December 10, 2010

I did it! I made a wreath!

I am not particularly keen on dried flowers, besotted as I am with fresh ones. I usually only do twee in managable spoonfuls. Perhaps these are the reasons that wreath making, a staple of seasonal flower growers/sellers has never particularly appealed. To 'fess up entirely, I have never made a wreath. Ever. Which feels like a bit of an admission for a would-be, nearly-there florist.

So when Sarah, the home-making wonder of Modern Country Style took us on her week-long wreath-making odyssey, I thought I would join in. Except life kept getting in the way, and to be in time for today's link-up wreath-party (and what a surreal place this blogworld is!), I really had to get it done last night. From scratch, along with supper, bath-time for the little one, teenage exam course work and wrapping up Christmas presents! Which I offer as my paltry excuse if it looks a little ragged around the edges! Apart from the glittery pinecones, I foraged every last bit from the garden or riverbank, even for the base which is made from stems of an invasive plant in our woodland which I have never bothered to look up, but at least it now has a role as wreath-base provider. Around it is wrapped wild-growing ivy pulled off our fence, dried hydrangea heads from my in-laws' front garden, two types of eucalyptus from our garden and some shrivelled continus leaves. I was tempted to raid the riverbank for a few snowberries but ran out of time, I might add them later.

I laid everything on the kitchen table and got Sarah's posts up on the laptop to guide me through. It is actually quite addictive once you start poking the pretty stems through the base and the whole thing took less time than I anticipated, but then mine isn't very 'full', I quite like some base showing through.

I did have some annoying stem-ends that kept popping out of place, but I'm just ignoring them for now! I am anticipating serious withering of ivy and euc, but am prepared to spray them silver if I need to.

I am rather chuffed with the result and am off to hang it on my door, smug "home-made' madam that I am!! And I've got wondering...perhaps Wild Acre might, just might, make Christmas wreaths in years to come!


  1. I just love the simplistic beauty of it. Normally I just have a simple willow wreath with a gingham ribbon. This year I have something a bit more American country style. I like to ring the changes. Year before last, it was my largest angel, nothing else. I hasten to add this is on the inner front door, in the porch, sheltered from weather!

  2. I wish I had a porch, my wreaths are exposed to all the elements can throw at them!x

  3. Wow, Belinda! I love it! Gentle and not too cutesy. Just perfect. Now if you could just put it in the post to me???! Xxx

  4. A link-up wreath-making party! Fantastic idea. I love simple wreaths made from natural materials - the snow-berries will add that extra special touch.


  5. Totally love it. I bomb at wreath making. When I was teaching flower design classes, I'd bribe another designer to come in and do a wreath class for me.

    I have a mixed green wreath with a few cones and a bow on my door. Even then my co designers laughed when they heard I made my own bow.

    Your's is natural and charming. Good start.

    xo jane

  6. Hi Belinda,

    I truly can't believe this is your first attempt. It looks brilliant.

    With the annoying stems that won't tuck in properly, you can overcome that by using stems that have slightly newer, softer growth at the ends. It doesn't matter for the beiginning stems as they're all tied in with the string to keep them in place but for the later stems, go for stems that taper fairly small at the end so they tuck in well.

    But it looks to me as though you don't need any tips at all. Well done, you!

    And thanks SO much for your gorgeous comments. 'Home-making wonder' is one o the nicest compliments I've ever been paid!


  7. Well done! A wreath I'd happily buy. I love the twiggy base and all the other natural elements you have used. I'm not at all into glitsy, artificial things, so from me, you definitely get a thumbs up!

  8. It's really quite nice, and if you will stop telling people that it's your first, they will not guess it. A good off season project for future years. Well done!

  9. Hi there, Alice, lovely to see you in this corner of blogland - glad you like the wreath, I'd give it to you if you lived nearby! Hope life is good with you.xx

    Jeanne, that's it I will have to get the snowberries on!

    From such a wreath maker, I am chuffed!

    Thanks Jane, don't believe you can't tie bows though!

    Well thank you Sarah, for getting me started! You how-to was awesome!

    Thanks for the kind words, Desiree.

    Thanks so much, Webb.

  10. Beautiful... you are very talented - am most envious. x

  11. Beautiful! I love that you used an invasive vine for the base : ). And the ribbon is so pretty! Is it velvet? What does "twee" mean??

  12. I like the "bit" unfinished look of your wreath. What makes it special too, is that you have picked the bits and pieces for it from your surroundings :)!

  13. Dear Belinda,

    Well done to you. Your wreath looks really great! I have been working on one today as well, but still have to find some white twigs or berries to put in.

    Wish you a great weekend!

    Lieve groet, Madelief

  14. S-E, beginner's luck maybe, but I think it is just one of those things you just have to practice and see what works, thanks for the encouragement!

    Hi Jaime, I've answered the questions on your blog, just to confuse!! I was commenting anyway, so...on I wittered!

    Mette, glad you 'got' the look!! I do like quite pared back wreaths, where the twigs show a bit - maybe a Nordic influence??

    You have such a great eye, Madelief, I know yours will be gorgeous - do we get to see a photo of it??

    Welcome to my blog, Sunshine, I just hopped over to your lovely blog and see you are Norwegian by heritage - we have close friends in Kristiansand and will be going over in a few weeks. What an amazingly beautiful country it is.

  15. Oh, utterly stunning, Belinda. I adore the hydrangea heads. Is that reddish willow? I have yet to make mine. I did have plans to make pinecones out of white air-drying clay. I think I'm being a little ambitious!

  16. Wow, thank you for the thorough definition! I don't know as we have an equivalent here in the States, other than "kitsch", which doesn't seem quite as nuanced. It would be a very useful term, if people knew what I was talking about! Maybe I will make it my mission . . .

  17. I love it! I've never dared have a go but you are making me wonder whether I should try!

  18. i will def go check out this post as i want to make my own next year. this year i bought 2 fresh wreaths and will save the form when christmas is over. i was planning on deconstructing them so this post will be v helpful. thanks.


  19. Hi Belinda - I have just seen your beautiful wreath featured on Sarah's blog and just had to pop over and congratulate you! I too had Sarah's little tutorial open on my laptop yesterday as I struggled with the twisting and turning of my stems (which just didn't want to co-operate!) I finally managed to achieve my base helped along with the stringy threads from some palm fronds. Mine definitely has a tropical feel about it. Off now to forage for some foliage from the garden - unfortunately ivy and pine cones are in rather scarce supply in this corner of the world! I hope my turns out 1/2 as beautiful as yours! ;)Sharyne