There are several ways of making a Christmas wreath and florists each have their favourite method. Some use a ring of floral foam, such as oasis and simply push flowers and foliage into the foam. I am not a big fan of floral foam, as it contains harmful chemicals and after disposal it breaks down only slowly. Foam wreath rings also dry out quite fast when hung vertically, which results in a shorter life span for the fresh plant materials.
I prefer to use damp moss on a copper ring as a base and then tie on fresh green foliage. In the following series of photos I will show you how you can make your own beautiful Christmas wreath that should last you throughout Christmas and well into the New Year.
Here you see the basic materials you need to get started, which are available from florists’ suppliers or from the internet: copper rings, which comes in various sizes (shown here are 10″, 14″ and 18″), green florists’ wire, reel wire, wire cutters and secateurs. You will also need wet moss and, of course the foliage you plan to use on your wreath.
Start by attaching one end of the reel wire to the copper ring, place a good quantity of moss on the ring and wind the wire around it to hold it on firmly. Carry on around the ring until it is covered in moss.
Now you can start assembling the decorative foliage. Choose small sprigs of spruce, pine, fir, Leylandii, holly, eucalyptus, ivy, box or whichever other evergreen foliages you have available and strip the base of the stems.
These can be used either as they are, or you might find that tying them into little bunches using the green florists’ wire makes them easier to handle and gives better coverage.
Place a bunch of foliage onto the moss-covered ring and wind the reel wire around the stems to hold them firm. Keep going adding bunches around the ring with the tips of each bunch covering the stems of the bunches already in place.
Once the wreath is completely covered, tie off the wire and add decorations, such as pine cones, dried orange slices, cinnamon sticks, dried chillies or whatever takes your fancy.
If the wreath is destined for a door, it is a good idea to back it with plastic tape to prevent staining from the wet moss. It also seals the moisture into the moss and slows the drying of the wreath.
The plastic backing tape and “German mossing pins” are available from the internet or florists’ suppliers. Lay the tape across the back of the wreath, push a couple of mossing pins through the tape into the ring on the foliage side of the copper ring to hold it in place. Fold the tape back over the moss and fix with pins on the other edge. Carry on criss-crossing the tape and each time folding the tape back over the pins to conceal them.
Next you might want to add a bow or two. I find it easiest to tie bows for a wreath by taking a length of ribbon, fold it so that you have a loop in each hand, tie them together to form one bow. Repeat with a second lengthe of ribbon so that you have two loose bows. These can then be tied together with a third length of ribbon to make a double bow , which can then be tied onto the wreath ring.
Finally, tweak the ribbon and inspect the wreath, adjusting any bits of foliage that sticks out too far and fill any gaps with extra sprigs of foliage.
It is now ready to hang and enjoy! If it is hung under cover, it is worth spritzing it now and again to keep it moist. Otherwise, the British weather will usually be enough the keep it fresh and moist!
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