Although wreaths have a very long tradition dating back as early as ancient Egypt, in more modern time, they tend to make an appearance mainly around Christmas time. You can, of course, buy a beautiful wreath at your local shop but keep in mind that most of the materials needed can be found in your own garden or in the neighbouring bush. Look around you…fruits, berries, branches, blooms and even nuts; anything goes when it comes to wreaths! By following a few simple steps, you can create a beautiful and memorable door decoration that will greet your guests and be sure to put a smile on their faces.
The wreath base
The base of the wreath can be found in most craft shops. They are usually made of styrofoam, straw, decorative greenery or branches. You can also make the base yourself out of willow branches, climbing plants or even newspaper. To make it out of newspaper, numerous pages are placed fan-like on top of each other and twisted into a cord. The ends are joined together and a wreath is automatically formed. Place the ends on top of each other and wrap wire around it. Finally, wrap the entire wreath with wire. In the case of willow branches, simply bend the branches in a circle of the desired size and wrap the ends as well as the entire wreath with wire to secure. When the base is finished, the fun can begin. Here are a few decorating suggestions.
Wreath with dried apples
Select a few apples from your apple tree or visit your local market (the red ones look especially beautiful). Cut the apples into thin slices and rub both sides with lemon juice. Place them in the oven at 50 – 70 degrees for four to six hours to dry, turning them often. During this time, you could attach gum nuts, pine cones, bottle brush or other native plants with the help of florist’s wire. Place your decorations overlapping like roof tiles so that the wreath has a uniform thickness and all stems are hidden. Once dried, attach the apple slices with hot glue.
Wreath with berries and roses
A base made of willow branches is perfect for this version. Collect blackberry branches and roses from your garden and cut them with secateurs in equal lengths.
Bind them together in small bunches and attach them to the wreath with wire. Place the individual bunches overlapping in a similar way to roof tiles. The blossoms and berries cover up the stems of the previous bunch. The wire should be pulled tight so that nothing comes loose. When you reach the end of the wreath, stick the end under the blossoms and berries so that the wreath has a uniform look.
What you will need:
• Gloves (for work with wire)
• Wreath base
• Binding wire
• Hot-glue gun
Material from the garden:
• Fruit/berries (possibly dried)
• Blooms (natives look fantastic)
Photo: © lily - Fotolia.com