Make your own Christmas Wreath (for under a tenner)!
I've never actually had a wreath before, mainly because I couldn't justify spending £40 on something that only lasts a few weeks and there is so much other extra expense at this time of year. Going to a wreath-making workshop sounds like lots of fun but still around £50 so this year I thought I'd try it myself. I didn't have a clue where to start (I'm pretty crafty but have never had greenfingers) but after some help at Hobbycraft in Orpington and reading some of my favourite bloggers write about it I began to understand the process. I really wanted to share it with you in case you were in my shoes - the desire to make a wreath but not really sure where to start or what you'd need. So if you're like me and want to do something creative with as little money as possible, then keep reading...
What you'll need:
Metal wire base (you can buy these from Hobbycraft or use 2 wire coat-hangers)
Moss or an old fake branch garland to bulk it out and allow you to attach the foliage to something
Cutters for the thicker branches
Florists wire (green will ensure you don't see it)
Ribbon or String to hang it up with
Fresh foilage/Christmas tree branches
Decorations (up to your personal taste)
1. Create the Base
Creating the base is the first step. You can buy a wire circle with fake moss attached from Hobbycraft if you want the easy option. You could also use 2 wire coat-hangers to make a circle and then use real or fake moss to have some padding so you can add your decorative foliage (however moss seemed hard to source as none of my local florists could sell me any). However I decided to use an old garland that we somehow acquired (and I didn't really like it) and because it was made out of wire I could just bend all the branches in to make a smooth circle. I just guessed the size but you could make it as big or as small as you like!
2. Bulk it out
Then I 'borrowed' some branches from our real Christmas tree to bulk it out, attaching it to my circle frame using the florists wire. You could keep going with this until you have several layers of Christmas tree to make a more traditional wreath but I fancied doing something a bit different. So I only did one layer (which still needed about 5 or 6 branches from my tree!). The key thing with making a wreath is that you MUST keep sending the branches in the same direction, even at this underneath layer.
3. Add foilage
I had my heart set on having some Eucalyptus on my wreath and when I wandered into my local florists (one I've never visited before) I was overjoyed that she would sell me a huge bunch of Eucalyptus and other seasonal leaves for £5. That made me really happy and to be honest the bunch of foilage would have looked amazing on it's own arranged in a vase. It was just so leafy!
So armed with my leafage I headed home and started attaching it to my structure. I used the florists wire to attach it at the bottom end of the stem (making sure the stem wasn't sticking out) and then attached it at another point maybe about 2/3 along. In some ways this is the trickiest bit because you don't want to see the florists wire and yet you don't want the leaves and branches to hang over the edge too much that you loose the round shape. So it's a bit of trial and error. Sometimes I weaved the wire in between and behind the front branches so that the top layer appeared free of wire. In fact what I actually did was attach only the bottom of the stems the whole way around (going in the same direction remember) so I could see how it would look and then attach the extra wire when I was happy. This was really fun but a bit more time consuming than I thought to get it just the way I wanted. It started off looking a bit sparse so similar to what I'm starting to realise about decorating a room, more is definitely more!
4. Now Decorate
You can use lots of different things to decorate the wreath such as pine cones, dried fruit, fake or real holly, bits of wood or ribbons etc. You could even attach baubles if you fancy! Use a glue gun to attach your bits. I got a lovely box of woody wreath-making bits from Hobbycraft (if anyone local wants to have my leftover bits for a wreath or Christmas crafts let me know and you can have it!) but ended up only using the bird from it in the end. But have fun and let your creative juices flow.
So there you have it, how to make a Christmas wreath on a budget. I actually made 2 in the end as I want to give one as a present to someone who is coming to stay at the weekend so it cost under a tenner for TWO wreaths using bits I already had and only needed to buy the bird, the foliage and the florists wire. What do you think? I'm pretty chuffed with my efforts but now I can't decide which one to keep for myself!
DISCLAIMER: This is not a sponsored post, Hobbycraft is just my go-to craft supplier as it's easy to park and the kids enjoy it. All photography by me.