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Wreaths are made all across America in celebration of many holidays and for decor. They are made from various materials such as wood, sticks, fabric, and metals. An assortment of flowers, leaves, fruits, twigs, paint, or other materials are often used to decorate the ring.
Wreaths are often used in ceremonial events in many cultures around the globe. They can be worn as a chaplet around the head, or as a garland around the neck. Wreaths have much history and symbolism associated with them that we often don’t think about.
History of Wreaths:
Ancient Etruscan wreaths
Wreaths were a fashion design used in ancient times in southern Europe. The most well-known are pieces of Etruscan civilization jewelry, made of gold or other precious metals. Often symbols from Greek myths often appear in designs and embossed in the precious metal of the wreath.
Ancient Roman writers referred to Etruscan corona sutilis, as wreaths with their leaves sewn onto a background. These wreaths resemble a diadem, with thin metal leaves being attached to an ornamental band. Wreaths also appear stamped into Etruscan medallions. The plants shown making the wreaths in Etruscan jewelry include ivy, oak, olive leaves, myrtle, laurel, wheat, and vines.
Wreaths were worn as crowns by the Etruscan rulers. Roman magistrates also wore golden wreaths as crowns, as a symbolic testament to their lineage back to Rome’s early Etruscan rulers. Roman magistrates also used several other prominent Etruscan symbols in addition to a golden wreath crown: fasces, a curule chair, a purple toga, and an ivory rod.
Ancient Greece and Rome
In the Greco-Roman times, wreaths were used as an adornment that could represent a person’s occupation, rank, achievements, and status. The wreath that was commonly used was the laurel wreath.
The use of this wreath comes from the Greek myth involving Apollo, Zeus’ son, and the god of life and light, who fell in love with the nymph Daphne. When he pursued her she fled and asked the river god Peneus to help her. Peneus turned her into a laurel tree. From that day, Apollo wore a wreath of laurel on his head.
Laurel wreaths became associated with what Apollo embodied; victory, achievement, and status and would later become one of the most commonly used symbols to address achievement throughout Greece and Rome.
Some other types of plants used to make wreath crowns also had symbolic meaning. For example, oak leaves symbolized wisdom and were associated with Zeus. Who according to Greek mythology made his decisions while resting in an oak grove. The Twelve Tables, dating to 450 BC, refer to funeral wreaths as a long-standing tradition. The olive wreath was the prize for the winner at the ancient Olympic Games.
History of Clothespins:
The first design that resembles the modern clothespin was patented in 1853 by David M. Smith, a prolific Vermont inventor. “The earliest clothespins were just handmade, carved from wood.” Samuel Pryor of Salem, N. J., received the first American patent for a clothespin in 1832.
DIY Clothespin Wreath:
A clothespin wreath must be the cheapest do-it-yourself wreath I have made yet. I was able to pick up the wireframe from the Dollar Store with some clothespins and burlap. You can use acrylic paint on the clothespins or permanent markers like I did here to make the lines on the clothespins. I highly recommend decorating your clothespins before assembling them on the wireframe. Then if you wish you may add the burlap. As you can see here I made a bow and attached it with the hot glue gun, which you can also use craft glue or super glue.
Overall, the price of this wreath cost me around $5 to create. It was quick and reasonable to create the wreath that most children over the age of 5 could create their own with minimal supervision.
Halloween Clothespin Wreaths:
Need help making a bow? I learned how thanks to Jen over at The Old Summers Home.
Christmas Clothespin Wreath:
Do you have ideas for a Clothespin Wreath? Let us share some below.