There’s always a steady stream of books arriving at the office for review, and I’m definitely not complaining. Occasionally, one really stands out from the rest, like Ariella Chezar’s new book The Flower Workshop that arrived on our doorstep a couple weeks ago. We asked Ariella to stop by with the details on what turned out to be our favorite project in the book: this DIY Citrus Wreath. “I love creating citrus wreaths and garlands, and began doing so as decorative accents for weddings years ago” Ariella told us, “Perhaps because I’m a native of the Northeast, citrus has always felt somewhat exotic.”
Even though the final product looks like a creation straight out of a professional flower shop, Arielle told us that the projects in the book are meant for anyone. “The book was inspired by my popular three day flower arranging workshops and my love of teaching. In writing the book I hoped to provide flower lovers, both experienced and less so with the basics of putting together lush, beautiful arrangements.” Read on for the full step-by-step to create your own citrus wreath at home.
- 23 floral stem wires, 18 gauge
- 6 wooden skewers, cut into 3-inch pieces
- paddle wire, 20 gauge
- 12-inch-square wire wreath frame
- 30 kumquats
- 2 small blood oranges
- 2 tangerines
- 7 variegated or yellow lemons
- 25 bay laurel branches
- 20 privet branches with berries
- Prepare the fruits. Select eighteen kumquats, and pierce each like a lollipop with a piece of wooden skewer; do not push the skewer all the way through the kumquat. For any remaining fruits that have stems, wrap stem wire around the stems of the fruits, leaving extra wire hanging off to attach to the wreath. For fruits lacking stems, pierce the rind with stem wire and feed the wire through so that it comes out on the same side of the fruit. Twist the two ends of the wire together to form a single wire tail.
- Cut the bay branches and privet branches to lengths measuring 3 to 5 inches. Make sure the bay branches consist mostly of leaves, not just stems.
- Stack three bay and three privet berry branches on top off each another, slightly staggered, and secure them with paddles wire into a bunch. Repeat until you have ten bunches. Attach a wired fruit to the base of each bunch, alternating among oranges, tangerines, lemons, and kumquats.
- Lay the ten bunches on top of the frame, concentrating them in two opposite corners of the wreath. Attach them to the frame with paddle wire.
- Stack three of the remaining bay branches, one on top of another, so they are slightly staggered. Secure them with paddle wire, lay them on top of the frame in between the two fruited corners, and then wrap paddle wire around the frame. Continue stacking and wiring the bay branches in groups of three until you covered the frame.
- Wire any remaining fruits onto the corners of the frame, sinking them deep into the bay leaves. Insert the remaining skewered kumquats in groups of three to the same corners to finish.