Festive floral fun
PUBLISHED: 12:00 18 December 2015
Taunton's award-winning Eden Flower School has put together a step by step guide to making a classy Christmas wreath
Scissors, Oasis foam back or Naylor Base wreath ring – this uses a 12ins frame, Medium gauge wire, Wide ribbon – this uses a length of felt, approximately a metre long for a nice bow and tails, Narrow ribbon, Raffia or string for the cinnamon bundles, Cocktail sticks, Pins or glue
Selection of bushy and hardy foliage in mixed textures and possibly colours – ivy, holly, spruce, fur, eleagnus all work great.
Packet of cranberries, Handful of sprouts, Fir cones, Decorative items such as small baubles, small stars or Christmas decorations of your choice
1. Fully soak the wreath ring frame by floating on a bowl of water. The oasis will absorb the water, leave for five minutes to be sure it’s well hydrated. Never push floral foam below the water as this will caused an air lock and unsoaked foam in the centre, meaning your flowers or foliage’s will have no water to drink,
2. Add a loop of wire to form the hook to attach to the door.
3. Cut your foliage into equal sized pieces with a good inch of clean stem with a sharp angeled cut at the tip. If your stem end isn’t smooth and clean with a tip then it will cause it to destroy some of the oasis.
4. Cover the outside edge of your wreath ring, ensuring it is angled to cover the base, the stem should go in as low as possible but tilted upwards so the foliage sits flush with the table top whilst making and your door when hung. We started with the tree ivy as this is quick, easy and budget friendly (free!).
5. Next cover the inside edge of your wreath ring, the foliage here will need to be slightly shorter to ensure a nice circle is left and a pronounced wreath shape is kept.
6. Still using the foliage loosely and roughly fill the central ring of oasis.
7. Next add in the other varieties of foliage you have. Use them one at a time and scatter evenly around the ring. The more varying varieties and textures you have the more interesting the finished design will be. You may prefer to keep to one or two varieties for a simple design.
8. If using a basing flower like the hydrangea this uses, now would be the time to add it.
9. If you have chosen to include some holly always leave this as late as possible to add into the design to minimise dame caused to your hands. It looks fabulous but can be a little devil. Add into the design just before adding your decorative elements.
10. Now you have a completely foliage covered wreath ring. This design could be used as a memorial design as it is or as a simple and rustic door wreath.
11. The first decorative touch to add is your
ribbon bow if you are including one. This can be added at the top of the design (check where your wiring hanger is – this is the top of the design) or as we have done you can place at the base of the ring.
12. We add in our focal decorative item next, for this wreath ring we started with the fir cones as they are the largest item. We recommend using in sets of three, five or six as these are easily placed evenly through the design. Use equal or multiples of the same number to create symmetry in the finished door wreath. To wire the fir cones take a length of medium gauge
wire and create a loop in the middle (a U shape), insert the looped middle section around
the lower ring of scales, pull tight and twist the wire ends together. Leave the wire slightly longer than you think is necessary and create
a hook. This hook will stop the decorations from falling out of the oasis, acting the same way as a fishing hook.
13. Next we wired the trios of cinnamon sticks into bundles, wrapping the wire around all three sticks twice and then twisting tightly together. If you find this difficult you can twist with the aid of some small pliers to get a firm and tight tie point. The wire will show on the cinnamon sticks so we have used a very narrow ribbon to cover and add an extra decorative touch – raffia or string could also be used.
14. Using the cocktail sticks we have mounted the sprouts and cranberries up through their base. Adding these into the design randomly and evenly. Finally to link to the felt bow we have used some pearl headed pins to attach little felt snowflakes. Instead of the pins these could be glued into place with a strong adhesive or hot glue gun.
Many different materials, decorations and adaptations can be used to create a design that is unique for you. Most of us have a few types of foliage in our gardens or surrounding areas that can be picked and used. It just needs to be able to withstand the elements, so the deep green waxy leaves or spruces and conifers work really well. Using the cranberries is a fabulous way of adding festive red berries in a budget friendly way, unless you’re lucky enough to find some elusive holly berries! The same design can be used to create a table design, just omit the ribbon bow or use a few smaller ones and add a chunky pillar candle in the centre!