Making wreaths is a lovely way to involve children in a local ceremony or personal commemoration. You can make a wreath on Anzac Day, Remembrance Day and other important days. We do this to recognise and remember the service and sacrifice of our veterans and serving personnel.
Making a commemorative wreath
You may like to make your own wreath for a ceremony or a personal commemoration at home. You can download these instructions as part of our Anzac Day Kitbag.
What you'll need
- Wreath shaped polystyrene (chaplet or ring)
- Leaves of laurel, camellia or 'Little Gem' magnolia (or paper leaves)
- Green wreath wrap or ribbon
- Purple ribbon
- Artificial red poppies
- Sprigs of rosemary
- Black pen
What to do
- Cover the base shape with wreath wrap or ribbon and secure it with glue.
- Add the leaves in layers, starting from the top, with the pointy ends of the leaves pointing upwards (all in the same direction).
- Add the three poppies in a small cluster at the bottom of the wreath.
- Add the sprig of rosemary.
- Place the purple ribbon on the wreath; it should start high on the left side of the wreath and finish low on the right side (this symbolises the sun rising in the east and setting in the west).
- Add a small card with the words 'We will remember them' or 'Lest we forget'.
In a professionally made remembrance wreath, florists often use:
- laurel for glory and victory
- rosemary for remembrance
- the colour purple for mourning, spirituality and ceremony
- red poppies for the sacrifice of shed blood (usually one poppy for each of the armed services: navy, army, air force).
- Gather flowers that are native to your local region to decorate the wreath.
- For something a little different, make a rosemary wreath with branches of rosemary and gum nuts.
- Make a hand wreath of green cardboard hand shapes traced from the members of your class or family.
Why we lay wreaths
Since World War I, wreaths have been laid at memorials to remember those Australians who died in service during wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations. It's a tradition that can be traced back to Greek mythology.
On Anzac Day (25 April), we often call them 'Anzac wreaths'.
Wreaths are commonly circular in shape. Sometimes a wreath may be shaped like a teardrop, called a 'chaplet'. This shape signifies the tears that we shed in grief.
The poppy flower, commonly associated with Remembrance Day (11 November), has become a common addition to wreaths on Anzac Day.
Learn about the wreaths as a symbol of commemoration.