Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year, how could it not be? I am so looking forward to buying a tree, putting up decorations, watching D wrap presents, roasting chestnuts in the oven and then complaining about how hard they are to open, singing carols, and doing lots of fun Christmas activities with A and E. But as a special (pre-)advent gift this year, I thought I might treat myself to a craft activity; and so last weekend I went to Layhams Farm Shop for a wreath making workshop. I have been there a few times before for children’s activities, and whilst serenity may have come more easily if I had not being able to see and hear A and E in the play area (under my mum’s watchful eye), I was (almost) able to manage a few relaxing Christmassy hours to myself.
I turned up rather nervous as I had never done anything of this sort before. I was also on my own and worried I would be Billy no mates; thankfully most other people had gone alone! As soon as I arrived I was offered tea, and found a place to work. I did purposely find a spot from where I could see the play area, just to be able to check my mum was okay.
A soon as everyone else arrived we got to work. The ‘teacher’ was so lovely and made me feel at ease straight away. She led us through each step before we then took our turn; this was ideal for me as it meant just a few instructions in one go, and assistance every step of the way.
The hardest part of the method for me was the bow. I was almost finished off by a bow. I never thought it was possible to get so worked up by such a pretty thing, but I did nearly give up at one point as it just didn’t seem worth it. I am glad I didn’t give up though, as it really does finish the whole thing off! So, without further ado, this is how I made a wreath!
We started with a metal ring (this one was purchased from a florist wholesalers).
To this we attached moss as tightly as possible, using a thin metal ‘florists’ wire. Once the wreath was filled with moss, it was necessary to go around once again with the wire, just to ensure it was securely attached.
After that we attached the cuttings of fir (and holly); again using the ‘florists’ wire. All of the fir had to be attached in the same direction in order to completely hide the subsequent layers. I added approximately two pieces of fir and a small piece of holly each time, though occasionally more was required. It was important to try to make sure a ‘full’ wreath was forming in all directions; however, it was possible to fill any gaps at the end if necessary.
Then it was time to add the dreaded bow. To make this we simply made a bow and then fixed it in place by twisting a thicker ‘stick’ of wire around it and then imply poking this into the moss to hold it in place. As I said before, this was the hardest part of the entire workshop. I am clearly not a natural bow-maker. But I did eventually manage it before any tears were shed.
And then it was time to decorate. We were provided with a range of dried fruit pieces and fir cones and were free to add anything we liked. I fully believe in the saying that ‘less is more’ (except when it comes to Christmas trees) so I didn’t add too much. In order to add our chosen items we had to thread/wrap pieces of the thicker ‘stick’ metal wire (just as with the bow), twist the wire to hold the objects in place, and then push the wire through the moss to hold the whole thing in place on the wreath.
The final finishing touch was to add a few plastic berries to some of the holly!
And there we have it, my very own Christmas wreath, already proudly displayed on our door (it is so big and mossy I have nowhere to keep it indoors so it went straight to the door when I returned home!).
We were given more of the thicker wire to take home, in case we wanted to add further objects. I am tempted to try and source a few cinnamon sticks and maybe a couple of baubles. I will have to see what I can find!
Overall it was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon in which I was able to completely immerse myself in a very different sort of task. I also don’t believe (having made one) that it is possible to do it badly (though you may disagree, having seen my product), so would recommend the workshop to anyone of any talent!