Here's how to make a wreath from backyard finds and other materials, plus tips for out-of-the-ordinary festive plant accents.
Winter greens

Ring it in

Whether starting from scratch or dressing up a basic wreath, think outside the evergreen box. "Milkweed pods, berries, dried grasses, twigs and thistles are things people can easily find in a backyard," says this wreath's designer, Heidi Joynt of Chicago's Field and Florist. Hit the florist, crafts store or supermarket for extras, like real or faux eucalyptus, artichokes or pomegranates.

Let loose

Release a wreath's wild side with long, asymmetrical elements like purchased pheasant feathers or backyard twigs.

Small wonders

Trade poinsettias for petite plants that play with shape and scale, like dwarf spruce, Mugo pine or intriguing bonsai.

Vital vessel

For a too-easy-to-be-true terrarium, stick a potted plant inside.

How to craft a wreath

How to craft a wreath

1. Collect a wreath form, 22-gauge crafts wire, hand pruners and 4- to 5-inch sprigs of greens (mostly tips). Trim stem ends diagonally, gently crush them with a hammer and soak in tepid water for two hours.

2. Gather greenery into 1-inch round bundles. Attach the first bundle at the top of the frame; hold it firmly with one hand while wrapping wire around it and the form a few times so there is no slack. Snip wire, leaving a few inches to tuck under the bundle to secure. (Add berries or other elements to every bundle or alternating ones for consistency.)

3. Continue to add bundles so that each succeeding bundle covers the tail end of the previous one until you've gone full circle. Wire in extra greens to cover any holes.