Today, we sat down with floral designer Leigh Chappell and floral photographer Janne Ford (who captured these images) to learn how to create the perfect winter wreath.
Leigh’s floral designs are mostly inspired by nature and seasonality with sustainability playing an important part in her ethos. “Flowers create emotions through their shapes, colours and scents, connecting us to nature. They have always been a part of our lives, satisfying our need for natural beauty and reminding us of the rhythm of the seasons. A flower is beautiful in every stage of its life, the delicate bud blooms as a flower to become a fragile and papery stem as it fades. Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter – each of our seasons reveals its own floral treasures”.
How to make a Christmas wreath
For your foraged winter wreath, you’ll need the following:
- Small amount of Moss (if you can’t find moss, pet straw will be fine)
- Wire wreath ring (we used a 10” but they come in various sizes depending on the size of your door)
- Ribbons (natural dyed if possible) -
- Garden twine
- Foliage… the following are suggestions
- Bracken and anything that has dried in situ like seed heads.
Go foraging…… First of all, working out where near you it’s allowed. There are quite strict bye-laws around this, so it’s worth checking online.
Forage for things that you like the look of, trying to include a variety of textures and colours. Bear in mind that not all things will last in a wreath but the suggestions in the above list will help. You should be able to get most materials on a river or park walk, just make sure you forage respectively (look up the foraging laws online first). If you live in an urban environment and you’ve struggled to find suitable foraged materials, head to your local florist where you can get everything you need.
Attach the moss (or pet straw) around the wreath by holding a handful in place on the ring and winding the string around the moss and ring to attach it, then moving on to the next handful and so on. Make sure the string is secured tightly when you have added all the moss.
At this stage, you should be ready to attach the twigs. In order to do this, cut the twigs to have a very sharp end. This is so they can be pushed into the moss. After pushing the twigs into the moss, attach them firmly to the ring using the string, gently folding them against the wreath, leaving little bits standing out which will become part of your design. When it comes to adding foliage, again, push the sharp cut edges of the stems into the moss to lodge them in amongst the string and twigs, to hold them in place. The shape is completely up to you; some people like a perfectly round wreath, whilst others prefer wild and asymmetrical. Be creative and remember that there is no right and wrong….make it look the way you like it!
Add the ribbon using a pin to push into the moss or tie it around the wreath ring. To make a bow or not is up to you.
Make a loop of string through your wreath, knot it, hang it on the door, then step back and admire your creation. Mist with a plant spray every few days to keep the foliage fresh over the holiday period.
Tips and considerations
- Before you use the foliage, soak it in water for at least half a day. It’s important to do this to ensure the foliage is kept fresh. Once it’s been cut from its roots, it needs to be soaked in water to maintain a level of freshness. To continue to keep it fresh, spray it every couple of days with a plant spray.
- Think about the size of your front door, your wreath needs to fit.
Leigh and Janne run workshops together covering floral techniques and how to create images for instagram. Leigh’s winter workshops are fully booked unfortunately, but she still has spaces for her spring workshops, so to learn the art of wreath making and other floral techniques.
Ribbons are from @thenaturaldyeworks. To learn how to dye ribbons and use them for styling, head over to The Natural Dyeworks Ribbons.