Inger Cessford visits ‘The Workshop’ at Sally Bourne Interiors in London’s Crouch End and learns to make a professional looking Christmas wreath using fresh foliage and festive trimmings. Use the technique to make your own wreath in any colour/foliage combination you like. We made the wreath above after the course using nordic spruce, white berries and pine cones we frosted with matt white paint.
Christmas is almost here and it’s that time when we look forward to to decorating our homes to create a warm welcome for friends, family and visitors over the festive season. I always think that an eye-catching wreath really sets the scene for the festivities, and as I headed across London I was looking forward to discovering the tricks of the trade that would enable me to make my very own handmade wreath for the first time, to proudly display on my front door.
Based in London’s Crouch End, ‘The Workshop’ is a delightfully creative environment created by Sally Bourne Interiors, which includes a fabulous workshop space alongside a retail shop offering a whole array of beautiful ribbons, yarns and crafty-inspired gifts.
After a welcoming cup of coffee we were given a short introduction by our course tutor Rachel, a professional florist who has a particular interest in using foliage in her designs. Then it was time to get started on our own wreath designs…
First of all, we took a 10 inch brass ring and packed it tightly with fresh moss, before wiring it on using floristry wire to form a sound base. Rachel explained that by using moss for the base, we’d be able to refresh the wreath and stop it from drying out, as it got closer to Christmas.
As we busily worked away, Rachel explained the history behind wreaths and how they can be used as wonderful expressions of celebration using flowers for weddings or birthdays throughout the year, and not just at Christmas.
With the moss base completed, we moved on to cutting fronds of fir tree foliage, using the floristry scissors provided, to create the main body of our wreaths. Rachel advised us to cut all the pieces we were likely to need right at the start as this makes it easier and quicker to create the finished ‘look’ of the wreath.
The fir fronds were placed overlapping in a clockwise direction, as it can look discordant if they go in different directions, and were carefully wired on as we followed the shape of the ring. At this point I noticed each person’s individual style starting to be expressed, and while some of us created very neat compact wreaths, others allowed a wilder and more free look to evolve.
With the bases finished, next we started the exciting process of decorating and dressing our wreaths. We were supplied with ribbon, cinnamon sticks, raffia, pine cones, slices of dried orange and apple, and bright red ilex berries. After we’d been shown how to wire each of our individual decorative pieces together, we were guided through how to fix them securely to our wreaths.
Rachel advised that the decorations can be placed at random or in uniform groups, depending on your own personal preference. For the finishing touch we applied some festive ribbon bows, either using the ribbons supplied or by purchasing some of the more luxurious options available in the shop. Rachel explained that anything goes on a wreath and that this was our opportunity to be as creative as we wanted to be.
The three hours spent at the workshop just flew by and each of us left proudly clutching our handmade wreaths to adorn our front doors this Christmas.
Find out about the range of craft courses offered at The Workshop at Sally Bourne Interiors.
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