by June Cynthia, 29th November 2021
Gardening expert, June Cynthia, shows us how to make our very own door wreath for Christmas
While the garden is sleeping, why not try a little craftwork in the form of a festive door wreath, or ‘welcome ring’ as some people like to call it. All the family can partake in this project, as it’s fun going on a winter walk, gathering up holly and dead seed heads. Even things like acorns and pine cones are a wonderful way of making a truly natural door decoration. I like to use yew and Viburnum Tinus or winter jasmin, which you may find in your garden. Try to use a little variegated foliage also to give a little lightness to the design.
Once you’ve collected all the foliage, place it in a bucket of fresh water to ‘condition’ overnight until it is turgid (taken up the water it needs).
Here are a few other items you will need:
From your local florist or a garden centre, purchase a wreath ring. If you have difficulty tracking one down locally then there are websites that sell them, so order early to avoid disappointment. Around 8” diameter will be big enough as the foliage spreads out to around 10” when completed. I use one with a hard plastic base which has a circle of floral foam already in it, so I can keep the base, removing all the old floral foam and replenishing it again each year, resulting in no waste.
You’ll also need a reel of wire, a packet of stub wires and some wide (wired edged) red ribbon, which can also be obtained from florists, garden centres or online. A glue gun is also useful (caution: only under careful supervision if children are using them).
Lightly glue acorns, small cones etc together to resemble a small bunch (always use odd numbers). When the glue is set, wire together leaving the wire stems to stick into the foam. Wire together bunches of berries also and set to one side. Shape and wire your ribbon bows leaving two tails, one longer than the other and cut at the bottom into a V shape to finish.
Separate all different types of foliage into little piles. Pull off foliage from the bottom tip of the stem, thus revealing a bare wooden stem. Using a straight stub wire, bend in half into an upside down U shape. Gather a piece of your foliage, place the n shaped piece of wire a short way up the stem of your foliage letting the two long sides hang down the side of the stem. Then take one of the straight pieces of wire and wind it securely around the foliage stem and the other piece of wire and push it into foam starting around the bottom edge of the wreath ring first. You will see that it will eventually cover the sharp edge of the ring giving a softer outline by protruding outwards. Continue with this method until you’ve completed the outer ring and then start with the same method but covering the middle and then finally down into the centre, again letting the foliage protrude into the middle of the ring but leaving a centre opening.
Make sure you use different foliage equally around the ring to keep it visually balanced. You can then start to add your decorations and bow, again keeping it visually balanced.
Finally, tie a thinnish ribbon or cord around the top of the ring and fix it to your door.
Try if you can to keep your ring as natural as possible, but there is nothing stopping you from adding a splash of gold/silver paint to enhance.
Have fun and Happy Christmas!