Wreaths are traditionally circular objects made from natural or man-made materials used to decorate the home.
As the legend goes, wreaths, also sometimes known as diadems, were first used during the Persian Empire to mark the status of the nobility. These encircled the head, and were ornate circles fashioned of cloth or metal, sometimes encrusted with jewels. As the idea of wearing a wreath spread to other civilizations, the scholars and athletes of Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire were honored by being awarded more humble ones made of laurel leaves or twigs.
It is believed that decorating walls with wreaths as we do today came about when an honoree chose to display their wreath by hanging it on the wall. A home decorating tradition was born — and the tradition continues today.
Many people only think of wreaths in connection to Christmas decorations, but there are many other different types — and they do not have specific ties to any particular religion. Different types can serve as year round decoration, from the welcoming of seasons or holidays to incorporating a certain color scheme into a room. Wreaths can adorn walls, doors, windows, tables, and fireplaces.
Natural materials such as boughs, branches and berries were likely used on the first types of decorative wreaths, but today they can range from the traditional evergreens of Christmas to those made from a wide range of materials such as metal, plastic, or artificial and fresh flowers. Styles can range from rustic and homey to streamline and sophisticated.
The many different types of wreaths can be purchased ready-made, as craft kits, or by simply creating one yourself. They are only limited by the scope of your imagination. If you are shopping for different types, you can find a selection at home furnishings stores, arts and crafts fairs or shops, or online at decorating supply or flower delivery companies.
Most of the different types of wreaths are easy to care for. Those made from living greenery or flowers will only last a short period of time, but ones made from man-made materials can last for years. Proper care should be taken to dust or vacuum an artificial wreath to keep it looking fresh.