Let’s make a horse wreath for the holidays! An outdoor Christmas decorating plan is wreaths on the front gates. What a more perfect decoration for your equestrian gate than one of these horse wreaths!
Materials You Will Need:
Materials needed for Wreath Construction:
- Semi-Rigid Wire, cut to 4-5″ lengths and folded in half or Garland Twist Ties
- Greenery garland (My full size wreaths took 2 9ft garlands each)
- Horse halter (optional)
- Green floral wire.
- Thick work gloves
- Wire cutter or Tin Snips (If all you need to cut is your garland ties, very sharp scissors should work
How To make Your Wreath:
1. Find or make the outline you’d like to use. I just laid out a horse halter to provide proportions and sketched in the shape of the head. You could just as easily download a silhouette and enlarge to size. (Note that if you want your wreath to be standard front-door sized, you’ll need to base your measurements on a small weanling or pony sized halter instead of a horse size).
2. Lay out a panel of wire mesh over your outline. Wearing work gloves, begin folding the edges inward, conforming to the shape of your outline. You’ll have to cut a bit to make the wire fit. To conform to the horse head’s throatlatch, make a cut straight up from directly underneath the throat latch and fold each corner up. Modeling with chicken wire requires a bit of rough handling, so don’t be gentle with it! You may need to add pieces or layers to get a full, rigid head. When you are happy with your shape, smash it flat.
3. Acquire greenery. Most of us have some old or extra somewhere in our old Christmas decorations. Fluff your greenery before starting, so your wreath will look full and natural. With fluffed greenery you’ll be able to use slightly less materials and still create a wreath with a full look.
Lay out your 1st garland on the frame, doubling it back and forth to cover the shape. Don’t try to make your garland go farther- a fuller look comes from packing the greenery fairly densely.
The contours of your design may be different than mine, but I used roughly this layout to fill in my horse head.
Wire twisted in this configuration will solidly anchor your greenery.
4. Use the folded wire pins or garland ties to anchor the greenery to your mesh frame. Start with a few very spaced out wire ties to help get the greenery under control and the end product easier to visualize, then keep adding wire ties until the greenery is completely secure and cannot be shaken loose. Continue until your frame is covered and your wreath shape complete. Cut off any excess garland, then cut spare pieces into 4″ to 6″ lengths and anchor those pieces anywhere the wreath may look sparse.
5. Groom – you may find, like me, your horse head looks a bit “off” when done. If you’ve anchored your pieces well, you should be able to fold and bend or even clip and snip portions of greenery to clean up your horse head shape.
For the ears and any fine points of your design: green floral wire can help your ears go from bushy to neat, simply grasp the ear in a fist, forcing the sprigs to face one direction, and spiral wrap floral wire down the length. The green floral wire will disappear against the green branches but leave a distinct and neat edge.
When I was finished, my horse wreath seemed too bushy- smashing under a board flattened and neatened the overall appearance.
6. I really think these wreaths look better with horse halters on them! You can decorate them with old halters like me, pick up a few cheap red halters, make your own with ribbon, or inexpensively build a “halter” using real halter hardware from LuckyPony.com. For a reference of how the backside of this wreath should look, he’s a shot of the back of one of mine.
Horse Wreath Is Start To Finish
The entire project from sketch to final hanging took me about 45 minutes for my first wreath, and about a half hour for my second- which I felt like was an outstanding value for very large wreaths that should last several years. My favorite part about these shaped wreaths is that they are so unique! In a world where most Christmas decorations come from big box stores that sell identical items by the hundreds-of-thousands, it’s fun to have decorations that are totally unique to you!
If you take on this horse wreath this year, please share a photo in the comments- I’d love to see your results!
Adding a red bow on this horse wreath gave it that extra Holiday Spirit it needed!
A double door gate with each with a matching horse wreath really add the joy upon entering the property.