At Home Edition: Winter Festivities: Wreaths
I have been in undated on social media with just the most beautiful and gorgeous wreaths made by the fairest floral hands. Whether a professional florist, or someone using a wreath kit at home there has been so many beautiful creations and I wanted to share a few of them with you today for some inspiration.
Wreaths look incredible and there are a few hints and tips that can help when creating that welcoming foliage display. I will be going into some handy hints below, as well as sharing a few sped up videos of me creating two wreaths. One using fully foraged greens and berries from the surrounding countryside, and the other a DIY kit by the lovely Jasper and Quinn.
But first, why do we adorn our doors with these circular floral wonders at Christmas? Could you believe that it actually goes way back to the 16th Century?! Wreaths have been used for years before including harvest in Ancient Greece & Rome, however in terms of advent and Christmas, this decoration became popular in Germany in the 16th century. The advent wreath was started by Lutheran priest Johann Hinrich Winchern who created his first wreath from a cart wheel. He used this to educate children about the meaning and purpose of Christmas as well as to help them count its approach.. Every Sunday of Advent, starting with the fourth before Christmas, he would put a white candle in the wreath and for every day in between he would use a red candle.
The evergreen used in the wreaths were trough to represent everlasting life brought through Jesus and the circular shape representing God with no beginning and no end.
Now we use them as a way to decorate our homes, inside and out, creating a welcoming flourish to our doors and rooms and they can be a mixture of different aesthetics. From natural and wild, to traditional spruce, or dried Pampas. We are even seeing more out there bauble endowed wreaths and even wreaths made from feathers, pinecones or corks.
A little sped up version of me creating the wreath!
Top Tips Creating Your Own Wreath:
Floral wire in a variety of gauges is helpful and you can use these on paddles to make it easier to wind
You can use floral tape, twine, floral pins, moss pins, straight pins and even craft glue too when creating your wreath.
Get some pruning shears or mini secateurs/snips. Wire snips are helpful for the wire, whilst pruning is for well... the foliage. You can also use needle nose pliers as these are great for reaching into tight crevices.
Base to your wreath - this can be straw, reeds, metal hoop, wooden hoop, anything you wish!
Think about where you will hang it. Knowing where it will go will then determine the size of the wreath, as well as what produce you might incorporate to create. You might hang it indoors, on the wall, above your mantle or on your front door, gate or garage door.
Think about the accent pieces you might like to include. This will be a lovely way to break up the greenery and add interest and your personality. You may go traditional with berries, cinnamon sticks and dried orange slices, or you may like to inject something a little more bespoke like vintage Christmas decorations,
How will you attach your wreath? Use string, or command strips as they are very helpful! They don't damage your door, and can be peeled off when not needed.
Next start by gathering your greenery into little bunches, nothing too big but layer the greenery up so there is something different in each bundle. I like to create lots of bundles ahead of time so that it speeds up the process when I'm making. I also like to incorporate some of the lovely extra elements into the bundles for example some berries, wax flowers, dried flowers, bleached ruscus, pampas grass or even twigs with acorns attached.
If using a reed or straw base you can start straight away and start attaching the foliage, but if you are using a wire base and would like to add moss to the bottom for moisture and bulk then first start by getting handfuls of moss and wrapping it on using the wire. Do not cut the wire.
First affix the wire to the base and wind round once or twice pulling tight, then start to affix your moss.
Once the moss is fully covering the ring, you can start taking your foliage bundles and attaching using the wire also. Add another bundle at a different angle overlapping the previous by half, wrap wire around the stems. Continue adding bundles till you reach the starting point and at the point you might like to start adding the foliage in by sticking it into the moss to fill any gaps. Cut the wire and wind it round until the end is about a 1cm and then stick into the moss.
Next add any further decor. This might be your ribbon, cinnamon sticks, acorns, fir cones, orange slices, pussy willow etc. With bulky items such as cinnamon sticks or cones you will want to wrap them in wire and then push the wire into the wreath to create a base.
Some florists cover the moss wreath in wreath plastic tape - this is good if you have a wooden front door as it protects the paint, however it isn't very eco so you may choose to not do this but hang it somewhere that it will not cause damage.
You can keep your wreath hydrated by spritzing it with a water spray!