Friday, 9 December 2011

Christmas Garlands and Wreaths

Let The Love Into Your Home
Last year we had a lot of fun making evergreen wreaths to hang on front doors. This year we are also manning the Made in Portswood stall, for the school Christmas Fair and I thought that a few decorations might supplement the home-made chutney and jams well.
Coppiced Hazel
Making wreaths is quite easy, you can make it up as you go along, according to what is available and it does not all need to be done at once – in fact I found it handy to be able to put it all down and then pick it up again when convenient.
Twisted Into Hazel Hoops
First you ideally need some nice straight lengths of coppiced hazel. Other wood will do though, as long as it doesn't snap when you bend it gently round into a rough hoop. We also found something in our garden which worked well enough when we ran out of hazel.
The Crown of Vines
Next we wrapped the circles around with some vine type material to give it some bulk and help tie it together, I have no idea what this stuff was but I made my daughter a nice little crown for her efforts and she was delighted. We then wove in some Ivy that we had pulled off the fence in our garden, you need to be a bit gentle or it can snap. If it does, just poke it in again and start afresh.
Getting There
Later we collected some Old Man’s Beard which worked well too, any other flexible hedgerow climber should work well.
We had also collected some pine fronds, some nice holly with berries (of course) and some perfect little pine cones. Then we decided to add a little glamour, to contrast with the rustic look we were creating and painted the pine cones silver. These could be used separately as tree decorations too.
Perfect Pine Cones
I then spied mistletoe in a local churchyard and it was fairly easily reached. The Reverend gave us his blessing to collect some of the plant to add to our efforts. We thought we could also sell mistletoe sprigs on the stall.
Add A Touch of Glamour
We also picked some Teasels, which look great painted and hung upside-down on cotton from the Xmas tree or wreath.
Pretty Painted Teasles
If you want to add more greenery, simply pick some suitable evergreens and bind them in; winding wool or string around the twigs helps to keep everything more compact and tidy. If you don’t like the smell of pine you can add some Rosemary or other herbs to your garlands.
The Garlands Gradually Take Shape
The final stage of our festive decorative making involved attaching pretty ornamental ribbons for hanging and to set everything off nicely. You can also wind tinsel into the undergrowth if you fancy.
The school Xmas fair was a great success, you'll be pleased to hear; the garlands and bunches of mistletoe went down a storm.

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