Add a touch of natural beauty to your front door this Christmas with a unique and sustainable home made foliage wreath. Wreaths are easy to make with commonly grown (or responsibly foraged) branches of foliage and can be as simple or as ornate as you like - your only limit is your imagination!
- wreath base (20cm-40cm diameter)
- 40cm of string or ribbon for hanging loop
- florist’s wire or strong thread or twine
- a variety of foliage
- dried seed pods, pine cones, ribbons or decorations
The best foliage to use will hold its shape well and be able to remain out of water for a couple of weeks without wilting. Conifer branches, bay laurel, banksia and eucalyptus all work well, as do buxus (box) and rosemary. In hot climates dried foliage and flowers are a better option than fresh leaves that may only last a couple of days without wilting. Dried branches, twigs, flowers and grasses can also be included. Depending on the look you want from your finished wreath, choose a variety of foliage sizes, colours and textures.
- Attach a loop of string or ribbon to the back of the wreath base. This will be used to hang the completed wreath.
- Place the wreath base flat on a work surface and attach the florist’s wire or thread
- Cut the branches of the foliage to a uniform length. Twenty to 30cm is a good length, depending on the size of the wreath base; cut a couple of 'test' branches at different lengths and lay them on the wreath base to determine what will look the best.
- Remove the lower leaves from each branch so there is 5 to 10cm of bare stem.
- Gather two or three branches, make them into a small bunch, and place them on the hoop with the ends facing slightly outwards.
- Secure the branch by wrapping the florist’s wire or thread firmly around the wreath several times.
- Place the next bundle of branches so they overlap the first bunch, this time facing slightly inwards. Secure with wire or thread as before.
- Continue around the wreath alternating inward and outward facing bunches until the entire hoop is covered.
- Tuck the last group of branches in behind the first to complete the circle.
- Use wire or thread to attach decorations, seed pods or pine cones to the wreath.
Wreaths will last longer if they’re kept out of heat and direct sun, which can be a challenge in an Australian summer. If possible, hang the wreath in a shady spot. An alternative to the front door is to hang the wreath indoors facing a window, where it can still be admired from the street.
To dispose of the wreath responsibly, unravel the wire and put the foliage into the compost bin or council green waste. Keep the wire, decorations and wreath base to reuse next year.