A DIY pine Wreath that Won’t Cost you a Cent.

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A DIY Pine Wreath you can make yourself, for free, without going out to buy any materials.  

This is the ultimate budget Christmas decorating project.   All it takes is time and a few materials from Mother Nature. 

Anyone can make these evergreen wreaths; the step-by-step tutorial couldn’t be more straightforward.  With costs skyrocketing, saving a few dollars by making your evergreen wreath for the Christmas holidays is a bonus.

 Below, you will find our simple tutorial that will take you step by step through picking the correct type of branches, building a form, and creating a wreath.

Editors Note: This post was written on November 20, 2018, and updated on October 3, 2023, to address formatting and imaging issues. The post was also restructured to include clearer headings and updated instructions. We also included a section for reader suggestions and added a simplified How To instruction card at the end of the post.

A Versatile DIY PINE WREATH For Any Holiday Decor Style

This DIY Pine wreath can be as big or as full as you want it to be.  I wanted mine to look vintage.  Something you might find in an idyllic French Christmas scene circa 1800 something.   

My wreaths are thinner because I didn’t want a fluffy wreath.  Instead of trimming them to get a nice uniform look, I left them disheveled and poking out all over.  Rustic! But you can make them as full and fluffy, neat and trim.

That “rustic” look fits well with the feel of my home, but maybe not for yours. We put ours in our front window, but these wreaths would do even better as a door wreath.

That’s OK… if you want your free pine wreaths to be fuller and more modern, you can still get that look with these forms; it just takes a bit more time and fussing. 

A rustic pine wreath hanging in a window.

How to Make a Wreath From Real Pine Branches

So, a few things – to make these DIY wreaths, you will need access to some evergreen trees.  

If you live in the desert or a balmy warm climate, I am not sorry you cannot complete this project.

While I am freezing my face off with – -30-degree weather, you’re drinking cold drinks in the sun, so technically, you win life.  I have no sadness for you.  Sorry. 

Oh yes, back to these wreaths. 

You will need access to some trees: pine, spruce, cedar branches, or any evergreen tree worthy of being turned into a wreath will work just fine.  I call the wreaths in this project “pine wreaths,” but technically, I used spruce branches; I have made them with pine primarily over the years, but in this house, I had access to an overabundance of spruce that needed to be trimmed.

You will also need access to smaller trees or bushes with thin, bendable branches.  Think shrubs like lilac or hedges.

Related: Did you know that its possible to regrow certain types of Christmas trees? Check out our full guide to find out more.

TOOLS AND MATERIALS For A DIY Pine Wreath

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Although you need very few materials to make this wreath, you need a few tools, which we have listed below. Happy crafting!

MATERIALS 

  • Large evergreen branch ( for the wreath hanger )
  • Small evergreen tips 
  • 22 Gauge Floral wire/ or you could use a heavy fishing line, jute twine, or butcher’s twine.  

TOOLS

The Right gardening gloves make the difference!

We love these thorn-proof & puncture-resistant gardening gloves! After trying countless different gloves over the years from expensive to cheap, these are the gloves we buy.

  • Reinforced index finger and thumb so they last!
  • Padded for comfort but not bulky.
  • Breathable with easy velcro closures.
  • Multiple colors!

STEP 1 – Find Evergreen Branches at Least 2 Inches Thick

If you want to make the rustic branch for the DIY wreaths to hang from, make sure you cut a nice-sized branch off your tree.  

Look for branches at least 2 inches in diameter.  

Please wear gloves while working on this project; it will help save your hands and keep them scratch and sap-free.

A spruce  bough freshly cut resting on a deck.

STEP 2 – Trim The Branches

Use garden trimmers and snip off all the side branches.  Use a handsaw if you hit a branch too big to snip off.  

Save all your pine trimmings because you will use them for your wreath.

an evergreen branch being trimmed to make a pine wreath.

 

STEP 3 – Make The Wreath Form

Making your wreath form is fairly easy.  

You need two straight branches measuring 1/2 -3/4 inch wide and about 30 inches long.  You can trim them down to any size you want, but it’s best to grab them around that long to start out. 

I used lilac hedge branches, but any branch will do so if it is straight and will bend. 

If you make your wreath forms any more significant than 48-60 inches around, I suggest making two forms and attaching them to reinforce each other. 

Adding the pine boughs puts a bit of weight on the forms.  Doubling up ensures they won’t break. 

Make sure the branches you pick are bendable!  You do not want old growth here because they will be too dry and will not bend; they will crack.

Trim off any excess stems or branches. 

Once cleaned, the branches must be soaked down with warm water for 3 minutes. 

Dampening down the branches will help them bend. 

STEP 4 – Building the Wreath Form

Lay two branches side by side.

Use your wire to fasten them together – it doesn’t have to be pretty; it only needs to be well fastened.  Once the pine boughs are attached, you won’t even see the wire. 

Once the first side is fastened, bend the whole thing into a circle and fasten the other side with more wire. 

If your shape is not quite round, you can gently bend the branches into shape, but “gently” is the keyword.  I broke a set doing this because I was a bit too rough. 

I made four of these wreaths, and all ended up more or less round. 

There were no weird shapes. They all ended up being reasonably circular in the end.    If you get a weird shape, I suggest starting over and bending two different branches.

If the circle is off a tiny bit, don’t worry; you can always sort it out as you trim and add your boughs around the wreath form. 

Small wet branches being fasted together with wire to form a pine wreath form.

STEP 5 – Let The Wreath Form Dry

Let the form dry. 

Once it is dry, test it.  Gently tug on the sides to make sure the form will not come apart and that it is sufficiently wired on both sides. 

If it feels loose or not entirely secure, add more wire around where you attached the branches. 

Wreath Form made from twigs and florist wire resting on a table covered in kraft paper.

STEP 6 – Separate The Evergreen Branches by Size

Look for lush green, complete tips on your branches; those are the pieces we want to use for our wreath. 

Separate the evergreen tips so that the best-looking, most lush branches are set aside.

See in the photo below how lush and full that tip is; that’s what we want for the top of our wreath.  We can use the not-so-great ones on the bottom layer. 

pine branches being added to a handmade wreath form on a table covered in kraft paper.

STEP 7 – Start the Base Layer of Branches and Attach to The Wreath Form

The first layer of pine branches is intended to create a base for the next layer.

This layer does not have to be perfect or beautiful; it just needs to attach to the frame securely.  Add lots of floral wire around each evergreen tip as you attach it. 

The length of the tip doesn’t matter so long as it can bend with the frame, and there are full tips almost the length of the clipping. 

adding the first layer of pine branches  with florist wire.

STEP 8 – Add The Second Layer of Branches

The next round is a bit different.  You’ll want to find your best-looking tips and lay them down individually.  They must be overlapped like fallen dominos, always around the wreath in the same direction. 

Each time you add a new branch bundle, tie it down with florist wire (or jute twine etc) add the next, and do the same until you make it all around.

The tighter you make these overlaps, the fuller the wreath will be.  

 

Second layer of pine branches being added to fill out the pine wreath.  a basket of pine tips rest on the table next to the wreath.

STEP 9 – Create a Rustic Wreath Hanger (optional)

To create the rustic branch wreath hanger, I cut my big branch down to fit my window and tied it up in the corners with some cup hooks.

I used some twine to attach my branch to my cup hooks.  You can see it in the photos, but the curtains do a good enough job hiding it that I didn’t fuss. 

I used some leftover burlap ribbon to attach the wreaths to the branch. 

I tried to get some decent photos, but the sunlight wasn’t cooperating. But these DIY pine wreaths look pretty hanging in my windows! They match the rustic vintage vibe I have going on with my Christmas decorations this holiday season.

a rustic desk sits in front of a widow with a snowy background.  Two rustic pine wreaths hang in the window from a pine branch.

 

Fantastic Ideas and Suggestions from Our Readers:

This post is a few years old, and over the years, we have had lots of comments, emails, and suggestions put forth by our readers. And I wanted to share some creative ideas because they were absolutely genius and lovely.

  1. One reader suggested skipping the wooden form and using an old wire coat hanger to make a wire frame. It is an excellent idea for a lovely, smaller handmade wreath.
  2. Mix different types of fresh greenery for a heavily textured wreath.
  3. Tuck in extras like magnolia leaves, pine cones, ribbons, and ornaments to have the wreaths match your decor.
  4. If you keep the wreaths indoors, mist them every other day to keep them from drying out. The wreaths last a few weeks (longer if you use cedar branches), but once the pine starts to dry, the needles will drop.

Looking for more Holiday Inspiration?

If you liked this fresh Christmas wreath project, we have many more holiday projects you may want to give a try:

A DIY pine Wreath that Won't Cost you a Cent

A DIY pine Wreath that Won't Cost you a Cent

Yield: 1 Evergreen Wreath
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Active Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 22 minutes
Difficulty: Medium

A DIY Evergreen wreath you can make at home without buying any materials. All this wreath will cost is your time.

Materials

  • Large evergreen branches
  • Small evergreen tips 
  • 22 Gauge Floral wire/ or you could use a heavy fishing line, jute twine, or butcher's twine.  

Tools

  • Garden shears
  • Wire cutters
  • Small pliers 
  • Hand saw
  • Gloves

Instructions

    STEP 1 - Find Evergreen Branches at Least 2 Inches Thick

    1. If you want to make the rustic branch for the DIY wreaths to hang from, make sure you cut a nice-sized branch off your tree.  
    2. Look for branches at least 2 inches in diameter.  
    3. Please wear gloves while working on this project; it will help save your hands and keep them scratch and sap-free

    STEP 2 - Trim The Branches

    1. Use garden trimmers and snip off all the side branches.  Use a handsaw if you hit a branch too big to snip off.  
    2. Save all your pine trimmings because you will use them for your wreath

      STEP 3 - Make The Wreath Form

      1. Making your wreath form is fairly easy.  
      2. You need two straight branches measuring 1/2 -3/4 inch wide and about 30 inches long.  You can trim them down to any size you want, but it's best to grab them around that long to start.
      3. I used lilac hedge branches, but any branch will do so if it is straight and will bend.
      4. If you make your wreath forms any more significant than 48-60 inches around, I suggest making two forms and attaching them to reinforce each other. 
      5. Adding the pine boughs puts a bit of weight on the forms.  Doubling up ensures they won't break. 
      6. Make sure the branches you pick are bendable!  You do not want old growth here because they will be too dry and will not bend; they will crack.
      7. Trim off any excess stems or branches. 
      8. Once cleaned, the branches must be soaked with warm water for 3 minutes. 
      9. Dampening down the branches will help them bend. 

      STEP 4 - Building the Wreath Form

      1. Lay two branches side by side.
      2. Use your wire to fasten them together – it doesn't have to be pretty; it only needs to be well fastened.  Once the pine boughs are attached, you won't even see the wire. 
      3. Once the first side is fastened, bend the whole thing into a circle and fasten the other side with more wire. 
      4. If your shape is not quite round, you can gently bend the branches into shape, but “gently” is the keyword.  I broke a set doing this because I was a bit too rough. 
      5. I made four of these wreaths, and all ended up more or less round. 
      6. There were no weird shapes. They all ended up being reasonably circular in the end.    If you get a weird shape, I suggest starting over and bending two different branches.
      7. If the circle is off a tiny bit, don't worry; you can always sort it out as you trim and add your boughs around the wreath form. 


      STEP 5 - Let The Wreath Form Dry

      1. Let the form dry.
      2. Once it is dry, test it.  Gently tug on the sides to make sure the form will not come apart and that it is sufficiently wired on both sides. 
      3. If it feels loose or not entirely secure, add more wire around where you attached the branches. 

      STEP 6 - Separate The Evergreen Branches by Size

      1. Look for lush green, complete tips on your branches; those are the pieces we want to use for our wreath. 
      2. Separate the evergreen tips so that the best-looking, most lush branches are set aside.
      3. See in the photo below how lush and full that tip is; that's what we want for the top of our wreath.  We can use the not-so-great ones on the bottom layer. 

      STEP 7 - Start the Base Layer of Branches and Attach to The Wreath Form

      1. The first layer of pine branches is intended to create a base for the next layer.
      2. This layer does not have to be perfect or beautiful; it just needs to attach to the frame securely.  Add lots of floral wire around each evergreen tip as you attach it. 
      3. The length of the tip doesn't matter so long as it can bend with the frame, and there are full tips almost the length of the clipping. 

      STEP 8 - Add The Second Layer of Branches

      1. The next round is a bit different.  You'll want to find your best-looking tips and lay them down individually.  They must be overlapped like fallen dominos, always around the wreath in the same direction. 
      2. Each time you add a new branch bundle, tie it down with florist wire (or jute twine etc) add the next, and do the same until you make it all around.
      3. The tighter you make these overlaps, the fuller the wreath will be. 

      STEP 9 - Create a Rustic Wreath Hanger (optional)

      1. To create the rustic branch wreath hanger, I cut my big branch down to fit my window and tied it up in the corners with some cup hooks.
      2. I used some twine to attach my branch to my cup hooks.  You can see it in the photos, but the curtains do a good enough job hiding it that I didn't fuss.
      3. I used some leftover burlap ribbon to attach the wreaths to the branch. 

      7 Comments

        1. Hi Mackenzie, that chair came from Wayfair, but before you get too excited – let me drop some details about this chair. I LOVED it when I saw it and thought it would go well with my desk, but… That chair did not hold up well. The fabric pills terribly, and I am constantly fussing over how it looks. The worst part was that the ball bearings actually fell out of the wheels. I have never seen an office chair do that before, but this one did. The wheels stick and grind now and it super annoying. If it is a chair that is going to get heavy use, I don’t recommend it at all. The chair is called The Suzanne Task Chair and the manufacture is Greyeligh. It has excellent reviews on Wayfair, so maybe I got a lemon. On a positive note it is a super comfortable chair.

      1. These wreaths are gorgeous!! I love a good free diy!!
        You explained the steps perfectly, i’m defiantly going to try this. THanks for Sharing!!!

        1. Thanks Cate!! I love a good free DIY too, something that doesn’t cost me a cent but still looks good. Good luck with your wreaths and if you do make them come on back and drop us a note to let us know how it goes. Cheers!

        1. Hi Holli, yes, just like a fresh Christmas tree they will dry out. A pine wreath that starts off with well-hydrated branches will last approx 3 weeks. I give mine a light spritz with fresh water every few days to keep them hydrated. Great question, I will add that information to the post!

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