We’re only a week away from Thanksgiving, and holiday decorations are popping up everywhere. And one of the festive signs of the season is holiday wreaths hanging on doors and windows.
Today on “You Can Grow It,” garden master Jim Duthie takes us to a class showing people how to make their own holiday decorations using common evergreen clippings that you probably have growing in your own yard. And, Jim says, you can grow it, and you can decorate with it, as well.
It’s a quiet and chilly November evening at Telaya Wine Company in Boise, but inside it’s warm and lively, as another do-it-yourself holiday art class gets underway.
The holiday season is just around the corner, and you can make some beautiful holiday decorations using yard clippings, like these ladies are making wreaths tonight.
More than 30 women signed up for this sold-out class, one of a series of “Wine and Design” classes that Telaya Wine Company offers throughout the year.
Besides getting some arts and crafts instruction, it’s a sort of a girls night out. At each table you’ll find a combination of mothers and daughters, sisters, friends, and even complete strangers.
Tonight, Dacia Hill, of Seasonal Floristry, is teaching this group how to make their own hand-made holiday wreaths, using inexpensive materials, including an assortment of evergreen clippings you might find growing in your own yard.
“It’s kind of nice sometimes to have an extra set of hands,” said Hill.
The materials are simple. These wire wreath frames are easy to work with, and are available for under five dollars at most craft stores.
Some floral wire, about 24 gauge, thick enough so it won’t break when you pull on it, but thin enough to wrap easily around the frame and the greenery.
A pair of gloves to help protect your hands from the pokey pine needles and sticky sap.
And the greenery used to make the wreath. Dacia has an assortment of clippings of pine, spruce, cedar and juniper, which can be combined to make an attractive holiday wreath. It doesn’t take much. A little goes a long way.
“You have to be thinking ahead a little to use these giant greens, you know, because they could look a little awkward if you’ve got everything else that’s sort of smaller, and then, wow, it’s huge!” said Hill.
You start with the wreath frame.
“This is the front, facing out. Because, see how that has a little curve? That helps it look full and have that wreath effect.”
Twist one end of the wire around the frame to hook it. Then take a handful of greenery and bundle it together. Lay it over the form with the cut ends where the wire can wrap around it a couple of times to hold it in place. Keep adding bundles of greenery, overlapping the previous ones, until you complete the wreath.
There’s no right or wrong way to do it. It’s all up to your own imagination and taste.
“If you want advice about further decorating, let me know ideas about that,” said Hill.
“I have a Pinterest picture I’m going to try to copy. It probably won’t turn out that nice,” said Tena Myers.
At this table, some of these ladies have done this before.
“Well, I’ve been here quite a few times, so I’m giving everybody instructions,” said Patricia Koskie. “She’s a professional, and she’s a professional, and all these are professional decorators. Bragging rights, as always. We’ll always have the pictures and the bragging rights.”
“As you can tell, I’ve only got one done,” said Tammy Fogleman. “I’ve tried a lot of crafts when I was younger, but it’s been a long time.”
“It’s hard to make sure your wire is tight and kind of keep the flow going so it looks nice and lush,” said Christa Bell. “Everything kind of blends together and you lose track of the wire. It’s a challenge for sure, but we did this last year and it turned out great, so I’m hoping it looks good this year.”
Most of the ladies at this table were strangers, but have quickly become friends as they give each other some friendly advice.
“Encouragement and support. I think it’s kind of like when you’re putting together a floral bouquet, and you start with the big pieces and then fill in with all the little pieces, and you kind of move stuff around a bit,” said Jeannette O’Rourke.
“I’ve been to a class before and really enjoyed it,” said Amy Byrd.
Three generations are working together at this table, trying out some different designs, including different types of greenery, and even adding in a pine cone or two for an accent.
These two sisters are making wreaths together, and they’re having fun even if they’re not quite sure how their designs are going to turn out.
“And we’re hanging it up somewhere, believe me, even if it’s on the garage. Maybe your garage,” said Irene Qualman.
Soon, the wreaths begin to take shape, and a few are beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Some of them are being spruced up with a few finishing touches, like berries, ribbons and ornaments.
This one even includes twinkle lights, for a blue Christmas theme.
In the end, everybody goes home with a homemade masterpiece, just in time to welcome in the holiday season.
Telaya Wine Company offers wine and design classes throughout the year featuring local artisans as instructors. On the first Friday of each month, Telaya donates 10 percent of sales to a featured charity. Find out more about upcoming classes and charity projects on their website.