You might remember back in August when I wrote about the hand tied bouquet course I took part in with local florist Charlotte of Classic Flower Designs (click here if you don't!) Last weekend, I joined the Christmas wreath course, and I'm really proud of the finished product. I've said before that I dont have the daintiest of hands, but Charlotte makes it so simple to follow. There were a few more of us on this course which was great - it meant we could help each other out! I wish I took a few more photos of the stages, but I was so engrossed with making a beautiful wreath, I sort of forgot! Oops!
The next layer was adding the spruce. The colour of ours was a beautiful dusty green, almost blue. We cut our spruce down to the size we wanted our wreaths - I went big, about 5 inches - and then put the cut end into the moss, and secured with the wire. (Note: We havent cut any wire yet, we're constantly winding and winding around to secure it piece by piece. You can see the reel on the bottom left of the photo below.) I worked anti-clockwise, with my spruce facing clockwise. I guess it depends on if you're left or right handed? I learnt at the end that you have to secure it pretty tightly or it wobbles around, and I ended up undoing some so I could tighten it up.
The last layer before the decorating included lots of different types of holly, ivy and evergreens. I also hid a few mistletoe sprigs amongst it all. The process is the same as before, adding it piece by piece and wiring together, making sure you've got good circle in the middle and the edges aren't too messy. Once I was happy, I cut the wire and threaded it through the existing wire on the back, peeking out from when we attached the moss. Bear in mind that up to now, we'd probably taken about an hour and a half to get our shapes right!
Now, the bit I took the longest on.. decorating! Charlotte had ribbon, baubles, red berries, prickly holly.. all sorts! I knew I wanted mine to look quite vintage, so I chose a gingham ribbon, darker pieces of sliced dried orange, red and white baubles, red berries, pine cones and cinnamon.
First, we tied a pretend bow with the wire. I say pretend bow because we really didn't knot it. If I had a piece of ribbon in my hands now I probably couldn't do it again! We fastened the bow in the middle with more wire and cut off about 20cm from the reel, then hide the wire with an extra piece of ribbon... it was very clever. The slack of wire on the bow allowed me to fasten it to the wreath, push it through the greenery and moss until it popped out the back, and secure it to the original wire from the first stage, just like before.
The most difficult part was fastening everything in. The berries and holly were just pushed into the moss to secure them, but everything else is attached by wiring it and pushing the wire through the back. My wire kept bending and curling and it was a bit of a nightmare (meaning I was the last one to leave the class because I was still decorating!) but I got there in the end.
I'm so happy with how it looks! It's hanging inside at the moment as we didn't want to be the first neighbours with a wreath on the door, so I will be taking it down this weekend to give the moss a good soak to make sure it stays hydrated.
How are your holiday preparations coming along?
Many thanks to Charlotte for allowing me to take photos during the course!
You can check our Classic Flower Designs at their website - www.classicflowerdesigns.co.uk