Christmas - Wreath Making

December 11, 2014

{I first posted this on So You're Getting Married for Phoebe last week so apologies to some of you who might have already seen this} A couple of Saturday's ago I attended a wreath making workshop run by Charlie of The Flower Fairies, my incredibly talented wedding florist and got to make this beautiful wreath. I don't know about you but it's hard to find real wreaths that look pretty in the shops, where sells them unless you're willing to spend £££ on one? I had no idea how to wire anything or even where to start with wreath making before this workshop but came away feeling very inspired... 

If you're not already following Charlie on Instagram {@theflowerfairies} then go and check her out, she posts some seriously beautiful floral creations. I saw her post photos of last year's wreath making workshops so this year my Mum and I decided that we'd have to go so we could learn a bit more about the art of flowers generally, have a Christmassy morning out together and come away with something pretty for our front door's this December.
Charlie's studio is just outside of Woodstock in Oxfordshire and courses cost £45 for a morning or afternoon from 9-12 or 1-4pm at the end of November. I thought this was good value considering you'd pay a similar price, if not more just to buy a fresh wreath which wouldn't be half as attractive. Plus you get Charlie's expertise for the morning, and I've seen the kind of wreaths she creates like the photo above. Swooon.
We arrived and literally stepped into Christmas, the smell of pine, oranges and cinnamon with christmas music playing, mince pies on our benches and the offer of warm mulled wine. There was a table set out with decorative pieces to adorn our wreaths with everything from hydrangeas to cotton and pink peppercorn berries. It was so hard to know what to choose and which colour way to go for.
There were buckets filled with foliage to build our wreaths up with, different types of floaty eucalyptus,  berried tree ivy, holly like blue prince foliage, coloured navy viburnum berries, grey brunia and red ilex berries, mini succulents painted with silver leaf, thistles sprayed silver and glittery wax flowers. What an array! I defy anyone not to make something pretty and festive using any of that lot.
We chose a bench to get set up on and were each given a pre-soaked oasis ring set in a plastic case with pine foliage to start off with.
Charlie gave us a demonstration on how to actually construct the wreaths, starting by tying a string hook so you have something to hang your wreath up with. Then start stripping back the needles from the base of your pine pieces and pushing it into your oasis going round in a circular clock shape to get a good shape. You need to cover the ring so remember to push the pine on the insides and outsides of your oasis as well as covering the top.
We had a tutorial on wiring pine cones and oranges to our wreaths, which is actually easier to do that I imagined. Charlie made this little section in just a few minutes while we were stood watching, leaving us all in awe. How beautiful. Oh to have that talent.
This is my wreath with the pine base before I started layering it up with other foliage. I decided to go for a greeny silvery wreath to coordinate with my front door. I was tempted by a traditional red which was popular and my Mum made a beautiful wreath with cinnamon sticks and a red bow.
Then I added a mix of different types of eucalyptus, trying to balance it all around and make it pretty without being too busy.
Once we got to this stage it was time to add a bow if we wanted one. Quite frankly though who doesn't like bows?! I got Charlie to help tie mine, using three different types of ribbon. There were so many drawerfuls to choose from.
Then it was the really fun part, accessorising time! I added grey Brunia berries, the berried tree ivy which was a light pinky grey colour and sparkly wax flowers. It was hard to know where to stop but sometimes less is more. Charlie came over to look at each wreath and make sure we were happy with them, offering her expert eye and checking they were balanced visually.  My Mum went for pine cones, cinnamon sticks and clusters of red berries with a two tone red bow at the top. You can see photos of the wreaths that others made on Charlie's instagram, some had succulents, hydrangeas, sprayed silver pine. They were all so beautiful.
We had such a fun morning and will definitely be returning next year. You can find Charlie's website and flower school here with dates and info for next year's courses published already.  But if you don't live nearby hopefully you'll feel inspired to make your own wreath after this brief tutorial, go forage in the woods and see what festive treasure you can find.
R <3 xx
{2 weeks today!! 2 weeks today!! Too obsessed with this song.}

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