Lately, I’ve really been enjoying using more natural elements in my home decor, so when it came time to decorate for the holidays, I decided this would be the year I would actually make wreaths using fresh greenery—and fresh citrus too! I love the look of dried citrus ornaments strung on a garland or hung on a tree, but I saved myself a step this time and used whole mandarins, straight from their crate.
We’ve partnered with Wonderful Halos mandarins to bring you this holiday craft idea that’s simple, sweet (literally), and will fill your home and hands with the most delightful seasonal scents. If you’re looking for a fun and easy craft night idea, this is it! Invite a few friends over to share in the fun, snack on some mandarins, and even mix up a few citrus cocktails along the way.
–Wonderful Halos mandarins
-fresh winter greenery (I used cedar and eucalyptus sourced from a local florist.)
–green wire (I used 22 gauge.)
-scissors for cutting greenery
Step One: Cut your greenery into lengths that are easy to work with and attach them with wire to the wreath base. You can use longer lengths if they’re able to bend how you like. If you want to save time, you can attach large bunches of greenery at a time, but if you want a more delicate looking wreath, you’ll want to take the time to carefully attach just enough smaller pieces to cover the wire base.
Step Two: Keep each bunch of greenery going in the same direction as you completely cover the wire wreath. After I created a base of cedar, I added a few sprigs of fresh eucalyptus.
At this point, you’ll want to test out your mandarins to ensure they’re as delicious as they look. (They will be.) This was my favorite step of the process, and my kiddos’ too! My 5-year-old was creating her own mini greenery arrangements while I made my big wreath, snacking away as she crafted. We ended up using an entire crate of Wonderful Halos mandarins, but funny enough, more of them made it into our bellies than onto the wreath. It was nice to be able to say yes when my girls asked if they could have another. To their shock, I even said, “You may have as many as you’d like.” Mandarins are a much smarter choice for a holiday snack than a Christmas cookie, but the girls still get excited about eating them just the same.
Once you have your wreath as full as you’d like, then you’re ready to actually do something with the mandarins—other than eating them, that is.
Step Three: To attach the mandarins, simply pierce their skin through with the 22 gauge wire, and twist the wire onto the wreath base the same as you did with the greenery. If you have trouble with one flopping about when you move the wreath, you can pierce it with another strand of wire in another spot to make the mandarin more secure.
I was aiming for a somewhat random placement of the mandarins, while still keeping a sense of balance, but after the wreath was finished I realized that I had ended up following a pattern. I basically alternated between placing one mandarin closer to the outer edge of the wreath and the next one closer to the center.
When you’re making the wreath, feel free to get creative by adding as many or as little mandarins as you place. I think this wreath would look great in an asymmetrical arrangement as well, but keep in mind that the mandarins add quite a bit of weight, so you’ll have to secure the wreath to your hanging hardware to keep the heavy side from rotating downward. (Thanks, gravity!) I’m thinking using wire to attach the wreath to a hook should do the trick just fine.
Tip: Keep in mind that the more mandarins you add, the heavier your wreath will be. This means you will probably have to use something more substantial than an adhesive hook. If you’re nailing into drywall, you may need to use an anchor.
I greatly overestimated how much greenery I would need for one wreath, so I have a bunch of cedar leftover, as well as plenty of mandarins. Looks like I might be hosting a craft night with friends before Christmas! Now I have an example wreath decking out my bar cart, and plenty of cocktail making supplies. Who’s up for a mandarin old fashioned? – Mandi
Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.