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2 Ways to Make an Easy $5 DIY Fall Wreath

Sep 28, 2021

2 Ways to Make an Easy $5 DIY Fall Wreath

Sep 28, 2021

This post contains affiliate links. I earn a tiny commission, at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my disclosure here.

This post contains affiliate links. I earn a tiny commission, at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my disclosure here.

Bring on the DIY fall wreath tutorials – it’s finally fall! Is fall everyone’s favorite season, or just those of us with autumn birthdays? Ha. To celebrate, I took a crack at crafting two easy DIY fall wreaths and they only cost about $5 (total!) because I sourced materials from my yard. I have one winner and one runner-up to share with you – because I learned a few tricks along the way with this project. First, here’s how to make your own foolproof grass wreath.

diy fall wreath

Topics in This Post:

Easy DIY Fall Wreath Materials
Where to Find Free Ornamental Grass
DIY #1: How to Make This Simple Grass Wreath
DIY Fail: Fall Wreath Using Leafy Branches
How to Preserve Fresh Leaves
DIY #2: How to Make a Fresh Leaf Wreath

Easy DIY Fall Wreath Materials

This is a very flexible formula for a DIY wreath, but you’ll need these basics:

You can also use a wire ring or floral hoop instead of a straw form.

** Please make sure you are not allergic to any ornamental grass you choose for this project. **

diy fall wreath materials

Where to Find Ornamental Grass for Free

For my grass wreath, I used an ornamental feather reed grass that I planted at our Denver house. I love this grass because it looks beautiful in landscaping, and after cutting it back each fall, the dried stems hold their shape for years. Technically, it’s called Karl Foerster feather reed grass, and you’ve probably seen it in your grocery store parking lot. It’s everywhere.

feather reed grass

You’ll need an armful. I can’t quantify it, but more is better. I cut about 10% of the plant you see above and added that to the larger bunch I’ve kept in a vase in our kitchen for years. The dried stems hold up beautifully and now I’m repurposing them into a wreath. This gift keeps on giving.

Affordable and Free Festive Fall Decor

grass on display

If you don’t have ornamental grass, you could take a nature walk and look for options growing wild. Or ask a neighbor if you could snip a bit from their yard. Just make sure your pick won’t trigger a sneeze when you open the door! You could also use simple, dried branches to craft this, but in that case, choose a metal ring, not a straw form.

click here for diy resource guide

How to Make This Simple Grass Wreath


1. Gather your supplies: wreath form, floral wire, floral shears, and grass or branches for the wreath.

2. Wrap one end of the floral wire around the wreath and twist to secure it in place.


3. Collect a small bundle of grasses together with the fluffy heads roughly aligned. I used between 15-20 stems per bundle.

diy fall wreath start
wreath base | floral wire | heavy duty scissors (similar)

4. Arrange the bundle on the straw wreath form so the tops are angled off to one side.

diy fall wreath bundle grass

5. Wrap the floral wire tightly around the bundle 3-4 times, close to where the fluffy grass heads end and become bare stem.

attach grass with wire

6. Trim the stems at an angle close to the straw form.

work around wreath

7. Continue to bundle, wrap, and trim as you work your way around the form.

cut ends at angle
diy fall wreath grass

8. When you reach the last 1-2 bundles, carefully wrap the wire under the first grass bunches.

wrap entire base

9. Twist the floral wire to secure it in the back of the wreath. If you can, create a loop to hang the wreath before you snip off the wire. If you forget, just add a wire loop afterward.

tie wire in back


10. Fluff the grass to more evenly arrange the stems and better cover the wreath form.

diy fall wreath grass

11. Fill any holes or gaps by gently poking extra grass stems into the wreath. You can also remove any odd pieces at this point and rearrange them in the wreath.

add grass to fill gaps in wreath

12. Hang your DIY fall wreath and admire your handiwork!

diy fall wreath on front door

Affordable and Free Festive Fall Decor

close up of grass

Take Two: DIY Fall Wreath Using Leafy Branches

Do you love a fresh, green, leafy wreath? I sure do. Since Williams & Sonoma sells live wreaths for $70+, I wondered if I could just create my own cheap, DIY version. Here’s how to do it, and a trick to keep your leaves looking fresh(er). But first, what NOT to do…

Here’s my second wreath, using fresh olive branches from the yard. Has potential, right?

Well, you might have already guessed where I went wrong with this wreath – dead leaves. I tried misting it daily with water, as W&S recommends in their leaf care guidance, but that didn’t do much. My kids even commented that it just looks sad. Here it is, in comparison with the grass wreath, and it has shriveled a lot since this Day 1 photo.

both diy fall wreaths

Hmmm, how does Williams & Sonoma do it? They must preserve the leaves in some way…

How to Preserve Fresh Leaves

I did a little research and found an elaborate recipe from Martha Stewart to preserve leaves. OK, not elaborate, but I don’t want to buy anything to fall further down this rabbit hole. Since I had a little glycerin on hand from a misguided attempt to make bubbles, I gave this a shot.

My recipe is a simplified version of Martha’s. I just mixed 1 part glycerin to 2 parts hot water. Literally, I poured the glycerin into a flower pot and refilled the bottle twice with hot water. Otherwise, I didn’t measure a thing.

how to preserve branches

Then, I snipped the ends of a few new olive branches and stuck them in the glycerin water for 4-5 hours. Woody stems absorb more water when you slice into them. This works for lilacs, too.

materials for diy fall wreath
cut stems to soak

Here’s what the dry branches looked like when I started vs. two days later. After I dumped out the water, I let them sit in the pot to dry and they barely changed. My first round of branches had curled up by Day 3. I’d call this progress!

comparison test of preserving leaves

I’m planning to attempt this wreath again using preserved leaves, and I’ll update this blog post with those photos ASAP. In the meantime, here’s how to make the wreath, even if you use faux branches.

How to Make a Wreath With Fresh Leaves

Materials: floral wire, heavy duty scissors or floral shears, glycerin, fresh or faux branches

  1. Gather fresh branches
  2. Snip the ends and preserve in glycerin
  3. Let branches dry
  4. Make small bundles and wrap with floral wire
  5. Bind the bundles together in a circle with wire
  6. Add a ribbon, etc., if desired
  7. Hang and admire your new DIY fall wreath


1. First, gather your freshly cut branches. I snipped a few branches from an ornamental olive tree, making sure to get a variety of leafy ends and a few with olives.

2. Place branches in glycerin water mixture for 4-5 hours. Let them dry completely. Details here.


3. Gather small bundles of branches and wrap them with floral wire.

bundle branches
many bundles of olive leaves

4. Wrap the bundles together to form a rough circle and use wire to secure everything along the way.

(I tried this wreath on the straw form, but it looks odd showing through the leaves. A dark twig wreath base or floral ring would be better, if you prefer to use a guide.)

wire together bundles

5. Use extra wire to secure loose branches as needed.

diy fall wreath olive branches

6. Add a wire loop to hang the wreath

7. Add a ribbon or burlap fabric bow, hang brass bells, or add another decorative touch, if that’s your style.

*You can adjust, snip long branches, and tie up wayward stems once you hang this wreath. Mine was pretty rustic.

snip long stems
hang diy fall wreath on front door

$5 DIY Fall Wreath for the Win

Of the two, the grass DIY fall wreath is one of my favorites to date! I might even splurge on a wreath case to keep it in shape for next year. As I type that, I realize I’m just kidding myself; that would defeat the purpose of a $5 DIY wreath… Time to look for freebies on Facebook.

Have a great week, everyone. I hope fall has arrived in all its glory in your neighborhood – crisp mornings, lattes, and turning leaves. Enjoy and I’ll see you here next Tuesday!

More Decor + DIY Inspo From List in Progress

list in progress projects

1 – Easy DIY Wax Melts to Make Your Home Smell Great
2 – Affordable (and Free!) Ideas for Fall Decor
3 – My Favorite Affordable Turkish Towels
4 – A “Work in Progress” Home Tour


Hi! I’m Erin, a Colorado-based home improvement blogger and lover of all things DIY. I aim to inspire creative folks to tackle home improvement with confidence and style. READ MORE

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