Last Updated: Jan 7, 2017 @ 12:23 am

Step by Step Instructions for making a Horse Head Shaped Wreath - Hawk-Hill.comUpdate 2017: In response to so many requests to buy, a local small business is making these wreaths to sell. Order yours now via this link: Horse Head Wreaths  – or use these instructions to create your own!


One constant in my outdoor Christmas decorating plan is wreaths on the front gates. Since many of my neighbors know Hawk Hill for the pony that grazes in the front lawn all summer, this year I decided to make wreaths with an equestrian theme. Most people see our gate decor from 45mph, so I knew I needed to go big! I had no luck finding instructions for constructing this kind of wreath, so I decided to post instructions for those who might be curious in the future. These instructions should work for any sort of shape- It would be fun to see the same style wreath done in other interest-specific shapes.

Materials you’ll need:
EITHER:
1 precut horse head wreath forms.
OR the following supplies to make your own wreath frame:
1. Chicken wire or other flexible wire mesh
2. Wire cutter or Tin Snips
3. Pattern (see below for how I made my own)

Materials needed for Wreath Construction:
1. Semi-Rigid Wire, cut to 4-5″ lengths and folded in half – OR –  Garland Twist Ties
2. Greenery garland (My full size wreaths took 2 9ft garlands each)

  • When I made and sold these in 2014, my best results came from using half cheap garland and half higher-end faux evergreen greenery.  The cheap garland works as a filler (and can be purchased easily in bulk) while the nicer stuff gives a more expensive look.

3. Horse halter (optional)
4. Green floral wire.

Tools:
1. Thick work gloves
2. Pliers
3. Wire cutter or Tin Snips (If buy a premade form and all you need to cut is your garland ties, very sharp scissors should work)

HOW TO MAKE YOUR WREATH:

1. Find or make the outline you’d like to use. I spent most of Junior High practicing my skills at doodling horses, so I just laid out a horse halter to provide proportions and sketched in the shape of the head. You could just as easily download a silhouette and enlarge to size. (Note that if you want your wreath to be standard front-door sized, you’ll need to base your measurements on a small weanling or pony sized halter instead of a horse size). I had so many requests I actually located precut forms for sale, so if you want to skip this step, grab a horse head wreath frame by clicking here.

Step 1: designing the shape of your horse head wreath form

 

2. Lay out a panel of wire mesh over your outline. Wearing work gloves, begin folding the edges inward, conforming to the shape of your outline. You’ll have to cut a bit to make the wire fit. To conform to the horse head’s throatlatch, make a cut straight up from directly underneath the throatlatch and fold each corner up. Modeling with chicken wire requires a bit of rough handling, so don’t be gentle with it! You may need to add pieces or layers to get a full, rigid head. When you are happy with your shape, smash it flat.

Chicken wire molded into the shape of a horse head to make a wreath

 

3. Acquire greenery (looking like a bag lady with the spoils of your Black Friday shopping, like me, is optional!)

I mix two kinds of garland for these wreaths: Cheap basic garland purchased in bulk for filler and more authentic faux fir garland to make the wreath look at first glance like I used real evergreen boughs.

Pro Tip for making DIY shaped wreaths: Black Friday at a craft store is the best time to score deals on garland while there is still a good selection

 

Fluff your greenery before starting, so your wreath will look full and natural. With fluffed greenery you’ll be able to use slightly less materials and still create a wreath with a full look.

Lay out your 1st garland on the frame, doubling it back and forth to cover the shape. Don’t try to make your garland go farther- a fuller look comes from packing the greenery fairly densely.

attach greenery to homemade r prepurchased wreath form

 

The contours of your design may be different than mine, but I used roughly this layout to fill in my horse head:

Fill a horse head wreath form with a garland. This pattern works and helps makes the ears well defined.

 

4. Use the folded wire pins or garland ties to anchor the greenery to your mesh frame. Start with a few very spaced out wire ties to help get the greenery under control and the end product easier to visualize, then keep adding wire ties until the greenery is completely secure and cannot be shaken loose. Continue until your frame is covered and your wreath’s shape complete. Cut off any excess garland, then cut spare pieces into 4″ to 6″ lengths and anchor those pieces anywhere the wreath may look sparse.

Wire twisted in this configuration will solidly anchor your greenery.

hh_xmas_hrswreath_diy_10s5. Groom – you may find, like me, your horse head looks a bit “off” when done. If you’ve anchored your pieces well, you should be able to fold and bend or even clip and snip portions of greenery to clean up your horse head shape.

Tip: For the ears and any fine points of your design: green floral wire can help your ears go from bushy to neat, simply grasp the ear in a fist, forcing the sprigs to face one direction, and spiral wrap floral wire down the length. The green floral wire will disappear against the green branches but leave a distinct and neat edge.

When I was finished, my wreath seemed too bushy- smashing under a board flattened and neatened the overall appearance.


you may need to smash your wreath flatter to neaten appearance

 

6. I really think these wreaths look better with horse halters on them! You can decorate them with old halters like me, pick up a few cheap red halters, make your own with ribbon, or inexpensively build a “halter” using real halter hardware from LuckyPony.com.

For a reference of how the backside of this wreath should look, he’s a shot of the back of one of mine:


reverse shot of the backside of a DIY'd horse head wreath

 

Step by Step Instructions for making a Horse Head Shaped Wreath

The entire project from sketch to final hanging took me about 45 minutes for my first wreath, and about a half hour for my second- which I felt like was an outstanding value for very large wreaths that should last several years. My favorite part about these shaped wreaths is that they are so unique! In a world where most Christmas decorations come from big box stores that sell identical items by the hundreds-of-thousands, it’s fun to have decorations that are totally unique to you!

Update Fall 2016:

It’s been fun to see this post travel far and wide each Christmas since I original made and posted these! So many of you have provided feedback and thanks, and I thank you! If you take on this project this year, please share a photo in the comments- I’d love to see your results!

completed DIY horse head christmas wreath
Estate Gates with Horse Christmas Wreaths
Step by Step Instructions for making a Custom Shape Wreath - Hawk-Hill.com

Related Equestrian DIY Projects:Ideas for Christmas Decorating with Equestian Stylestep by step instructions for turning an old horse harness collar into an elegant christmas wreath5 creative ways to repurpose old Horse Halters

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82 thoughts on “Horse Head Shaped Greenery Wreath – Instructions to Make your Own”

  1. this is adorable! Can you tell me the cost of the materials to make it? How much chicken wire does it take to make one horse head?

    1. Hi Kathy! Thanks for your question. I used 2 garlands which I got on sale on Black Friday for $10 each, less than $1 worth of wire, and some scrap chicken wire (gosh, maybe originally a 4 foot by 4 foot section, that I scrunched up)

  2. these wreaths are just the greatest!!!! I train racehorse and I would like to make some for Christmas gifts! what exactly is the semi-rigid wire? I hope I can do this for friends!?!?!? I make jewelry so I hope I can pull this off! Lol! and if you have any other tips, please tell me as I am a first timer! you’re the best for sharing how to make the wreaths as some people just cannot afford to purchase them. you are truly a very good person.
    Cynthia Milano
    p.s. I live in Saratoga springs, new York…..truly horsey town. : )

    1. Hi Cynthia! Thanks for your comments! Actually I think for this project I may have used wire from a roll of electric fence wire. 😉 You can also just go to a hardware store and tell them what you are making and they should be able to set you up with a small roll of wire for under $5.

  3. Have you ever done this with balsam boughs? I make wreaths and people want me to make these for them with balsam Could it work thanks

  4. lindsyanne, I apologize for bothering you but I am having trouble getting this horse head wreathe making down pat. question…..when I weave the greenery, what lengths do I cut the greenery into as it doesn’t seem I can weave the whole 9 feet as one long piece. thank you sooooooo much. Cynthia milano

  5. Just wanted to thank you for the instructions, I live in northern Minnesota, so of course I want to try this with fresh pine. Can’t wait, on my way our to get chicken wire right now:)
    We raise miniature horses, so this is soooo perfect. If it works out, all my horsey friends will get one!

  6. This is totally awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks so much for the instructions. I too am going to try this. I love horses and my family is into horse racing. I sure hope I can pull this off. Yours looks great!!!

  7. Thank you so much for your step by step instructions!!!! It is such a fresh breath of air to see a talented woman who is willing to share the instructions. Thank you very much!!!

  8. oh my attempting to make one for my daughter thank you so much for sharing your wonderful talent so freely given one happy daughter if I succeed

  9. Hi Lindsayanne, I am in the middle of making a wreath, but I am having 2 problems: 1. When I try to feed the florist wire over the garland and tie it on the back of the chicken wire, I can never see it coming out on the back side. Pathetic, I know. But do you have a secret on how to use the wire or twist ties? 2. I also may be doing it wrong. (I probably am). When looking at your wreath, it is 2 sided. I have been laying the garland on top of the chicken wire and [trying to] tie it down. But this results in a one sided wreath (which is all I need for the barn doors). But, should I be weaving the garland in and out of the chicken wire to make the finished product look thicker?
    THANK YOU so much for being so kind and considerate to us newbies. I am not crafty, but I am trying hard. 🙂
    Pam Mahony
    Southern Pines, NC

    1. Hi Pam! Thanks for your questions! My wreaths are not double sided! The chicken wire actually just blends in really well once it’s all snugged up together. Regarding your question about getting the wires through- I would NOT use floral wire for securing the greenery to the frame- it’s just too thin to hold up well long term AND it tends to bend rather than poke through the greenery- making everything harder. Originally I used plain heavy wire to secure greenery to frame, but having made lots more now here’s what I’d advise- get to the store and find wrapped floral stems (a heavier gauge wire with a grippy wrapping that makes it much easier to tie) and get the package of 20 or 22 gauge wire- cut into 5″ lengths, and use that to tie your greenery onto the frame. Also, be sure you are working in a very, very well lighted area- it makes a big difference!

  10. Hi Lindsay, I finally figured out a method that worked for me! Since I have needlepointed countless pillows and belts, I treated the wreath like a needlepoint; 4 forward, 1 back. This way I can do wreaths that are full on both sides. It takes about 3+ garlands and about 90 minutes, but I love them! (PS: I am selling them cheap to get lots of orders. No one on this FB group would pay what they are really worth. (And I do not ship.) 😀
    Thanks a MILLION for showing us how to do it!
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/253718777990721/

  11. I will try this with real pine tree branches for my own use. I have a very inexpensive source (a tree that is dying on our farm & another that I can trim off some branches) Once the pine dies, I’ll save the form for next year & use it again. Thank you for the step by step directions! I was trying to figure out how to make a form, that might be the biggest challenge for me, as well as drawing a horse head, but with your directions, I’ll give it my best shot!

  12. thanks for sharing the step by step instructions – these are truly brilliant I think I could be busy over the next few weeks making these for the girls at the stables 🙂 Thank you again from England.

  13. Hi Lindsay, do you have any more horse head forms for purchase for the wreaths? I would love to try to make one but I think using your pre-made form would be easier.

    Thanks for sharing the instructions. Thanks!

  14. What a blessing you are to share instructions. Some of us have to make our own, because of financial circumstances. I hope you are very successful in your sales. This is a delightful design.

  15. Like many of the others, I want to send a big thank you out for sharing your method and pattern with all of us. You can bet I will be making one (well ok, at least one! 😉

  16. Thank you so much for the great instructions, I can’t wait to get started. I think I may have purchased the wrong size halter though. I just noticed that you mentiond a cob sized halter….is this what you recommend? I went ahead and ordered a horse size before I read it through and I’m not sure if it will fit properly.

    1. Thanks so much for your interest! Unfortunately no, we’re having so much trouble keeping up on orders for these that I’m not able to do any discounts. My slightly numb snips-holding hand insists on it. 😉

  17. It might help some to spray the chicken wire with Fix All green spray paint for wood or metal. If making more than 1 horse head wreath, just stack forms together and spray all at once to conserve paint. Using 18 or 22 gauge floral tape wrapped wire cut into about 5 or 6 inch pieces bent into a “U” shape might help, too. Hope this helps.

  18. I am so happy to find your site! I am a DC for a US Pony Club and I think we may make these as a fund-raiser for our club!!! You are so wonderful to share all of this info!
    Thank you!!

  19. Would like to know what size halter to get for the medium horse head wreath – is it COBB or PONY? My frame should be arriving today – can’t wait to get started. Thank you

  20. Received your form and the ends are all enclosed in black tape. I started to take it off and noticed there are sharp edges in places. Am I supposed to remove this prior to adding the greenery? I think I should but am awaiting reply – thanks

  21. I bought a colt/yearling size halter and it was too big. Not wanting to spend any more money on a halter if I didn’t have a horse, I found red velcro and used the fuzzy strips to make a halter. It was fastened with eyelets and split rings and worked great.

  22. Lindsayanne: Couple of ?s here. I’m a handicapped/disable male in So. IL and also currently fighting stage 4 cancer in the abdomen. I have four families that I would love to make these for. My concern is I cant draw(1) and mine would look horrible; would I be better off to purchase the form pre-made. Is there any discount for ordering more than 1 of the same? Im talking a pony size wreath.2) I want mine to have the long mane as well. I thought I saw it on here but couldn’t find it again. Hard for me to see the computer sometimes too What do I need to make the long mane and how much of it for 4 pony horse heads? 3) What if I wanted to make the ‘inside’ of the ears look more ‘natural’ and what would one use for the noses, eyes, etc? Would putting some kind of greenery or grass in the mouth make it look like it was eating, maybe even hay??? Or would it look to ‘corny” 4) Can you put white lights on it too for some flair? Maybe a set of 50 or so? Let me know what you think. What price could you offer for four of the horsehead (pony). We have a Rural King nearby where I think I could pick up some pony halters for cheap and we have a Hobby lobby close by as well. Pine cones added anywhere? Just FYI …Years ago I dated a lady who’s sis had a flower shop and at busy times during the year we would help make things so that’s where I learned how to do some of this stuff. Do you ever use a glue gun on any of these. Sorry for sooo many ?’s. I’ve added your site to my favorites list so I don’t ‘lose you’

    1. Hi Scott- thanks for reading! I actually don’t sell any of these (wreaths or forms) anymore, just refer out to companies I know that do- they might be able to do custom designs for you. I love all your creative ideas and I would just say give them a shot and see what happens! I’d use dark green floral wire for any special details you want to create- or works great, can be bent and moved after it’s added, and if you don’t like the final result you can pull off the wire and start from square one!

    1. Thanks Virginia! I’m not sure if you read the whole article but I do include step by step instructions. You can print them out if you need a print copy to refer to while you build your own.

  23. Great idea. Maybe I’ll make a reindeer version. I’ve put this link on the Starcross News page on Facebook. Maybe you could add a Facebook share button to this page?

  24. Hi : I’m making horse head wreaths for my gates. I’ve used cedar for the head and body, but I don’t know what to use for the mane. Is it pine or fir? I want branches that will provide a “flowing” look. Can you help? I live in Western Canada

    1. Hi Sue- it sounds like you are using live greenery? I’m really not sure- as you can see I did not detail mine and didn’t add pinecone eyes or a mane to my horse wreath, I like the simple outline and have not experimented with details, so I couldn’t say.

    1. I added garden stakes for stability, which could help flatten- but first try rolling the wire loosing in the opposite direction that it wants to roll- you might be able to cancel the bend in the wire that’s making it want to roll.

  25. ok so i have a question im 13 and a bit poor but my gma loves horses she use to own some when she was younger so i want to make her one for Christmas but i can afford garland right now so would real evergreen work i live in the country and plenty of evergreens

    1. Hi Chasity, Yes- live evergreen would TOTALLY work and look lovely. To create the wreath with live evergreen you’d use a similar process, but wiring individual small boughs to the frame. I bet your grandmother would love it!

      1. thanks i hope so to im doing the frame out of chicken wire like you because thats all i had found it in the woods left over from my fish trap but looking for the right pine tree to hack some branches off with my hatchet and use some red ribbon for the halter and thanks for the idea

  26. I took your instructions and made a Yoda head for my son with his son’s help. We made it fit into a box I already had so he’d have a way to store it and I could gift wrap it. (I would post a picture but I don’t know how to do that here.) He loved it.

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