Wreaths are part of Christmas decorating. But did you know that they are often made with non-recyclable materials such as styrofoam and plastic? It’s true it may make them last longer, but fresh garlands can really bring your wall or door to life. Why not make a wreath as part of your seasonal tradition each year? It’s easy to create a beautiful, eco-conscious Yuletide garland with items you can find in your garden, nearby park or forest along with some contents from your own home.
To begin, gather several long woody branches to form into a circle. Willow, elder or dogwood are good choices. If it is thick you may have to coax it by pulling it against your knee to help bend it. If you try to bend it straight away it may kink or snap. Starting in the middle make a circle the size you’d like your wreath. Weave the extra lengths on either end around the circle to keep it in form.
Take a couple more long lengths and twist them around the ring to add some bulk. Try to make sure the cut ends are not all on the same side. This will make it more even. You want it to be firmly wound but not so tight that there aren’t spaces to tuck the greens into. Tie a loop with some twine or wire where you’d like the top so you can hang the wreath. If you wait until the end to do this it becomes much more difficult.
Now it’s time to get creative. For a leafy wreath, gather pliable greenery to weave around it such as ivy, pine or evergreen, strands from the cuttings off your bushes or even brambles (if you’re brave!) Weave this around the wreath tucking the ends into the thicker wooden frame.
Tuck in some ornaments or holly, add a bow and voila, you have just created your very own Christmas wreath!
Now that you know the basics you can really get expressive. Perhaps you’d prefer something less leafy? Tuck in some small succulents in varying shades. Get imaginative with your adornments. Add fresh herbs or cinnamon to add some fragrance. Attach candy canes or sweets, cotton buds, pine cones, eryngium, seed pods, berries, dried oranges, ribbon, flowers, ornaments… you name it. The North Pole is the limit!
When the season is over it is easy to pick off the ornaments or items that aren’t recyclable, add them back to your bow bag, then simply toss the plant matter into the brown bin to be recycled with the rest of the garden waste.
When you’ve finished with your Christmas creation, pop a picture of it on our Facebook wall. We’d love to see it!