My budget is always tight these days, but I don’t want to miss out on some of the festive fun at Christmas. I enjoy decorating the house – those little LEDs lend a certain warmth on the cold, dark, grey December days – and it’s great to see twinkling lights and wreaths appearing on my neighbours’ doors.
As we have a lot of shrubs and foliage growing in and around the Smallest Smallholding, I thought this year I would give making my own wreath a bash. I’ve seen wreaths selling for upwards of £15 – £30 in the shops, and I do not have that kind of cash to splash. So I visited my local craft shop and bought a reusable metal wreath ring for £2.50 and some florist wire for 60p.
Next, I set about collecting lots of foliage that I could use in the wreath – dense conifer from the bits that overhang from next door’s tree, two types of variegated ivy, some pyracantha (although I’ve realised since that this wilts really quickly), holly and even a few sprigs of olive (felt a bit more biblical and gorgeous texture!). I was planning on using any extra bits that we cut off the Christmas tree (Nordmann Fir) but in the end we left it as was!
Here’s my quick guide to making a wreath:
What You’ll Need:
Florist Wire & Scissors
How to make a homemade Christmas wreath on a metal ring
1. Take the largest, densest pieces of foliage (fir, spruce, conifer etc) and lay them out over the metal frame so that they fan out as they go around in a circular fashion.
2. Secure the foliage with florist wire – the more secure for this ‘base layer’ the better
3. Start adding in the long pieces of ivy – use several pieces and attach to the base layer and frame at both ends of the cutting and in the middle to help the foliage bend with the frame.
4. Keep going around, adding ivy and any bushy bits of foliage so that the wreath is as symmetrical as possible. You can tuck any stray bits in behind other ivy leaves and use the leaves to also hide the florist wire.
5. Once your ivy has been added all the way around, start putting in the “interesting accents”… bits of foliage like holly and olive that add colour and texture. Try to space these out evenly but it doesn’t have to be mathematically correct! You can start pushing these sprigs in without securing with wire if your ivy is dense enough.
6. Once you’re happy with your wreath, turn over and pack the back with moss to help keep the foliage moist and prevent wilting. If the moss hasn’t been freshly picked you can spritz it with some water.
7. Cut a small length of garden wire and create a loop for your door, securing the loop to the wire frame on the back.
8. Hang your wreath and enjoy your handywork!
We’re getting set for Christmas here at The Smallest Smallholding – Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!