For the past 3 Christmases, each December I’ve made my own Christmas wreath. Every year I get lots of comments on Instagram from people saying they wish they knew how to make their own, so I thought I’d write up a little guide as it really is so easy!
In past years I’ve used wire wreath rings and created a base using sphagnum moss and florist’s wire, but this year I bought a foam oasis base and it really does make the whole job so much easier. Plus, the water in the foam will keep your foliage looking fresh for weeks to come.
What You’ll Need
Foam Oasis Base (I used these from Amazon*)
Branches of spruce (either clip from Christmas tree or buy from any garden centre at this time of year)
Florist’s wire (available from Amazon*)
Florist’s scissors (available from Amazon*)
Foliage and flowers
Embellishments – dried oranges, cinnamon sticks, gold leaves, pine cones
A big ribbon to finish
Choosing your foliage and flowers
I usually make my Christmas wreath quite traditional, with holly and other red berries, alongside variegated evergreens. You want to have a good mix of textures and different greens to sit alongside the spruce, and anything that smells great is an added bonus. This year I decided to go a bit more unusual and went for eucalyptus for its wonderful smell, texture and beautiful greyish leaves, eryngium (sea holly) for its beautiful purple spikes, and I couldn’t resist adding pink hypericum berries. The hypericum may be a bit of a risk as I’ve used it in the past and had to cut it out before Christmas arrived as it’s been past it’s best, but I’m hoping that the oasis base will help keep it a bit fresher. And if not, I can always snip it out again.
I’m lucky to have a great garden centre near me with a good floristry section (if you’re in Surrey/Berkshire, head to Longacres in Bagshot), so I buy all my foliage and flowers from there, but the beauty of a homemade wreath is that anything goes. You’ll find lots of great foliage in your garden, or on a walk in the woods, where you can forage for potential greenery. Holly, ivy, rosemary, eucalyptus, box hedge, dried hydrangea heads – there are so many options out there.
How to Make Your Christmas Wreath
The oasis ring really does make the process so easy. You simply need to soak it in water the night before to allow it to absorb as much as possible. Place it face down in the sink – don’t push it down, just allow it to float, and when you come to collect it in the morning it will feel amazingly heavy with all the water it’s absorbed. The plastic back stops it ballooning out, and provides a nice tidy backing to your wreath too.
You’ll want to find a space that you don’t mind getting a bit messy. Normally I’d opt for a table outside, but the bitterly cold weather at the moment meant that I wasn’t going to venture outside. I used our kitchen floor, hence the rather less than pretty backdrop to the photos (one day we’ll replace our kitchen, one day!)
Prepare your spruce which you’ll use for the base. Snip off bits, ideally aiming to get them similar sizes, but if you’re anything like me with my branches, that will prove a struggle. I laid all mine out across the floor in rough size order. Strip the needles from the bottom of each sprig to expose the bare twig which you’ll be poking into the wreath.
Tie a length of brown twine around the top of your wreath, cutting into the wreath with your scissors to allow it to sit there. Tie two knots, one at the bottom near the wreath base, and one at the top, to make a loop which you can use to hang it up. You’ll want to use brown twine rather than your ribbon as the ribbon will soak through and may not be strong enough.
Then it’s time to make your base. Start off at the top and work your way around in a clockwise direction, poking the stems of your spruce cuttings into the foam base around the outside.
Once you have worked your way all around the outside, build up on top of the base as well, again working around laying the stems in the same clockwise direction. The idea is to cover all of the foam base, and to have a reasonably uniform shape to it, but don’t worry too much. You’ll see from my photo below that I didn’t quite have enough spruce to completely cover the base, and that the shape of mine isn’t particularly consistent, as my stems were widely differing sizes. It’ll all even out in the next stages – this really is just a base.
Start to add in your foliage, again stripping any leaves from the bottom to give you a good stem to poke into the base. Just work them in between your spruce stems as you see fit.
You can see how adding in the eucalyptus has done a lot to disguise the unevenness of my base 🙂
Then you can add in the rest of your flowers and embellishments. I like to spread them out but I don’t tend to go for a particularly formal arrangement. All of the flowers I chose for this wreath were able to push into the foam without needing to be secured with florist’s wire, but if you use something like dried oranges or cinnamon sticks you’ll need to wire them in. Just snip a length of wire, push through your embellishment, bend, and then twist the two stems around each other so that you have a wire stem to push into the foam.
If you’d like to add a ribbon you can secure around the brown twine as I’ve done here, but as you can see, the bow gets a little lost in the foliage. I’m told that the better way is to tie your ribbon and then secure into the front of your wreath, using the same wiring technique I described above. Next year I’ll give that a go!
Because the oasis base contains so much water it will drip for a little while, so I hung mine outside at the back of the house for a while before tying to our front door.
But here she is in all her glory!
I love that it looks a bit different from the usual Christmas wreath you might see, and the smell of the pine and eucalyptus combination is just amazing as you return home.
I hope this has given you a bit of inspiration to make your own Christmas wreath – do let me know if you attempt it, I’d love to know how you get on!
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