How To Make A Christmas Wreath

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I've made a few Christmas wreaths in my time but I wanted to learn how to make something really substantial for my front door, which would greet everyone and give an indication of the Christmas-fest inside.

Heather Steven and Elise Ellicott have been making wreaths and garlands in the Blackdown Hills in Devon for five years, using nothing but locally sourced materials. In fact, most of the stuff they use is so local they collect it from the garden or hedgerows.

Heather and Elise taught me how to make a wreath with things I'd found around Meadowgate.

Anything you like that you think will make good wreath material! We used:

  • Leaves
  • Twigs
  • Berries from local hedgerows
  • Christmas tree branches
  • Pinecones
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Oranges which had been scored and dried out for a few days


You'll also need:

  • Wire rings from a florist's
  • Twine and wire to attach things to the rings
  • Gold and silver spray paint for decoration

The base of the wreath will be spongy moss - we bought some from a garden centre, but you can get ready-padded rings from floristry suppliers or online.

Skill

Medium. It'll take quite a bit of practice to get professional results, but with materials that cost so little, that's no bad thing.

Budget

Next to nothing. The greenery is free - and wire rings and florists' accessories like twine and wire should cost no more than a few quid.

Time

As long as you like to find materials, but less than an hour to make the wreath itself.

wreath1

Step One: Foraging

I went foraging in the lanes around Meadowgate, but even if you live in town you can still go crazy with the secateurs on common land or on roadside verges. Look out for anything that will add colour - leaves, twigs and berries are good - but remember, you can only take enough for your personal use.

And if you don’t want to venture too far, you can even use garden herbs like bay leaves or rosemary, which smell great. The sky really is the limit.

Please remember that many berries are not edible and some can even be toxic in large quantities so keep little fingers away.

wreath2

Step Two: Moss

Now you're going to attach everything to the wire rings. Start with damp moss, which will act as an oasis and keep all your foliage moist. Use plenty of it, attaching it to the ring by stuffing it between the inner and outer ring, then wrapping it with twine.

wreath3

Step Three: Layering

To make your wreaths look really, really full, you want to layer everything as much as you can.

Make little bunches, or bouquets, of foliage to add one at a time. Once you are happy with your first bunch, use a loop of wire to pin it securely to your base. The top of the next bunch goes towards the bottom of the previous bunch and you turn each one out to keep increasing the size of the wreath.

To complete the wreath, just keep pinning the little bouquets on until all the moss is covered.

wreath4

Step Four: Final Touches

Add splashes of gold to break up the evergreens - maybe some sprigs of holly and the odd pine cone - and once you’re almost satisfied, hanging it up will help you decide if you need any extra flourishes, like berries or bows. I used a bow made of ribbon which is wired to keep its shape.

finished-wreath

Step Five: The Finished Wreath

It might not be a professional job but I was delighted with my wreath. In less than an hour, I created something completely unique using bits that cost next to nothing. With a bit of experience, Heather and Elise assure me you can produce amazing results and, because the materials cost so little, you can practise 'til you’re perfect.

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