This is the perfect time of year to gather colorful materials from nature for a wreath that’s not only beautiful, but beneficial to birds. There are many trees and plants that produce edible berries and seed pods in late summer and early fall.
You can make this gorgeous all-natural botanical wreath using plants, berries and seed heads to dress up your front door or patio table, and attract and feed wild birds through the sparse months of late fall and winter.
Crafting a Wild Bird Feeder Wreath
Collect stems of berries or seed heads from flowering plants or trees that wild birds feed on from your garden, the countryside or nearby farm-stand. Select a combination of pesticide-free, dried botanicals to attract a variety of wild bird species. Flowering plants, trees and bushes which produce berries or seed pods in late summer and early fall include: sumac, millet, sorghum, globe amaranth, purple coneflower, sunflowers, yarrow and strawflowers, pyracantha, pokeweed, elderberry, dogwood, holly, Carolina buckthorn, and juniper sprigs with berries.
Carry a shopping bag on your arm to keep your arms free when picking natural wreath materials from your garden or when wildcrafting. Using a garden snipper or pocket knife, cut stems several inches below the seed heads or berries to easily insert into wreath during assembly.
Remove and discard the leaves from each stem as you pick it. Place the bare stems containing berry clusters or seed heads into your bag.
Materials Needed: newspaper, grapevine wreath, garden snipper, scissors, twine, floral wire, stems of collected plant materials (as noted above)
Assembling the Wreath
Cover the surface of a table outdoors with newspapers or an old cloth to prevent berry stains. Prop the wreath up on your work table. Cut dried botanicals to desired length. First, insert the largest plant stems, such as sumac, into the front of the wreath. Continue inserting stems around the wreath, until it is filled. Insert smaller materials into the wreath to add variety and color. We placed several long stems of dried pokeweed berries around the wreath. Lastly, we added a cluster of Carolina buckthorn berries to the bottom of the wreath. Holly would be a good substitute. The fuller the arrangement, the more beautiful it becomes. Wrap floral wire around the dried materials and the grapevine wreath to secure it together. To hang on a nail on the front door, place a strand of twine through the upper backside of the grapevine and tie into a loop.
- Only use plant materials free of pesticides for this bird feeder wreath.
- This is such a gorgeous wreath, you’ll be tempted to hang it indoors over your fireplace mantel, but beware. After a few months in the warmth of your home, moths may hatch and infest the room. Yes, I experienced this first hand, so you don’t have to!
- Display the wreath out of children’s and pets’ reach.
Hang your attractive wreath outside on the front door, on a garden gate, or exterior wall. To use as a patio table centerpiece, place a gourd, small pumpkin, lantern, or a pitcher filled with water for the birds, in the center. Once the temperature drops, if you haven’t already, position the wreath where you can comfortably sit indoors and enjoy watching the wild birds feed outside through a window or glass door.