The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Making a Christmas Wreath from Holly


By peter


I’m afraid that this isn’t a “how to” on making a holly wreath, but what I want to do. I want to make a holly wreath using holly – without manufactured foam rings, wire structures and the like. Think the Ray Mears of Christmas decorations :D

For those that saw my last attempt at handy crafts (Which I’ve titled onions and string in a bath) you might not have high hopes – to be honest I’m a bit apprehensive myself.

Anyway, this morning’s frost got me all excited about Christmas and there’s loads of holly near us. Inspired by Spritz’s homemade Christmas decorations I took a carrier bag and some secateurs out foraging (with the camera too).

Frosted holly

The first lessons I learnt:
Tip 1: Take a big bag, holly doesn’t pack neatly.
Tip 2: Wear thick gloves not wool ones, holly hurts.

My initial thoughts were to create a round wreath so I was looking for flexible wood, I thought ivy might work but ran out of bag space too soon. My plans have changed slightly now and I’m having a straight decoration but apparently that doesn’t really qualify as a wreath. Hey ho.

I went out with the camera not long ago and there was plenty of holly with berries on. Unfortunately it seems others have beaten me to it since and taken all the good stuff. Instead, I picked a branch of rosehips (I think) which will hopefully work as the ‘frame’ and add a bit of colour.

Right now I have a small bag of holly, a rosehip branch and scratched hands.

The raw materials

I’ll let you know how I get on…

More blog posts by peter

Previous post: Your wish is our command

Next post: Homemade Christmas Decorations



The old fashioned way is using moss and wrapping it round a framework with string and then wiring in the holly and decorations. Yes gloves I think are a good idea, or using a non prickly holly!! Eucalyptus looks good too, and sprays well.

(My trade is floristry, but havnt done any this christmas yet).

Seasons greetings

20 Dec, 2007


Oh wow, Peter, the mind boggles. I might even have a go too, then we can compare notes and results! By the way, I am going to replace the Rosemary tomorrow with fresh 'boughs' becaue the log burner heat has dried them out. Holly is still fine.

20 Dec, 2007


Good luck with it Peter and hahahaha I'm still laughing at your descriptions.

21 Dec, 2007


hi peter i agree with Carolyn, - yes i am also a florist, but you will struggle without a wire frame! they are very cheap to buy, you would be able to get one from your local florist or garden centre. you then cover the frame with moss i use wire to do this although you could use string which ever you find easier - you can also buy mossing wire and moss (the type you use for hanging baskets is best) from your florist or garden centre. once you have made your frame you then wire in the bits of holly and berry and other folliege. and i find it easiest to wear a glove only on one hand - a thick one - on the hand which is holding the holly to the wreath, the other hand is best left bear so that you use this one to wrap the wire around - it's hard to do with a glove on - if that makes sense. - good luck!

21 Dec, 2007


...and Carolyn, how did you manage that one? - i should be so lucky! we do buy some in but we always seem to get that customer that does'nt want what you have ready made - so i have'nt escaped, - holly wreaths are one of many joys of the trade arn't they - it's just a shame that more people don't think like you do Peter! my poor hands would look and feel much better for it! lol they say that you can tell a womans age from her hands - this is not true of florists! lol

21 Dec, 2007


Go into your wardrobe and find a wire coathanger. bend this into a rough circular shape, and you have a good frame complete with hanging hook. This is a great way to recycle those thin wire hangers which come back with items from the drycleaners. I remember making a holly wreath in this way at school when I was about 10 yrs old, and it has stood me in good stead every Christmas since.

21 Dec, 2007


Thanks for all the advice :o) If only I'd waited a day to get started!
Blog of the results on its way this afternoon...

21 Dec, 2007


Ha! Beat you to it! I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with, Peter. I have to admit that Holly without prickles is a great advantage, though. I don't know its name, but it's variegated. Maybe someone out there knows?

21 Dec, 2007


spritz i think that all holly has prickels on the lower half of the bush - this is natures way of stopping animals from nibbling on the berry, as you get higher up the tree/bush the leaves are smooth, check this out next time you see a large bush - i have never seen an exception to the rule!

21 Dec, 2007


Sorry to argue , but we have 3 large bushes about 10 feet tall. One of them is definitely prickle-free from the top to the bottom. I cut my branches from the bottom. The other two are prickly all the way up! They are all variegated varieties, not the all-green one. You will have to come to Somerset and see the exception to the rule, majeeka, or maybe tomorrow I will try to take a photo and post it just for you!

21 Dec, 2007


Good morning everyone - I had a thought about the non-prickly Holly, and looked up 'Ilex' in my Hillier. Well, well, there are several varieties which don't have prickles, the most common being 'Ilex altaclerensis'.We live and learn, don't we! :-) I won't worry about posting photos now, majeeka. The prickly type is 'Ilex aquifolium', by the way.

22 Dec, 2007


well i stand corrected spritz, i have only ever seen them with both types of leaves, but then now days you can get roses without thorns, pink daffodils ect so i gues they have found a way of manipulating this thing with the holly too?

28 Dec, 2007

Add a comment

Recent posts by peter

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    1 Mar, 2008