It’s here! December is upon us, which can only mean one thing: Christmas decorations are go, and – according to the song – the prettiest sight will be the holly (wreath) on your own front door. Well, it will if you follow this step-by-step guide to making your own Christmas wreath, courtesy of Ruth Davis, CEO and founder of All For Love London.
I honestly thought that wreath-making was some kind of great art performed by the nimble-and-florally gifted. Nonsense, said Ruth, and promptly showed me what a joyful festive experience it could be. She made it so simple – and so much fun – that I asked her to share her secrets. You might not be wreath-making on quite the same scale as Ruth and her team (see below for the incredible giant wreath they made for J&M Davidson – and follow her @allforlovelondon for further festive inspiration), but you, too, can bask in the warm glow that comes from hanging a homemade wreath on your own front door. (I can hear Michael Buble crooning as I type…)
Start off with a strong, round wire frame, which are widely available from garden centres and craft shops, or online. Then with some strong reel wire, attach one end of it onto the wreath frame by twisting onto the outer section of the frame keeping the whole reel in your other hand.
Gradually add large handfuls of moss to the frame attaching it by wrapping the wire around it a couple of times, pulling the wire tightly to ensure the moss is securely fixed, as this will be the base of your wreath and needs to be nice and strong. Carry on adding the moss all the way around the frame, covering the wire completely and evenly until you have covered the full circle. Leave the wire still attached to your frame as we will now add the greenery!
For this section you will need a selection of different foliages, such a spruce, eucalyptus, Scots pine, Douglas pine, blue pine, berried ivy, juniper, any evergreen foliage that you can find in your garden! Start where your binding point with the wire is and lay short pieces of greenery in clusters of twos and threes wiring them on in the same direction (just like you did the moss!) all the way round, covering your moss base. Try and keep the direction of your foliage branches all going the same way so that you create a nice wheel shape with all the leaves splaying round in the same direction. The more texture you can get here the better so feel free to mix your foliages and to pack it quite full and fluffy!
Decoration time! This is the really creative part! Decide on a colour scheme or theme for your wreath before you start, rustic, classic, snowy and frosty, metallic, reds, whatever it may be and gather up ingredients to create your desired look! Dried fruit, baubles, cinnamon sticks, cut dried lavender, metallic dipped twigs, frosted sugar apples, chocolates, anything and everything you could think of! The choice is endless and entirely up to you and your own style and how you would like your wreath to look! Take into account the colour of your front door, or the rest of your Christmas decor when deciding what theme to go with.
For items such as cones, simply get some thick stub wires, wrap and twist around the base of the cone leaving a length for you then attach to the wreath. Push through the wire from the cone so the end is now out from the back of the wreath, attach this securely by threading through other parts of the wire. Dried oranges and apples, if in slices can be grouped together with several put through the wire and then attached the same way as the cone, if whole, simply attach the wire as you would the cone. Group cinnamon sticks together in a small bundle with the wire then you can finish with a ribbon before attaching to the wreath. For some decorations including baubles, a hot glue gun may be required, which you would them attach directly onto the foliage but do take care when using these as they are very hot!
Once you have finished decorating your wreath, why not add a beautiful Christmas bow or ribbon to it. A bow can go anywhere really on the wreath, the most popular are either at the top or bottom, finishing the wreath nicely! I’m a fan of long ribbon trails so would leave the tail of the bow nice and long! Velvet is also a big fave of mine for Christmas wreaths – a rich mulberry wine or emerald green shade and you can’t go wrong!
For the final finishing touch, you could spray your wreath with glitter or fake snow, or both (!) the choice is yours! For me, when it comes to wreaths more is more… and you can never have enough sparkle to light up those long December nights!
This year’s wreath trends: “Traditional is always in when it comes to Christmas. Classic reds and golds, frosty whites and silvers and a mix of metallics are always in. Add in unusual touches like herbs for a beautiful scent or mistletoe for a cheeky additional touch of fun!”
All For Love London; @allforlovelondon; Images via Amy O’Boyle Photography/All For Love London (P.S. I am in action above, wearing a cream jumper and wielding gardening scissors!)