Hi, and welcome to the first "From Workroom to Showroom" tutorial with designer Vicki Olney McPherson.  Today we will be walking you through how to design your own fall wreath!  Of course we have tons of wonderful fall floral products on our showroom floor, but for those of you with a designer's flare, this will give you the basics of doing it yourself.

Step 1: Buying a wreath

Pictured above is a very basic, cheap Christmas wreath.  This step is not where you want to spend your money!  Just buy a basic green wreath.  As you will soon see, it will be covered with beautiful fall flowers!  Make sure your wreath is well fluffed; that is the first step to making your fall wreath look as full as possible.

Step 2: Fall Rhodsidia

This is one of the most useful steps in the tutorial because it saves you money and makes you look like a pro!  Don't go out and spend money on expensive greenery, whether fresh or silk.  Make use of Vicki's favorite type of greenery, "Rhodsidia" (Get it? As in road side…).  You can find beautiful fall foliage in your own back yard – or if you're sneaky enough, your neighbor's yard.  Especially keep your eye out for foliage that has turned those beautiful autumn shades of yellow, orange and red.  And don't worry about your foliage drying up; for the fall season, it just adds character.

You might be wondering how Vicki is attaching those leaves to the wreath.  The answer is simple – no glue or wire required.  In fact, your whole wreath is made out of wire!  Just tuck your pieces of foliage deep into the wreath, find two of those little green things, and twist them around your foliage.  It won't go anywhere!  That's how she will be attaching her flowers and ribbon as well.

Step 3: Grapevine

This step is entirely optional based on how you want YOUR wreath to look, but we think that a touch grapevine really adds to the wreath.  Getting grapevine is easy; just buy a grapevine wreath from your local arts and crafts store, and then cut it apart.  You just need a little, so hang onto the rest of the grapevine for next year's wreath, or share it with a friend.  Tie your grapevine in just the way you want it, and you're ready to add flowers!

Step 4: Flowers

Okay, take a deep breath.  This is the part where some folks start to get scared, but don't worry about it!  The key is to relax and trust yourself.  One of our sayings around the flower shop is "If it looks good to you, it will look good to them."

Begin by placing a couple of flowers at a good focal point.  You can use fresh flowers or silk flowers depending on how long you want your design to last.  Vicki is using silk flowers – all available in our showroom – from our beautiful line of Winword Silks.  We're not going to smother this wreath with flowers; we just want to bring some color to this autumn circle.  Often times the best focal points for wreaths are towards the bottom and slightly off-center (but feel free to get creative! Remember, if it looks good to you…).

Then begin placing other flowers wherever you think they look best.  Once again, don't feel like you have to cover the whole wreath.  This step is all about shape; lay out a framework for your design, and then fill in later. Vicki is going to put a cluster in the bottom right, and then let some other flowers grow up around the right side of the wreath.  Just try to make it look natural for the type of flower you're using.

Note: When you cut your silk flowers, you shouldn't necessarily throw away that silk foliage below your cut.  Silk foliage can often be the perfect thing to fill out the wreath, even if its separate from the flower it came with.

Step 5: Fill in, and get creative!

As you can see, Vicki has filled in with some fall berries.  And remember our motto: Less is more.  Now is also the time to strengthen your focal point and get rid of unwanted negative space (Don't overdo it; some negative space is good).  Don't feel like you're limited to flowers.  Vicki used some beautiful silk artichokes, which we sell retail in our store.  The fresh artichokes at the store are also beautiful this time of year.

Step 6: A touch of ribbon

Remember, less is more.  You don't always need a huge bow; sometimes that just takes away from the wreath.  In fact, you don't have to use any ribbon

at all.  Vicki decided to just tuck in a few loops of ribbon.  Once again, just form your loops and then twist a piece of wreath around it. 

If you are using wired ribbon, make sure you roll up your ends a little for a nice, finished look.







Step 7: Show it off!

Find a door or a wall, and let all your guests enjoy your design!  Remember, it's important to always design a wreath at the same height at which you're going to display it.  


Great job!  You've learned how to design a fall wreath.  And this is just the beginning; stay tuned to our blog for more design tutorials, as well as tips about gardening and landscaping and news about live workshops and in-store specials.

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Mankin and Sons Home ~ Floral Home

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