Olive Branch and Mint Wreath Tutorial
"The olive branch of peace is of use."
I’ve found so much joy making my own wreathes. Last year, I shared a tutorial on how I made an herbal wreath with fresh cedar clippings, rosemary, sage, eucalyptus and mint. This week, I pulled out my trusty wire base once again and made an olive branch wreath to hang on our front door. It is simple, timeless and is not holiday specific, so I wanted to share my process with you.
The Love Language of the Olive Branch
Olive branches have symbolized peace for thousands of years and this beautiful wreath is the quintessential peace offering. Give this wreathe as a symbol of peace, simply for beauty’s sake or hang it on a front door to show that your home is a place of tranquility and welcome for those entering. Historically evergreen wreaths have represented the forthcoming rebirth of spring when hung during the darkest days of winter. Peaceful olive branch wreathes can also be adorned with colorful berries, fruit, flowers or other foliage to bring color such as the snowberries tucked into the wreath here to signify a sense of connectedness.
- Grapevine or wire base. I have used both but found the wire to be easier to work with when attaching small sprigs and stems; choose a size according to preference and location you’ll hang it, but 18” diameter is my go-to.
- A large bundle of fresh olive or bay branches. Set 8 of the branches aside whole, trimming off any extension branches and setting them aside to use in Step 3. What should remain is one single long stem filled with lovely green olive leaves). Snip the remaining branches into smaller segments 6”-8” long and snip your gathered herbs into segments 4”-6” long. I used fresh peppermint this time because I have an abundance of it growing in my garden right now and I love the clean, calming scent.
- Additional dried botanical or other detail element (optional).
- Pair of snips. I recommend THESE.
- Florist wire
- Ribbon or twine for hanging
Visit my Floral Arranging page on Amazon for all my favorite floral tools and supplies.
Take the set of 10 tall olive branches and attach them to the base by weaving it over and under the sections. Weave the bottom end of the branch in a counterclockwise motion, pulling it through as you weave until the end is on the base. Because the branches are fresh, they will be pliable and easy to weave. Be sure that your leaves are all facing the same direction, in a clockwise position.
Attach the end of florist wire to the base with a simple knot or by winding it around the outer most wire ring of the base a few times. Do not cut it. Leave it connected to the roll and continue to unroll as you secure the branches.
Fan out one of the botanical bundles and place it on the base, continuing to keep the leaves pointed clockwise. Wrap the wire around the bottom of the bundle tightly 3 or 4 times where your thumb was holding them together. Do not cut the wire. Just continue to unwind it while wrapping and securing the bundles to the base in a spiral motion. (It’s important to wind the wire around your bundles very tightly, as the botanicals will shrink as they dry.
Attach the next bundle just above (or behind) the first one, layering the herbs so that the “fan” of the second bundle covers the wire you used to attach the first bundle. Continue this step until the entire wreath is filled. The number of bundles you need will vary depending on how large and tall your bundles are and how much (or little) you overlap each bundle and the size of your wreath base.
When you are about to attach the final herb bundle, tuck the base of the bundle underneath the fan of the very first bundle you attached. This will complete the circle and ensure that all the florist wire is hidden by foliage. Then, give the wire a bit of a tail and cut it. Secure the tail to the back of the wreath, winding it tightly.
Step 7 (optional)
(Optional) Add dried botanicals or fresh berries by tucking them into the attached bundles, spacing them out around the wreath or clustering them in one area. Bows can be attached with a 12-inch piece of florist wire.
Tip: Don’t feel obligated to fill the entire circumference of your wreath. Particularly if you are using natural branches as the wreath base, consider only filling 2/3 (primarily the left side and bottom) or the bottom 1/3 of the wreath and leaving the rest exposed.
To keep your wreath green and smelling lovely, mist it with water every day. Enjoy this rewarding DIY and the beautiful, natural finished product for weeks!
This tutorial can also be found in my book, The Love Language of Flowers. If you are drawn to floriography or slow living flowers, a complete glossary of flowers, herbs and other botanicals alongside their meanings can be found in the book. It also includes step-by-step tutorials, a toolbox section filled with floral concepts, and over 30 botanical designs with meaning that honor the seasonal rhythms of nature, build confidence, and provide flexibility to let your own creative voice develop. It is truly an excellent resource for those seeking to grow their botanical creativity in a meaningful way.