Last year I discovered that I loved loved loved making natural wreaths. I never would have guessed, but that is what makes life interesting! It is more American tradition but more and more people in the UK are getting on the craze and while you can buy some gorgeous one from the shops I love the natural look, plus they are free!
Last year I was raising £1,500 to go on an overseas placement with Tearfund (ICS). I gathered 6 people together and invited them to my house for tea, mince pies and wreath making where they didn’t have to bring anything and could take home their finished wreath. That’s right a wreath making party! Each person paid £10 to come to the party which is where the fundraising bit came in. There were virtually no costs as I collected mostly natural supplies. I would say the budget came in at under £20 for everything (inc. cake!). Everyone really enjoyed making them as well as having a good old natter. It was very successful for fundraising but would also be a really nice party with friends just to do something a little different around Christmas.
Suggested natural materials:
Pinecones in a range of sizes – you can use the left over to make a garland!
Leaves – ferns and evergreens are particularly good though try anything
Berries – check for poisonous status if you have pets
Holly – quite tough to find with the berries – don’t be embarressed to ask neighbors or friends
Suggested shop brought materials:
Ribbon, golden bells, beaded string, glitter pens/paint, bows, cinnamon sticks, oranges (baked and sliced), mini baulbals….
For the making:
Hot glue gun (not essential but helpful!)
Moulding wire/twine (essential if no glue)
Willow branches (light and yellow) stripped and Dogwood branches (deep red) – don’t let them dry out as they need to be really bendy and flexible to make the circular shape. Check your local park (with a lake) for dogwood and ask around your local farms if you might be able to take some cuttings of willow. Many will be happy to help if you don’t abuse it and it is going to a good cause.
One. Organise you room, it is going to get a bit messy, you’ll just have to deal with it. I put all the branches in one place then a little way on the leaves and berries in a big container. All the natural materials stays in the lounge. In the dinning room (which connects rather nicely) I laid out the shop brought extras that could then be added as well as other decorations like th pinecones.
Two. Get everyone to sit together and give them a bunch of branches (about 6 to start off with). Form the first branch into a circle (however large they want) and start weaving around itself then add a second by weaving it around the first to get attached and so on. The more you add the sturdier your circle will get, part might unravel slightly just keep doing it, eventually they will stay.
Three. After making the initial structure they may want to start weaving in branches with leaves etc or maybe they will go straight for the bells and beads – remember everyone has a different style! Put as much or as little on. Use the glue gun to attach pinecones or use the wire to wrap around the base and attach. It is all experimenting. You can see the ones that we made below.