How To Make And Decorate A Willow Wreath For Christmas
Forage in the countryside and your garden to make a free Christmas wreath
A rustic decorated willow wreath can be as simple or as ornate as you would like to make it and as cheap or as expensive, depending upon what you choose for the ornamentation. These trendy minimalist wreaths can be really expensive to buy on the high street but you can actually make one for free if you are prepared to do a bit of foraging. First of all you need some pliable willow wands, or any other soft supple young growth, it helps to make them bend easier if you can soak them for 24 hours beforehand. Take some lengths up to about 1m (16”) long and about the thickness of a pencil and start to make your circle. The first few wands will have to be wired together with florists wire or just the ordinary green garden clip wire, after you have several pieces together you will be able to weave in the subsequent wands. At first the wreath may not look like a circle but the more you add to it the easier it is to form into a circle. You can make it as thick or as thin as you wish, if you have soaked the wands leave the wreath to dry before decorating.
First of all, as with decorating a Christmas tree, you need to start with the largest pieces, in this case it is the ivy base. Just weave the stems into the willow, leaving a couple of pieces trailing at the bottom of the wreath. In the video Nik just decorated the wreath simply using three dried teasel heads sprayed gold and three cones which were placed on the right of the wreath. As a finishing touch a spray of crab apples was added to the top left in order to balance the composition and add a little colour.
All the ingredients used were free and sourced either from the garden or from a woodland walk, the only cost incurred was a little gold florists spray and some garden wire. You could also add colour to the wreath with a metallic florists spray. Other cost effective options would be to use cheap shatterproof bauble wired into threes, of if you are making a large wreath hydrangea heads can look really effective. Other seed heads and berries that look particularly gorgeous used as Christmas decorations include poppy, Eryngium, Phlomis, hawthorn, holly, rosehips and Skimmia.