Southern Holiday WreathsNovember 29, 2012
It’s that time of year folks—holiday shopping, cocktail parties, and A Christmas Story reruns abound. If you’re looking to rethink some of your holiday décor this year, take a cue from our latest DIY project. As an alternative to traditional boxwood or magnolia, we sourced holiday wreath materials from local tobacco and cotton fields. Start a new tradition by hanging one of these on your door—there’s no better time than the holidays to honor your Southern roots.
Tobacco Leaf Wreath
air-cured tobacco leaves (we used around 10 for a wreath with a 12” diameter)
ribbon or twine of choice
scissors/ wire cutters
Step 1: Start by misting the tobacco leaves with water. This makes them easier to bend and manipulate, and it makes them fragrant, too.
Step 2: Place your first tobacco leaf on the wire wreath form. Secure it in place by wrapping the green floral wire around two sections of the leaf.
Step 3: Continue bending and placing tobacco leaves until your wreath form is full. Do your best to hide the leaves’ stems and the floral wire under other leaf sections. For a more free-form look, let the tips of the leaves hang in different directions. For a tailored approach, tuck them into the other leaves/wire.
Step 4: To finish wrap sections of the wreath with ribbon (we used green velvet in honor of the holidays) or decorative twine for a more natural look. We topped ours off with a sprig of red berries pulled from a neighborhood bush.
cotton (use your best judgment depending on the size of your wreath)
grape vine wreath form (a wire form would work for a more minimal look)
scissors/ wire cutters
ribbon of choice
Step 1: Wire together 2-to-4 stalks of the raw cotton to create several 10 to 12 inch-long bunches. But be sure to leave enough cotton unbundled to fill out your wreath later.
Step 2: Gradually working your way around the wreath form, attach a bunch at a time using the floral wire until the surface is more-or-less covered.
Step 3: Cut the remaining unbundled stalks (step 1) and use individual bolls to fill gaps and holes—if you're using a grape vine wreath form, you should be able to tuck these smaller pieces directly into the wreath without securing with wire.
Step 4: We skipped ribbon. The cotton certainly doesn't need it—looks beautiful on its own! But if you want that extra pop of color, stick with a simple loop of wide ribbon rather than a fussier bow. Now, hang and enjoy!