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I belong to a select group of people you tend to see carefully describing themselves as “raised Catholic.”
This means I feel guilty about like, everything.
So when I had a moment of zero waste weakness and bought eucalyptus for my Thanksgiving coffee themed tablescape that came in plastic sleeves, I knew I was in for a serious case of The Guilt afterward.
Could I have easily foraged magnolia or loquat leaves for the table? Yes. In the global scheme of things, are we all going down because of my three sleeves of eucalyptus? Probably not. Does zero waste guilt actually serve a purpose? …actually, yes. And definitely no.
There’s no point in wringing your hands about something. That’s a waste of energy. No one is perfect. But when I felt the guilt breathing down my neck, it drove me to get creative and squeeze every last bit of enjoyment out of my eucalyptus. That, my friends, is very useful to mindset for eco-friendly living.
I have been fawning over those modern and minimalist wreaths you see all over Pinterest, but over my dead body am I buying a brand new embroidery hoop just to use for a wreath and then throw away. I do own wreath forms, as you may recall from last year’s post on DIY foraged wreaths, but the amount of floral wire I used and then subsequently ended up throwing out irritated me.
Thus, a challenge was born. Could I make a minimalist but completely compostable wreath?
Obviously, since you’ve seen the title of this post, the answer was YES.
DIY Minimalist Eucalyptus Wreath That Is Entirely Compostable
What You’ll Need
Eucalyptus (mine is from my Thanksgiving centerpieces)
Baby’s Breath or other tightly clustered flowers that will dry well
Vines (ok, see note below on this one because I’m pretty sure you just said WTF) or pre-fab grapevine wreath
Note: Let’s be real, I foraged these vines (and by that I mean weeds) from my boyfriend’s backyard. They were long and pliable, so basically perfect for making a wreath form. IF YOU ARE GOING TO FORAGE YOUR VINES, which I do recommend, PROMISE ME YOU ARE GOING TO FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH WHAT POISON IVY LOOKS LIKE FIRST. Promise? Proooooomise? Hold out that pinkie finger. No take backs.
Still scratching your head about the vine bit? I’ve also used ivy, lemongrass leaves (smelled great but required some patience to work with), young grape vines, other trailing plants, and my favorite, Virginia Creeper (AGAIN, LEARN TO IDENTIFY POISON IVY IF YOU’RE GOING TO FORAGE VIRGINIA CREEPER). Look for vines that are young and bendable. You can also purchase a compostable wreath form here.
How to Make Your Compostable DIY Minimalist Eucalyptus Wreath
Strip main vine of tendrils and leaves for each vine to be used.
Loop vines into circular form, twisting vines over on themselves and into themselves to hold together. Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect or feels fragile at this point.
Once you’ve created your desired wreath form from your vines, snip off any unwanted tendrils.
Secure your wreath form by tightly double knotting bits of your natural twine in various places around the form. Look for weaker spots or places with stems that poke out.
Gather groups of eucalyptus and baby’s breath together with desired thickness, leaving stems long. This will allow you to better guide them to your wreath form and easily secure in multiple places, if needed.
Tightly secure the stems of your first bunch of eucalyptus with double knotted twine where you’d like your decorative elements to end on the finished wreath. Working your way around the wreath, add consecutive bunches of eucalyptus so that the leafy ends of each bunch overlay the stem end of the previous bunch.
Finish by tying a short stemmed bunch of leaves over the last group of stems.
Lift finished wreath up and assess for awkward weak spots or unwanted dangling sprigs. Secure with additional twine.
Choose point from which your wreath will hang and tie a final loose loop of twine. Since your vines are very “green”, they may come apart or warp if you hang your wreath directly on a nail by pushing it through the wreath form. This final loop will be used to hang your wreath.
Note: If you hang in direct sunlight, leaves and flowers may lose their color more quickly.
Final Notes On Enjoying Your Compostable DIY Minimalist Eucalyptus Wreath
Your wreath should smell absolutely amazing and eucalyptus is said to have health benefits for allergies and sinus congestion. This makes it a wonderful indoor wreath during the fall and winter seasons.
If placed in a ventilated area, your wreath should dry perfectly and you’ll be able to enjoy it for months. Mine dried beautifully and retained so much color!
Once wreath has reached its life expectancy and begins to look tired - or you’re tired of it - discard in compost heap. Since this is all dry plant matter, it should break down anywhere without issue. No disassembly or guilt required!