published Saturday, December 8th, 2012

Make a wreath: Here's a pro to show you how

Joe Jumper's wreath welcomes visitors at The Clay Pot in Riverview.
Joe Jumper's wreath welcomes visitors at The Clay Pot in Riverview.
Photo by Allison Love.

What you need

• Fraser fir wreath base

• Magnolia leaves

• Nandina berries and foliage

• Granny Smith apples

• Clementines

• Seeded eucalyptus

• Key limes

• Pine cones

• Burlap ribbon

• Wire and cutters

• Scissors

• Glue gun

  • photo
    Lay out your materials. Use any combination of elements from your yard, the grocery store or florist. Start building the wreath with the largest element, such as magnolia leaves.
    Photo by Allison Love.
    enlarge photo

  • photo
    Glue clusters of greenery around the wreath. Arrange magnolia leaves with some green sides and brown sides showing.
    Photo by Allison Love.
    enlarge photo

  • photo
    Glue 10 to 15 pine cones around wreath, spacing them randomly. Add nandina foliage, especially cuttings with red in the leaves.
    Photo by Allison Love.
    enlarge photo

  • photo
    Pierce through centers of sturdy fruit such as Granny Smith apples or clementines with thin wire. Add clusters of red nandina berries to wreath.
    Photo by Allison Love.
    enlarge photo

  • photo
    Make a hanger by tying burlap ribbon in two places at the top of the wreath, creating an upside-down "U." Secure the ribbon to the top edge of your door with thumbtacks, small nails or duct tape if it's a metal door.
    Photo by Allison Love.
    enlarge photo

If Lori Walker Boyd didn't tell you she loves wreaths, the 14 now hanging in her home would be a pretty good giveaway. Each wreath coordinates with the decor of the room where it's displayed, she says, and three of them stay up year-round.

"I make them myself using simple evergreens with ribbon," she said. "They are all beautiful."

Joe Jumper, floral designer and owner of The Clay Pot, says wreaths are easy-to-make decorative accents for the home or office. He suggests using a premade base rather than starting from scratch.

"It's easier," he says. "I use a premade live Fraser fir wreath as the base. They cost $12 to $20, more if you go larger than a door size."

Premade wreaths are typically available wherever live Christmas trees are sold, he says, and he sells them at his Riverview shop.

"I love having the smell of fresh green wreaths inside. As long as they are not shaken, they will not shed," he says.

Step-by-step instructions

1 Lay out your materials. Use any combination of elements from your yard, the grocery store or florist. Start building the wreath with the largest element, such as magnolia leaves.

2 Glue clusters of greenery around the wreath. Arrange magnolia leaves with some green sides and brown sides showing.

3 Glue 10 to 15 pine cones around wreath, spacing them randomly. Add nandina foliage, especially cuttings with red in the leaves.

4 Pierce through centers of sturdy fruit such as Granny Smith apples or clementines with thin wire. Add clusters of red nandina berries to wreath.

5 Make a hanger by tying burlap ribbon in two places at the top of the wreath, creating an upside-down "U." Secure the ribbon to the top edge of your door with thumbtacks, small nails or duct tape if it's a metal door.

about Karen Nazor Hill...

Feature writer Karen Nazor Hill covers fashion, design, home and gardening, pets, entertainment, human interest features and more. She also is an occasional news reporter and the Town Talk columnist. She previously worked for the Catholic newspaper Tennessee Register and was a reporter at the Chattanooga Free Press from 1985 to 1999, when the newspaper merged with the Chattanooga Times. She won a Society of Professional Journalists Golden Press third-place award in feature writing for ...

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