Step by step photo tutorial
A lot of people have wreaths on their door at Christmas but this foraged wreath is a lovely to way to celebrate and welcome the onset of Spring. It does take a little bit of time but if you don’t rush it and dedicate some time to making it, you’ll find it’s actually quite relaxing and therapeutic. If you use string or raffia, rather than ribbon or wire, it's 100% biodegradable so when you’re done with it, you can just put it in the compost or your local green waste recycling.
About five lengths of hazel, willow or any young branches that have a bit of ‘bend’ in them. Aim for about a metre or so in length.
Some spring foliage – I used a mix of ivy with lots of berries on it, some mirabelle blossom from my garden and some wild rose hips I found in a hedge.
Scissors / secateurs
Raffia, string or twine
Step 1 - Making the base
Gently bend your lengths of hazel or whatever you’re using to 'warm them up' and make them a bit more pliable. You’ll be twisting them together and you don’t want them to snap.
Select your longest piece and then tie it in a rough, loose knot, as in the photo.
Take another length of hazel and then twist it around the first knot. This can get a bit fiddly and sometimes it takes a few goes to persuade them that they really do want to be entwined together.
Don’t worry about making a perfect circle or how neat it is, it doesn’t matter at the moment. Don't worry either about the ends sticking out, you can trim them later.
I always find that the first two lengths are the trickiest to twist round each other but from them on it gets easier.
Now repeat this step with the remaining lengths of hazel until you have a pretty solid wooden ring (as in the photo below).
As well as using hazel, I added a length of sycamore which has attractive buds on it at the moment to add a bit of texture.
This will be the base of your wreath.
Set it to one side while you make the garland which you’ll attach on to it later.
Step 3 - Making the garland
Select a piece of your foliage. You want a piece with quite a long stem and that is sturdy. Take a metre or so of string / raffia and tie one end to the stem of your piece of foliage.
You're aiming to create one long length of mixed foliage, so now, take another piece of foliage, hold it against the stem of the first piece and wind your string around both pieces, securing them together.
Take another piece of foliage, place it in front of the second piece, wind the string round and tie it on.
Now you just repeat this, alternating different varieties of foliage until you have a long garland. Try to vary your colours and textures as you go along and be as creative as you can. Remember - the end result will be quite rustic so you don't need to worry too much about being neat.
When your garland is long enough to wrap around the circumference of your base circle, tie the last piece on securely and trim the ends of the string (keep your knots to the back so you don’t see them on the end result).
You should now have about a metre long length of foliage, tied together securely.
(It's going to be tied onto the base so don't worry if some sections seem looser than others - you can sort this out in the next step).
Step 4 - Attaching the garland to the wreath base
Tie the top of the garland to the wreath base, keeping your knots to the back. Arrange the garland all the way around the wreath base, tying it on in a couple more places. Try to hide your string under large leaves so you don't see it from the front.
You should have something that looks a bit like this from the back. Don't forget to the trim the ends of your knots.
The final step is to spend a few minutes arranging the front of the wreath as you want it. If any knots are showing or there are places in the wreath that need filling out a little, use some sprigs of left-over foliage to fill any gaps.
And that's it! If you can resist the temptation to wear it as a flower crown and pretend you’re the Spring Fairy from Cinderella, it makes a beautiful, cheerful rustic wreath to hang on your door.
Let me know how you get on. I'd love to see your creativity in action! Post your wreaths to Instagram and tag them #vertelle.