When wreaths start appearing on front doors, you know Christmas is coming. This year, why not give your decorations a personal touch and make your own wreath? It’s easy to do, and the results look great!
Where do wreaths come from?
Wreath-making goes back a very long way. Ancient Greeks and Romans used laurel wreaths to crown the victors at the original Olympic games. In Christian tradition, circular wreaths made with evergreens like holly and ivy are used to symbolize immortality. And the sight of brightly decorated wreaths in mid-winter is a positive signal to us all that the festive season is close at hand.
How to make a wreath base
The first thing you need when making a wreath is a base. Wreath bases are readily available from craft shops or online, but you can also make your own, re-purposing things to hand in your home. Here are a few ideas:
You can make a simple wreath base out of cardboard – great use for all those online delivery boxes! Use a protractor to draw two concentric circles to form a ring the size of your desired wreath, then cut it out and wrap it in decorative ribbon or material. You don’t have to stick to circles either – make your wreath base star-shaped, heart-shaped or square if you prefer.
Pick up some polyethene foam pipe insulation from a DIY store – for a wreath base around 40cm in diameter. You’ll need around 1.25m of pipe insulation. Tape the ends of the insulation pipe firmly together to make a ring, and you have yourself a wreath base.
Dig out an old wire coathanger, untwist it and bend the wire into a circle, star, heart or any other shape that takes your fancy. Alternatively, use the wire as extra support inside a pipe insulation wreath base.
For a natural wreath base, use stems from the garden – shrubby dogwoods (Cornus sanguinea) or willow (Salix) are ideal for this, with their brightly coloured stems. Twist a few stems together to make a strand, then bend this into a circle to form your wreath base.
Decorating your Christmas wreath
When it comes to decorating your wreath base, the only limit is your imagination! We’ve put together a few ideas to get you started:
- Keep it simple and cover your wreath base in one type of evergreen foliage, such as yew or holly, then add a few sprays of red berries and a big red bow to complete the effect.
- Spray pine cones gold and silver, then use a florist’s wire to fix them to your wreath base. Twine evergreen ivy around the base to add to the effect.
- Make a bird-friendly wreath by wrapping a wire base with evergreens and fixing sprays of berries to it. Hang it in the garden and watch the birds enjoying a festive treat!