Wreaths are prominent decorative ornaments that are used in different parts of the world. Typically, wreaths are used as a popular Christmas decoration. That being said, these household ornaments can also be flaunted as a chaplet around the head or as a garland around the neck.
Short Answer: The main types of wreaths include:
- Christmas Wreaths
- Seasonal Wreaths
- Floral Wreaths
- DIY Wreaths
This assortment of flowers, leaves, twigs, and fruits boasts a rich history. The term “wreath” comes from an old English word “writhen” which means “to writhe” or “to twist.”
It is widely believed that the use of wreaths dates back to ancient Greece and Rome, where Greeks and Romans would prepare wreathes in a ring shape using fresh leaves, flowers, twigs, and small fruits and then wear them as headdresses, representing status, rank, and achievement. At that time, the Laurel wreath was used most commonly to crown guests and visitors of the Greco-Roman Olympic Games.
However, the most famous use of wreaths came in connection with Christianity. Generally, wreaths are in a circular shape, which represents eternal life and God’s infinite love.
It all began in the 16th century when the use of the Advent wreath was adopted by Christians. These wreaths were made from evergreens (symbolizing eternal life) and red berries and thorny leaves (symbolizing the crown of thorns Jesus wore).
According to the custom, the Advent wreath is supposed to accommodate four candles – three purple and one pink. The first purple candle is lit, which is a prophecy candle and represents hope. On the second Sunday of Advent, another purple candle, known as the Bethlehem Candle, is lit. This candle represents Christ’s manger.
The pink candle (the shepherd candle) is lit on the third Sunday of Advent and represents glory and joy. The angel candle, representing peace, is the final purple candle which is lit on the fourth Sunday. This goes to show that wreaths are not merely for ornate purposes; in fact, they have spiritual, religious, and historical importance too.
These days, most people associate wreaths with Christmas only. Although wreaths have indisputable significance in the festive season, they are important all year round and are used for different purposes. In this article, we have discussed all the different types of wreaths that one should know about.
A. Christmas Wreaths
Christmas decorations are incomplete without wreaths as they hold immense importance in Christianity. From a religious perspective, a wreath denotes a never-ending circle of life. The evergreen used in the making of a wreath represents constant growth.
The beauty of a Christmas wreath is in its decorative items – pine cones, holly berries, and fruits – each of them having a specific meaning. For instance, vibrant red holly berries represent the blood of Jesus that was shed when he was crucified. Usually, people hang wreaths outside their doors or on their windows, inviting Christ to visit their homes.
A classic Christmas wreath is usually found in a combination of red and green colors; that being said, you can find Christmas wreaths in plenty of designs – traditional, decorative, simple, or modern. They even come in various sizes – small, medium, or large, so your ultimate choice will depend on you the kind of Christmas wreath you want.
The following are some of the popular types of Christmas wreaths that you can consider:
1. Artificial Christmas Wreaths
Holiday wreaths are a part of the most traditional Christmas decorations. They are also certainly the easiest way to make a house jolly and festive.
It is a known fact that evergreen foliage stays fresh and fragrant for a short time, especially when put in dry conditions indoors and used in hot weather conditions. Eventually, the needles become dry and fall off. To ensure that your Christmas wreath stays afresh and abloom all season long, artificial Christmas wreaths are a great option.
You can find artificial Christmas wreaths in a number of styles and designs; depending on your personal choice, you can pick one or two.
2. Fiber Optic Wreaths
Fiber optic wreaths refer to those types of wreaths that have an optical fiber – a transparent fiber thicker than a human hair – installed in them.
When lit, these wreaths create a magical moment that is too precious to miss. These luminous wreaths radiate feelings of warmth and comfort, whether hung outdoors or indoors. These glowy wreaths make the festive season richer and more radiant. The best part is that they are available in artificial forms as well!
3. Dried Christmas Wreaths
This is the kind of wreath that is made with dried flowers and leaves and is adorned with dry fruits. This gives a pure and rustic look to a wreath which will take your Christmas decoration to the next level.
The most admired aspect of dried Christmas wreaths is that they last longer than any fresh, regular wreaths. These wreaths are usually made from long-lasting plants, flowers, and peeled fruits that make them durable and enchanting for a very long time.
B. Seasonal Wreaths
Christmas is not the only season for wreaths. These ornamentals are supremely versatile, which make them ideal as house decorations all year round.
Wreaths can be hung during the fall, spring, and summer seasons as well. Therefore, there are different types of wreaths for different seasons. So, you can pick a wreath after considering the mood of various seasons.
1. Fall Wreaths
Fall is a season that marks the beginning of transition – leaves being to fall from the trees and start to turn yellow/orange. The season also accommodates fun, exciting activities and occasions – apple picking, Thanksgiving, and Halloween.
Fall is, indeed, a joyous month, and bounties like pumpkins, apples, potatoes, etc., make it all the more worthwhile. It is the time of the year where guests visit your house the most, and a fall wreath hanging outdoors is the best way to welcome your guests in a pretty way.
You can get ready-made wreaths or create fun DIY wreaths at home. Some fall wreaths that you can consider are a white pumpkin wreath adorned with fall leaves and burlaps, a fall-leaf wreath that boasts large and beautiful autumn leaves.
You can also add depth and beauty to a fall wreath by adding fall berry sprigs and fuzzy sprigs. Don’t hesitate to incorporate typical autumn colors into your fall wreaths, such as bright yellow, orange, and warm hues.
2. Spring Wreaths
There is no better way to freshen up the inside and outside of your house than by using a decorative spring wreath. Spring is the season of new beginnings – buds start to bloom again, birds and animals are wide awake, and the entire earth comes to life.
Spring is undoubtedly the most beautiful season as flowers bloom in full spirits. Thus, the wreaths you hang around your house should also scream spring.
Spring wreaths are usually composed of bright and vivid flowers and leaves. Some of the fresh flowers that you can use in your spring wreaths include crocus, daffodils, tulips, roses, snakes head fritillary, lily of the valley, hyacinth, bluebells, and alliums.
3. Summer Wreaths
Make the entrance of your house come to life by hanging gorgeous summer wreaths on the front of your main door. The interesting part is that you can find summer wreaths in several types; some of which you can make it yourself.
For instance, a hydrangea wreath is a simple yet stunning grapevine wreath which you can create at home. All you have to do is adorn the wreath with hydrangeas and other artificial flowers and give your home the perfect summertime feel.
If you are not into flowers, you can make a beautiful wreath of DIY butterflies or turtles. The most common flowers associated with summers have to be yellow and white daisies. So you can create a wreath with these fresh and striking flowers.
Another popular summery flower is the sunflower, so you can have a lovely sunflower wreath decorating your home in this happy, sunshiny season.
4. Winter Wreaths
Once the festive season is over, Christmas wreaths can look too Christmassy. But it could also be too early to put spring wreaths on display. In times like these, winter wreaths can come in handy.
You can find many types of winter wreaths that give off cozy, warm vibes. One of them is a DIY pom-pom wreath which you can make out of yarn or other cloth pieces.
Snowballs are often associated with wintertime; so you can create a snowball wreath by coating Styrofoam balls in glue and then rolling them in Epsom salts for a shiny surface. A ruffled burlap wreath is another fun winter decorative option for you to consider.
C. Floral Wreath
As the name implies, floral wreaths are created using flowers and leaves. These wreaths can be as versatile as the maker wants. You can use various kinds of flowers in a single wreath, or if you like to keep things simple, you can make a wreath from just one type of flower.
Floral wreaths are commonly used in funerals, which is why they are popular as funerals wreaths. Some of the most popular flowers used for funeral wreaths are discussed in detail below:
1. Funeral Wreaths
There is an extensive range of funeral wreaths to choose from, including designs, sizes, shapes, and colors. Despite their differences in looks, the sole purpose of all these wreaths is to express your heartfelt sympathies and condolences.
For the creation of these wreaths, fresh flowers and leaves are used. Some popular flowers that are used in funeral wreaths are as follows:
Carnations come in many hues – pink, white, and red. Before you pick carnations in any of these colors, it is important to consider their meanings as each of them represents something unique. Pink carnations are a symbol of remembrance.
On the other hand, the red carnation evokes respect. White carnations stand for love and innocence. Choosing the right carnations for your wreath depends on the relationship you shared with the deceased.
Carnations happen to be long-lasting and supremely fragrant – two qualities that make them a popular choice for sympathy arrangements.
Lilies are often regarded as the go-to funeral flowers, which is why they are always used in funeral wreaths. Even in wreaths that may contain a wide variety of flowers, you will most likely find lilies in them. In other words, a funeral wreath or a sympathy bouquet is incomplete without the ever-so fragrant lilies.
While lilies are gorgeous and aromatic flowers, they hold significant meaning too. Lilies denote that the soul of the departed has restored innocence. Christians connect these flowers with purity and radiance of the soul. It is widely believed that the Virgin Mary’s tomb was decorated in this bloom.
Different hues of roses convey different feelings. For example, red roses evoke love, devotion, and respect; crimson roses represent grief and sorrow; yellow roses denote friendship.
Since roses are loved by all, they make for the perfect floral wreath. A single flower of rose in a wreath can convey enduring love for the deceased. If you don’t want to get a wreath entirely made of roses, you can get a wreath made of different flowers, but include a few roses in to convey your feelings.
Another popular type of flower used in funeral wreaths is chrysanthemums. In many parts of the world, including France, Italy, Poland, Spain, Croatia, and Hungary, chrysanthemums represent death. Hence, they are used for decorating graves.
Color plays a key role in defining chrysanthemums, as red ones evoke deep affection while white chrysanthemums are representative of grief and lamentation in China, Korea, and Japan.
Keep in mind that in Asia, these lovely flowers represent rebirth. Therefore, they are preferred for baby showers instead of funerals.
Unlike other wreath flowers, the true meaning behind hydrangeas is unknown. That being said, it is popularly believed that hydrangeas convey heartfelt emotions of love and understanding. The pretty sight of these flowers can instantly brighten up the lives of a grieving family.
A wreath of hydrangeas with a mix of roses and lilies can make for the best sympathy flower arrangement. If you want to go the simple route, a wreath made entirely of hydrangeas will be perfect for any funeral floral arrangement.
A wreath of bright, vivid yellow tulips is a great way to put a smile on the face of an unhappy or a grieving person. Bright tulips are an excellent reminder of renewals and fresh beginnings.
Hence, a wreath of tulips is an ideal choice to send as a sympathy gift to the family of the departed soul. These flowers will fill their house with elegance and fragrance.
Daisies are considered the best flowers for funeral/sympathy wreaths, but their gerbera variety is regarded as more beautiful and appropriate for funerals. They convey the meaning of purity and innocence. And some of them also denote the feeling of cheerfulness, encouraging mourners to be hopeful and optimistic.
You can find gerbera in a wide range of colors from vivid red, to bright orange, to dazzling yellow, to light purple, and many more. Please note that each gerbera expresses a different kind of emotion. So be careful of the kind of gerbera wreath you are sending as a sympathy gift or considering as a funeral decoration.
D. DIY Wreaths
Wreaths are not just limited to the holiday seasons; they are used all year long in different designs, styles, sizes, and colors. If you are considering a DIY wreath, you will have to first pick the form of a wreath that you’re going to use – a wire wreath, Styrofoam wreath, a green Styrofoam wreath, or a straw wreath.
You will also have to consider the material for wreath making. These materials are used for the purpose of covering the wreaths, such as burlap, organza, or mesh wreath.
Whatever material you choose, you will need to stick it on its base using a glue gun. You will need to fill the gun with hot glue, which can be found at any gift shop.
Some DIY wreath options for you to consider are as follows:
1. Peonies on a Grapevine Wreath
For a gorgeous contrast of bloom and rust, make a grapevine wreath and decorate it with silk peonies.
This distinctive combination can also incorporate silk hydrangeas for a lovely look. You can opt for fresh peonies from your garden or a flower shop or create paper peonies at home. To ensure that the peonies and hydrangeas perfectly stick on a wreath, use a high-quality glue gun and hot glue.
2. Dried Lavender Wreath
A dried lavender wreath is the kind of wreath that can work all year round. This is the type of wreath that can give an organic appeal to your house. Fragrant herbs can be used to embellish the wreath.
In order to make this beautiful wreath, you will need to take a bunch of lavender stems and bundle them up together. Slightly cut the lavender stems to even them up. Now, place the bunch of lavenders onto the wreath in a way you want it to form.
Secure them by wrapping a wire piece around the wreath to hold them together. Now, take another bunch of lavender and secure it in line with the previous one. Continue doing so until you have covered the entire wreath form with lavenders.
You can easily find wreath making supplies from arts and craft shops. The aroma from these lavender wreaths can help diminish stress and anxiety and allow you to sleep better. Hence, having dried lavender wreaths at your home can be quite beneficial for your health.
3. Faux Boxwood Wreath
To have a hint of modern greenery at your front door, create a faux boxwood wreath. In order to make a boxwood wreath, you will need to have artificial boxwood leaves and a grapevine wreath.
Wrap the boxwood along the strands of the grapevine wreath. Wire the boxwood with the strands to secure it in a neat position. Continue wrapping the boxwood strands until the entire wreath is covered with it.
Once done, you can leave it simple and hang it outside your front door. Or you can tag scripts saying “welcome” or “hello.” You can also decorate the wreath with striped ribbons or small, cute flowers.
4. Paper Flower Wreaths
While nothing can replace the beauty of real floral wreaths, there is something truly special about crepe paper flower wreaths. They look delicate and utterly beautiful, and the best part is that they never wither away like real flowers. You can easily create a paper flower wreath with some skills and creativity.
Although creating paper flower wreaths may seem challenging when done properly and carefully, they aren’t too difficult to create, and the end product is usually quite satisfying. It may take a few days to finally prepare paper floral wreaths, but you can use them year after year. In other words, they are worth your time and money.
To make a paper floral wreath, you will need crepe paper, long floral wire, hot glue, a pair of scissors, and wire cutters. Using the scissors, you will need to cut crepe paper in a floral design that you want your wreath to feature.
Make sure that you have cut the floral wire in a round shape. Now, using hot glue, neatly paste the artificial flowers until the whole wreath is beautifully covered with them.
Wreaths are the most beautiful way to make your house appear more welcoming. They also make for the perfect welcome or sympathy gift. Owing to their different styles, designs, sizes, and purposes, they can be used at any time of the year, whether it is a joyful occasion or a sorrowful event.
E. Frequently Asked Questions
Which wreaths are best for a sheltered location?
There are plenty of options for you to choose when you are placing wreaths indoors or are protected from the elements. If you like the smell of fresh flowers then we recommend you use a wreath created with natural plants and flowers, they will last longer inside than outside.
How many kinds of wreaths are there?
There are four main types of wreaths that we outlined in this article: Christmas Wreaths, Seasonal Wreaths, Floral Wreaths and DIY Wreaths.
Which wreaths are best for more exposed locations?
The best wreaths for outdoor, unprotected locations are those made out of durable materials like plastic or silk. Make sure you buy a wreath designed to be outdoors. If the weather outside is not too crazy then you can use a flower wreath outdoors.
How long will a wreath last on your door?
The longevity of your wreath will depend on the type of wreath, weather and location. Flower and natural wreaths can last the whole season if prepared properly and if the weather is good. Artificial wreaths created for outdoor use can be used several seasons but make sure you are buying the correct type of wreath.