How to Make a Festive Fall Wreath out of Foliage

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I may say this every year, but the colors of the foliage in the Northeast this fall were particularly incredible. I cannot get enough of the vibrant reds, oranges, and golds — I often find myself stopping midstride to stare at the leaves billowing in the wind, admiring how the last warm rays of the setting sun embrace the landscape.

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On one particular weekend in Millbrook, New York, I found the foliage and light so inspiring that I took my dog, Zorro, on a mission to collect (and then preserve) the most beautiful leaves. I didn’t grow up with fall, so I truly felt that this was the most spectacular thing I had ever seen.

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I took my harvest home and stacked a huge pile of books on top of the leaves to press them and preserve their brilliance.


As I do every year, I wanted to create a wreath for my front door, and rather than create one using evergreens as I did last year, I thought how wonderful it would be to use the leaves I collected to make an arrangement.

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I love how it came out! Read on to learn how I made this gorgeous fall foliage wreath.


  • Styrofoam wreath
  • Burlap ribbon
  • Pressed leaves
  • Small red chile peppers
  • Sweet vernal grass, or any other hay
  • Natural twine ribbon
  • Glue gun, with extra glue sticks


I first covered a Styrofoam wreath mold with some burlap ribbon so that if there were to be any gaps between the leaves, the styrofoam would be covered, and the wreath would look natural. I then began gluing each frond, one at a time, to the wreath. I suggest placing them in slightly varying directions so that there is texture and movement, but try to keep them all facing the same general orientation.

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Once I felt as though the ring was completely covered, I added some chile peppers I bought at the market to add some textural depth. The chiles were not completely dried, but they will dry nicely as they hang.

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I made a rosette ribbon out of some natural twine and tied it around a handful of dried sweet vernal grass. I wanted to add something different to top off my wreath and thought the grass would be perfect! I collected the weed while on a walk and had left it to dry in an empty jar on my desk.


Et voila! You now have an easy, festive fall wreath that will brighten up any home, be it a New York City apartment or a country home’s front door. Your wreath will also be representative of your area, as the types of leaves and colors will be special to where you collect them.


My fall foliage wreath now hangs on my front door, warmly welcoming all my guests, and reminding me of this year’s spectacular autumn colors!