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DIY Winter Citrus Wreath

by Grace Bonney

Photos by Maxwell Tielman

Making wreaths is one of my favorite things to do. I’ll never forget the first time I took a wreath class. I was scared out of my mind and convinced that it would take a miracle for my wreath to turn out well. But after a few tries, I got the basic technique down, and for the past few years Amy, Max and I have been teaching wreath-making classes with all sorts of materials, from moss and succulents to everyday garden greens.

It can be tough to find greens that don’t feel Christmas-y this time of year, so I thought I’d take advantage of the fact that it’s winter citrus season! Using a mixture of kumquat branches, seeded eucalyptus and acacia, I created a quick and easy winter wreath that smells delicious (seriously, it’s like an all-natural room freshener) and brings a little color to a seriously dreary season. The full how-to steps are after the jump! xo, grace

Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Time: 1 hour
Cost: My huge 22″ frame cost $50 to fill, but a standard 12″ frame should only take about $25 to $30 worth of greens/citrus.


  • wreath frame (I used a HUGE frame that was 22″ wide. I would suggest a smaller 12″ to 14″ frame.)
  • citrus branches (I used about 10 kumquat branches. Smaller frames should only need 5.)
  • greenery (I’d suggest 5 to 6 bunches of any standard green leafy filler, like eucalyptus.)
  • floral wire
  • branch clippers or strong floral clippers



1. Start by separating your citrus and your greens into small segments. I wired mine together and then separated them into piles so I knew how much I had.

2. Lay your “filler” layer (I used eucalyptus for this) around the wreath form to gauge spacing (the wreath should be flat-side down).

3. To start attaching, wire a segment to the center two bands of the wreath form. Layer each next segment on top of that previous segment’s stem (moving away from the original segment). This way, you constantly cover your wire and stems and end up with only the branch tops showing (see below).

4. Once you’ve attached that first layer, hold it up to see if you have any spots that need filling or adjusting.

5. Place your wreath down again and begin adding in bunches of citrus as you see fit. I did four groupings of citrus, but you could definitely space them out evenly all the way.

*If you can’t find branches, you can easily wire or stake actual limes, lemons or kumquats, etc. onto floral sticks and wire and place them on top of greenery that you can readily find.

6. To hang, I strung a striped ribbon through the wreath and attached it to the back of our door. But you can use a wreath hook, too. The citrus is rather heavy, so be sure it’s attached well.

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  • I’ve been making mantle swags similar to this with cuttings from my dwarf Meyer Lemon tree, but always have a hard time keeping the greenery from wilting once it’s cut. Any suggestions on how to prevent?

    • jessie

      citrus is sadly not going to stay fresh very long, so the longer you can keep it away from sunlight (ie: use on an interior door, or one on a porch away from direct light) the longer you can keep it fresh. but sadly working with fresh materials like this means they’ll eventually wilt and die. if anyone’s concerned about the cost of fresh fruit branches, you can use inexpensive grocery store oranges and stake them with floral sticks and use those instead to lower the cost :)


  • My I love the idea of a fragrant wreath even though it isn’t Christmas. And the shot of color would be especially appropriate for this time of year for us winter-weather women here in the Midwest…I think this would work especially well on an apartment door where it’s not exposed to temperature extremes. (Dead brown oranges don’t seem especially attractive. Actually, on second thought, isn’t dead vegetation/fruit just as visually appealing as freshly-picked oranges? It’s a matter of perspective, I suppose.)

  • Ooooh! Beautiful! I was just eyeing some blossoming eucalyptus here in the back yard and was wondering what creative purpose it could serve. This wreath would work well!! :)

  • Yes, the citrus leaves will dry out rather quickly. Another option is to create the entire wreath using seeded euc and another green (olive would work nicely as well) and using the citrus in just one feature area – perhaps from 8pm to 5 pm on a standard clock face. This would make the feature area easy to swap out frequently with fresh stems. You could also use a bit of floral foam (Oasis or other brand), but honestly I don’t think you will buy much time with it – woody stems are notoriously hard to keep moist.