Memory wreaths can commemorate a person, holiday, or just a collage of small moments in your life. In fact, memory wreaths and similar memorial crafts can be an effective, meaningful way to work through grief and feelings for a late loved one.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What You’ll Need to Get Started on Your Memory Wreath
- 1. Photograph Memory Wreath
- 2. Found Object Wreath
- 3. “Remember When…” Memory Wreath
- 4. Fabric Memory Wreath
- 5. Holiday Memory Wreath
- 6. Anniversary Memory Wreath
- 7. Natural Memory Wreath
Plus, there’s something so satisfying about DIY projects. Of course, to do it yourself, you may need a bit of direction and help. In this post, we’ve provided seven different ways and ideas for memory wreaths.
What You’ll Need to Get Started on Your Memory Wreath
Any good crafting or creative session starts with ideas and openness toward these ideas. To achieve any progress, you should be open to whatever is inspiring you. It may work, or it may not. Not every idea you have will be a good one, and that’s OK!
Though this philosophy can be applied to just about any project, it’s especially true for memory wreaths. It’s likely that you’re wanting to create something beautiful that captures the essence of some aspect of your life—whether it be directly related to a specific loved one or just the experiences you’ve shared with others.
The act of creating a memory wreath in itself can be therapeutic. But, that being said, we’re excited about your end result, too. In the process, you may become overwhelmed with emotions related to people and places you haven’t been around in a long time.
All this considered, you should let yourself feel as you create. It will make the finished product that much more impactful. If you’re here because you particularly love DIY, you may also be interested in these DIY memorial gifts.
General supplies for any memory wreath
To make the quintessential memory wreath, you may consider gathering the following items. You can always adjust as needed or use supplies that make more sense for the type of wreath you’re going for. Here’s what you’ll need:
- A wreath form: Depending on the wreath you’re creating, a form may be unnecessary. Wreath forms can be made out of a variety of materials, including wire, wood, or foam.
- Glue or fasteners: Some items may not fix onto your wreath easily. You can use superglue, a hot glue gun, or some other sort of fastener.
- Scissors or a craft knife: You may need to cut items to put onto your wreath. You may also consider grabbing a hole puncher.
- Twine, string, or wire: You can also use ribbon or yarn if you prefer.
- Decorative elements: This “item” can be just about anything you can think of—gems, feathers, faux or real flowers, etc.
Now, without further adieu, let’s have a look at some different types of memory wreaths you can create.
1. Photograph Memory Wreath
A collection of photos is the next best thing to keep handy to create the quintessential memory wreath. Keep in mind, you may want to make copies of the photos you choose and save the originals as keepsakes, especially if you’re using older photographs.
Print or gather photos
Printing or gathering enough photos to fill your wreath may take some time, depending on how large it is. You may choose to gather photos just of you, of a late loved one, or a variety of your favorite memories. Consider editing photos with a filter to keep the wreath all in the same tone, or just leave it random. You may also choose to mix in some black and white prints for variety.
Lay them out in order
Before you fasten your photos to your wreath form or structure, you should figure out some sort of order. This can also help you determine if you have enough photos or too many. You can always make another wreath to match.
Fasten them to a form
Putting photos onto a form may take some finesse. However, one easy way would be to punch a hole into a corner of the photo and tie it to the form with twine or string. You can also choose a wreath in a square or rectangular shape and “frame” each photo prior to affixing them in the order you choose.
2. Found Object Wreath
Found object wreaths can be as quirky or restrained as you prefer, depending on what items you choose. It’s likely that these objects are mementos of some sort or related to a loved one.
Consider the style you want
A found object wreath can easily be whimsical if you fill it with small toys or personal effects. However, one way to make found object wreaths appear more upscale is to spray paint or paint every object the same color. You can even use metallic or matte paint for a special touch. That being said, selecting items all in the same tone or color scheme can also achieve the same effect.
Think of the weight
While found object wreaths are meant to be fun and interactive, you should also be wise when choosing the wreath form and the adhesives or fasteners you use. The objects will likely be of different weights. Try not to pick anything too heavy. Or, if you do, affix it toward the bottom of the wreath to keep it from falling.
3. “Remember When…” Memory Wreath
Unlike a photo wreath, a “remember when…” memory wreath can be written instead, as photos are visual memories. You may wish to record written quotes, jokes, or sentiments and create a wreath out of these instead.
Think of the type of paper or material you’d like to write your memories on. You don’t have to solely use these written pieces; however, it would make for a striking result you’ll love to look at for years to come. Be sure to select a paper and writing element that will be durable enough to last for a few years. You may even choose to laminate or seal whatever you choose to work with.
Call on loved ones for help
Rather than constructing this type of memory wreath all by yourself, you can always call on loved ones to help. A “remember when…” memory wreath can even be constructed at a memorial or funeral, for example. Be sure to provide “templates” for your loved ones to write their phrases or memories on. You can then construct it together or on your own time. Be sure to share the end result with those who contributed.
4. Fabric Memory Wreath
Like memory blankets, a fabric memory wreath can repurpose tangible items from yourself or a loved one.
Find your fabrics of choice
Gather old T-shirts, blankets, clothing, or other household items depending on your desired look. Be sure to choose things that you’re no longer using or that won’t upset anyone if they suddenly have a hole in them.
Cut and sew
When making a fabric memory wreath, you can get out of sewing if you’re not skilled. Instead, you can just use glue or other fasteners. However, a good way to use more fabric and to give your wreath some volume is to create small “pillows” and then attach them. Similarly, you may also be interested in making these memory pillows with special items of your loved one's clothing like a dress shirt collar.
5. Holiday Memory Wreath
If you’re looking for a way to make your home more festive while commemorating the holidays, you can create a holiday memory wreath.
If you have broken ornaments (that aren’t too sharp), old lights, figurines, or other trinkets you’re trying to breathe new life into, a holiday memory wreath is a great option. You can create a specific theme, for example, by covering the wreath in snow or flocking for the wintertime or sand for the summer.
Attach and enjoy
The beauty of a holiday memory wreath is that you can add to it each year you put it up. You can always replace items and update the wreath with your evolving style.
6. Anniversary Memory Wreath
An anniversary memory wreath can be a special way to commemorate someone. It’s meant to be added to over time, whether you’re celebrating a loved one’s birthday, a wedding or dating anniversary, or a death anniversary.
Plan a theme
We described a few different anniversaries you can choose from above. That being said, you may want to get even more specific with your theme. Will you take a photo on the beach each year? Around the breakfast table? Out on the town? Or, if you’re celebrating a death anniversary, how will you honor your loved one each year?
As we discussed, an anniversary memory wreath is meant to be added to over time. Though the result can be beautiful if your wreath is overflowing with photos or items, you should try to leave space so you can add more over a few years.
7. Natural Memory Wreath
If you’d like a more natural-looking memory wreath, this can easily be achieved.
A natural memory wreath should be made of items from or inspired by nature. Keep in mind that some dried plants and flowers can be quite fragile and brittle or attract bugs if left outside.
Of course, the “memories” related to this wreath may be a bit more personal and up to interpretation but subtly is nice.
For example, you may like to gather a pinecone, pebble, or twig from different nature hikes. This can make for a beautiful arrangement you can keep up year-round.
Find a safe place for it
As we mentioned prior, a wreath made out of natural items may attract bugs or be on the fragile side depending on its construction. Keep it inside in a safe place if you’re worried it’s not hearty enough to last on the exterior of your home.
Honor Memories in a New Way
Like any other gifts or crafts you come up with, memory wreaths can simply honor memories in a new way. These memories may be varied or specific to a late or living loved one. No matter what you create, it should be beautiful and meaningful to you. Aesthetics can just be a bonus.