How to make a Christmas wreath

How to make a Christmas wreath

Making a Christmas wreath with willow is simple. Aside from willow rods, all you require is a pair of secateurs and foliage/moss/baubles to decorate. Floristry wire can also come in handy.


Selecting the correct willow for a Christmas wreath

The size of the wreath that you wish to make will determine the most suitable length of willow rods. To make a Christmas wreath to hang on a front door - around 30cms in diameter and approximately 4cms deep - 6ft or 7ft rods are ideal.


There are several different types of willow that can be used to weave a Christmas wreath. Brown (dry) willow or green (fresh cut) willow are both good choices. The colour of the rod will vary depending on the variety of willow.


White willow looks stunning but it is a more expensive choice. Our supplies tend to get snapped up very quickly. (White willow isn't paper white. It is more cream in colour.)


Buff willow is another good choice. It is very smooth, requires little soaking and is fast to weave with.


Allow plenty of time to soak

Please remember that brown, white and buff willow rods will need to be soaked, so plan ahead. Some varieties of brown willow need to soak for over a day per foot. Choose 7ft Flanders Red brown willow and you will need to allow 12-14 days to soak. However, 6ft buff willow only requires 2 hours soaking.

Any willow that has been soaked will usually need to mellow overnight. Read our blog on soaking brown willow.


Green willow rods do not require soaking. Please be aware that green rods will shrink a little as they dry out and this loosens the weave. 


How many willow rods?

Around 10 - 15 rods are required per Christmas wreath. 6ft willow rods are a little easier to handle than 7ft rods, but more of the shorter rods will be needed to build the depth.


Making a Christmas wreath


1.      Select a willow rod and bend it round into a circle. You will need to wrap the tip end of the rod (the top, thinnest part) around itself several times to stop if from springing apart. String or wire can be used to secure the rod



2.      Continue to add rods one by one. For a neat finish, always 'travel' in the same direction and always insert the butt end (the bottom, fattest part) into the wreath first. Twist the rod around your circular structure several times. You will have butt ends sticking out. Don't worry about these, they can be trimmed later. Tip ends should be woven through the wreath to prevent them from unravelling. Weave some rods in the opposite direction for a more 'rustic' finish


3.      Keep adding rods. Remember to select a different place in the wreath to start. It's best to have butt ends evenly spaced around the wreath



4.      Keep bending and manipulating your wreath into a circular structure. After several rods have been added it should feel secure and fairly robust


5.      Keep adding rods until the desired thickness has been achieved


6.      Use secateurs to cut off the butt ends and tidy up any stray ends



Use a bodkin to gently ease apart your weave and insert decorative items. Floristry wire is great for attaching festive materials



 


 



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