This year when I saw that Heals Events and Wild About, the florist, were running a wreath-making course, I jumped at the opportunity to make my own wreath. I’ve not been entirely happy with wreaths I’ve bought in the past — too big, too small, too much dried fruit, etc. etc. I felt like Goldilocks because none of them were quite right.
The wreath-making workshop was held at Heal’s flagship store on Tottenham Court Road. My first surprise was that we were going to make the wreaths from scratch — completely from scratch. The materials were all laid out – metal base, moss, pine branches and decorations.
I was expecting wreath-making to involve just the decorating bit. After tucking into some wine and mince pies, I was feeling (unduly) confident nonetheless. The first step, was to wire fat chunks of moss around the metal frame. We used 22 gauge wire and just wrapped it around – not too tight to maintain a lush, fuller look.
Then, you insert pine branches into the moss and bind again with wire. The moss should be soaked regularly to keep the pine branches looking better for longer. Wild About suggest 1x a day if the wreath is hanging over a fireplace and 1x a week if it is on your front door.
I thought possibly that I might have had a glass too many, when after inserting many a pine branch into the moss, I had barely gone a quarter way around the circle. I was about to cry in frustration because I couldn’t sip from my glass and insert branches at the same time. Then, Andy from Wild About suggested I use bigger branches to cover more space. Eureka! I was on a roll. Yes, once again size matters.
After I was done with the base, it was time for the pretty bits. We had a choice of 3 wreaths — one orange and gray Heals Christmas colours, another with traditional berries and the last which was purple and contemporary. No prizes for guessing which one I was going to pick.
Making the bows are pretty tricky but Andy was a pro at explaining. You should use wire ribbon for bows so they can be fluffed into shape. After the bows are made, they get tied around the base.
Then, you lay out your decor on the greenery. Make sure to cover the front and sides so that the wreath looks good from all angles. Apparently, the hallmark of a cheap wreath is only having pretty bits and pieces on the front. Once you are happy with the layout, then glue gun them into place.
Hurrah! Here’s my wreath hanging outside my house. It’s so pretty that I’m worried about it getting nicked.
I’ve discovered that homemade wreaths are a nice touch and much cheaper than buying a ready-made one. The cost of materials is about £15-20 and the decorations are as expensive as you want to add on. You can find all the materials from florists, a garden centre or even cut branches off your tree. In addition, many of the pre-made ones have been made ahead of time in anticipation of the Christmas rush. You won’t know how old your wreath is and it’s life span may not last as long.