I love a wreath. I love them all year round but especially at Christmas when I make loads to hang off every door and window in the house. I went to a heavenly florist this week who was selling the most beautiful wreaths and charging £145 for them. They are so simple to make and you can buy the ingredients for very little so I thought I would share a project from my book
'The Art of Handmade Living' teaching you how to make them.
"Wreaths have Christmas connotations and florists and decoration departments start selling them in early November to encourage our festive spirit. Of course, I love nothing more than having one on my front door—but I also use wreaths for year-round decorations. The twig frames shown here last for ages—you just need to replace the flowers and leaves when they start to fade and change your look with the season. In France, we made autumnal wreaths using pliable off-cuts from the vines and either left them as plain circles or entwined wild eucalyptus into them.
They also make wonderful table decorations instead of a jug of flowers. A summery one could be filled with roses and herbs, with candles planted in the center or nudged in between the twigs.
Of course, there is no need to keep to flowers, although dried hydrangeas are ravishing. Let your imagination run wild. Depending on the season, you can incorporate apples, grapes, pomegranates, oranges, chilli peppers studded with cloves, pine cones, or bundles of cinnamon sticks. Other decorative items such as shells, feathers, baubles, and little birds can usually be incorporated with clever wiring—and if all else fails, there’s always Superglue!"
At least ten 120-130cm lengths of ash, beech or willow twigs, stripped of their side branches.
String/green twine/raffia cut into 1 metre lengths.
Seasonal flowers with stems as long as possible.
Other decorations of your choice.
Florists wire cut into 15cm lengths
1. Take four or five twigs firmly in one hand, as if they are a bunch of flowers, and wrap string or raffia around the base of the bunch several times and tie in a firm knot.
2. Add another bundle of twigs near the top of the first bunch, securing it in the same way, then bend the twigs around in a circle. (It can take a few attempts to get this right.)
3. Wrap string or raffia around the frame several times and tie in a firm knot to hold the twigs together securely. Do this in several places.
4. Thread in long-stemmed flowers and leaves, weaving the stems in and out of the twig frame.
5. To attach decorations such as shells (with holes drilled in them) and Christmas baubles, center the decoration on a short piece of florist’s wire, twist both ends of the wire together two or three times just above the decoration, wrap the wire around the frame, and secure by twisting the ends together again
6. To attach fruit such as apples or oranges, skewer the fruit with a short length of florists wire, then wrap the wire ends around the frame, then twist them together to secure