The tradition of having a wreath on the front door supposedly dates back to Roman times, when it represented victory. Other interpretations are that it is a symbol of health and good luck, and signifies eternal life – with the evergreen foliage and hardy winter plants representing strength.
The first step to making your own wreath is to get prepared and collect all the items for your creation. This may involve a trip to the local garden centre or park and forest, although many of the items you may already have at home.
Have an idea of what you want to put on your wreath before you begin, and then you can get to crafting!
What you will need
For a simple wreath base, you’ll need a long coat hanger, some green twine or florist wire, plus some festive ribbon, and some scissors or a pair of wire cutters. You will also want a clear workspace to be able to spread out (or make a mess with the pieces of foliage).
If you are doing this with children make sure they are supervised during the stages involving the scissors or sharp pieces of hanger.
How to get started
First things first, you’ll need a layer of bushy foliage, ideally moss (which can be picked up from garden centres or ordered online), or a number of fir clippings will work just as well, both would be best.
Ask places selling Christmas trees if they have off-cuts you can use or take offcuts from your own tree.
Your next layer is where it gets creative. Use pine cones or holly collected from the forest or park, or things like dried oranges (baked in the oven) and cinnamon sticks or fresh winter berries. Or go wild with baubles and candy canes, gingerbread snowmen or Christmas toy soldiers.
Items can always be sprayed with gold, silver or glitter to give them an extra Christmassy feel.
To start actually making your wreath, round out your coat hanger leaving the loop at the top (so you can hang it).
Add your thick shrubbery as a base, moss first, then fir, attaching it with small U-shaped pieces of wire, which you twist together on the reverse side.
Make sure the wreath foliage base has a thickness to it, with big clumps of fir. Make sure you have enough to cover the coat hanger hook at the top of your wreath.
When securing it on the coat hanger frame with wire, arrange it so the fir shoots off in one direction around the circular shape.
Expert wreath-maker, Nik Southern, founder of Grace & Thorn, says we should: “Think about shapes and textures, and group stems together to create layers and depth. Don’t be afraid to use long architectural pieces for a bit of wild asymmetry.
Southern’s best piece of advice at this point is to just remember to keep following the direction of your foliage.
Once you have done the basic layer of greenery you can build up your wreath with a scattering of winterberry branches, pine cones or cinnamon sticks, and dried oranges, attaching them carefully to the wire beneath.
“Group items together and play with colours and textures for creating maximum impact,” says Southern.
Add a ribbon for a finishing touch, and hang it on your door.
Wreaths can also be used as beautiful fireplace or table decorations, why not experiment with other designs?