A couple of weeks ago, Emma invited me with some other bloggers to a festive wreath-making workshop in Harrogate led by Katie.
It was a sunny Sunday morning, and I drove north listening to some radio cheese (Sunday love songs on Radio 2 if you must know). I stepped into Katie’s loft-like studio and was hit by the scent of fresh greenery. A cup of tea and a couple of mince pies followed, and I knew it was going to be a good day.
October is early, you may think, for wreath-making. You’re right, of course – normally I don’t acknowledge the ‘C’ word until at least my birthday (this week!) has passed. But I love the look of a wreath hanging on a front door and there’s no reason why a more autumnal version shouldn’t be shown off before advent.
Plus, wreath-making is a technique I’ve long wanted to learn, and a class in October gives me the chance to perfect my skills before Christmas.
Anyway, on with the show.
What we used:
♥ metal wreath frame – Katie prefers to use a wire rather than foam base for wreaths because they are lighter – better for hanging, and you can keeping adding bits to them
♥ floristry wire
♥ a selection of greenery: we used leaves, spruce, rosemary, rose hip, skimmia, statice, dried hydrangea, succulents and others
A couple of things to point out. First – and this doesn’t come easily to some, including me – while rough symmetry is good, it’s actually better with this type of wreath if it’s not super neat. Second, you want your wreath to be nice and full with no wire showing, and to achieve this look you will need more sprigs than you think. You want your greenery to cover all of the wire frame and fan into the middle and out from the edges.
I was really happy with my wreath as a first ever attempt and it now hangs proudly on my front door. I feel like a couple more tries and I’ll have a wreath looking just right. (I can’t see me ever being as good as Katie though, who has magic plant hands that can work really fast and make everything look instantly brilliant).
The great thing about these wreaths is that a lot of the leaves, buds and flowers we used can be found in your garden or foraged. I’m finding I’m looking at the bushes I pass on my evening walks in a whole new light. (Is it bad form to clip off a neighbour’s plump, red berries if they’re hanging over onto the pavement?)
The other brilliant thing – especially if you mix dried and fresh as we did – is that a lot of this will still look good when it’s dried. My wreath – two weeks on – is starting to look a little droopy but still very much going strong. You can hang it indoors too, just mist it regularly.
See how pleased we all look with ourselves and our creations? Afterwards we went for a Sunday lunch of champions: meatballs. More on that to come later in the week.
If you fancy learning how to make a wreath yourself, Katie runs regular workshops and is offering my readers 10% off. You could go for the full wreath-making workshop – which I heartily recommend as having a go yourself is simply the best way to learn and you’ll get to take your masterpiece home with you afterwards. They’re on 29 November and 7 December, last three hours, include refreshments and cost £55 (so that’s £49.50 with your discount). If you’d prefer just a step-by-step demo, this costs £20 and these classes are on 18 and 30 November and 2 December.
What do you think to my wreath? Do you make your own?
If this has got you in the spirit of Christmas craft, remember this DIY garland I shared last year? How about my indoor ribbon wreath or my metallic hessian bunting?