Thank you to everyone that has purchased one of my Christmas wreath kits. This blog is here to help you put your kit together to create a beautiful wreath to adorn your front door this festive season. Please follow the step by step guide. It includes the basic techniques for building your wreath. Some things to think about and consider are:
The length of the bundles of foliage you create will determine the size of your wreath. If you make all your bundles first and they are all the same length then your wreath will look quite uniform and structured. If you make them as you go or insert individual stems as you go then it will be a bit more relaxed and more wild. Either style will work, it just depends which style you prefer.
If you have bought the standard kit it comes with everything you need to create your wreath. However, I would encourage you to go out into your local green spaces and forage responsibly for anything you can find to make your wreath more individual and local. You could ask a friend or look in your own garden for seedheads, berries, different foliage that you can add. Remember, anything goes! Make it wild and make it yours. Have fun with it.
There are some tools you will need to hand before you start. See the list below. Gather everything you need together first before you start.
Allow yourself plenty of time to do this activity in a comfortable environment. This process should be really enjoyable and relaxing. A wonderful festive activity to do. Light some candles, turn on the Christmas lights, put on some Christmas tunes and enjoy the process. Don't worry too much about it looking perfect. Some of the best wreaths I've seen are ones that are uneven and full of character.
Personal touches make them unique. You can add anything from feathers to dried flowers, grasses, fairy lights and baubles. The kit you've received is enough to create a beautiful wreath but feel free to embellish and make it your own.
UNPACKING YOUR KIT
When you receive your kit please unpack it as soon as possible. Cut the ends off the foliage at an angle with a sharp pair of scissors and place in water for at least 24 hours to give them a good drink.
Next, remove your ready mossed wreath base. This may be wired to the base of the box so carefully unhook it. It will have the reel wire ready attached for you to start. Remove it carefully so the reel doesn't unravel. If you moss feels very dry you can spray it with a little water. But you only want it damp not soaking wet. If you aren't making your wreath for a few days after receiving it then its best to leave your wreath base outside but somewhere sheltered. This should keep it damp and stop it drying out.
You will have a selection of dried materials. These should be kept somewhere dry for now.
Gather any extra items you want to include before you start making your wreath.
In order to create your wreath you will need the following tools:
Sharp (florsits) scissors - if you don't have florists scissors then use secateurs. They just need to be sharp.
Secateurs - for thicker stems
MAKING YOUR WREATH
Get everything you need together laid out on a table before you start.
Your kit includes:
3 types of green foliage, dried Bracken, pinecone twigs, Pussy Willow, a selection of dried seedheads, pine cones, orange slices, ribbon, mossed wreath base with reel wire attached and a few green stub wires.
STEP 1 - Getting started
Place your mossed wreath base in front of you. You will notice there is a hook for hanging already attached. Please be careful not to bind this in as you go. I find tying a piece of string or ribbon to it keeps you aware of where it is and where the top of your wreath will be. The reel wire you will use to bind everything on with should be attached at the bottom and be on the outside of the wreath and nearest to the edge of the table and your body. Pull the reel wire tight before starting.
Step 2 - Prepare your foliage
You have 3 main types of foliage in your kit. Spruce, Parvifolia and Eucalyptus as well as some dried bracken.
These are your main foliages:
You need to cut your foliage up into sections ready to make into little mini bundles for attaching to the wreath. Your lengths should be no shorter than about 15cm but can be longer than this. The more uniform they are cut the neater your wreath will be. The shorter they are the smaller your wreath will be. I recommend cutting some slightly longer than others so it's a bit less formal but this is just down to personal taste. You should notice a natural place to cut. For example the spruce has a kind of fork, 3 pronged look at the end which then goes down to 2 prongs. Cut just above the the 2 prongs so you have a long stem with 3 prongs on the end. Then cut below the 2 prongs giving you another stem with 2 prongs on the end. You need enough stem below the prongs to allow for binding in. Once you've cut all your stems put in piles on the table ready to use.
STEP 3 - Making your bundles
The bulk of your wreath will be made up of foliage bundles, like a mini bouquet. It's very simple. Gather up one peice of each of the green foliages to make your bundle. Another way to think of it is layering them up onto each other. You can either make them up in advance or as you go along. I usually do it as I go along. I try to always have a piece of each foliage plus an added element in every bundle. For example:
Bundle 1 - 1 x spruce/1 x Parvifolia/1 x Eucalyptus/1 x Bracken
Bundle 2 - 1 x spruce/1 x Parvifolia/1 x Eucalyptus/1 x Dried Ammi
Bundle 3 - 1 x spruce/1 x Parvifolia/1 x Eucalyptus/1 x Dried Nigella seedhead
You could do them on rotation or be more random for a more wild looking wreath.
You can see in the image below the rough size of bundles I used to make the sample wreath.
STEP 4 - Start binding the bundles to you wreath
With the hanging hook at the top and the reel wire nearest to you (on the outside of your wreath at the bottom). Place your first bundle at the bottom at an angle so the reel wire is towards the bottom of the stems. Wrap the wire tightly around the base and stems 3 times. Ensure it is secure and won't fall out. Keeping the tension right is key to your wreath not falling apart when you lift it up at the end! See photo and video below.
Your second bundle needs to go slightly in front of (or overlapping) the last bundle and at an angle. So if the first bundle went slightly to the left, the second should go slightly forward and to the right. So it fans out and covers the base. See clip below:
Start building up using different materials in your bundles as well as the 3 main foliages. Remember to alternate the angle you place the bundles.
STEP 5 - Adding firm stemmed elements
In your kit you have a number of extra materials. You have some twiggy stems with pinecones on and some Pussy Willow. These stems are firm enough to be pushed into the moss base as you go without the wire having to bind them in. Cut the stems with sharp scissors or secateurs at an angle so it creates a point. Insert into the base so it is firmly in but not sticking out the other side. You should be able to get a 3 or 4 sections when you cut your Pussy Willow up. See clip below:
Keep going round. Always place the bundles in same direction all the way round. Go until you have to lift up the foliage where you started from in order to bind the last bundle in. You'll need to stop while there is still a small gap but get it as close as you can so the foliage covers most of the gap. Don't worry too much if some moss is still showing. I'll explain how to finish it off neatly. Remember not to bind in your hanging hook!
SETP 6 - Tie off your reel wire
Once you have added your last bundle you need to cut and secure your wire. Using your wire cutters cut off the wire from the reel leaving about 20 cm of wire free to secure it. Hold your wreath up keeping tension on the wire so the last bundle doesn't fall out. Poke the wire through the back of the frame hooking it over and stitching it over and around the wire frame then poke the end in to the moss to finish off. See clip:
STEP 7 - Fill in the gaps
Nearly there! So at this point you should be able to see if you still have any moss left exposed, particularly at the gap where you finished off your binding. For smaller gaps you can use small pieces of the Spruce. Just cut the stem at a sharp angle and remove the lower needles. Insert into any gaps you may have. You may also want to add any final stems of the pinecone twigs or Pussy Willlow at this point. To finish off the gap at the end of your binding point you need to create small bundles again but with not as many stems as your main bundles. Say 2-3 stems. Take one of your stub wires (the green straight wires in your kit). Bend it to create a hairpin with one end slightly longer than the other. Place the hairpin at the back of your bundle about an inch from the bottom of the stems. Wrap the longer end tightly around the stems a few times then twist a few times around the other leg of the hairpin. Cut off using wire cutters so you have about 2inches of wire left free of stems to poke into the moss. Insert your wired bundle into the gap in your base. Make sure you place it in the same direction as the rest of the bundles. Make more wired bundles as needed until the gap is filled. See clip:
Step 8 - Finishing touches
Now your wreath is mostly finished you just need to add some finishing touches. If you ordered the standard kit you should have your larger pinecones and your orange slices left. If you ordered the extra specials kit then you have some other bits you can add in now too. You'll need your green stub wires again as you're going to use the same method as you did for filling in the bigger gaps. It's probably easier for this just to watch the clip. If you are wiring the pinecone then hook it over the base and then twist the ends together. If you are wiring the oranges place 2 together so they don't quite overlap and stick the wire through the flesh near the bottom then twist together. For Hydrangea and anything else with a forked stem its best, as these are so delicate, to make a hairpin again and hook it loosely over one of the forks in the stem then wrap it around the base of the stem but keeping the tension off the fork where you've hooked your wire. You can see this clearly in the video hopefully!
Wiring the Pinecones and orange slices:
Attaching the pine cones and orange slices to the wreath:
Extra's pack for the deluxe wreath -wiring and attaching:
STEP 8 - Attaching the ribbon
This is the last step I promise! There are no hard and fast rules about attaching the ribbon, it's really down to personal taste what style you choose and where you attach it. You will have received a length of velvet ribbon in your kit. Please feel free to substitute any ribbon you have if you'd prefer. The first thing you need to do is create a hook using a piece of the green stub wire. Cut your ribbon in half. Tie one end of each half to the hook making sure the velvet is face up on both pieces. See clip:
You can either attach your ribbon untied or tie it in a bow. Placement is entirely up to you but here are 3 different options for you to try.
Now find the perfect spot to hang your wreath!
I hope you enjoyed this wreath making tutorial? Please feel free to email me with any questions or if there is anything you don't understand. Thank you once again for purchasing your wreath kit from me. I hope it puts a smile on your face every time you see it on your door. I'd really love to see your creations. If you'd like to you can send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tag me on instagram @talesfromappletreehouse
So for now, wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year!