Create a stunning Lowcountry wreath

Design expert Nicholas Askew shares his secrets for easy-to-make, natural door decorations

Show the Door • Nicholas Askew creates each of his signature cotton designs using the cotton he hand cuts from White Oak Farm where he grew up. You can create your own beautiful arrangements using materials found in your own backyard.

While Christmas is known for many different types of decoration, nothing is warmer or more welcoming than a gorgeous holiday wreath on a front door. We reached out to celebrated Lowcountry designer Nicholas Askew for tips on how to create a beautiful custom wreath. Askew specializes in garden design and handcrafted Southern arrangements using natural materials grown on his fourth-generation farm. Create your own masterpiece by following these steps:

Decking the halls

Give your guests the prettiest welcome by decking your doors with these easy-to-make wreaths. Here is Askew’s simple three-step process. Supplies: Southern magnolia, lemon cypress, cotton, wire, garden pruners, metal wreath ring.

Step 1: Bundle Southern magnolia, cotton, and lemon cypress together with a zip tie. Make sure you evenly trim the ends of the bundles with garden pruners. I like to use zip ties to securely hold the bundles in place.

Step 2: For this process, I use my wreath clamp machine to simply clamp the bundles down onto the wreath ring. If you do not own a wreath clamp machine, wiring bundles onto a wreath ring works just fine. Repeat this process until you have created your holiday wreath.

Step 3: Find the perfect door for your Lowcountry holiday wreath. In the picture shown, I used one of my favorite backdrops — a vintage barn door on the family farm. I love its texture.

How to tie a bow

Of course no holiday wreath is complete without a festive bow. “I like to use a plaid pattern during the holidays because it makes a statement and provides a nice texture on any wreath,” Askew said. Here are his five steps for making a great one. Supplies: Favorite ribbon, scissors and wire.

Steps 1 & 2: Tying a bow is just like tying your shoes. Start out by making one loop, twist the loop and repeat this step until you have two loops made. Repeat this step until you have odd numbers on both sides. I like using odd numbers because it evenly creates a bow.

Step 3: After you have repeated steps 1 and 2, make sure you make a small loop in the middle and attach the bow with wire. By doing this, it will create a barrier between the sides and hide any imperfections.

Step 4: Cut about 6 inches of ribbon, find the middle, attach the tail you just created to the bow and secure them with wire.

Step 5: Almost done! Using your scissors, fold the left side of the tail in half (at the bottom) and cut the ribbon up. Repeat the same step on the right side. This will add a nice final touch to your bow. I like to make sure the tails fall almost down to the bottom of the wreath.

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