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How to make a Christmas Grave Blanket.

Ask the Expert: grave blankets i was wondering if you could email me directions on how to make a christmas grave blanket for my dad and my sister? thanks norma

Other Helpful Information About Grave Blankets

Important information when sending grave blankets from a local florist.
How to make grave blankets.
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  1. Norma

    To make a grave blanket you will need a few things: chicken wire, wire cutters, pruners, floral knife, greenery, floral foam, floral tape, floral wire, hot glue, outdoor ribbon, fresh flowers, pine cones or other accessories.

    Begin by cutting the chicken wire to a size slightly smaller than you want the finished grave blanket to be. Then weave your greenery through the chicken wire, as you do this secure it with the floral wire. This process is similar to weaving pastry dough in a lattice pattern for a pie top. Work the greenery into the chicken wire until you have the grave blanket shape you want. Try to arrange the greenery so that it is dense and free of large gapping holes. This will give you a foundation from which every thing else will rest upon.

    If you want to add fresh flowers to your grave blanket, you will need to attach floral foam to the foundation. You can use wire and floral tape to secure the floral foam to the chicken wire and greenery. Place the floral foam so that the flowers are in an optimum-viewing placement. Keep in mind that this blanket will be laying on the ground.

    After flower placement you can attach the ribbon. You can wind the ribbon through the greenery attaching it with hot glue every so often. You can also attach pinecones or other accessories at this point. When attaching these items you can use hot glue, floral tape or wire to secure them to the greenery.

    You can make your grave blanket as elaborate or as simple as you would like. Keep in mind that this grave blanket will have to be transported, so weight can become an issue.

    The only difference in making a Christmas grave blanket and a non-holiday grave blanket is the accessories. For Christmas grave blankets use Christmas greeneries, pinecones, holly berries, red ribbon and even ornaments.

  2. yes , but where do you get the 2ft or 3 ft long foam bricks? we made them a few yrs back but the place we had is gone were just trying to make extra christmas money im in michigan

  3. Carol,

    Try a craft store, like Hobby Lobby or Michael’s. Floral Supply company will also carry these but may only sell to florists.

  4. Does anyone know where I can buy the stakes/anchors to hold down the grave blankets? Thanks.

  5. Lee,

    Florists usually find those kinds of items at a wholesale floral supplier. FGmarket is a great resource for finding wholesale floral supplies & wholesale sympathy supplies.

    Individuals can check with their local florist shops. I’ve had customers use the stakes that hold landscape fabric down as a way to secure grave blankets. You can find these at a hardware store or nursery/landscaping garden center.

  6. Melody McDaniel says:

    How much greenery do you need for the blanket and will roping from Michel’s or Hobby Lobby work?

  7. Melody,

    Wire is better than rope. Rope tends to fall apart due to the weather conditions.
    As for how much greenery it depends. You need enough greenery to weaver in and out of the wire base — fully covering it so that there are no holes or vacant spots showing. The thickness and type of greenery you use will make a difference in how mush you will need.

  8. Is there any certain way the greenery is facing? Or is it just stuck in there any which way to cover the holes?

  9. Genia,

    You’ll fashion the greenery the same way you would for a casket spray. Some of the greenery will face south, some north and the greenery in the center will face many directions.

  10. I like your answer to making a grave blanket but where do you get the greenery and what kind do you use there is alot of different types and how long does it take to make one

  11. Debbie,

    Some flower shops will sell you the greenery to make a grave blanket. The kind of greenery will depend on what your local florists has – usually what we call Christmas greens (cedar, fir, pine, holly) are what they use. People in my area who have wooded property use the branches of a variety of evergreens. One lady I know uses pine from her families property. Of course cutting your own greenery may save a little money but will require a more time and effort.

    You can also create what is called a grave swag instead of a grave blanket. This is a little easier to do and requires less greenery.

    If I remember from my time spent in a flower shop it takes a couple of hours to make a grave blanket. Since you haven’t made one before allow yourself about 4 hours. Getting started is the hardest part. Once you lay out the first three or four piece it will get easier.

    Another tip: If you are making a grave blanket but want some fresh flowers to attach to it, have your local florist design a fresh flower arrangement in a bouquet holder that you can easily attach to the grave blanket. This way you can transport the grave blanket to the cemetery attaching the flowers after you get there. This will make it easier to get the grave blanket in and out of the vehicle without compromising the flowers.

  12. Diana Roberts says:

    We need info and pictures on how to make a grave blanket for Christmas. 712-642-2490

  13. I would like to see a picture of the sprays after they are finished

  14. My husband and I make 3 or 4 grave blankets every year. We buy our evergreen branches at a local Christmas tree farm where they sell tree clippings for $3.00 an armload. We try to buy 2 different kinds of evergreen tree clippings just because we think it adds to the look of the blanket. We cut chicken wire and secure it on a table with masking tape. Then we use plastic wire ties to keep the branches in place. We just keep securing the clippings to the chicken wire frame until it looks full and there are no bare spots on the chicken wire. We then decorate the blanket with ribbons, bows, and pinecones. We use wire clothes hangers to make anchors for the the blankets (no cost if you have some hanging in your closet!). We just cut them into short pieces, about 6-8 inches long, and bend them into the shape of a \"V\". They can be easily pushed down into the ground and keep the blankets securely where you place them. I figure we make our 3 to 4 blankets for less than $50, which is what the Christmas tree lot charges for one! Not bad for amateurs!

  15. Cindy,

    Do you have any photos of the grave blankets you have made? I would love for the readers to see examples of grave blankets and it sounds like you make some really nice ones.

  16. Jamie,
    No, I don’t have any pictures of the blankets we’ve made in years past, but we will be making some in the next few weeks and I will take some pictures and make an attempt to post them for readers to view. Also, I try to keep my cost at a minimum, since the blanket is eventually discarded by the cemetery, so I purchase things to use for next years blankets when I see them at sale prices, especially after Christmas markdowns (i.e. chicken wire, large bows, ribbon).

  17. Cindy,

    That would be great. I look forward to seeing the photos. I love the cost-saving idea.

  18. Amberleigh says:

    This question is for anyone who has made a blanket.

    Roughly how many branches are needed for this project?

    Thank you in advance! :) Happy Holidays!

  19. Amberleigh,

    It is necessarily a number but how bushy they are. The bushy the branches the less you will have to use. A good number to start with would be six long branches with several lateral branches – usually pine or fir. With holly you will need twice as many.

  20. Amberleigh says:

    Thank you very much! I am trying to get the supplies together to make one for my grandfather who passed Christmas Eve 2003. My mom usually buys one, but she has moved quite a distance away.

  21. My son passed away 6yrs. ago. This is the first time i want to give him a gift. It has been a very difficult time for myself and my family. You see, he was what you call a mom’s boy. I have come a long way.For me , this is part of the healing process.

  22. Leah,

    Losing someone is very difficult. Please accept my deepest sympathy for your loss. A grave blanket is a deeply sincere way to express the love you have for your son and a way to help with the healing process. Giving your son the gift of a Christmas grave blanket is a sweet memorial for a very special person. May comfort come to you and your family.

  23. For anyone who sells grave blankets – how much do you charge?
    I made several last year for deceased relatives and friends. I am looking for evergreen to make some artifical blankets but am haivng trouble finding evergreen garland in the summertime. Any ideas?

  24. hi i lost my husband 3years ago i use to buy them but that sure have gotten to high so would like to try and make one where can i get the ribben and the pine cones to put on it and also is the fake trees good to use
    thank you
    debbie

  25. I’m sure any artificial evergreen foliage would work. It might take a little extra maneuvering to get it into the shape of a grave blanket. For the ribbon and the pine cones, try your local florist or craft shop. Just make sure you get outdoor ribbon.

  26. debbie says:

    ty for your input it help me a lot i think i will just stay with the real trees

  27. Every year I try to come up with ideas for gifts that nobody has seen in our family before. I heard about this from a guy I work with and was wondering if it would be possible or even acceptable to make it as a gift to hang on the door and not just a graveside decoration. If you would can you email me step by step instructions with a photo please.

    Thank You
    Debbie B

  28. Kim Campbell says:

    My cousin and I have been making graveside wreaths for seven years now. We have eight wreaths to make each year. I have been viewing different sites and looking for ways to improve our presentation of them. With the recession this year, we are forced to really watch our pennies. I would like to make special wreaths this year as my 21-year old passed away last Thanksgiving making the holiday season painful. I have seen the coat hanger setup, but I also saw grave blankets using wood, straw and chicken wire as a base. I don’t want to overly scrutinize the product for sale and I don’t want to buy one and dissemble it. Any suggestions as how it is put together? I read about weaving it through the chicken wire, would I staple the wire to the wood. Any suggestions would be very helpful and I would be happy to e-mail photos with results.

    Kim Campbell

  29. I am sorry for loss. I will try my best to help you create a beautiful memorial in a cost effective way.

    I haven’t see the straw and wool method. Chicken wire is the only foundation, I have personally seen used. Are you making the long grave blankets or the round wreaths for the headstone?

    When the designer (at my sister-in-law’s shop) created a grave blanket she only used the the wood as a way to carry the grave blanket but not as part of it. Instead she formed the foundation of the grave blanket with chicken wire only. She would use a piece of chicken wire that was just short of the final length of the grave blanket. Sometimes she would piece together chicken wire to make the frame. You can secure the pieces of chicken wire together with your floral wire. Then the greenery was weaved in and out of the chicken wire to form the solid base and then the embellishments were added.

    Tip: A cost saving method would be to cut your own greenery. If you have a farm that contains evergreens, you could cut lower branches off and use them.

    If you are making wreaths and don’t want to use a wreath frame, manipulate your greenery into a semi-circle and attach them together with floral wire. My husband does this with Leyland cypress for our church. He takes a piece of the cypress and bends it slightly to form a curve then adds it to another piece – binding the two with thick floral wire. He keeps going until he forms a circle. He then takes ribbon and binds all of the greenery one more time. Once the base of the wreath is created, you can add your embellishments.

    I hope this helps.

  30. I’ve been making my own grave blankets for the past 5 years. I’m just in the process of getting 2 together to take to the cemetery tomorrow. I just stopped at our local Home Depot and picked up a cart full of greens trimmed from the trees they bundled for customers. I was able to do the same last year. I had been unaware that they even offered this. They seem happy to be able to give them to someone who will use them.

    The main reason I originally started making my own blankets was because I wanted something special for my father grave (he died before Christmas in 2003). I started out using only what I could get from my parent’s yard (all trees/bushes he planted). They have a good amount of cedar trees, holly bushes (with berries) and birch trees. The cedar does not stand out that well (color-wise), which is why I started adding greenery from Christmas trees.

    I normally use a base of chicken wire. The weight of the greens is heavy enough to keep the blanket in place and it just needs to be anchored normally.
    This year, I’m a little pressed for time so am going to try the grave pillows. Based on what I’ve read, I think I’ll try using a piece of plywood with a block of craft foam with a piece of craft foam tacked across the foam block. Hopefully, this will give the height that I’m looking for. I’ll see how it works out.

    Thanks to everyone for sharing their ideas. It has been helpful to me.

    Nancy

  31. Sorry, I typed in a hurry and just realized I goofed (lol).
    I meant – I’m going to tack a piece of chicken wire over the craft foam. Sorry for the confusion.

    One other thing I forgot to mention…..I always add 1 or 2 photos to the grave blankets I make. For my Dad’s, it’s his military portrait (he is buried in a veteran’s cemetery) and either a photo of him in later years, or one of our family photos. The cemetery he’s buried at gets a lot of visitors during the holiday season and I think it’s nice for people to be able to see what he looked like.
    With computers, it’s so easy to print photos these days. And my husband has a small laminating machine and he laminates the photos prior to me gluing them on.

    Nancy

  32. I like the idea of adding personalized photos.

  33. kim musgrove says:

    i was just browsing thru looking for any directionsto help me on the grave blanket im trying to put together for my brotherwhom passed away dec.16th 1997 he was 19 yrs old and which was my only sibling ,anyways i found that using artificial items would be best andlast longer , i went out looking at my local thrift store and picked up a couple of christmas trees ,,,im planning on using these taking the floral wire and tacking the limbs to the chicken wire whichmy husband made me a frame out of 1by2 boards i also took some small nails that will fit good throu the boards and went about an inch apart so that my stryfoam will secure to the boards and went from there letting the longer branches from the tree be my outside and the shorter ones as i got into the middle and went from there as far as decorating ,,i just didnt know if mentioning the artifical tree limbs would help any one,,then after christmas you could just change out the colors for another holiday, i live in south alabama so things are hard to find around here

  34. Thanks for the suggestions. For some artificial may be just the answer to their greenery problem.
    I would love to see as photo of the grave blanket when you are finished.

  35. Just wanted to share an idea of mine. We moved to Texas after a lifetime in Indiana. No one here knew what a grave blanket was. Because the winters can be warm, I decided to buy garland that looked real. It took 2 9′ pieces. I laid it out on the floor, used the branches of the garland to secure it together, added a big bow in the center and some silk roses. I used an old coat hanger and cut into 4″ lengths, bent in half and used them to secure the blanket to the grave. It lasted the entire season. It wasn’t real, didn’t have the fragrance, but it was just as pretty and meant a lot to me to be able to cover my step father’s grave.

  36. Please, please do NOT use coat hangers or wires that a person can be injured by. The people who mow graves can drive a piece of coat hanger or wire through a boot when at work in the cemetary. Some have had terrible injuries. As a florist I was asked by the local sextant to use something else.

  37. Reba Horton says:

    I would like to know how to make a christmas hanging basket for my husbands grave.Please any suggestions……and maybe some pictures. Medium size i think………Thanks

  38. Reba,

    First off, do you know if you’d like to use fresh or permanent flowers?

    Thanks,

    Ed

  39. Pics of grave blankets I just made these past 2 days.

    Attached Image: 20131219_143051.jpg

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