hamilton, manager at Hyams Garden and Accent Store. She makes custom wreaths for some and helps others finish ones they already have.
“This year everybody seems to be going for a real natural look, so many have berries and pine cones,” she says. “Some may have a little glitter, but they are still a little more nature-oriented. The big selling color is champagne.”
While Hamilton is seeing every style and fabric in bows, the use of burlap for bows is huge.
The first thing to decide is where the wreath will be placed, says Terry Ritchen, a tri-county master gardener. Where the wreath will be used should help to determine what colors it will have.
Wreaths that will be used indoors should reflect the interior design choices; those to be used outdoors should reflect the surrounding natural colors.
“I would use dried natural flowers and leaves. You could use all boxwood, but you’d need a lot. You could also mix Fraser fir with pine.
“Combining different kinds of greenery just makes it more festive. You can’t really use too many kinds. I would probably not use more than five because then it gets too busy. It’s a matter of taste.
“If I wanted to do Victorian, I would add a lot of accessories, such as lacy baubles,” she says, adding that a wreath does not have to be fancy to be beautiful.
Some people like contemporary styles, Ritchen says. Locally though, many prefer traditional, she adds. “Charleston is known for the plain wreath with a red bow. That is as traditional as you are going to get.”
Whichever is chosen, the wreath maker should be sure to get the ribbon right, she says.
“I look for a theme, reindeer, snowmen or whatever sparks my fancy,” says Jean Rogers, who sells wreaths at craft fairs. “Once I used green and blue balls, because they reminded me of Christmas lights. Sometimes, I will flock my wreaths for a snow theme.”
Those making wreaths should try Magnolia leaves, artificial or real, Rogers says. She likes to line wreaths with them. The leaves add such drama, she might choose not to use a bow.
But that’s unusual.
“Bows really make a wreath pop,” Rogers says. “And the way it’s positioned is important. Sometimes, instead of setting a bow at the center top of a wreath, I put it on the side. If I don’t use a bow, I will use ribbon in some other way.
“Recently, I used two ribbons, a gold one and a red,” she says. “I made a double bow, a large fluffy bow. Then I took the gold ribbon, which was very sparkly and wove it in and out of the wreath.
“At the bottom of the wreath, I had a beautiful gold angel. The angel looked like she was holding up something.”
Judy Spence likes to use the deco mesh ribbons when making wreaths, she says. The popular material, which has a texture that reminds her of crinoline, is available in a variety of colors and materials, allowing her to flex her creative muscles.
Spence says she sometimes gets inspiration from the materials she buys. Those who are a little crafty will have ideas pop into their heads. But, she realizes not everyone who wants to try their hand at making a holiday wreath is wired that way.
The latter can get their inspirations by walking the aisles of craft stores, Spence says. That will provide many examples and ideas. They can adapt the designs they like to work best in their homes.
There is no reason not to put a different wreath on your door every holiday season, Spence says.
“I pick up a roll of ribbon made with a print design. If it’s got more than one color, I usually contrast the print with one of the solid colors. It just depends on what you want. It can be simple and you don’t have to use a lot of money, unless you go overboard, like I sometimes do.”
Like other wreath makers, Spence loves the bow.
“The bow is the main attraction,” Spence says. “It’s something that your eye just falls to.”
A wreath without a bow is not going to stand out, she says. All the other pieces on a wreath are like the supporting cast.
The size of the wreath also makes a difference. A single door can take either an 18- or 24-inch wreath. But double doors would look better with an 18-inch wreath on each door. Those who want one for the bathroom can use a 10- or 12-inch wreath.
Reach Wevonneda Minis at 937-5705.
Multiple bows and sparkling ribbons make this wreath by Jean Rogers of West Ashley very special.×
This earthy and elegant wreath with just the right amount of sparkle is made by the staff at Hyams Garden and Accent Store.×
Battery packs light this wreath, which is made by the staff at Hyams Garden and Accent Store’s staff.×