Make Your Own Traditional Christmas Door Wreath


The Christmas wreath, for me,  is  an integral  part  of Xmas decor.  I  take  huge  pride  in  my   Christmas  wreath,  as  everyone  sees  it when they  pass  your  home.  It's also the  first  thing  guests  see  when   they  arrive  for  celebrations!  The  thing  is,  a  pretty  Xmas  wreath  can  often  cost  more  than  buying  the  Xmas  tree!  Go  to  a  florist  and   you'll  be  looking  at  £100+  for  anything  detailed.  Even  local  flower  markets  charge  a  good  £30-£40  for  a   basic  'real'  wreath  base  with  no  frills.  Yet with  a  bit  of  prep,  a  bit  of  foraging  and  a  glue  gun,  you  can   create  a  really  professional-looking,  real  Xmas  wreath  for  less  than  £20.  

Every  year  I  make  the  Xmas  wreath  for  our  house and  I  find  it  really  enjoyable.  I  whack  on  the Xmas   music,  pour  myself  a  (large)  sherry  and  it  gets  me  in  the  mood  for  Xmas  like  nothing  else!

This  year I'm delighted to be part of the #swifthomehacks campaign! When Swiftcover asked me to share a couple of my simple Xmas DIY's, I made  the Xmas  wreath  pictured - and  I'll  show  you  how  you  can copy it.

PART 1: ITS ALL ABOUT THE PREP

DRY  OUT  SOME  SLICES  OF  ORANGE

You  can  buy  dried  orange  slices  in  craft  stores,  but  they  are  so  easy  to  make.  After  you've  turned  the   oven  off  one  night  after  cooking,  slice  up  an  orange  thickly  and  lay  the  slices  on  some  baking  paper  in   the  hot  (but  turned  off)  oven  and  leave  them  overnight.  In  the  morning  take  the  slices  out  of  the  cold   oven  and  leave  them  on  the  side  for  24  hours.  What  you  will  have  at  the  end  are  hardened  orange  slices.

Slice oranges about 1cm thick.

Slice oranges about 1cm thick.

DRY  OUT  SOME  HYDRANGEA  HEADS

If  you  had  a  hydrangea  plant  in  your  garden  over  summer,  go  outside  and  cut  off  the  now   red/green/brownish  heads  and  hang  them  over  your  cooker (or  on  a  bright,  dry  window  sill)  for  a  few   days.  The  heads  will  dry  out , but  won't  crumble  and  shouldn't  lose  their  colour.  

Leave cut hydrangea heads to dry out for a few days on a window sill.

Leave cut hydrangea heads to dry out for a few days on a window sill.

BUY  SOME  CINNAMON  STICKS  FROM  THE  SUPERMARKET

You'll  find  these  in  the  aisle  with  the  herbs.  Group  them  together  in  bunches  of  3  and  tie  them  with   some  decorative  ribbon  or  twine.

Group cinnamon sticks in bunches of three.

Group cinnamon sticks in bunches of three.

GO  FORAGING  FOR  PINE  CONES,  STRONG  FOLIAGE  &  BERRIES

The  base  of  your  wreath  will  be  made  up  of  foliage  to  bulk  it  out.  The  trick  here  is  to  get  really  strong   foliage  that  won't  wilt  after  a  week.  A  real  Xmas  door  wreath  should  last  about  3 to 4  weeks,  so  you  need   foliage  that  will  stand  the  test  of  time.  I  can't  say  I'm  an  expert  when  it  comes  to  foliage  names,  but  look   around  and  see  what  foliage  has  thick  and  strong  leaves- nothing  that  'flops'  when  you  pick  and  hold  it   up  basically.  Ivy,  bay  leaves  and  holly  leaves  are  all  good.  Hedgerow  is  best  as  it's  strong  and  evergreen.

Pick strong foliage with woody bases that won't wilt for a few weeks.

Pick strong foliage with woody bases that won't wilt for a few weeks.

Go  for  a  Sunday  walk  with  a  carrier  bag  and  a  pair  of  hand  shears  and  collect  your  greens.  While  on  your   stroll  pick  up  fir  cones  and  collect  sprigs  of  berries  for  decoration  on  the  wreath.

POP  INTO  A  CRAFT  STORE  AND  BUY  A  12"  POLYSTYRENE  WREATH  BASE,  A  HOT  GLUE  GUN,   SOME  XMAS  RIBBON  AND  RED  PRE-­‐MADE  BOWS  &  TWINE

You'll  need  a  wreath  base,  a  hot  glue  gun  and  some  decorative  elements  to  complete  your  wreath.  I   prefer  the  polystyrene  bases  to  the  wicker  or  twig  ones  as  they  have  a  larger  surface  area  for you  to   create  a  fatter  wreath.  A  polystyrene  base  should  only  cost  about  £2-­3.    

Add some twine to the top of your wreath before you start to attach the wreath to your door.

Add some twine to the top of your wreath before you start to attach the wreath to your door.

You  will  also  need  a  hot  glue  gun  to  securely  attach  all  your  wreath  elements  to  the  base.  I  use  a  mini hot-glue  gun that  you  can  buy  for  around  a  fiver. 

Pick  a  couple  of  decorative  elements  like  bows  and Xmas  ribbon.  I  find  the  red Xmas  velvet  bows  are   particularly  attractive  on  the  wreath.

PUTTING YOUR WREATH TOGETHER:

Firstly,  loop  some  twine  around  your  polystyrene  base  and  leave  enough  twine  at  the  top  for  your   wreath  to  be  securely  attached  to  your  door.

Glue down the base of the foliage stalk to attach to your polystyrene base.

Glue down the base of the foliage stalk to attach to your polystyrene base.

Use  your  foliage  to  completely  cover  all  the  white  of  the  polystyrene  base.  Make  sure  your  foliage  all   flows  in  a  clockwise  manner  so  it  looks  tidy  and  professional.  Distribute  the  foliage  evenly  and  secure  it   to  the  base  with  the  glue  gun.  

Build up your wreath. Make sure the foliage is attached in a clockwise pattern.

Build up your wreath. Make sure the foliage is attached in a clockwise pattern.

Take  your  dried  hydrangea  heads  and  distribute  them  evenly  on  the  wreath,  facing  forwards.  Secure   with  the  glue  gun.

This now just needs decorative elements!

This now just needs decorative elements!

Along with your dehydrated orange slices and cinnamon sticks, use fir cones and red velvet bows.

Along with your dehydrated orange slices and cinnamon sticks, use fir cones and red velvet bows.

Add  your  cinnamon  bundles,  dried  orange  slices,  fir  cones,  bows  and  berries  onto  the  wreath,  spreading   them  out  so  the  same  one  isn't  too  close  to  the  other,  and  there  is  a  level  of  symmetry. 

Once  you  have  glued  everything  on,  gently  hold  up  the  wreath  and  check  everything  is  glued  on   properly.  Hold  up  the  wreath  by  the  twine  and  check  it  from  every  angle - are  there  any  spaces  that   need  filling?  Is  there  any  of  the  white  base  showing?  Fix  any  problem  areas  then  leave  your  wreath  a   couple  of  hours  to  completely  dry.

Hang  your  wreath  on  your  front  door  and  enjoy  the  festive  appeal  it  brings  to  your  home!  Here  is  my   wreath  on  my  front  door  in  all  It's  glory.  It  is  so  much  more  enjoyable  knowing  you  made  it  yourself  and   it  cost  a  fraction  of  a  pre-­made  wreath  by  someone  else. 

What would you add on your Xmas wreath? Let me know in the comments section below!

* This post is in collaboration with Swiftcover as part of their #swifthomehacks campaign.