How to Make a Cranberry Wreath

Handmade Cranberry Wreath

By Mare-Anne Jarvela
December 10, 2020
Homemade Cranberry Wreath

A homemade cranberry wreath makes a unique and colorful Christmas decoration.

Mare-Anne Jarvela

Our gardening editor just made this Cranberry Wreath. A fun project using raw cranberries, this DIY holiday wreath will put you in a festive spirit! See how to make this colorful wreath.

Ever string cranberries (and popcorn) as homemade garlands for the Christmas tree? This year, we used raw cranberries to make a holiday wreath! It’s great for Thanksgiving and/or Christmastime, bring colorful cheer to the home or front door. 

To make this more of a family project that’s friendly for kids, we simply use toothpicks to stick through the raw cranberries. However, another option which require adult supervision is to use a hot glue gun to attach the cranberries to the top, inside, and outer edges of the wreath. 

Materials

  • Raw cranberries (About six to seven 12-ounce bags)
  • Styrofoam wreath form (14-inch works well)
  • Toothpicks, round (about 4 boxes)
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Bow or ribbon to make bow (2 yards of all-weather ribbon if this will hang outdoors)
  • Wreath hanger—or wire to create own hanging loop.
  • Optional: Red fabric cut into 3-inch wide strips to cover the styrofoam if you wish to camouflage any spaces between the cranberries.

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Directions

  • Sort and select cranberries for firmness.
  • If making your own hanging loop: Wrap wire around the top of the wreath form.
  • An optional step (which we didn’t do) is to first cover the white styrofoam wreath in strips of red fabric; this hides any white spaces between the cranberries. Then you can attach the cranberries to the fabric. 
  • Break several toothpicks in half, sticking the broken ends into the cranberries. Only use firm cranberries and discard any mushy ones.
  • Using needle-nose pliers, attach the cranberries on the inside edge of the wreath first in even rows. Place the cranberries very close together so that the form does not show through.
  • Repeat the procedure on the wreath’s outer edge.
  • To create a graduated, mounded effect on the face of the wreath: Attach a row of cranberries on whole toothpicks around the center. Reduce the height of the toothpicks as rows progress toward outer and inside edges.
  • Continue to attach the cranberries around the face, rather than edge to edge.
  • Fashion all-weather ribbon into a bow and wire onto wreath on the center bottom.

You may choose to spray the wreath with clear lacquer for weatherproofing, but in cold winter weather, it will last for at least a month. Occasionally, a berry or two may need replacing.

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Reader Comments

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Cranberry wreath

What a great way to feed birds in the winter. I haven't tried this yet, but why not hang a small wreath in a tree or lay flat on a support for birds to feed on. I think my cardinals would enjoy it. AFter all, they do eat up my holly berries.