Last week, as a birthday treat, my friend Michaela from the beautiful Swedish House at Home, showed me how to make my own handmade Christmas wreath. Growing up in Sweden, Michaela grew to love the outdoors – the harsh weather and lack of natural light during the long winter months, and the bright sun-drenched summers when the sun barely sets – where picnics in the snow, outdoor barbecues in the winter, and foraging for wild blueberries and strawberries was the norm. So it only made sense, that if anyone was going to make a handmade Christmas wreath from their natural surroundings, it would be Michaela.
And I was in for a treat. She lives in the beautiful Gloucestershire countryside, so we foraged for ivy, herbs and laurel from her garden and the surrounding country lanes, and put our wreaths together next to the warmth of her aga, with a pot of hot steaming coffee and copious amounts of candles (they do this in Sweden!). It was idyllic.
This is how we did it:
1.We went foraging in the country lanes for twigs, ivy (hanging off the trees), laurel and rosemary (from Michaela’s garden).
2. We bent long twigs into a circle and secured with twine. We kept going until we had a relatively solid base with which to work.
3. We then threaded tendrils of ivy through and around the twig circle.
4. Once the twigs were pretty much covered with ivy, we started adding other bits of greenery to add texture.
5. We threaded clumps of rosemary into the wreath (the scent is amazing), as well as sprigs of laurel with it’s pretty white flowers. You could also use holly and/or sprigs of pine if you prefer something a little more traditional.
6. The finishing touches: twine knotted at the top to hang the wreath on the door, and some festive ribbon. You could go for something gold and sparkly (as above) or go bold with a bright red or pink.