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Make a festive wreath

by Rhiannon James

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There’s nothing like a wreath to jolly up the front door at Christmas and if you make your own, you’ll really have a threshold to behold. It’ll only take about an hour to do and if you gather your materials from the garden or the nearest park, all you’ll need to buy are perhaps a few bits of ribbon, some wire and string.

Things you’ll need

1. A pair of secateurs

2. A pair of scissors

3. Thin, flexible garden wire

4. Brown horticultural string

5. A selection of plant material. To make the basic frame for the wreath, we used fresh hazel twigs (use the longest twigs you can find but they should be no thicker than a little finger so they can be bent into a circle) and long, fine silver birch twigs (ours were about 1-1.5m long). We then added holly (plain and variegated), hawthorn and ivy twigs with berries, as decoration, but you could also try pyracantha, rowan, cotoneaster or any other twigs with decorative berries or cones.

6. Other decorations. This could include bows, baubles, vegetables, fruits or really anything that takes your fancy – go as crazy as you like.

Step-by-step

1. First of all, work out the dimensions of the wreath you’d like to make.

2. Start by bending and binding a few hazel twigs together so they form a complete circle. Then add more hazel twigs, tying them in with wire, to build a stronger ring. If you’re making a large wreath, push a thicker piece of hazel into the centre of the ring to maintain the shape of the wreath as you work on it.

3. Next, take small bundles of silver birch strands and twist them around the hazel frame, tying them in with wire as you go. Repeat until the ring is thick enough to start attaching the decoration. Tie in the top layer of twigs with brown string to provide a decorative finish.

4. Add any decorative plant material to the wreath next. Start by taking small bunches of twigs and wiring them together. Then, working upwards from the bottom of the ring, firmly attach each bunch to the wreath with wire. You can attach the different types of twig in any pattern you like. We started with holly twigs at the bottom, followed by ivy with berries, variegated holly,  and then hawthorn, and finished with some more holly at the top of the ring.

5. Then, you can attach any other decorations, such as fruits, bows, cones or baubles, to your wreath. If you want to add some bows as we have, take a length of ribbon, tie it into the shape you want and then attach it, again using the garden wire, to the ring.

6. Attach a loop of string or wire (we used thick, transparent fishing line) to the top of the ring, tying it in securely to the hazel and birch frame. Make sure the wire or string you use can support the weight of the wreath and withstand any buffeting from the wind (if you’re putting your wreath outside). Don’t forget to remove the central twig you’ve been using to maintain the shape of the ring.

Hang up your wreath and you’re done!

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