How to make a Christmas Wreath: creating your own Christmas Wreath is easy and will give a great sense of achievement. Not only will you satisfy your creative side, you’ll produce a wreath that is unique to you. No one will have a wreath like yours and it can be displayed with personal pride.
Some believe that initially wreaths were hung on doors in Ancient Rome to represent victory. In Christianity, the Christmas wreath was used to symbolize Christ. The circular shape, with no beginning or end, represents eternity or life never-ending. The use of evergreen foliage on a Christmas wreath in Scotland is symbolic of the continuity of life and nature, even in the depths of a Scottish winter. Making your own Christmas wreath is the perfect way to coorie doon into the fun of weeks leading up to Christmas.
How to Make a Christmas Wreath
✓green florists wire on a reel, either 26 / 28 gauge (the lower the gauge the thicker the wire)
✓circular florist foam oasis 16cm (or 12 / 14cm as desired)
note: florist oasis and wire can be sourced via the internet.
The preparation stage is hunting and gathering resources in order to create your wreath. Your main foliage will need to be sourced one to two days before making, in order to have it as fresh as possible. Scotland is full of beautiful wild foliage and you’re never too far away to collect what you’ll need.
1- Head into the forest to collect pine cones. Dry them on newspaper near a heat source for at least 5 days to ensure they have no moisture in them. If you only manage to find closed pine cones don’t worry they are good to use. They will need a longer dry time however when dry will fully open up. Once dry add wire to them to allow adding them to your wreath. Cut around 15 cm of florist wire. Fit the wire around and within the outer edges of the bottom of the pine cone. Create a tail by twisting the two strands of wire together. This tail will be used to push the cones into the foam of the oasis. Set aside for use during the later stages of making your wreath.
2- Dry your own oranges. Thinly slice two oranges to about 3 cm in width, disregarding the two edges. Place on a baking tray and put in the oven for 3 hours at 100°. Turn every half hour. As with the pine cones cut around 15cm of florist wire. Poke through the orange and again twist the two strands together to create a wire tail. Again set aside for later.
3- Group 2 to 3 cinnamon sticks together (or just singularly if desired). As with the pine cones and dried oranges wire the cinnamon sticks. Cut 15cm of florist wire and wrap around the sticks, twisting the wire together to create a tail. Set aside for use during the later stages of making your wreath.
4- Gather your foliage from neighbouring woods or your garden. It is recommended to use fir and holly as base foliage for a festive style wreath. For one wreath you’ll need at least half a Gardener’s bucket full of Fir as well as half a bucket of Holly. Some years you’ll find there are more red berries on the holly than others. The red berries do look beautiful on your wreath and give a good splash of traditional Christmas colour, so if you can find a tree with lots of berries get in quickly before the birds eat them! I’ve found in previous years of making wreaths it is best to pick the holly at the end of November as by mid-December there are not many berries left as the birds have become hungry as the season changes and have started eating them.
5- Fully wet your Oasis before making your wreath. Once created, make sure to re-wet your wreath every 2-3 days to make it last well into January.
6- Attached your florist wire to the Oasis. Your wire will not be cut until the very end of creating your wreath so don’t be tempted to cut it off or you will just have to re-attach it. To attach, pull a length of 10 cm out from the reel. Holding this tail of the wire with one hand, use the other hand to wrap the wire around the oasis 5 times. The wire will cut into the Oasis and that is fine. Once done tuck the tail into the foam so it is no longer visible.
7- In the palm of your hand fan out a couple of pieces of fir and lay some holly on top of it. Putting it an angle towards the centre of the ring, lay it down on the oasis. Using the wire, secure to the oasis by wrapping the wire around the foliage 2-3 times. Do not stab the foliage onto the oasis just laying it on the top and wrap the wire around it.
8- Repeat no 7, however, lay the foliage on the opposite angle point outwards from the centre.
9- Repeat this process of one bundle facing inwards the centre to one outwards, until you’ve covered the whole ring and are back at the start of the circle again.
10- Repeat no 6 to de-attach the wire. Wrap the wire around 5 times and leaving a tail of around 10 cm, cut the wire. Then push the tail into the foam of the Oasis.
11- Next add your ribbon to the wreath making. Make sure you leave enough length to hang it. Turn your wreath around until you find an obvious place to put your ribbon. The style you’d like your ribbon to be will be personal to you however as a guide, cut a length of ribbon and in the middle of your ribbon, place the oasis onto it and wrap it around on top of the foliage, tying both tails together at the top.
12- Now add your decorative touches of pine cones, cinnamon and oranges by intermittently stabbing the wire tails into the foam in either a pattern around the oasis or irregularly as you see fit.
13- Add-on options for your wreath: cut some twigs (such as willow or colourful dogwood varieties) and push directly into the foam at an angle. Do this all the way around the outside of the wreath. This makes the wreath bigger and more dramatic. Or add in some herbs or extra foliage such as rosemary or eucalyptus. Do this by either reattaching your wire and repeating what was initially done or by stabbing the added foliage directly into the foam of the oasis.
Hang inside or out by hanging the ribbon from a hook or nail. Wreaths are traditionally hung on the outside of the door but there are no rules here! Make sure to hang it somewhere that everyone will see how beautiful your Christmas creation is!
Images | Helen Pugh Photography for Laura Thomas Co
Make a Christmas wreath and light a Christmas candle and let the festivities begin! Have you got your Laura Thomas Co Christmas Candle yet?
Love Laura x