If you’re looking for a way to add some natural style to your home decor, consider making a garland from willow branches. Willow, which can be dried or fresh, is sold in craft stores and at your local florist shop and can help soften a severe modern space or give a traditional decor a rustic flair.
How to make a willow wreath
First, you need the right kind of stems for making a willow wreath: thin and long, so that you can bend them easily. The best time to cut willow stems is in spring, so they’re fresh and pliable for bending.
Using a pair of pruning shears, trim the ends of your limbs or saplings so they’re about 1/2 inch in diameter. Go longer than this, though, and you’ll have to work much harder to shave them off.
After you’ve cut your limbs, rinse them and then soak in water to soften them. Leave the rods soaking for about two days before you begin working with them, because they’ll be more pliable in this stage.
Once you’re ready to use your stems, wrap the ends of them with floral wire (I used about a foot or so) and secure it to the frame. Repeat with the other limbs.
How to make a pussy willow wreath
Pussy willow, or “white willow” – a type of willow shrub with white wooly catkins – blooms in early spring and is a lovely addition to any outdoor wreath. It’s also a great choice for decorating inside your home as it looks elegant yet still festive and can be used through the year.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln suggests arranging short willow branch cuttings in an attractive vase, or threading them through your collection of antique mirrors or framed and matted photos. The branches’ rounded shape adds a sense of movement and interest to any arrangement, and the soft white color will match most other décor.
How to make a Christmas wreath
A good rule of thumb is that a 6ft or 7ft willow rod is suitable for a Christmas wreath, so decide how large you want your finished wreath to be before purchasing your rods.
You can find willow rods in several varieties, but green (freshly cut) and brown (dry) are best. A half bundle of brown willow will contain about 455 rods, and a half bundle of green willow around 420.
Soak your stems in water for about 20 minutes to improve their absorption of water. After you’re finished soaking, spritz them with a light mist of water to keep the ends from drying out and splintering.
Once your stems are dipped in water, they’ll be more pliable, which makes them easy to manipulate into the desired shape. Once your wreath is shaped, you can begin adding foliage and moss or baubles for decoration.
Once you’ve added your foliage and moss, tuck it in between the other materials and finish it with a bow or an ornament to complete the look. You can even add twinkle lights for a little extra flair.