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Choosing the Base for a Wreath


You can choose from a variety of bases when making your own wreaths

Wreaths are beautiful decorations all year round and if you are wanting to make your own, here is an overview of the different types of wreath bases. Which ones you choose will be determined in part by the type of wreath you want to make.

Wire Base
A wire base is the sturdiest you can use. Wires are recommended for thick greenery and heavier decorations. These can be purchased in a variety of sizes or you can make your own from coat hangers or heavy-gauge wire. Create a double base by off-setting two similar-sized circles and wiring them together. You can then begin adding greenery with additional wire and floral tape.

You will not be able to use floral picks on a wire base, of course. If you use artificial objects, however, a wire-based wreath will last much longer than those made of natural materials.

Box wired bases are sturdier because the concentric rings are attached to create a solid backing. These are available from a number of online shops or at your local craft store.

Straw Base
Straw wreaths can also be purchased or made from scratch. In fact, you do not have to use straw; any long grass will work. You will want to compact the strands as much as possible. You can make it as thick as you want, but most professionals state that a 1 ½ inch diameter is sufficient.

Begin with a thick handful of strands; they should be at least 12 inches long. Wrap them with heavy wire, ending about 3 inches from the bottom. Add another bunch, overlapping the tapered, unwired end and continue wiring. When the wreath is the right length to create a circle or other desired shape, overlap the ends - by about six inches for security - and wire firmly together.

You may need to reinforce a straw base if using heavier weight objects. Just bend a coat hanger - use more than one if necessary - into a circle that matches the size of the straw base and attach it with floral wire.

Vine Base
Vine bases may be the most fun to create but, again, you can purchase them as well. If you are wanting to create a unique shape such as a circle with an "S" curving off, then vines are an outstanding choice.

Look for fresh vines that can be bent without breaking. If necessary, you can also soak them in the tub until they soften enough for reshaping. Once you have the desired shape, let the vines dry before attaching any decoration.

You'll need to have a starter shape - overlapping two or three vines and wiring them together to reach the desired size. From this base, you will continue adding additional vines of varying lengths, continuing to wire them to the base.

You can use wire to attach objects to a vine base and with some decor, you can just tuck it in between the strands.

Styrofoam Base
Styrofoam will give you a uniform base on which to work. You can use picks and wire on Styrofoam. The base, because of its appearance, should first be covered in cloth or ribbon.

You can also purchase wet floral foam wreaths for live arrangements.

You will probably need a wreath hanger for vine-type bases for added stability. Straw and Styrofoam bases can be mounted on a long nail. Hangers are ideal because you can hang the wreath while working on it, which will give you better visual control. However, keep in mind when using a glue gun that drips may occur.

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