As the month of December approaches it brings with it bountiful opportunities to get outdoors and to get creative. One activity which combines both of these activities is the making of festive wreaths. The timeless tradition of making a Christmas wreath often starts with foraging for natural materials which are incorporated into the final design. Simple to create, a homemade wreath brings lasting joy throughout December and beyond. With wreath making courses booking up fast why not host your own and gather a group of friends, some drink and nibbles and have fun getting creative.
To make a traditional moss-based wreath:
- Start with a wire wreath ring and tie a loop of ribbon or twine onto the top of the ring (this will be used to hang your completed wreath.)
- Unravel a short piece of wire from a reel and tie onto the frame, keeping the wire taut on the reel use it to bind moss onto the frame all of the way round. An even, thick layer of damp fresh moss will help to make the wreath look fuller and keep the foliage lasting fresh and lush for longer. You wont see the moss once the wreath is completed so this is a good opportunity to practise your binding skills without worrying about being too neat!
- Gather together a selection of different evergreen foliage (or buy a kit with everything included) for example, pine, spruce, holly, conifer and ivy. You can also use dried flowers and fresh foliages, such as eucalyptus cinerea, which will gradually dry over time but continue to look and smell beautiful.
- Cut down several stems, creating small fan-shaped bunches of differently textured foliages. Use the reel wire to bind the bunches, one at a time, on top of the moss. Lay each bunch so that it overlaps the last and the wire will be kept hidden from view. When you bind the last bunch on, lift the first bunch and tuck the stems of the final little spray of foliage neatly underneath. Finish by firmly wrapping the wire round the last stems several times then tie off and cut the wire, bending the sharp end round and embedding firmly into the mossed base.
- Embellish your wreath with decorations of your choice. This is your chance to make your wreath unique and personal to your own style and tastes. As such there are no rights and wrongs to what you use for your final flourishes and anything goes from pine cones, feathers, dried hydrangeas, cinnamon sticks and orange slices to festive ornaments and beyond. Use short lengths of thicker stubb wire to attach your embellishments, piercing through the moss base and securing tightly against the frame.
- Hang your wreath with pride using the ribbon or twine affixed to the ring and enjoy the inevitable compliments bound to follow! A simple nail in the door will suffice or wreath hangers can be purchased which slide over the top of your door and enable a wreath to be hung with ease.