How to make a Foraged Festive Wreath
Hands up who is feeling festive?! I wasn’t fully feeling the Christmas vibes last week (despite Joe insisting that we switch our usual Radio 2 over to ‘Magic Christmas’ at every possible opportunity!) .. but this weekend has changed that. And, after visiting our local pick-your-own Christmas tree farm, decorating our lovely fresh tree on Saturday and a festive Sunday making wreaths, eating mince pies and listening to Michael Bublé on repeat… it’s safe to say that I am well and truly full of the Christmas spirit!
I shared a simple step by step on my Instagram stories last night of how to make a simple, foraged, foliage wreath, and you lovely lot sent me so many nice messages that I thought I would pop it all in a blog post for you too with a bit of extra info for those who are keen to give it a try.
Making a wreath is so easy, and is such a lovely Christmas tradition- all you need is a couple of types of foliage, some secateurs or a robust pair of scissors and some thin floristry wire and something to form a base. You can use any evergreen foliage, I decided to use bay, eucalyptus and off-cuts from our Christmas tree. Three contrasting textures, all with wonderful scent that will stick around even when the wreath starts to dry. You could also add dried or fresh flowers, slices of dried fruit, pine cones or herbs - anything goes, so get creative!
Once you have picked your chosen foliage from your garden, the hedgerows.. or over the neighbours fence(!) it is a good idea to condition the greenery before you get started. This basically means leaving the cut foliage to stand in water before you start making your wreath.
Conditioning will mean that your arrangement will last longer, so as soon as you have cut the stems, put them into a clean bucket of fresh water and leave to stand for a few hours, or overnight in a cool place to allow them to fully hydrate.
Don’t worry if you don’t have time to do this- your wreath will still be just as lovely, but will start to wilt and dry out a little quicker.
While your foliage is conditioning, you will need to find something to form a base for the wreath. You can buy pre-made wire or woven wreath bases from craft stores and florists, but it is also super easy to make your own. You could either make a circle with sturdy wire, or form a circle using twigs from the garden.
I cut fresh willow stems to make mine, which were nice and bendy and easy to form into a circle. It’s best to use stems from a live plant rather than fallen dead twigs, as they will still have sap inside which will mean they can bend easily without snapping.
Form a rough circle with your chosen twigs and tie the ends together tightly with floristry wire. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect- it will be covered up soon enough.
It’s now time to start your wreath making- clear a space on your kitchen counter, stick on your most festive playlist and pour yourself a glass of mulled wine!
Start by making little bundles of each type of foliage. Take a few stems of each of your chosen greenery, trim them all to the same size and wrap the bottoms of the stems together tightly using wire.
For my 40cm diameter wreath I needed 18 little bunches in total- 6 of each of my chosen foliage.
Once all of your bunches are made, it is time to start assembling. Wire the bottom 1/3 of each foliage bunch onto the twig circle, making sure that the wire is tight and secure so that the bunches don’t slip.
Take the next bunch and overlap the previous one slightly, wiring the bottom 1/3 in tightly again.
Repeat the process with alternating foliage types, making sure that you hide the wire of the previous bunch and keeping the wire tied tight.
And then you will have your finished wreath! You can keep it super simple like I have, or decorate with flowers, pine cones, baubles, ribbons… whatever you fancy.
Hang your wreath on your door using wire or ribbon, and stand back to admire your handiwork!
I would love to know if you have a go at making your own wreath- tag me in your post on Instagram (@victoria_ _ wade) or send me a photo- I can’t wait to see what you make!