Christmas // How to Make a Wreath

December 01, 2017

Christmas is upon us and one of my favourite traditions each year is to make a festive fresh wreath with my Mum. For the past few years we've returned to my wedding florist Charlie at The Flower Fairies to learn how to create something beautiful at her workshops and whilst we've loved the frosty Saturday mornings driving to the Cotswolds to her gorgeous studio, this year our calendar is pretty packed so we decided to make our own at home. After three year's of Charlie's fab workshops I feel like we've gained enough knowledge to 'graduate' and use the knowledge to go freestyle and we were both so pleased with the result. Lots of you on Instagram asked for a DIY guide so I thought I'd put one together if creativity strikes this weekend and you feel like making something pretty to adorn your front door. 

1. Gather your supplies;

You will need an oasis ring {we used these bases}, brown twine/thick string, fishing wire, pine from a Christmas tree, greenery, embellishments, ribbon, good scissors, floristy wire. 

I took a visit to New Covent Garden Flower Market very early one morning this week to stock up with everything we'd need. You can buy pine bases there but we had a few branches of pine left from buying our Christmas tree last weekend. The market was amazing for buying pretty much everything we needed but we bought the oasis rings online and the floristy wire in advance.

The beauty of making a wreath is that almost anything goes. If you can't get to a market then go foraging in the woods for different types of greenery, ivy, pine, yew or even rosemary looks great. This year I bought three different types of eucalyptus for differing textures against the pine, some Scots pine, some berries {that are blue, I don't know their name I'm afraid} and then some embellishments like dried limes, oranges and pink pepperberries along with some glitter coated wax flowers.

2. Make your Wreath

The night before you'll need to put your oasis rings into a sink/bucket full of water oasis side down. Let them float and submerge gradually rather than pushing them down, this way they'll absorb all the water they need slowly without filling with air bubbles. We left ours in water overnight. 

Then my Mum and I set up a base in my parent's barn {we had planned to do it outside as it does get a bit messy and wet but it was too bitterly cold!}. You'll want somewhere that you don't mind the floor getting covered in off cuts of greenery and pine needles. 

First up, take your twine and tie a strong loop around the top going around the oasis {cutting into it}. This is where you'll hang your ribbon or fishing wire to hang it from your door. 

Then start cutting bits of pine for your base. You want to cut ideally little branches where they T off for the best shape, pulling some of the needles off the bottom to push a clean stem into the oasis. Sorry I wish I'd taken more during photos. 

Build up on top of your oasis which will add depth and volume to your wreath but also a little round the outsides and inside to hide the oasis base. You should work in a circular clockwise motion going around in a sweeping way.

Once you have a pine base that you're happy with {don't worry now if it looks too flat/a little irregular, this will be hidden with the next stages but you just want a good green base to hide the oasis from underneath}, you can start thinking about other greenery you'd like to add in.

I cut different sprigs of eucalyptus, some regular, some the pretty feathery leafed type and some round and poked them in through the pine to the oasis base below along with some sprigs of the scot's pine. I try and keep a hole in the middle to keep it round in shape but other than that just go all out!

You can be as formal and ordered as you like, keeping it more symmetrical or just go with however you're feeling. You can always add more later on. I quite like even just this greenery base for a wreath on a door.

Again I'm sorry for no photos during the next stage of the wreath making, I think my Mum and I got carried away and my hands were too sticky with citrus and pine sap to get my phone out. But once you're happy with your base you can then wire up embellishments to go on top, I used some leftover lotus flowers from last year's wreath and then poked wires through the whole limes/oranges and twisted them at the bottom to then poke into the oasis to hold them on the wreath. I used sprigs of the white sparkly wax flower to add a bit of a floral feel and then wired some pink pepperberries to finish it {these were SO brittle though it was a nightmare!}. But you could use anything, pine cones, cinnamon sticks, pheasant feathers, baubles, hydrangeas, fresh roses etc. 

Sometimes it's helpful to hold it up as you go to see it from different angles and decide where needs more/less. It also helps to have a friend's eye on it too to see what they're thinking it needs.

I'd kept the ribbon from last year's wreath which finished it off nicely. For this though you just need two different types of ribbon, one ideally with a wire edge to hold it's shape and then tie them both together in a bow before sticking some wire in the back and looping it through to hold to your wreath.

To attach to your door you can either use a pretty ribbon to loop through your twine loop you made at the start and then pin this in the top of your door {if it's wooden} or use clear fishing wire so that you can't see it. If you've got a composite door I think you can get special wreath hangers that go over the top for you to attach it onto.

I love how it tones with our front door, and smells so good everytime we leave the house.

As you hold your wreath up it will drip a lot of excess water for a while but then your wreath should stay fresh for a good few weeks and some parts may start to naturally dry out anyway. 

Hope this has helped/inspired you a little. I would recommend going to a wreath making course if it's your first time to get the hang of wiring etc but you may as well give it a go if you want to do something creative. Tag me on Instagram in any wreaths that you make!

R <3 xx

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