MAKE

Make a contemporary Christmas wreath

December 4, 2017

It’s been a while since we blogged about making fresh foliage Christmas wreaths. So, when Sarah Diligent of Floribunda Rose invited me to join one of her workshops to learn how to make a contemporary Christmas wreath, I decided it was time to try something fresh. I love Sarah’s approach to flowers. She uses British-grown and foraged flowers and foliage as much as possible and has an effortless design style.

Sarah’s workshop is in the rural Hampshire village of Eversley. I was feeling slightly frazzled when I arrived at her door on a bitterly cold frosty December morning. I’d spent much of the drive over crawling behind a wide range of slow-going agricultural vehicles. Along miles of winding country lanes with few places to overtake. Trying not to watch the time ticking by…

how to make contemporary christmas wreath with floribunda rose wreath workshopsfloribunda rose wreath workshopshow to make contemporary fresh christmas wreath with Sarah of floribunda rose workshop

The other side of the workshop door was a warm and welcoming space full of the fragrance of cinnamon, mulled wine and flickering scented candles. Sarah welcomed me with a really good cup of tea and a mince pie.  I was back on track and ready to get creative with foliage.

how to make contemporary fresh christmas wreath with Sarah of floribunda rose workshophow to make contemporary fresh christmas wreath with Sarah of floribunda rose workshophow to make contemporary fresh christmas wreath with Sarah of floribunda rose workshop

Sarah started the workshop by showing us how to create the basic wreath. She’d actually already made us one each, so we could, as she put it ‘concentrate on the exciting creative bit.’ But she wanted us to know how she’d done it.

how to make a contemporary christmas wreath with Sarah Diligent of Floribunda Rose workshops

To make the basic wreath

You start off with a metal wreath frame in the size you choose. Sarah gets hers from her flower market, but she told us you can buy them from Hobbycraft amongst other places.

DIY christmas wreath - how to make a contemporary fresh christmas wreath with Floribunda Rose workshops

Next step is to incorporate generous handfuls of damp moss and holding in place by winding floristry wire around as you go. The key is to keep the depth and shape as even as you can.

how to make contemporary fresh christmas wreath with Sarah of floribunda rose workshop

After the moss has been added, it’s time to add the basic greenery. You can use off cuts from your Christmas tree. Or try asking your local tree farm or supplier if they could let you have their off cuts.

how to make contemporary fresh christmas wreath with Sarah of floribunda rose workshop

The trick with this bit is to create a shaper point by cutting the ends on a diagonal. This should make it easier to push the ends through the moss and position.

Start in one place and then work your way around, going in one direction and adding pieces as you go until you’re happy with the basic shape.

DIY Christmas wreath - how to make contemporary fresh christmas wreath with Sarah of floribunda rose workshop

Decorating the wreath

This was the part I was really looking forward to. I’d spied some beautiful pink peppercorns in a jug and really wanted to add some. I also wanted to add  juniper and lavender foliage for fragrance and to add feathered texture, some dark berries and paler green shades. Sarah produced a box of dried hops and I decided I liked what they added too…

how to make contemporary fresh christmas wreath with Sarah of floribunda rose workshophow to make contemporary fresh christmas wreath with Sarah of floribunda rose workshop

The technique for adding in the decorations is the same as adding the basic foliage. If possible, you cut a diagonal end, poke through in position and ensure the end isn’t coming out the other side.

how to make contemporary fresh christmas wreath with Sarah of floribunda rose workshop

If, like the pink peppercorns, the ends are too fine or delicate to poke through this way, you attach by using a length of florist’s wire. The technique is to cut a short length of wire, then bend it over like a hair pin before positioning it over the stalk of the piece you’re wanting to attach and poke through. Any ends that come right through can be bent over.

As you work, it’s important to keep an eye on the overall shape and balance – and to work out where the top will be.

DIY christmas wreath - how to make contemporary fresh christmas wreath with Sarah of floribunda rose workshophow to make contemporary fresh christmas wreath with Sarah of floribunda rose workshop

My wreath was starting to take shape. All it needed now was some frosted fruit. I’d spotted the glass jars full of sparkling golden pears and rosy apples – but wrongly assumed they were fake.  It turns out they were real fruit that had been dipped in wax and sprinkled with sparkle. Which made me love them even more.

how to make a contemporary christmas wreathhow to make contemporary fresh christmas wreath with Sarah of floribunda rose workshop

I decided to go for the rosy apples because I liked the way they looked with the pink peppercorns.

The knack to adding the fruit is to take two lengths of floristry wire and poke each through the base of the apple and then fold back and around to create one length of wire with an apple secured at one end. This gets poked through in the same way as the foliage and other decorations.

There was a box of beautiful ribbons to choose from but I decided to keep mine simple and decided not to add a bow.

To create the wire hanger, you take two pieces of strong florist’s wire and create a strong loop which gets poked in and back around at the point that you’ve chosen as your top.

Christmas wreath DIY -how to make a contemporary christmas wreath with frosted apples, pink peppercorns, juniper and hops...how to make a contemporary christmas wreathhow to make contemporary fresh christmas wreath with Sarah of floribunda rose workshop

Update for 2019

I’ve just spent another wonderful day at a wreath making workshop – this year at The Sussex Flower School.

I went for a wilder look this time, using lots of evergreen foliage, pheasant feathers, seed heads and ivy. See image below.

love this wild christmas wreath with feathers, fir, evergreen foliage, seed heads and a blush pink oyster grey cotton ribbon. Click through for more DIY tutorial and lots of creative ideas for making your own Christmas wreath you'll love to make

One extra piece of information I wanted to add here in particular are easy step by steps to making your own moss-filled ring base as we didn’t cover that in the workshop above.

How to create the moss-covered circular base

1 Take a 10 inch flat or raised wire ring

2 Attach a reel of florists wire onto the frame

3 Make handfuls of sphagnum moss and bind securely to and within the frame. Keep them roughly the same size as you go.

4 Create a hook, with a 1.22 wire and mark this point with raffia so you know where your top is

5 Cut base evergreen foliages such as blue spruce, conifer, pine etc into pieces (some like ‘hands’ to spread over the front and some like ‘fingers’ ie straight single pieces for adding around the inside and outside edges

6 Attach to moss base covering covering all three sides by winding wire around and through the pieces. If you’re right handed, hold fingers to the left. Left handed fingers to the right.

7 Tie off wire at back

The rest of the steps are as above.

I had the best day at The Sussex Flower School making this wreath. I went for a slightly wilder look with feathers and a more natural, muted colour scheme.

 

Contemporary Christmas Wreath inspiration – more ideas to inspire

The basic technique is that same as above, but you can change things up depending on the foliage you go for. Here are some creative contemporary Christmas wreath ideas I love…

white flowers dried christmas wreath for a winter white contemporary look using everlasting white dried flowers and honesty. click through to find out more #christmas #wreath #white #flowers #dried 

This beautiful dried flower wreath in Winter whites is by Kirsten Mackay of Henthorn Farm Flowers. Using a handmade wisteria wreath ring, dried anaphalis, helicrysum and honesty are combined to create a contemporary, ethereal look. 

Kirsten has kindly shared her step by steps to creating this wreath to help you make one just like it:

I used a base of wisteria vine, woven into a wreath and then left to dry and harden. You can use any type of vine to make your own – be that ivy, grape, clematis or even long lengths of willow. But the key is to form it into shape while the wood is still fresh and flexible.

I wrap twine or wire around the frame to give me more anchor points and then I carefully thread my stems through the open structure.

This creatures a loose, airy and delicate wreath where the plant material appears to float.

The honesty needs to be carefully peeled on both sides to reveal the moon like disc and cut to size.

I use other dried white flowers to lighten the look and add interest. Dried gypsophila works well as do the tiny flowers of Anaphlasis triplinervis which is a perennial plant I grow especially for drying.

To finish, weave through some dried white helichrysum and add a wire hook to the back.

white flowers dried christmas wreath for a winter white contemporary look using everlasting white dried flowers and honesty. click through to find out more #christmas #wreath #white #flowers #dried

Based in beautiful Clitheroe in Lancashire, Henthorn Farm Flowers grow seasonal and sustainable cut blooms for weddings, events, workshops and farm gate sales. 

I absolutely love their organic ethos and natural style, and will be featuring Kirsten over on the blog shortly – so watch this space!

This dried flower wreath is available to order for £70. To order one, contact Kirsten via Instagram here

love this contemporary christmas wreath with peacock feathers, eucalyptus and fir by Philippa Craddock. Click through for easy step by steps to creating your own beautiful contemporary fresh natural foliage christmas wreath #frombritainwithlove #christmaswreath #creativechristmas #naturaldecorations #foraged #homemadechristmaslove this contemporary christmas wreath with peacock feathers, eucalyptus and fir by Philippa Craddock. Click through for easy step by steps to creating your own beautiful contemporary fresh natural foliage christmas wreath

Love this combination of eucalyptus, fir and peacock feathers by Philippa Craddock (listed in our directory here). Philippa offers a range of workshops as well as a stunning range of faux flowers from her online shop.

love this unusual dried flower christmas wreath by Worm London. Click through for more ideas and simple step by steps to creating your own beautiful Christmas wreath

I love this unusual dried flower wreath by East London florists Worm, c0-founded by Katie Smyth and Terri Chandler (they offer various workshops including a Christmas Wreath making one. Get more details here).

love this book Wreaths by cool florists Worm London full of contemporary christmas wreath making ideas you'll lovelove this rustic foraged wild christmas wreath by Katie Smyth and Terri Chandler of florists Worm London. Click through for step by steps and other DIY Christmas wreath ideas you'll love to try

For more wonderful wreath-making ideas, Terri and Katie have written the most beautiful book on the subject, Wreaths, which you can order on Amazon here

Here’s a peek at a few of the ideas you’ll find inside and on their Instagram gallery.

love this giant fresh foliage christmas wreath by Worm London. Click through for step by steps on making your own wreath as well as other beautiful ideas you'll lovelove this giant fresh christmas wreath by Worm london. Click through for more beautiful fresh christmas wreath ideas you'll love to make #frombritainwithlove #christmaswreath #handmadechristmas #foraged #naturalchristmaslove this twig and natural foraged lichen pine cone christmas wreath. click through for more beautiful natural christmas wreath ideas you'll love to make #frombritainwithlove #christmaswreath #creativechristmas #naturaldecorations #foraged #homemadechristmas

How gorgeous is this giant wreath (below) made by Sarah of Simply by Arrangement and photographed by Sarah Mason (www.sarahmasonphoto.co.uk)?

adore this giant and rustic holiday christmas wreath by Sarah Statham florist of Simply by Arrangement of yorkshire and lancashire. Click through for more creative and simple ideas to try from other creative UK florists too along with simple DIY step by step tutorial to making your own wreath #christmaswreath #howtomake #tutorial #freshwreath #frombritainwithlove

Sarah made a base using copper pipe that she built up with lots of moss and textural foliage – dried thyme, mimosa, eucalyptus, berries, lichen-covered twigs and a few pheasant feathers.

copper base giant christmas wreath

adore this giant and rustic holiday christmas wreath by Sarah Statham florist of Simply by Arrangement of yorkshire and lancashire. Click through for more creative and simple ideas to try from other creative UK florists too along with simple DIY step by step tutorial to making your own wreath #christmaswreath #howtomake #tutorial #freshwreath #frombritainwithlove adore this giant and rustic holiday christmas wreath by Sarah Statham florist of Simply by Arrangement of yorkshire and lancashire. Click through for more creative and simple ideas to try from other creative UK florists too along with simple DIY step by step tutorial to making your own wreath #christmaswreath #howtomake #tutorial #freshwreath #frombritainwithlove adore this giant and rustic holiday christmas wreath by Sarah Statham florist of Simply by Arrangement of yorkshire and lancashire. Click through for more creative and simple ideas to try from other creative UK florists too along with simple DIY step by step tutorial to making your own wreath #christmaswreath #howtomake #tutorial #freshwreath #frombritainwithlove

This idea is by Treasures & Travels – to get the simple steps to making a giant wreath click here

how to make a giant fresh christmas wreath. click through for step by step tutorial and lots of other inspiring wreath ideas #christmas #wreath #tutorial #giant

The lovely Sarah at Pod & Pip (listed in our directory here) also offers creative wreath-making workshops as well as fresh wreaths available to buy. Love these two made by her – both using deep red colours and pheasant feathers.

love this fresh fir, eucalyptus and pheasant feather christmas wreath by Pod & Pip. Click through for more beautiful and simple to make ideas for your own christmas wreaths. #frombritainwithlove #christmaswreath #creativechristmas #naturaldecorations #foraged #homemadechristmas love this fresh fir, pheasant feather and deep red hydrangea christmas wreath by Pod & Pip. Click through for more beautiful and simple to make ideas for your own christmas wreaths. #frombritainwithlove #christmaswreath #creativechristmas #naturaldecorations #foraged #homemadechristmas

Also really like this combination of pine cones, pheasant feathers, ivy and seed heads by Rachel Petheram of Catkin Flowers (listed in our directory here)

love this pheasant feather, ivy and pine cone christmas wreath by Catkin flowers. Click through for simple to make ideas so you can make your own beautiful christmas wreath

Also by Rachel is this stunning combination of dried and fresh materials. Dried ferns and hydrangea contrast beautifully with fresh greenery, chinese lanterns and pink peppercorns. 

christmas wreath by Rachel Petheram combining dried ferns, pink peppercorns, dried hydrangea, chinese lanterns and seasonal greenery. #christmas #wreath #chineselanterns #orange #dried #frombritainwithlove

And here’s Rachel demonstrating a pretty frosted white wreath at one of her workshop. Love the idea of combining silvery eucalyptus with fragrant white stephanotis, foraged twigs, love-in-a-mist purple seed heads and greenery.

contemporary white christmas wreath silver and white combining eucalyptus, white stepahonotis and fritillaria #christmaswreath #silver #white #frombritainwithlove

The Real Flower Company is always a great source of ideas. Love this wreath they made for the Chelsea Cabbages & Roses shop

love this rustic christmas wreath with fir, pine cones, eucalyptus, poink peppercorns and twigs by The Real Flower Company. click through for inspiring DIY Christmas wreath ideas you'll love to try

And how gorgeous is this simple rustic wreath using a willow hoop, olive leaves, eucalyptus and some simple blooms, from one of The Real Flower Company’s wreath making workshops?

love this simple willow olive and eucalyptus leaf christmas wreath in the process of being made by The Real Flower Company. Click through for simple DIY Christmas wreath step by steps and lots more creative ideas you'll love to try love this simple willow olive and eucalyptus leaf christmas wreath in the process of being made along with pretty roses by The Real Flower Company. Click through for simple DIY Christmas wreath step by steps and lots more creative ideas you'll love to try pretty rustic christmas wreath using roses, olive leaves, eucalyptus and wild flowers by The Real Flower Company. Click through for more DIY wreath ideas you'll love to try

For a contemporary take on traditional dried orange wreaths, what about this beauty also by RFC? It’s available to buy here

where to buy this contemporary christmas wreath eucalpytus, ivy, bay, pink peppercorns, dried citrus fruit and eco friendly moss #christmas #wreath #ecofriendly #oranges #citrus #fruit #foraged #frombritainwithlove

Love the combination of eucalyptus, fir, ivy, bay, pink peppercorns and dried citrus fruits. It’s the wild, abundant look and how the colours work together, that makes it, don’t you think?

And how beautiful are these creations by wonderful Brighton florist Kate Langdale?:

love this contemporary giant christmas wreath with willow, pampas, hydgrangea and fir by Kate Langdale florist of Brighton. Click through for more creative and simple ideas to try by Kate as well as other creative UK floristslove this contemporary giant christmas wreath with willow, pampas, hydgrangea and fir by Kate Langdale florist of Brighton. Click through for more creative and simple ideas to try by Kate as well as other creative UK floristsadore this giant and simple green fir contemporary christmas wreath by Kate Langdale florist of Brighton. Click through for more creative and simple ideas to try by Kate as well as other creative UK floristslove the combination of hydrangea, willow wreath and fir for these contemporary christmas wreaths by Kate Langdale florist of Brighton. Click through for more creative and simple ideas to try by Kate as well as other creative UK florists

INFORMATION


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Floribunda Rose is listed in the From Britain with Love directory

Get all the info you need to connect with Floribunda Rose from the listing >>

The Real Flower Company is listed in the From Britain with Love directory here >>

Floribunda Rose is listed in the From Britain with Love directory here >>

Catkin Flowers is listed in the From Britain with Love directory here >>

Philippa Craddock is listed in the From Britain with Love directory here >>

Pod & Pip is listed in the From Britain with Love directory here >>

 

Feeling inspired? Take a look at the Creative Workshops category in our Directory, where you’ll find a variety of inspiring courses, from art and crafts to fashion and beautyinteriorscooking and flower & gardening.

If you run a creative course that would interest our readers, please get in touch. Email us at editor@frombritainwithlove.com

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6 Comments

  • Paulina December 3, 2019 at 8:01 am

    Hello! Thank you for posting this wonderful, helpful guide to wreath-making. I just have a question – how long do the wreaths survive? If I make mine today, could it be alive and well on Christmas Day? If there are some techniques to assure the livelihood of a natural wreath, could you please share? Thank you!

    • Laura Dunkley December 3, 2019 at 8:45 am

      I’m so glad! So, I made mine around the end of November and it looked perfect all over Christmas and was still going strong when it was time to take it down in January. The frosted apples needed to be removed but the rest of it would have lasted for weeks and weeks more. Sarah told us to keep it cool and not be tempted to store indoors before hanging. The other tip Sarah shared was to ideally hang somewhere that is slightly sheltered from rain. Mine was only slightly sheltered by overhanging porch rafters, but I think it did help. Hope that’s useful and hope you enjoy making yours!

      • Paulina December 3, 2019 at 10:12 am

        Thank you, that was really helpful 🙂 I’m so glad I stumbled across your blog, I think I’ll visit more often 🙂 all the best!

        • Laura Dunkley October 13, 2020 at 12:20 pm

          You’re very welcome – hope you find more ideas to enjoy 😊

  • Elizabeth Bertenshaw December 24, 2019 at 8:25 pm

    Lovely! Thanks for sharing. Also wanted to comment on the antique clippers seen under the basic wreath heading and shown with the red twine. They also are featured in some other blog posts. I have inherited my mother’s as well as her mother’s. I can remember them both being used to cut various flowers in their gardens as well as make many floral crafts and arrangements. I now use and cherish them.

    • Laura Dunkley October 13, 2020 at 12:19 pm

      Those clippers sound like very precious possessions! I would love to be able to follow in my mother’s footsteps and cut flowers with her old clippers 😊

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