I have been busy making a leafy, viney, herby, happy mess at home for weeks now, in preparation for my workshop with Stylist Magazine a few weeks ago then writing a step by step tutorial for the magazine (it was out last week) and also filming too (yet to be released). I am making these wreathes at my workshop with Sara this Saturday (come along! it's going to be so amazing!), and I taught a version of this wreath, as crowns, at Sisterhood Camp last week too. Phew! The Stylist magazine workshop sold out in minutes (gadzooks!) and a few of you contacted me for a blog tutorial so here it is.
I love this wreath because if you can find the viney part, it could be absolutely free. I have been making my bases for a couple of years as I'm lucky enough to have both a clematis and grapevine in my garden with which to weave one. Any climbing vine will do however and I have found during my experiments that trailing ivy is the bendiest and easiest to use. It also grows really prolifically so you should be able to find a patch near you.
This wreath doesn't require any fancy materials; no wire ring or oasis. Just a bit of floral wire (and you could probably do without it if you don't mind just sticking the bits in the base!) I love the moss base variety too, as it lends itself to fresher flowers (I have a video tutorial for one here in fact) but during winter I prefer a drier, twiggier and more seasonal look.
At this time of year I love decorating with cleansing herbs like Rosemary, Thyme, and Eucalyptus. They are long lasting, seasonal and hardy, and smell absolutely divine too, especially if you don't have a real tree.
- A vine wreath base- either homemade using clematis, grape or honeysuckle vines (see below) or bought from here
- Floral wire, from here
- Secateurs , floral snips or stout scissors
- Evergreen branches, responsibly (!) foraged, or can be ordered from florists
- Fresh herbs- if you don't have access to fresh herbs in your garden, order online from Herbs Unlimited (call them to arrange bulk orders)
How to make a free and chic Christmas wreath
1) Make your base. Strip leaves from long lengths of vine by running your hand against the growth of the vine. It's really satisfying although you might need gloves. Begin by twisting one vine into a circle, tucking the end around the start of the vine in a sort of knot, like in the photo. Wrap further vines around and tuck the ends in, and keep going, securing with wire if necessary. Make sure you always start from a different place and wind in the same direction.
2) Trim your evergreen branches so they are a manageable length. Short lengths are always easier to work with! Now attach the evergreen branches, facing the same direction, using floral wire to your base. Cover 2/3rd of the base with evergreen.
3) Wire together 3-6 stems of fresh herbs, then attach to the base using the same piece of wire you used to group the small bunch of herbs, (try to attach it somewhere discreetly, underneath the top layer of evergreen). Repeat with further bunches of herbs, making sure they are all facing the same direction.
4) Trim any wayward bits or tidy them up by wiring them in. Attach ribbon and hang up.
This wreath is neutral and green, but if you wanted to add some colour it would be easy to do. Mini oranges or Kumquats would look divine in this wreath, or maybe some large white roses or dried hydrangea heads too.