There’s nothing more we love at this time of year than twinkling lights in windows and doors adorned with beautiful Christmas wreaths. We particularly love the homemade efforts, all individual and reflective of the personality behind it. This year, we’ve teamed up with Laura from Boho Bea Flowers to give you a step by step guide to creating your very own sustainable Christmas wreath using foliage foraged from gardens. This is a perfect weekend activity which we know our creative customers will love and by making your wreath at this point in December you can be sure it’ll see you through Christmas with Laura’s top tips. What’s more, the wreaths also make amazing table centrepieces, so if you really do fall in love with wreath making for your front door you can make another for your festive table!
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
- A 30cm metal wreath ring
- Moss and/or straw for your base
- Your chosen foliage and herbs
- Decorative features such as pine cones, dried orange slices, berries, dried flowers.
- Craft wire
- Secateurs or sharp scissors.
A note about your ingredients...
We’ve chosen to use a metal wreath ring which you can source easily from a floristry suppliers. These can be used year after year so are much more sustainable than something like oasis. Start with a 30cm ring, it may look a little on the small side to begin with, but trust us, once everything is added on this is the perfect size for a front door.
Traditionally, wreath bases were made from straw which of course you can use today in place of moss. Laura advises that moss retains moisture for longer so we have chosen to use that for wreath longevity. Moss can either be foraged or sourced from garden centres and floristry suppliers, just make sure the moss you buy is sustainably sourced.
Your chosen foliage really can be anything and everything! Start in your garden - look for evergreens and a variety of different leaves, textures and shades of green. We love adding herbs for their scent - woody stems like rosemary and bay work well. You can also use spruce offcuts - whether that’s from your own, tree or asking at a local Christmas tree farm. Pop all of your foliage stems in water for about 24 hours prior to making your wreath. This makes sure there’s lots of water in the stems to keep your wreath fresh.
Always forage responsibly; seek landowners permission, only take things which are in abundance and leave plenty behind.
WREATH MAKING STEP BY STEP
1. Making your moss wreath base. Create a tight ball of moss before pushing it between the metal ring. Secure this with twine before adding another ball of moss. You want to create a circular shape with no gaps so really pack it in tightly before securing. Keep going until a sausage of moss fills the wreath ring entirely. Then give the whole thing another tight binding with twine. If you’re using straw, work with it dry using the same process, then lay it in a bucket of water to hydrate it. Trim your straw wreath base so you have no long pieces and the circle is even. Finally, create a long loop of twine at the top of your wreath which you will use to hang up the finished artcle.
2. Adding the evergreen. Create small bunches of your foliage using a variety of different textures and shades. Strip the bottom of each stem so about 1.5inches is bare of all leaves. At this point you are deciding the overall size of your wreath, the bigger the bunches, the bigger your wreath.
Angle each bunch of foliage and push the stems into the moss as securely as you can, being careful not to push the stems out the other side of your moss base. Bind each foliage bunch on to your moss base to make it secure. Keep working in the same direction, angling each bunch as you add it in, making sure they don’t lay flat but rather overlap each other adding depth to your wreath. You want to cover the entirety of your moss base, so remember to tuck bunches into the inside and outside of your base. Once your base is complete check for gaps - if you find any, fill them with more foliage.
Keep holding your wreath up to check coverage and balance.
3. The final flourishes. Once your evergreen base is complete you can begin adding interest and colour - this is your opportunity to get creative! We used dried seed heads, pinecones and dried fern for texture whilst berries and dried flowers added colour.
Just as you worked in the same direction adding your evergreen, you’re going to work in one direction when adding your interest, adding larger pieces first, then layering up fluffier and lighter textures. Push stems firmly into your moss, though if you’re working with dried flowers the stems can be quite brittle so tuck these under twine instead. If you want to use small flowers rather than using single stems consider creating small bunches before adding these to your wreath.
Cut stems at an angle to get a sharp end which is easier to push into the moss.
4. When adding details such as pinecones you will need to wire these to secure them to your wreath. Wire can be easily picked up at craft suppliers. Simply tuck wire around the base of your pinecone, bringing the two ends together before twisting. Then you can push this wire into your wreath.
Keep standing back and looking at the balance of your details. Less is more and this is a good time to titivate and get the details balanced and just how you like them. Finally, add your ribbon or bow. We’ve created an oversized bow from Liberty fabric, of course, in complementary tones, but velvet is also lovely at this time of year. You can wire your bow to add in just as you did your pinecones, pushing the wire through the back of the bow’s knot.
5. All that’s left to do is hang it in your chosen spot!
Keep your wreath well hydrated by spritzing it with water regularly. Doing this will ensure your wreath sees you through Christmas. Bits may fall out of your wreath, especially if it’s been a blowy, just pop them back in - the beauty of a natural wreath is their ever-changing appearance.
Finally, once the season of merriment is over, remove all the details and evergreen so you’re left with a moss ring. Dry this out in your garage or shed before storing it ready for your next time wreath making. Submerging the moss ring in a couple of inches of water - it acts just like a sponge, before squeezing out the excess water will provide you with a perfectly rehydrated base for your next wreath!
We would absolutely love to see your festive creations, please do share them with us. Thank you again to Laura from Boho Bea Flowers for guiding us so perfectly through wreath making, and filling us with enough confidence to give it a go again! Boho Bea Flowers champions British grown blooms and sustainable floristry and Laura works on weddings and events all across the South East.