Handmade Christmas: A Wreath for the Door
I just love it when people decorate the outside of their houses for Christmas, lights on the trees outside and a huge wreath on the door. I think it's fantastic when people make the effort, and the streets feel just that little bit prettier and cheerier. Certainly driving home in the dark is a lot nicer when you can do a bit of 'christmas light spotting'. We always pick a winner for who we think pulled the stops out the most.
Since we moved house we have started to make a bit of an effort ourselves on the outside decoration front. Before, our whole house was hidden behind a wall so there was no point other than putting candles in the upstairs windows, however one thing we never failed to put up was a lovely Christmas wreath on our front door. Usually we would buy them from the florists, however a few years ago I made a simple willow one at Centerparcs that my Mum accessorised. This year I decided to go one further and take part in a local wreath making class to try my hand at making a proper professional looking wreath using real, fresh foliage.
I really enjoyed this class, it was held by Jennifer Borthwick, At The Studio and I had such a lovely evening with the other ladies taking part. Jennifer was a wonderful instructor, who made the wreath making look oh so easy in her demonstrations! She had gathered a huge variety of foliage for us to experiment with, I was particularly drawn to the eucalyptus, and we also had other decorations to use such as dried oranges, cinnamon sticks and pinecones. There really was the most gorgeous smell in the room when you first entered from these accoutrements!
We all started off with a soaked oasis, and were allowed to get started with whatever we wanted. I wanted to create a wreath with a longer trailing bottom so started off with that. Initially I felt it a little frustrating as I felt like I was just making a huge mess, however Jennifer was on hand to advise and guide us and I soon felt like the wreath was coming together nicely. It was important to ensure that all of the oasis was covered, so I filled in the outer edges first and creating the shape before then filling in from the outside. I was so pleased with how my wreath turned out in the end - especially when we added extra decorations such as the oranges and the ribbons! I had started wanting quite a natural feeling, wildflowery style wreath, but ended up going for more of a traditional Victorian Christmas Carol look - once we put the red bow on in the end I felt that tied it all in together really well, and I loved how the trailing ends looked! One thing we commented on at the class was that it was amazing that we had access to all the same materials, and yet everyones wreaths came out looking so different. Jennifer was a wonderful host, and as well as leading the workshop had also baked a very tasty banana cake to keep us all going through the evening. She has a lovely studio venue which felt very festive with strings of twinkly lights and other arrangements decorating the room. It had a cosy atmosphere and was small enough where you could have a conversation with everyone, not just those decorating directly opposite or next to you. I think the smaller class sizes made a big difference also, I have been to workshops before where there has been a large attendance, and always felt like it only takes two or three people to take up the instructors time and make you feel like you you've not quite received the help that was necessary. This was definitely not the case with this workshop, there were 5 of us in total, including Jennifer and I think this definitely contributed to a relaxed, intimate atmosphere where we could chatter away and also each receive plenty of advice on our how to construct our wreaths. Jennifer was also quick to send me a lovely message after class to thank me for coming along, and complimenting my finished wreath, which I really appreciated.
Thank you to Jennifer for organising such a super class, I would definitely come along again and I definitely want to keep up the wreath making practice. Would it look a little strange if I did different seasonal ones all year round? Next I think I will try and make a table centrepiece, with candles! I've found that I've started pinning and saving pictures of different wreaths as table top pieces as inspiration now. My Mum was very impressed with the wreath and we have it up on our front door, where it looks very grand & I have received some lovely feedback on Facebook from my friends, where I posted the picture. I think I have just added another new hobby to my repertoire!
Have you made a wreath before, or perhaps you have an interest in flowers? Let me know in the comments below!
See you tomorrow,