Create your own Wreath
The Christmas wreath hanging on your front door is there to welcome visitors & entice them in with the promise of more Christmas delights & festive treats. How great it would be if you get complimented on this display & can say that you made it yourself!
The wreath starts off with a simple to make base, on which you can go wild if you wish or decorate simply – it is up to you. There are no hard & fast rules, if you are short of ideas have a look in magazines or on the internet for inspiration & rummage through your unused Christmas decorations. You can colour coordinate it with you other displays or make it a one off statement.
You will need:
- A pre-made wire wreath frame (available from florists) or a wire coat hanger, thick wire, or bundle of twiggy sticks cut from the garden
- Florists wire, thin wire, garden string or raffia
- Secateurs or strong scissors
- Foliage – use trimmings from your Christmas tree & cut evergreens & berries from your garden
- Decorations – choose from ribbon, baubles, pine cones, bundles of cinnamon sticks, dried slices of orange, dried seed heads, flower heads or anything that takes your fancy
Use a wire wreath frame or make your own using wire or a coat hanger (straighten your coat hanger & then bend it into a circle & bend the ends to hold it in this shape). Alternatively you can make a basic ring by bending bundles of twiggy sticks from the garden & binding them to form a framework.
Make a bundle of greenery with all the stems at one end & wrap them tightly with your florists wire then hold the bundle in place on the frame and wrap the floral wire around the bundle and frame. Leave the wire attached to the frame. I always tightly wrap my bundle first because as the foliage dries out it will shrink making your wreath prone to shedding especially when the door is being used.
Gather another bundle of foliage, wrap tightly and place it in the same direction as the first so that the leaves overlap the first bundle covering the stems. Now wrap the floral wire around the bundle & the frame a second time and pull it tight. Continue wrapping bundles, overlapping the bundles of foliage and wiring them to the frame until you have completed the circle. Tuck the last set of stems under the foliage from the first bundle. Twist the wire tightly around the last bundle. Knot the wire onto the frame then trim the wire with scissors or secateurs. Take a look at your wreath to see whether it needs more foliage to thicken it out, if it looks quite full & is balanced decide which bit is the top and which is the bottom then make a strong loop with which to hang the finished wreath & wire it to the top of your frame.
Now for the fun bit! If creating your own wreath sounds like hard work, you can buy a plain artificial wreath instead. Start decorating your wreath, you may want to add more foliage to your wreath, such as variegated holly & ivy, just thread the stems through the wreath so that they are firmly in place. If you want to add pine cones, wrap some wire around the base of the cone leaving a length that can be threaded through the wreath & wired to the frame. The same goes for other embellishments that need to be attached. You can even thread some battery operated fairy lights through your wreath & wire the battery pack behind some ribbon.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Wire baubles together in groups of three then wire three lots of these into place, evenly around your wreath. Between these groupings wire in contrasting groups of pine cones, ribbon bows or variegated holly.
- Evenly wire in alternating groups of variegated holly then bunches of cones & berries. Attach a big red ribbon bow to the bottom of the wreath.
- Evenly wire in some groups of variegated holly then at the bottom of the wreath wire in a flamboyant arrangement of trailing ribbon, dried flowers & seed heads with some small sparkly baubles.
Now you can hang your wreath with pride - attach a permanent hook to your door or use a ‘Command’ hook designed for wreaths, this can be removed without damaging your door when Christmas is over.
If you want to make a wreath for the table you can use the same method but decorate it evenly around its circumference, it will not last as long as an outdoor wreath because of the heat indoors. For a longer lasting wreath use a pre-soaked ring of florists foam for the base & poke your greenery & decorations into it. You can buy this as a ring of green foam with a plastic base to protect the table surface. You can use the hole in the centre of the wreath to display church candles or you could fill it with pine cones or coloured baubles.
The same principles can be used to create garlands for a centrepiece on your Christmas table or to adorn your mantelpiece; you can even bury candles in holders in the foliage to give your arrangement extra height. So why not give it a go this Christmas & make your front door sparkle!