DIY Rustic Cedar Wreath (and the 2013 Canadian Wreath Hop!)

DIY Rustic Cedar Wreath - sq -

Today’s post is one that I have been looking forward to. Not just because I “harvested” bits of tree and turned it into a wreath (that was actually a good time, especially since the cedar trees weren’t really mine… it was a “clip and dash” operation in my neighbourhood) – but because this post is a part of a great big Wreath Hop.

15 Canadian bloggers have joined together (along with the very generous May Arts, who provided us each with ribbon for our projects) to show off their wreath-making skills. Once you’ve checked out my holiday wreath, please head to the bottom of this post and visit some of these other fabulous blogs. There is heaps of talent and inspiration for the taking!

But first, let’s talk about how you, too, can make a rustic, over-sized cedar wreath. This was actually surprisingly easy, despite the fact that I constantly wondered what on earth I had signed myself up for. 

It all started when I couldn’t find a live wreath in the few stores I had popped into. “Forget it. I’ll just make my own.”

How hard could it be?  

DIY Rustic Cedar Wreath - Supplies - Suburble

 I picked up a wreath form and floral wire at the craft store. I was ready to go! 

And I was nervous. I needed this to work! 

 DIY Rustic Cedar Wreath - 1 - Suburble

 If you follow me on Instagram, you would have seen the picture of Lucy and I with our cedar bough loot. We went on a walk with clippers and a large shopping bag. Thank you, generous neighbours who own cedar trees with low-lying branches (who are also totally unaware of what I have done)!

A tip: wear gloves when handling cedar boughs. They can irritate your skin and/or leave little scrapes and cuts. Just trust me. I may have some pretty rough looking hands right about now.

Cedar boughs have a natural curve to them – let them guide the direction that you place them on the wreath. Secure each cedar bough to the form with floral wire.  In order to cut the wire, will need to have either some massive scissors that you don’t really care about, or wire cutters. Honestly, wire cutters are probably best. 

DIY Rustic Cedar Wreath 2 - Suburble

Can you see how the boughs want to follow the circle? Don’t force them to go another way. You’ll just end up with a cowlick in your wreath. 

DIY Rustic Cedar Wreath 3 - Suburble

Don’t get scared by this! Like Mr. Suburble did – he was all, “Errr… Tara… it’s a little BIG, don’t you think?”

Yeah, it was. It was huge. And unruly. And looked like a tree barfed up a wreath and then planted it on my door for a laugh.

It was clipper time. Give your wreath a little trim. You can go very close to the form and keep it tidy, or you can go a bit rustic and unruly. 

DIY Rustic Cedar Wreath 4- Suburble

I decided to keep it a bit rustic.

You’ll notice that I already have the wreath hanging on the door while I trimmed it. This is to be sure that the boughs are hanging naturally, and so that I could see any bald patches or weird branches sticking out of places. It’s easiest to do the trimming (both literally and the figurative “trimming with ornaments”) with the wreath being hung up. You will  be able to secure your ornaments and bows knowing exactly where they will rest.  

DIY Rustic Cedar Wreath - bow - Suburble

 I chose to use this awesome burlap ribbon from May Arts. It’s wonderful stuff, and just the perfect width for a big puffy bow. I used KariAnne’s tutorial from Thistle Wood to make the bow for my wreath. I’m not even going to pretend that I had the faintest clue of how to make it until I visited her blog.  

DIY Rustic Cedar Wreath - Bow done - Suburble

 When I wrapped the burlap around the middle of the bow, I ran the remaining length of ribbon (about a meter’s worth) through the back of it. This way, I had a bow with two very large “tails” to be draped in the wreath.  

DIY Rustic Cedar Wreath 5 - Suburble

At the same craft store that I bought the form and the floral wire, I also bought pinecones.

I know…. I bought pinecones.

But these are the big, happy pinecones. The ones in my neighbourhood hit the ground with solid “thuds” and look like tiny little tree turds. 

Not exactly wreath-tastic. 

DIY Rustic Cedar Wreath 6 - Suburble

I painted the ends of the pinecones with Martha’s metallic gold paint. This added just a bit of “ka-pow” to the otherwise brown-brown-brown pinecones.

DIY Rustic Cedar Wreath 7 - Suburble

I also chose this fabulous gold ribbon in my haul from May Arts. I decided to use it as a little accent on my plastic Christmas balls (snapped up at a thrift store). 

DIY Rustic Cedar Wreath 8 - Suburble

A bit of hot glue, and suddenly, these formerly boring balls had disco belts! They were wreath-ready. 

DIY Rustic Cedar Wreath 9 - Suburble

 The final touch to the wreath was to add some gold curly-cue glittery branches typically used in floral arrangements. I love how they spray out and add a bit of interest to where the bow is attached to the wreath. 

And there’s glitter. You can’t go wrong with glitter.  

DIY Rustic Cedar Wreath - sq -

And this is the green beauty in her finished glory. I love how over-sized and country it is. The burlap bow is the perfect focal point, but there are still little bits of glitz throughout the wreath.

I didn’t want to over-do the decorations in this wreath, as I really wanted it to have a rustic feel. 

DIY Rustic Cedar Wreath 10 - Suburble

And you know what?!?! This project was very inexpensive and will continue to be. Once the holidays are over, I’ll remove the cedar boughs and save the form for next year. 

Here comes the fun part!  There are even more gorgeous wreaths and tutorials for your perusal!

Check out the projects created by these amazing bloggers (from left to right, they are):
Canadian Blogger Collage 2013

Jo-Anna from A Pretty Life In The Suburbs
Thalita from The Learner Observer
Angie from Echoes of Laughter
Virginia from Fynes Designs
Shauna from Satori Design for Living
Kelly from A Swell Place to Dwell
Stephanie from Garden Therapy
Becky from Sketchy Styles
Christine from The DIY Dreamer
Alex from Northstory
Shannon from AKA Design
Ingrid from Now At Home Mom
Gemma from The Sweetest Digs
Brooke from Brooklyn Berry Designs

Click on each link to see what they’ve created – there is SO much inspiration here!

Are you making a wreath this year!?!? Out of what? How?

Tell me more… I may have developed an addiction!



  1. November 25, 2013
    Virginia Fynes

    Looks fab, not too big at all!

    • November 25, 2013

      Thanks, Virginia! Thankfully, I like things over-sized, so I agree with you! πŸ™‚

  2. November 25, 2013

    πŸ™‚ oh! I love how over-sized it is! don’t know why but I love over-sized wreaths very much! πŸ™‚
    yours feels very welcoming too! I bought those happy pinecones too and put them in a bowl; much better than the ones from outside (I agree) πŸ™‚

    • November 25, 2013

      Me too, Ingrid! I’m tempted to make another one for on top of my mantel! I’m so glad that I wasn’t the only one buying pinecones. I felt like, “Aren’t these just chucked out of trees willy-nilly?”

      Mine just aren’t very aesthetically pleasing. πŸ˜‰

      • December 16, 2015
        April, Walnut Stump Arts

        about the pine cones… you can make your own pine cones from nature look like the ones you buy from the store by placing them in a low temp oven 200.. 250 degrees for about 30 mins. or untill they open up. Pine cones are actually the flower of the pine tree. you have to help them bloom. πŸ™‚ also it burns up those little no seeums critters that may be occupying them..

        • January 5, 2016

          Wow! Thank you, April! Those are some great tips!

  3. November 25, 2013

    I want a fresh cut wreath now!!! πŸ™‚ Love it!! So what’s our next blog hop….Valentine’s? hmmmm…
    Alex recently posted…A wreath with a little twist (for our Canadian Wreath Hop of course!)My Profile

    • November 25, 2013

      Oooh… good idea, lady!

  4. November 25, 2013

    Clip & dash!! I laughed out loud at that image!

    That wreath is gorgeous! Full and lush and just the thing to welcome with holiday cheers!

    And I like how you wrapped the ornaments with the ribbon. I may have to borrow that idea!

    Becky recently posted…The Canadian Wreath HopMy Profile

    • November 25, 2013

      I love that word – lush! Thank you so much, Becky!

      And yes, Lucy and I were super-stealth cedar-bough-gathering ninjas.

      With a double stroller and a giant bag of greenery. Very covert! πŸ˜‰

  5. November 25, 2013
    Shauna @ Satori Design for Living

    You cracked me up with your “clip and dash” story (may have done it a time or two in my day- just saying!). In this case, bigger is better- love how it fills your front door and you’ve mixed in the perfect amount of color and texture. Thanks for organizing this shindig- so much fun!
    Shauna @ Satori Design for Living recently posted…My Version of the Book Page WreathMy Profile

    • November 25, 2013

      I think that when it comes to Christmas – aside from little villages – bigger IS better! Thank you for your compliments, and I’m so thrilled that you could join us in this hop! πŸ™‚

  6. November 25, 2013
    Kelly @ A Swell Place to Dwell

    It turned out so darn cute!!! And I loved that pic on Instagram of your branch snatching.
    Kelly @ A Swell Place to Dwell recently posted…Holiday Feather Wreath With Burlap RibbonMy Profile

    • November 25, 2013

      Thank you, Kelly! I had to record that moment so I didn’t forget what lengths I would go to for a craft.

      Just trespassing and theft. Not a big deal. πŸ˜‰

  7. November 25, 2013

    Very pretty Tara! I love rustic evergreen wreaths…they’re so Christmas-y! I love the embellishments you added too!
    Jo-Anna recently posted…DIY Fresh Evergreen WreathMy Profile

    • November 25, 2013

      Thank you so much, Jo-Anna! You and I both had the same idea this week! (Though yours was a bit neater than mine in the end! πŸ™‚ )

  8. November 25, 2013
    amy @ one artsy mama

    So pretty and natural, Tara! Loving it!
    amy @ one artsy mama recently posted…Holiday Shine BraceletMy Profile

    • November 25, 2013

      Thank you, Amy! I do love things to be glitzy… but when it comes to wreaths, I like them to be a little bit rustic.

  9. November 25, 2013
    Meredith @ Wait Til Your Father Gets Home

    GORGEOUS! I love fresh greenery on wreaths for the holidays πŸ™‚
    Meredith @ Wait Til Your Father Gets Home recently posted…The Giving JarMy Profile

    • November 25, 2013

      Me too! Thank you so much, Meredith!

  10. November 25, 2013
    Lauren @ The Thinking Closet

    Bah ha ha! I love that you “borrowed” the greenery from your neighborhood. But in truth, you were probably just helping everyone out with their pruning! Consider it your random act of kindness for the week! Lol.

    The outcome is really stunning, Tara. I’ve always been intimidated to build a wreath with real live evergreens, but you walk me through it all in such a way, I feel empowered! (Sign of a successful tutorial and influential blogger, I dare say.) And you KNOW I dig the glitter curlies and the disco belts on those plastic ball ornaments. A real show-stopper!

    Can’t wait to hop around and visit some of my other Canadian blogger friends! So many sweet, familiar faces in this mix!
    Lauren @ The Thinking Closet recently posted…Glitter Twine Ball Ornament TutorialMy Profile

    • November 25, 2013

      Yes, I will consider it just a helping hand to my neighbours. You’re welcome, people-who-live-near-me-with-cedar-trees!

      Thank you so much for your sweet words, Lauren! And who doesn’t dig glitter curlies? Even writing that gives me a smile. You should throw intimidation to the side and try your hand at making a wreath! Believe me, if I can do it, you’ll make it a showstopper! πŸ™‚

  11. November 25, 2013

    Lovely wreath! And much better value than buying it pre-made!
    Melanie recently posted…Upside Down Butterscotch Apple Pie #HolidayButter #shopMy Profile

    • November 25, 2013

      You’re so right, Melanie! Especially when you’re borrowing materials from your neighbours’ yards!

  12. November 25, 2013
    Inspire Me Heather

    So beautiful Tara, you’ve done a lovely job with that wreath!!
    Inspire Me Heather recently posted…project: holiday cardsMy Profile

    • November 25, 2013

      Awww… thanks, Heather! I admit – I had a few, “Is this going to work out? ” moments, but in the end, I like my big, burly wreath!

  13. November 25, 2013

    Your wreath is really pretty! And I like that it’s over sized. Nice job!
    Heather recently posted…Swap Shop your Way to Happier HolidaysMy Profile

    • November 25, 2013

      Thank you, Heather! I like Christmas decor to be a bit on the big side, too! πŸ™‚

  14. November 25, 2013

    Love it! I bet it smells awesome πŸ™‚
    gemma@thesweetestdigs recently posted…DIY holiday decor: a clothespin scandi wreathMy Profile

    • November 25, 2013

      It smells pretty nice (although it’s outside, so I don’t get to reap the benefits). I love cedar… do they make cedar potpourri? And would that be weird?

  15. November 25, 2013
    Krista @thehappyhousie

    So classically pretty Tara- I love it!!
    Krista @thehappyhousie recently posted…Get Your DIY On Challenge: Setting the Table for the HolidaysMy Profile

    • November 25, 2013

      Thank you so much, Krista! πŸ™‚

  16. November 25, 2013

    Well done! Amazing job for your first wreath, I am very impressed!
    Mel recently posted…Star Wars Cookie Jar, Or I’m About to Out My DadMy Profile

    • November 25, 2013

      Thank you so much, Mel! I have to tell you – I was pretty nervous throughout the whole endeavour. I’m happy that it turned out the way it did!

  17. November 25, 2013

    I LOVE how this looks!! I think I need one!
    Kara recently posted…Favorite Finds Under $10 with ChiWei from One Dog WoofMy Profile

    • November 25, 2013

      Thank you so much, Kara! If I can do it, you can, lady!

  18. November 25, 2013
    Kenz @ Interiors by Kenz

    Your wreath looks amazing. I wish you would have been wearing a go pro camera or something on your clip-n-dash. I would have paid good money to see that πŸ™‚ And when I say good money… I actually mean no money, because I’m poor. haha. But I would have loved to see it. And/or be a part of said shenanigan.
    Kenz @ Interiors by Kenz recently posted…Thanksgiving Chalkboard ArtMy Profile

    • November 25, 2013

      I should really get one of those cameras. Sometimes I think to myself, I should be videotaping this craziness!

      Maybe I have a Kardashian complex! πŸ˜‰

  19. November 25, 2013

    I used the burlap ribbon too! Great minds think alike, I guess. I love your take on the #wreathhop challenge. I make an evergreen wreath every year and they smell divine. Thanks for organizing the hop. xoxo
    Stephanie recently posted…Burlap Ribbon Wreath – It’s a #WreathHop!My Profile

  20. November 26, 2013

    It’s looks absolutely beautiful Tara!!! Love all the custom details!
    Christine recently posted…Holiday Shopping with Shoppers Drug Mart #GiftsMadeEasyMy Profile

  21. November 26, 2013

    I LOVE your wreath! I bet it smells wonderful! What a fun great idea to have a wreath hop! I’m getting tons of great idea for our Christmas wreath. πŸ™‚
    Kadie recently posted…RoseArt Extreme AirBrush ~ And a Black Friday DealMy Profile

  22. November 26, 2013

    Tara I absolutely LOVE this wreath! I have never made a wreath with fresh cut pine before…I bet is smells heavenly! Thanks for inspiring me to try a new type of wreath!
    Marilyn recently posted…Instant White Chocolate Peppermint Cappuccino (#HomemadeHolidays)My Profile

  23. November 26, 2013
    Shannon – AKA Design

    Mmm. Burlap and cedar! Perfect combo!
    xo, S
    Shannon – AKA Design recently posted…Pinecone & Rusty Jingle Bell Wreath | Seasonal ProjectMy Profile

  24. November 26, 2013
    Lindsay @Artsy-Fartsy Mama

    Love what you added to make the wreath even better!! Well done, it looks gorgeous!
    Lindsay @Artsy-Fartsy Mama recently posted…Hello Kitty Let’s Play Clothing & KuKee AppMy Profile

  25. November 26, 2013

    Hi Tara! First of all, your blog and Social Media presence is amazing! Secondly, I love the wreath for several reasons. It is very stylish, very DIY and as you shared inexpensive. I wish I could have participated in this amazing blog hop but my blog migration and redesign has created a bit of blip while I wait for things to be taken care of! Have pinned and tweeted! ~Thea
    Thea recently posted…Some Changes Coming To Time WIth TheaMy Profile

  26. November 27, 2013
    Megan @ Our PInteresting Family

    That looks so beautiful!
    Megan @ Our PInteresting Family recently posted…Pottery Barn Inspired Holiday SignMy Profile

  27. November 29, 2013

    Favorite bit – disco belts. πŸ™‚ your wreath is beautiful!
    ChiWei recently posted…Thanksgiving $100 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!My Profile

  28. November 29, 2013
    Adrianne at Happy Hour Projects

    I love real wreaths!! Yours is gorgeous!

    Confession: I keep forgetting that because we don’t have a storm door on the new house, I could totally put a wreath up this year. I better hop around for some inspiration!!
    Adrianne at Happy Hour Projects recently posted…The Big Black Friday Giveaway Round Up: Over $2500 in Prizes!My Profile

  29. November 30, 2013
    Dani @ lifeovereasy

    “How hard can it be?” – famous last words, right? But for you it turned out fantastic! And I totally love that you used stolen cedar – gives it a bit of an adventurous flair!

  30. December 11, 2016
    Thomas R. Filbin

    Very nice wreath!
    I don’t live in the ‘burbs, but I have thousands of cedars and dozens of pines…
    This project would be a perfect holiday addition to the gate on my driveway. Thank you for the instructions and inspiration!


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