How To Guide | Christmas Wreaths

The smell of blue pine is among one of the most evocative scents of Christmas and there are not many things quite as satisfying as making your own wreath out of this textural foliage.

December 8th 2013
The smell of blue pine is among one of the most evocative scents of Christmas and there are not many things quite as satisfying as making your own wreath out of this textural foliage.
It may seem rather labour intensive but you do not need many ingredients to create a seasonal wreath. Of course, you could include other winter foliage such as berried ivy or even fragrant eucalyptus leaves as added texture. This wreath is designed to be hung outside on a front door as a seasonal welcome to friends and family; the colder weather will also help the foliage stay fresh for longer although you could gently mist the wreath weekly to help retain the moisture.
You will need:
1 x 30cms wreath frame
Sphagnum moss
2/3 large branches of blue pine
5/7 Pine cones
5/7 each of dried whole and sliced oranges
5/7 Cinnamon bundles
5/7 Dried lotus seed pods
Floristry stub wires
To make your wreath:
Tie the end of your string to the wreath frame. Tease the moss out into a long roll and place a good handful either side of the frame – you want to end up with a rounded base to add your pine to – and then pass the string around the moss to attach it to the frame. Rotate the frame a little and continue adding moss and binding the string until the whole frame is covered. Keep the tension on the string so that it stays tight and the moss is dense. Once you have finished mossing the frame, you may need to trim it to make sure there are no straggly bits of moss hanging off. Tie your string off in a knot.
The large branches of blue pine cut down really well into smaller pieces so do this with all your chosen foliage. You should end up with pieces that vary between 10-15 cms in length. Reattach your string to the mossed frame and place 2-3 pieces of pine on top and a little to the outer edge of the wreath base and bind it on with your string. As with the moss, continue adding the foliage and turning the frame until it is completely covered. Then tie off your string by making a knot at the back of the wreath.
Now the base is complete, you need to choose and prep the ingredients with which you want to decorate the wreath. Using a stub wire take 2 slices of dried oranges, insert the wire through the slices and pull together and twist tightly making sure that one end of the wire is longer than the other. Do the same with the cones, whole oranges, and lotus pods. We made small bundle of cinnamon sticks by twisting the wire around groups of 3 short sticks then covering the wire with string.
Before you attach the decorations to your wreath, it’s quite a good idea to place the ingredients on the wreath before you wire them on. That way you can see how best to place the decorations; you may want to put some of the smaller items in groups or you can just space out all the ingredients equally around the wreath. Once you have an idea of how you want your wreath to look, you start wiring the decorations on to the wreath. It doesn’t matter which piece you start with but it’s best to distribute all of one type of decoration before starting on the next.
With one hand, lift the wreath slightly off the table, with the other hand insert the long wire attached to the decoration and push it through until you feel it come through the other side of the moss base. Then, push the end of the wire back into the base to secure it tightly. Turn the wreath a little and continue until you have used all your ingredients and you are happy with the design. At this point that you can add a ribbon or hank of raffia to the wreath with which to hang it from your door.


Bloomsbury Flowers November 2013.

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