How to make a wreath

How to…

Get into the winter and festive mood by making a wonderful natural wreath. This wreath is easy to make and can be composted once you are are finished with it. 

  • Estimated time: 45 minutes
  • Location: Outdoors & Indoors
  • School term: Late Autumn, Early Spring
  • Level of experience: No experience needed

Introduction

Equipment 

  • Freshly cut willow in lengths of 5-6ft long. 
  • Biodegradable string or raffia
  • Green material – holly, ivy or any pliable evergreen material. 
  • Brown material – seed heads, pine cones, dried chillies, cinnamon sticks and dried orange.
  • Scissors/secateurs 
  1. Start by encouraging your willow to bend, you can do this by holding one length of willow with two hands and use your knee to encourage it to gently bend. Do this with each length.

  2. Make a loop with your first piece of willow, weaving the ends together so it is secure. 

  3. Start to weave in another length of willow. To ensure an even spread of thickness, make sure you start weaving in each piece of willow at a new point. 

  4. Keep adding lengths of willow until you are happy with your frame, this usually takes around 5 to 6 lengths of willow. 

  5. Trim the ends of the willow that are sticking out of the frame, the willow can be quite tough so take care when cutting. You should end up with a frame like this.  

  6. Find a spot on your frame to tie a loop of string so that you can hang the wreath up.
    Start filling in the wreath with all your green material.

  7. You can start by filling out the base using evergreen material or you could decide to leave some of the frame exposed, it’s up to you!
    You can use string to hold some pieces in place, try to hide the string or raffia where possible.

  8. Tie string or raffia around your seed heads, pine cones, cinnamon sticks or dried oranges slices. Make sure these are tightly tied and then add them on to your wreath by tying the opposite ends of the string or raffia to the willow.

  9. Keep building up the wreath using evergreen material, seed heads, pine cones and anything else you choose. 

  10. Hang up your wreath. It will last longer outside so why not hang it on your front door for everyone to enjoy.
    When you are finished with your wreath it can be composted.

Additional information

  • If you don't have or can't find freshly cut willow stems, you can buy some dried ones. Before using these, soak them over night as this makes them flexible and ready for making your wreath.
  • Instead of using willow, you could use any bendy, freshly-cut plant stems such as dogwood (Cornus). These have lovely colourful stems and could add extra colour to your wreath.
  • You could even make an edible wreath by using evergreen herbs like rosemary, bay or thyme. Your wreath will look, smell and taste good!
  • Seed head such as teasels, honesty, cardoon seed heads and poppy seed heads are great for decorating your wreath. Seed heads can often be bought or you can try to find sturdy ones in your garden and leave them to dry out, ready for decorating.
  • You could also add berries to your wreath as some extra colour. Sprigs of holly, ivy or dogwood stems with berries are all ideal. 

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