Tutorial: Vintage Ribbon Holiday Wreath

Here's how you can make your very own holiday wreath with no styrofoam in sight!

Over at sustainablog, I saw an awesome roundup of recycled Christmas wreaths and decided that I really wanted to whip up my very own!

The trouble with conventional wreath forms is that they’re styrofoam, which is not too hot for the planet. It’s really hard to recycle, it off-gases toxins into the air, and it’s a petroleum product. No thank you! When I was helping my friends Christy and Shannon set up for their holiday pop up shop, though, we were surrounded by boxes, and inspiration struck! They let me snag a box that was headed for the recycle bin, and I took it home and got crafty.

DIY Holiday Wreath Materials

  • Spool of vintage ribbon. The ribbon I used was 3″ wide, and I needed around 4 feet of ribbon to make my wreath. If your ribbon is narrower, you’ll need more.
  • Scrap cardboard
  • Two round things, one smaller than the other
  • Pencil and marker
  • Scissors and an Exacto knife
  • Scrap fabric and felt
  • Vintage buttons
  • Hot glue
  • twine


1. Trace your large circle onto the cardboard with your pencil. If the line is too faint to see, you may want to go over it again with the marker. You’ll do a lot less cussing when you’re cutting that way!

2. Grab your scissors and cut out the outer circle, then place your smaller circular object into the center and trace around it. Darken up the outline with your marker if you need to, then use your Exacto knife to carefully cut it out.

3. Pop out that center circle, and voila! You have a wreath form!

DIY wreath form

4. Grab that ribbon, and start wrapping it around the wreath form, like in the photo below. You don’t need any glue to get started, but if you want you can hot glue it in place before you start wrapping.

starting the wreath

5. Wrap your ribbon until you’re back at your starting point, then cut it off of the spool, leaving a generous tail. The side with the tail is the back of your wreath, and you want to tuck that tail through the closest loop of ribbon, then bring it back around and tie it into a knot around that loop to secure it in place. You could also hot glue, but I prefer to use as little glue in my projects as possible.

tying the knot

6. Turn your wreath back over. If you used wide ribbon like I did, your last loop is not going to look so hot, but don’t despair! A couple of fabric flowers will fix that right up.

7. Make your flowers. I decided to do two, but you could really do however many you like. To make one flower, cut out one or two circles of felt and two or three circles of scrap fabric, layer them up, sew on a button to secure the sandwich together, and you’re done!

fabric flowers

8. Arrange the flowers in one corner of your wreath, and hot glue them into place.

diy holiday wreath

9. Attach a length of twine to hang. Flip your wreath over again, and decide where the top of it will be. Cut 2-3 feet of twine. Feed one end of the twine through the loop of fabric at the top of your wreath, tie a knot, then slide the knot so it’s hidden behind the fabric loop.

fabric wreath back

10. That’s it! Hang up your wreath, and have a happy, handmade holiday!

fabric wreath

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