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How to... make a Christmas wreath?


05-12-2013 09:45

The ICA Ladies are sharing their tips on how to make a festive wreath. It’s easier than you think!

Willow or dogwood makes excellent rustic wreaths, as do garden prunings from other shrubs and small trees. Hornbeam is readily available and has a lovely silver, fissured bark. Willow can be turned into cuttings and planted after the wreath has been taken down, making it a double present. To test if the branches are suitable, twist them around your wrist: if the branches don’t split they are pliable enough to weave into a wreath. Twist pencil- or finger-thick branches into a circle and wire them into shape, adding more branches and building up the thickness until you have a ready-to-dress wreath.

Remember that wreathes aren’t just for Christmas. You could make one for any occasion, dressing it as appropriate: hearts and roses for Valentine’s Day; chicks, eggs and bunnies for Easter; or black roses and skeletons for a spooky Halloween wreath. Experiment with fresh flowers throughout the summer and with autumn leaves, dried flowers and berries later in the year.

Set aside a box especially for wreath dressing and fill it with decorations collected throughout the year (the seasonal sales make great hunting grounds). Try weaving through some battery-operated fairy lights in different shapes and colours, and use up

scrap fabric and wool to make big bow and little fabric and wool decorations. Raffia is excellent to use in wreaths instead of cloth ribbon: it is inexpensive, it looks good and holds up well against the weather.

Dried berries and dried flowers such as hydrangea, statice and teasels make excellent indoor wreaths. Faded and pale dried flowers can be sprayed silver or gold before being added to the arrangement. Consider making kitchen wreaths using fresh bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, sage and other woody herbs. These will slowly dry and you can use the herbs as you need them. You can also make colourful, aromatic kitchen wreaths from cinnamon sticks, cloves and dried orange slices (but if your kitchen is humid or damp, varnish the orange slices first – and don’t eat them!).

From The ICA Book of Home And Family, published by Gill Books. What The ICA Cookbook did for your kitchen, this book will do for your whole home – clever tricks, special touches and precious know-how for the next generation of homemakers.


Share your tips with other readers – tweet to @GillandMac using hashtag #MammyKnowsBest and we will feature the best ones in our round-ups on the blog mammyknowsbest.tumblr.com and Facebook, and win a FREE copy of The Irish Country Women’s Association Book of Home And Family!



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