How to make your own Christmas wreath with fresh pine

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One of the hallmarks of winter is the traditional scent of fresh pine in the form of candles or live Christmas trees. Deck your halls with personalised holiday decorations, such as home made Christmas wreaths made from pine boughs.

Create multiple wreaths, and fill your home with the fresh sight and scent of pine garlands for the entire holiday season.

Collect pine boughs from your live Christmas tree when you trim it to fit your house. You can also buy it from a local place that sells live trees. Look for bushy garland pieces with lots of body and thick needles of a healthy green colour. Collect pine cones lying on the ground to add to your wreath later.

Cut about 20 pieces of florist wire 40 cm (15 inches) in length, and trim your pine garlands into 20 cm (8-inch) pieces for easier management. Sort the pine pieces into piles of sturdier boughs and weaker boughs. The sturdier pieces will serve as a strong foundation for the wreath.

Lay a wire frame on a flat surface. Position a sturdier piece of pine garland over the frame, and observe the shape. The branch should generally follow the line of the frame but can stick out over the edges. Wrap a bit of florist wire starting at one end of the garland, and move downward. Try to wrap just the main branch, as you want the needles to be free. Add pieces as you work your way around the frame.

Add volume to your wreath by collecting the lighter pine garlands into small bunches of four or five. Stack them on top of the sturdier boughs, and secure them with more florist wire. Overlap the bunches to prevent any gaps from forming.

Swing your wreath a little to make sure nothing is too loose and falls off. Wrap more wire where needed. Hot glue or wire holly, ribbons or small ornaments where desired. Hang your personal decoration.