Make your own Christmas wreath
Wreaths have been around for millennia. They’re a symbol from Roman times with evergreens used to represent life preservation, health and bounty. Wreaths became co-opted into Christian traditions to represent everlasting life and are now one of the stalwarts of Christmas décor.
Hanging a wreath on the door is thought to encourage the spirit of goodwill – and whatever your faith, that seems like a good idea!
Making your own wreath is a fabulously environmentally-friendly way to decorate for the season during these times of high consumption. It’s a chance to walk together and notice all the life around in winter. Look out for squirrels and birds as you walk. Make sure you only collect the foliage and berries you need, and leave plenty around for wildlife.
How to create your wreath!
You’ll need some green willow stems to form the structure of your wreath. If you live near willow trees you may be able to find a few yourself, otherwise garden centres or florists should be able to help. You’ll need lengths of around a metre for a small wreath.
Grab a basket, garden gloves and some secateurs and go looking for any seed husks (e.g field maple, alder, pine cones), berries, leaves or any other items that you’d like to add to your wreath. This is a fun activity to do together. You might want to avoid holly – even though it’s beautiful it can be painful to use, especially for little fingers!
Cut long stems so it’s easier to weave in when it comes to putting it all together.
Start by taking a willow branch and bending it into a circle. Wrap the tapered end round to loosely secure it, then plait a second and third branch in. If you weave these together tightly, they may hold together by themselves but there’s no shame in securing your wreath frame with garden string in tactical points!
Next, thread in foliage and other materials. Start with the foliage to make a green base, then add berries and seeds, weaving the stems into the structure. You can use garden/florist wire if you need to secure the pieces to your willow frame more firmly.
Secure your wreath to your door with string, a nail, or whatever works for you. Or give as a beautiful handmade gift. And when you’re finished, you can compost the decorations and reuse the willow frame for a spring decoration!