Wreaths Are Not Just for Christmas

While some people associate wreaths with their grandmother’s Christmas decor of yore (no offense to any grandmothers reading this), I like to think of them as statement pieces that set the tone for the rest of my home. A good wreath is a beacon of creativity hanging on one’s front door, offering family, friends and strangers alike a taste of what makes their host unique. Wreaths can be seasonal or timeless, and making a truly unique wreath can be inexpensive, easy and fun.

My finished hospital wreath.

My foray into wreath making began when a good friend of mine was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. I wanted to craft a gift that could hang in her hospital room during extended stays. I ran to my local craft store and picked up a blank grapevine wreath form, some jewelry wire, artificial flowers and assorted crystals. Embracing the theme of life and death, I also added some bones I’d collected on various nature walks. From there, it was a matter of wire wrapping and hot gluing the treasures I’d collected until I had created something I was sure would bring a smile to my friend’s face while she was stuck in a dreary hospital room.

My finished crystal wreath hanging on my front door.

My wreath was well received, so I decided to experiment more with the world of wreath making. This time, I wanted to create something for myself. I had recently moved into a new apartment and wanted something to make the space feel like it was truly mine. I incorporated some of my favorite things, crystals, into a more minimalist design. I ordered a dozen polished agate slices and rough crystals from various online vendors and employed an extremely rudimentary wire wrapping technique using jewelry wire and small pliers. I stuck with a grapevine wreath form because it gave me lots of options for places to affix my adornments. With minimal materials and a low cost, this project gave me the opportunity to create something unique and inviting to celebrate my new home.

A wreath I made using borax-crystallized bones, feathers, and wheat.

Wreaths are a great way to celebrate the changing of the seasons. If you love riding bikes, attach something festive to a discarded bike wheel. If you’re feeling spooky, breathe new life into old Halloween decorations by incorporating them into a wreath. If you’re scrambling for a unique baby shower or wedding gift, try your hand at crafting something unique and meaningful your loved ones can hang on a door and enjoy for years to come. The library is full of resources to help you get started on this journey, including a book on Living Wreaths. Your only limit is your imagination!


Emily Hopkins

Emily is a Public Service Specialist in the bookmobile dept. When not on a library vehicle, she can be found educating kids at local elementary schools. Known to many kids as, "The Bug Lady," Emily loves introducing children to her insect friends in the Going Buggy program. A Topeka native, Emily graduated from Washburn University with a bachelor's in Anthropology before completing her master's in Biological Anthropology at Portland State University. She has a deep love for both art and science, and tries to incorporate those interests into her work.