A wreath is the ultimate scene setter - a declaration of hospitality, stating the intention for merriment and cheer even before the door is flung open. There’s something wonderfully magical about a Christmas wreath: charmingly Dickensian, whilst being entirely fashionable all at once. We’re so enchanted by the Christmas wreath that we’ve asked acclaimed British florist Vic Brotherson, founder of Scarlet & Violet florist in London, to share her step-by-step guide to making your own.
Wire ring frame – available from craft shops
Reel of florists’ wire – available from craft and florist shops
Moss – available from local florists
Approximately 8 bunches of mixed green foliage
Battery-powered fairy lights
Take the wire frame and attach large clumps of moss around it, securing them in place with the florists’ wire. The basis of a good wreath is a sturdy foundation, so use lots of florists’ wire and don’t be afraid to pull it really tight. Once you have a lovely spongy moss-wrapped ring your base is complete. Don’t cut the wire as you’ll continue to use it throughout.
Put the moss-wrapped ring to one side and arrange all the foliage on a clear surface. Begin by cutting the branches to approximately 15-20cm in length; this will make them a lot more manageable to work with. When it comes to greenery, we always opt for something scented – eucalyptus and olive branches, and waxflowers (chamelaucium) are firm favourites.
Take a small bunch of your chosen foliage and attach it to your base using the wire. Keep adding small bunches and continue to build up your frame. Every time you add a new bunch, lay it over the stems of the previously attached one. No two wreaths are the same, so don’t be too fussy about symmetry and making it just so – the best wreaths are full and textural, so really go for it.
There's something wonderfully, magical about a
Christmas wreath: charmingly Dickensian
whilst being entirely fashionable at once
Once you have covered the whole frame with foliage, place it on the floor for a good overhead view of what the wreath looks like. If you’re happy with it, cut the wire to approximately 20cm. You need to weave the loose wire back into the mossy frame at the back. Now’s the time to add any ornaments using the wire once more to hold them in place. In this case, we opted for adding fairy lights, battery powered ones so that all the unsightly wires are hidden round the back). Finish the wreath with a great big bow.
Attach an S hook to the back of your wreath so it is easy to hang up. The final task is to find a spot to show off your handiwork, a simple nail in the door will do the trick. If hanging the wreath outdoors, the natural moisture in the air will help keep it looking fresh; if hanging it indoors, give it a little mist of water every now and then.