top of page

The Therapeutic Art of Wreath Making: A Journey Through History and Healing

by Lauren Fallat, LPC LPAT ATR-BC

Wreath making is a centuries-old craft with roots that extend deep into human history. These circular arrangements of leaves, flowers, branches, or other materials have held symbolic and decorative significance across cultures and time periods. Today, wreath making can be incorporated into art therapy as a relaxing and therapeutic directive, offering individuals a creative outlet to explore their emotions, connect with tradition, and promote mental well-being.

The History of Wreath Making

The history of wreath making dates back to ancient civilizations. In ancient Greece and Rome, wreaths made from laurel leaves were awarded to victors in athletic competitions and celebrated military heroes. These laurel wreaths symbolized triumph and honor. Similarly, in ancient Egypt, wreaths made from palm leaves were placed on the deceased as a symbol of eternal life. During the Middle Ages in Europe, wreaths adorned with candles were used in winter solstice celebrations, a precursor to the modern Advent wreath. In the Victorian era, wreaths took on new significance as they were exchanged as gifts symbolizing love and friendship.

The process of wreath making encourages mindfulness. As individuals concentrate on each step, from selecting materials to arranging them, their focus narrows to the present moment. This mindfulness promotes relaxation by temporarily alleviating stress and anxiety related to past or future concerns. It fosters a state of flow, where individuals become fully absorbed in the creative process, experiencing a sense of calm and tranquility.

Wreath Making for Creative Expressive

Wreath making also allows individuals to express themselves creatively. Through the choice of materials, colors, and arrangement, participants can convey their emotions, desires, and experiences in a non-verbal way, providing a safe outlet for self-expression. One of the fundamental aspects of wreath making is the selection of materials. Participants have the freedom to choose from a wide array of natural and artificial elements, such as leaves, flowers, branches, berries, ribbons, and more. This choice allows for self-expression as individuals can pick materials that resonate with them on a personal or emotional level. The act of selecting materials becomes an opportunity to explore one's preferences, tastes, and emotions.

Using natural materials in wreath making, such as leaves, flowers, or branches, connects individuals with the healing power of nature. This connection can promote a sense of calm, balance, and harmony with the environment.

When gathering materials for wreath making, it's important to consider the theme and style of the wreath you want to create. However, here's a general list of materials you might need for a basic wreath-making project:

1. Wreath Base:

  • Foam wreath form

  • Grapevine wreath

  • Wire wreath frame

2. Foliage:

  • Artificial or real leaves (fall leaves, eucalyptus, ivy, etc.)

  • Flowers (silk or dried)

  • Branches and twigs

  • Berries (artificial or real)

  • Pinecones

  • Acorns

  • Grasses or dried herbs

3. Fasteners:

  • Floral wire

  • Floral pins

  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks

  • Floral tape (for securing stems)

4. Tools:

  • Scissors or garden shears for cutting stems and wires

  • Wire cutters (if using wire-based wreath forms)

  • Pruning shears (for trimming branches)

5. Decorative Elements:

  • Ribbons (various colors and textures)

  • Bows (pre-made or hand-tied)

  • Ornaments (for holiday wreaths)

  • Decorative picks (such as decorative birds or butterflies)

Art therapists can encourage clients to infuse their wreaths with personal symbolism. Each element chosen for the wreath can represent something significant in the individual's life, allowing for exploration of their inner world and emotions. Incorporating traditional wreath-making elements into the therapy process can evoke feelings of nostalgia and connection to cultural or family traditions, offering a deeper layer of therapeutic exploration.

Incorporating wreath making into art therapy allows individuals to tap into their innate creativity, find solace in tradition, and explore their emotions in a therapeutic and enjoyable way. This ancient craft serves as a powerful reminder that, throughout history, humans have turned to art and symbolism to heal and express themselves. In wreath making, we find not only a creative outlet but also a link to our shared human heritage, promoting holistic well-being.

To Schedule an Appointment

To Schedule an appointment, click on the Book an Appointment button.

To learn more about Holistic Health Counseling Center, please visit out website at To read our latest blog, see this page:

wreath making


bottom of page