Create your own wreath at home this year using our step by step guide.
Moss gathered under licence creates the foundation for this traditional decoration and it will last throughout the festive holidays. The moss acts as a natural oasis and this in turn, keeps the evergreen stems fresh.
However, if you prefer not to use the florist ‘wreath wrap’ we also have a great idea for a fully compostable and recyclable Christmas wreath to share with you. This festive ring will look just as beautiful on your front door and will of course dry naturally during the holidays becoming faded with delicate muted shades of green as the holiday passes.
You will need: A sharp pair of scissors or secateurs, a skewer or similar tool with a sharp point to insert stems into your wreath base. Please take a look at our wreath making kit for a list of equipment.
Plan ahead: A couple of days before you want to make your wreath, gather a large bundle of evergreen foliage and herbs. Trim the stems of larger leaves and plunge them into a couple of deep buckets full of water. This will ensure your greenery has a good drink before arranging.
We use a 10″ copper ring, which is included in our kits, and this forms the structure to our wreath. Using florist wire, make a loop at the 12 o’clock point on the copper wreath ring. Make sure this is really secure as the wreath will be surprisingly heavy when it is finished.
So that you don’t loose this hanging loop whilst you are creating your very own unique festive decoration, we suggest tying a brightly coloured ribbon to this, whilst you are working. Next double tie a roll of garden sting or jute twine on to the outer wire of the copper wreath ring and leave this connected.
Take a handful of moss and squeeze this tightly in both hands so that you make a sphere about the size of a tennis ball. Using the twine secure this in place so that the moss is sitting on the wire ring but NOT passing through. Hold this in place with one turn of the jute twine. Do not pass the twine back wards and forwards as this will block the stems when you begin to decorate your wreath.
Continue placing equal balls of moss around the wreath ring and securing these with one turn of the jute twine. Make sure that each addition of moss is tightly packed beside the last. It is also important that each ball of moss is the same size.
When the ring is full, simply tie the jute twine on to the initial starting point and make a double knot before cutting. You should now have a even sized ring of moss to create a natural oasis.
Next take the wreath wrap and the mossing pegs (take care with the sharp points) place the beginning of the roll under the wreath at the 12 o’clock point. Make sure that the hanging hook is still visible. Cover the complete wreath with one layer of the wrap, by placing it backwards and forwards around the ring. Each time you will need to overlap the wrap by about a third so that all of the moss is covered. Secure the wreath wrap in the centre hole using a mossing pen at approximately every third of fourth turn. The mossing pegs should be evenly spaced and secured three quarters into the back of the wreath ring.
Once you have covered the moss filled ring, secure the end of the wrap and then neatly trim this. Check the hanging hook is back at the 12 o’clock position and then start filling the outer ring with your conditioned evergreen foliage. We have used equal pieces of bay to make the outer circle and we have used shorter pieced of Hebe in centre. Cut the stems at an angle to create a point. We find it easiest to use the skewer to make an initial hole in the wreath base and then thread the stem into the hole and then gently ease the skewer out whilst pushing the stem deeper into the moss.
Take care with your foliage in the centre. Don’t cut the pieces too long as you will find that the tips meet up and it won’t be possible to see the centre. So you will create a cushion effect rather than a ring.
When you choose your foliage you need to remember to include a variety of shapes, colours and varieties of greenery. This will create form and interest to your decoration. We love to include as many perennial herbs such as Rosemary, Myrtle and Bay because they are so highly scented and evoke memories of Christmases past.
Once the outer and inner ring is filled you can get creative with the front facing part of your traditional Christmas wreath. Decide if you would like a bow at the top or the bottom of the ring and then work out how many focal points you would like to include. We usually opt for an odd number as this also creates balance with your decoration. I have opted to have the bow at the bottom of this wreath and three points of interest.
The focal points are created in a similar fashion to a posy or country style table decoration. Select a variety of foliage, the decorative the better and prepare all of the stems before you start arranging. We have opted for at least five stems of variegated holly, rosemary, variegated Pittosporum, rosemary and our favourite ivy berries or fruits which will become a rich, dark green, almost black as they mature.
Arrange the stems facing outwards and at an angle so that you cover the front of the wreath. We use the large leaves first, using all of one species and then continue with the next. Finally we ‘fill in’ with the narrow stems.
Repeat this arrangement three or five times around the wreath, duplicating the design. Remember to leaving a space to attach the bow.
Once you have created your focal points, ‘fill in’ the gaps to cover the wreath wrap. We suggest that you keep to the same foliage. We have used bay in our wreath.
Next add a ribbon wrapped around the wreath. This can be secured with mossing pegs and will sit over the bay so that the focal points are clearly visible.
Finally add some longer foliage at the base. This will sit behind and to the sides of the bow. Create a bow using wired ribbon and florist wire. Then tie this to the wreath. Check that there are no gaps and simply fill these with some rosemary.
Wire dried orange slices, cones, berries, dried chillies and winter seed heads to add a final decorative touch.
Your traditional Christmas wreath is now ready to hang on your front door or gateway.