Hanging a handmade wreath is the ideal way to commemorate Juneteenth – the American holiday remembering the emancipation of those who were enslaved in the United States. Find out more about this special day and discover two wonderful wreath tutorials, one knit and one crochet!
What is Juneteenth?
Juneteenth is celebrated annually on June 19 to commemorate the emancipation of those who were enslaved in the United States. Also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day and Emancipation Day; Juneteenth is commemorated on the anniversary date of the 1865 announcement proclaiming freedom from slavery in Texas.
Now Juneteenth celebrations today range from parades, to fireworks, and even somber but educational visits to historical sites where people were enslaved, and on June 15, 2021 the United States Senate unanimously passed a bill to recognise Juneteenth as a federal holiday. While some choose to create a joyous celebration with music, food, and good company; others may choose to mourn, pay respects, or take the time to research and learn more.
Why red, black and green for Juneteenth?
There is a specific flag for Juneteenth, however, the colors are red, white, and blue. In order to differentiate from traditional American Flag colors, Juneteenth decorations are often made in the red, black, and green color scheme. The Pan-African flag with its horizontal red, black, and green stripes was designed to represent people of the African Diaspora and to symbolise black freedom. Red represents the blood shed by Africans who died in their fight for liberation, and the shared blood of the African people; black represents black people; and green is a symbol of growth and the natural fertility of Africa.
Shop yarns for Juneteenth wreaths
Knitted Juneteenth wreath tutorial
Knitting a wreath might sound complicated, but this pattern couldn't be simpler! Adorn a wreath base with a swathe of red, black and green knitted fabric and top it off with a colourful fabric bow for a wreath you'll look forward to using year after year to commemorate Juneteenth.
You'll need one ball each of Paintbox Yarns Simply Chunky in Pillar Red (314), Pure Black (301) and Grass Green (329). This pattern is worked flat in garter stitch throughout. The gauge is 4in x 4in = 11 rows x 11 stitches.
- 18in wreath
- Paintbox Yarns Simply Chunky
- Yarn needle (plastic is best)
- Optional: 18in x 21in cotton fabric for no-sew bow
- Optional: real or faux flowers or leaves
Knitted Juneteenth wreath step-by-step
With red yarn, cast on 75 sts using your preferred cast on method. 75 sts. Knit 10 rows, change colour to black.
With black yarn, knit 11 rows, change colour to green. With green yarn, knit 10 rows.
Bind off in pattern using your preferred bind off method, cut a long tail.
To finish, position your knit panel in the direction you would like it to lay over the wreath. Using the long tail, and your yarn needle, attach your knit panel to the wreath.
How to make a fabric no-sew bow
Begin with an 18in x 21in piece of cotton fabric. Cut 3in off of one side, leaving you with an 18in x 18in square, and an 18in x 3in rectangle.
Locate the centre of the large square, and fold the top and bottom inward, evenly.
Fold the fabric in half by bringing the bottom upward.
Fold the sides inward, evenly toward the centre, this completes the main part of the bow. You can use hot glue or fabric tack glue to hold these folds, but it is not mandatory.
Take the 18in x 3in rectangle and fold the long edges inward toward the middle.
Fold this piece in half, lengthwise. This completes the tie.
Pleat or cinch the middle of the main part of the bow. Place the main part of the bow on top of the centre of the tie, then secure it with the tie. Secure to the wreath.
Crochet wreath for Juneteenth tutorial
You'll need one ball each of Paintbox Yarns Simply Chunky in Pillar Red (314), Pure Black (301), Grass Green (329) and Mustard Yellow (329).
This pattern is worked flat, then seamed with single crochet. Turning chains count as 1 Dc throughout. The bow is worked separately, then attached. The gauge is 4in x 4in = 5 rows x 9 stitches.
- 9mm (US Size 13) hook
- 18in wire or foam wreath
- Paintbox Yarns Simply Chunky
- Optional: real or faux flowers and leaves
Crochet Juneteenth wreath step-by-step
Start by making the casing for the wreath. With green yarn, Ch 20. Dc in third Ch from hook, Dc across, turn work. 19 sts.
Ch 2, Dc in second st from hook, Dc across, turn work. Repeat 28 more times for a total of 30 green Dc rows, cut green yarn and change to black.
With black yarn, Ch 2, Dc in second st from hook, Dc across, turn work. Repeat step five, 14 more times for a total of 15 black Dc rows, cut black yarn and change to red.
With red yarn, Ch 2, Dc in second st from hook, Dc across, turn work. Repeat 29 more times for a total of 30 red Dc rows, cut red yarn and change to black.
With black yarn, Ch 2, Dc in second st from hook, Dc across, turn work. Repeat step nine, 14 more times for a total of 15 black Dc rows. Do not cut yarn.
How to crochet a bow step-by-step
Start with the centre of the bow. With yellow yarn, Ch 7, Dc in third Ch from hook, Dc across, turn work. 6 sts. Ch 2, Dc in second st from hook, Dc across, turn work. Repeat 3 more times for a total of 5 rows this section. Cut a long tail.
With yellow yarn, Ch 81, Dc in third Ch from hook, Dc across, turn work. 80 sts. Ch 2, Dc in second st from hook, Dc across, turn work. Repeat 3 more times for a total of 5 rows this section. Cut and weave ends.
Place the bow centre down, then lay the main part of the bow on top.
Fold each side of the bow inward, one at a time. You can adjust the length of the tails after you seam the centre. Seam the bow centre together around the main part of the bow, using the long tail and a yarn needle.
Leave the remaining long tail to attach the bow to the wreath in the next section.
How to finish your Juneteenth wreath
Fold your work in half so that the green (beginning) meets the black (ending) and seam them together by using your working yarn to Sc across, do not cut yarn.
You will now lay your work flat in the shape of a circle and fold it in half with the seam from step one on the inside, and the fold on the outer edge of the circle. Place your wreath inside the folded circle.
Using your working yarn, seam the inner circle together, using 1 Sc for each row. This will synch the inner circle, creating a casing for the wreath. Cut yarn and weave ends.
Attach the bow using your yarn needle and the long tail from the centre of the bow.