Twinkling lights around the roof are charming. A glimpse of sparkling Christmas tree through the front window is lovely. But it’s a carefully arranged wreath hung neatly on the front door that really makes a house sing ‘Merry Christmas’.
The really beautiful wreaths can be eye-wideningly expensive. So here’s a different solution: like my advent calendar, this wreath can be made almost entirely with things you can forage from your own back garden. It’s simple and satisfying to make, and you can feel all Christmassy and resourceful when you hang it up.
When it comes to decorating my house, I love nothing more than fresh flowers. So it’s a natural fit that I designed a wreath technique incorporating fresh winter flowers. By using nifty little plastic vases you can pick up from your local florist, you can create a living wreath that will stay fresh and beautiful right through Christmas.
You will need:
Wire wreath base (available from florists, garden centers or online)
Plastic vials (available from florists)
String (for hanging)
Step 1 – collecting
See what you can find in your garden. You want lots of springy, bendy twigs, plenty of green foliage and any flowers of your choice. If you’re struggling for greenery at this time of year, you can always get a couple of packets of fresh rosemary from the supermarket. It’s fairly cheap, looks perfect and will make your wreath smell incredible.
Step 2 – building
Start covering your wire base – use bendy twigs and the thickest greenery on the bottom, securing each piece in place by twisting wire around it. Continue to build up layers of greenery – this will help give your wreath structure and hide the base. Toward the end of this stage, I added some wilder greenery with leaves that I left loose so they would sway in the breeze for a rustic feel.
Step 3 – attach your vases
Once you’re happy with your green cover, place your plastic vases on top of the flat wreath. The tiny vases are available in almost all florists. You can play with the spacing and decide how many you want – I always recommend odd numbers as they’re more visually appealing. I used five vases on my wreath. To attach your vials, but a length of wire (around seven inches), wrap it around the neck of the vial and thread it behind the foliage to attach it to the wreath base, securing it by wrapping the end of the wire together at the back.
Step 4 – posy arranging
Next you need to make as many miniature posies as you have vases on your wreath. Group together five or so flower stems and cut them to size – you want their heads just leaning over the top of the plastic vases (this will help to hide them once the wreath is finished). I loosely wrapped wire around the posies at this stage to keep them together.
Step 5 – splash of colour
Use festive ribbon to brighten up your wreath. I went for a bow at the top (fixed with wire) and ‘tails’ at the bottom (threaded through the frame).
Step 6 – assembly
Hang your wreath on the door using string or more ribbon. Add some fresh water to the vases and pop in your posies. At the point you can twist any stray greenery in front of the vials to hide them.
Step 7 – maintenance
Simply keep an eye on the water levels over the next weeks and top it up when it’s getting low. If the flowers in any of your posies are wilting, you can easily swap them out. Now enjoy your handmade wreath throughout the festive season.
Liked that? Try these:
- Make your own family time advent calendar
- Spend a day in Winter Wonderland
- Slow cooked sausages and beautiful borlotti beans