Seen at the Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Thursday, 10 December 2015

A DIY Christmas Wreath

A DIY Christmas wreath I made at a workshop in Corsham

I spent a delightful morning at the Pound Arts centre yesterday making my own Christmas wreath to adorn our front door. I usually fish our willow one out of the attic, but this year I fancied trying something new.

Amanda from Daisy Chain in Corsham showed us the ropes, and accompanied by Bing Crosby's 'White Christmas' and plentiful chocolate biscuits to hand, it was the perfect way to get into the festive mood.

We started with a wire wreath ring. We fixed a thin wire onto this, then plenty of 'sausage shaped' damp moss with the wire wound around them to form the base and keep the foliage fresh. Then we snipped our greenery into lengths of around six inches. These were gathered into bunches of three and fixed onto the brown moss side of the base. We made sure the ends of the stems were together, so only a couple of turns of the pliant wire were needed to fix them. The foliage faced outwards and in the same direction.

Then came the fun part - adding the decorations from a selection of baubles, cones, dried apple or orange slices, whole oranges or limes, and cinnamon sticks tied together with raffia. These were fixed onto stiff wire, and then threaded through onto the wreath.

An optional bow plus a hanging loop added the finishing touches.

All the other Christmas wreaths made at the workshop

It was interesting to see how different everyone's wreaths were, even though we had exactly the same materials to choose from.

A few things I learned along the way

My DIY christmas wreath on our front door
It smells wonderful!
  • It was a lot of fun and surprisingly easy to do
  • Add foliage anti-clockwise, so the ends of the new bunch of foliage cover up the stems of the previous one
  • It feels like you're adding way too much foliage at the time, but it looks fine at the end
  • The ends of the last bunch of foliage are tucked under the first for a professional looking finish
  • There are two approaches to decoration: plonk and fix on one at a time and hope for the best (me); or place everything first until the design looks right, then fix on (nearly everyone else there)
  • It can be quite difficult to thread whole oranges onto their wires and some are much easier than others
  • I'm rubbish at making a bow, Amanda had to take pity on me
  • With the addition of four candles, this forms the traditional Christmas centre table piece in Germany
  • Holly are the most popular wreaths sold at the shop and they're the devil to make!
Update: If you'd like to make your own, but want a more detailed guide than I've given, look no further than the Not So Secret Garden's guidance, which has step-by-step photos similar to what we did on the day.
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16 comments:

  1. That's lovely, Michelle. I love making my Christmas wreaths and usually make one for my daughter too. That's what I've been doing this week, but the weather is so bad at the moment I don't want to put it on the door in case it gets blown away!

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    1. Thank you :) It's good to know everything is fine with you in Lancashire Margaret, when we're hearing nothing but bad news on the TV re the floods. Luckily the front door side of our house is relatively sheltered, it would be a different proposition if I put it on the back door!

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  2. Looks good, well done. An interesting, and informative, post. Flighty xx

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    1. Thanks Flighty - it was amazing how many people in the street smiled when they saw it. I had to park in town 5 mins away as there was no room in the Pound's car park and there were quite a few folks out shopping!

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    2. What a lovely way to get into the Christmas season - it's like a little holiday, isn't it, taking time to do something that you don't usually do. Lovely result. And I've just read that decorating your house for Christmas makes your neighbours feel more friendly, so it's a win all round.

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    3. You've hit the nail on the head Helen, it was a mini holiday :-)

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  3. What a beautiful Christmas wreath, it must smell absolutely fantastic with the oranges, cinnamon sticks and foliage! We were making table decorations at WI last night, but why did I choose holly and teasel, they were so prickly!

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    1. Shame your evening wasn't tonight Pauline, you would have been warned!

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  4. Very festive. Excellent choice of 'bits' if I may say so. I'd better get my act together now. I've only just realised how near Christmas actually is, it's kind of crept up on me.

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    1. Same here Jessica, where does the time go?

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  5. Very pretty!
    And fun, I'm sure, to get together with other people to make it.

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    1. Yes, the company was great Lea!

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  6. How long did you take to make the Christmas wreth. Do you think you could do it with any help now ?

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    1. It took less than 2 hours and this blog post is my notes so I can make one next year.

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  7. Oh yours looks most professional VP and has a most pleasing symmetry about it despite your plonk and fix technique :) Are the whole oranges dried too? I'm wondering how the exposed fruit would stand up to heavy rain?

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    1. Hi Anna, yes the whole oranges are dried too. I don't know about heavy rain, but the slices have definitely taken in water from the damp air. The whole oranges are faring better, probably because there's so much skin. I expect everything will last until 12th night though.

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